fallflight Yeah you absolutely need to add some water, that will help for sure! I’d start at 1 qt of water per 25 lb batch and go from there. Usually, 1-1.5 is a good amount but I’d recommend you start at 1.
Snack Stick Casing
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.