Snack Stick Casing
MarkP last edited by
I made some snack sticks this past weekend and wanted to get some input on the chewiness of the collagen casing. I stuffed them into 19 mm mahogany collagen casings and cooked them in the oven at 170 until they hit 160. Then I put then in an ice bath for 5 minutes and removed them and put them on the counter on an oven rack for an hour. After that I just put them in the fridge until this morning when i tried them. I was hoping for a more snappy bite to the sticks but the casings were a bit chewy. The meat was nicely adhered to the casing and there was no slippage, but i thought they would have more snap. Is there any recommendations that could be the reason why they were not very snappy?
My first guess is something related to humidity. The casing being dry is where you get a lot of the snap and bite from.
Did you package them once storing them in the fridge? Once you get them cooled after cooking, packaging (especially vacuum packaging) is recommended. I would guess that if you just put them in the fridge without packaging for a while the higher humidity could make them soggy or chewy.
I smoke my sticks, but as a regular step in my process I hang the sticks with no smoke until the are dry then add smoke. It seems the drier the sticks are before i smoke they have more of a snap. I would try a couple things if you are using an oven:
- crack the door of the oven, stick a wooden spoon or something in there in the beginning to let the humidity out.
- I agree with Austin, i spray mine with a hose to drop the temp, then into a refrigerator-they are designed to remove moisture.
- Make sure they are completely cool before vacuum sealing.
I believe the recommended curing time is 12 hours but can I go less than that? I was expecting my order to be here tonight and it won’t be here till tomorrow morning now.
I was going to mix up my batch of jerky tonight but will have to do it tomorrow on my lunch break. Just wondering if tomorrow evening would be long enough to let the meat cure.
Your recipe calls for 1. Sure Cure, 2. Sure Gel Meat Binder, and 3. Smoked Meat Stabilizer. I have all but the Sure Gel Meat Binder. Can I get by without using this? Second question- Is Excalibur’s Cure Excellerator the same as Sure Cure?
@andyman Great question, Carrot Fiber holds up to 26 times its weight in water, and while the 80 oz is still well inside that I have never done that before. I max out (even with Carrot Fiber) at 64 oz which is 2 qts. My only fear with doing 80 is that it might take a lot longer to cook as it will have more water content that will be trying to evaporate. Most of that water should be bound up in the carrot fiber though so it wouldn’t really be available to be cooked out. Hmmm, my recommendation, to be safe is to stick with 64 oz of water.
Now, as to should you add more seasoning, some people will taste the difference if you did not add additional seasonings and some (most) will not. Your water and your seasoning is technically part of your meat block (anyone who is reading this who doesn’t consider this don’t worry!) so adjusting your meat block to include your water is sometimes done. If you do decide to add more spices or seasonings I would add aromatics and things like Rosemary and Basil, don’t add more salt as that is formulated specifically for the meat block.
Hope this helps and if you do decide to go with 80 oz of water then I would be very interested in the results!
i use denuded round. higher cost, less waste, cleaner eating
@jonathon I enjoyed this line of questions and comments, it made me think. Here is my related question: Assume I use 25 lbs. of meat to make summer sausage and add one package, 4 oz., of Carrot Fiber and 80 oz. of water. The ratio is 20 times the weight of water to the weight of CF. In other words, I am adding 5 lbs. 4 oz. of water/CF paste to my meat dough. Should I adjust the amount of salt and spices, I add to the dough? I am concerned that the flavor will be weaker if I don’t add spices for the new total, 30 lbs. curious as to what y’all thinking.