Snack sticks ?


  • I am planning on giving snack sticks another attempt this weekend. I am planning on doing a 12.5 # block of meat 1/2 venison and 1/2 pork butts. I plan to use the sure gel for a binder. I also will use the encapsulated citric acid and know to mix it in the last 45-60 seconds.
    So I will have the cure , sure gel , seasoning to mix in and then the ECA at the end. Anyone have a suggestion on how much water to add to the mixture ? After stuffing I see its recommended to smoke at these temps. 125 for 1 hour 140 for 1 hour 155 for 2 hours and finally 175 until IT reaches 160. When they are done I also will want to put them in an ice bath . Can anyone think of anything I am missing or have any tips I would love to hear them. Thanks

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors

    JohninPa sounds like you got it down…as far as how much water I think I seen 2 pints for 25 lbs. I usually don’t measure the water…I just mix my seasonings,cure in some water and dump…then add more water till I think it looks good. I haven’t used sure gel yet I use carrot fiber (which I don’t mix with water) so I can get away with a little more water. Only tip I can think of is make sure you mix it long enough to get good protein extraction. The more I think about it I think I’m pretty close to a quart of water to 25lbs maybe a bit more. After you pull them from the ice bath let them sit out for a few hours at room temp to bloom then put them in the fridge or someplace cool enough overnight and package the next day.


  • Will around 10 minutes be good for mixing time?


  • Another question I had is do I need to tie the ends of the casing off ?

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors

    JohninPa mix until you put some meat in your palm and you can turn palm upside down and it doesn’t fall off…if you search protein extraction on this page it’ll show up in one of Johns videos

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors

    JohninPa I don’t tie the ends I’ll just pinch how ever long I want my sticks to be…for me my sticks are probably 16-18 inches long so when I get that length I just pinch and cut with a scissors if that makes sense

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors

  • Power User

    JohninPa im not sure why you would use sure gel or ECA? I never add those. ECA i can see if you dont want to leave over night for cure to process or you want that tang. Personally i cant stand that tang. Second, on my smoker it says to bring it up to 125°, install meat and with both dampers wide open cook for one hour (this is considered the drying process) then add pan of moistened sawdust and increase to 140° and close dampers to 1/4 open. When you get to where it says increase to 155° add a pan of hot boiled water and shut dampers 100% for the cooking process, your smoking and cooking schedule looks right but no mention of adding water and damper position


  • twilliams said in Snack sticks ?:

    JohninPa im not sure why you would use sure gel or ECA? I never add those. ECA i can see if you dont want to leave over night for cure to process or you want that tang. Personally i cant stand that tang. Second, on my smoker it says to bring it up to 125°, install meat and with both dampers wide open cook for one hour (this is considered the drying process) then add pan of moistened sawdust and increase to 140° and close dampers to 1/4 open. When you get to where it says increase to 155° add a pan of hot boiled water and shut dampers 100% for the cooking process, your smoking and cooking schedule looks right but no mention of adding water and damper position

    Thanks. I was about to ask about the dampers and water. So damper wide open when I start the process. Then add chips and close damper to 1/4 open at 140. Then at 155 close damper and add water. Does this sound correct? Now you have me second guessing myself on the encapsulated citric acid. I have never used it but when I started looking into making these I had a few people recommend that I try it.


  • Anyone have suggestions on whether to use the ECA or try without it first? Would definitely save me time in the morning because I could get the meat ground , mixed and stuffed this evening correct?

  • Power User

    JohninPa thats correct it would save on your workload, not so much time. Insread of doing it all in one day by not adding ECA it has to stay in fridge over night and smoke next day. However this way does tie up a weekend fairly full.

  • Power User

    JohninPa you wanna stuff right after mixing or the meat will get to stiff if you wait

  • Power User

    JohninPa 20191207_081504.jpg
    Here is the smoking schedule out of my book from my smoker. I have a big unit with 2 dampers top and bottom

  • Team Orange Power User Masterbuilt

    JohninPa
    ECA. I tried it once and haven’t since. Didn’t care for that tang. Just my two cents.

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors

    JohninPa I guess I would split your batch and do some with and some without…if you were unsure about eca


  • blackbetty61 said in Snack sticks ?:

    JohninPa I guess I would split your batch and do some with and some without…if you were unsure about eca

    Thanks. I think I am going to try without the ECA for my first batch. Any suggestions on whether to use the sure gel meat binder or just use the cure and seasoning?


  • Hi new to this site but like the topic for sure. I make a lot of venison jerky, mostly use store bought seasoning. I use the oven, Cabela’s dehydrator and Traeger wood pellet grill for smoking and cooking sausage and jerky. I use a jerky shooter for making snack sticks from venison burger and looking for recipes for snack sticks.

  • Regular Contributors

    So i use 8oz water per 10lbs of meat. Seems perfect to me. I would NOT use eca your first time. If something goes south and you cant smoke right away your meat is ruined and i dont like the taste. I never put eca in for my customers. You can always stuff the casings and hold the meat for a few days before smoking. But yes stuff the casings if your going to let your meat sit or it will bond with itself and be very hard to stuff without adding additional water.
    I dint use binders but i also have a mechanical mixer. If your going by hand i would use the sure gel. Also the water pan is very important or you could dry out your casings too much. Sounds like you did good reasearch!


  • Ok. So I got the meat ground , mixed and stuffed into the casings earlier this evening. I will be trying my luck at smoking them tomorrow morning. Am I correct that I want to have the vent open for the first hour of the cooking cycle? After the first hour bump the temp up to 140 add smoke , a water pan and close the vent ? Does all this sound correct?

  • Regular Contributors

    No. Dont add water pan until smoke is done and leave damper about 1/4 open. You need the smoke to pass through so it stays fresh. After the 140 degree 1hour has passed with smoke. Then take smoke out, close damper, add water and increase temp.

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