Snack sticks too chalky



  • Looking for a little help. Just made my firs batch of snack sticks and the texture was chalky. I made a 10 lb batch using 6 lbs of untrimmed tri tip beef and 4 pounds of pork shoulder. I ran it through the 3/8 grinder first and then added all my seasoning and cheese. I then mixed all ingredients including 45 grams of carrot fiber and then ran through the 1/8 grinding plate. I then hand mixed for 8 minutes and added my water and 45 grams of citric acid and mixed for an additional 12 minutes. I noticed that as soon as i mixed the citric acid in, the texture changed from sticky to chalky. I then stuffed into a 19mm collagen casings and hun in the smoker for 1 hr at 125, 1hr at 140, 2 hours at 155, then turned it up to 175, added smoke and cooked until internal temperature of 160. I then removed and placed in an ice bath for 10 minutes. Let them come to room temperature for 1 hour. The flavor was good but the texture was chalky. I know that I messed up and should have only mixed the citric acid in the ladd minute but was that my only mistake. Did i use tooo much citric acid or carrot fiber?


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  • Team Blue Regular Contributors

    Todd Phillips looks like you added the right amounts of the carrot fiber and acid. You are correct that you added the acid to soon and for future reference add the cheese at the end also. Also I’d recommend you leave it in the ice bath a little longer as well, what I have found that works best for me is 20 mins. I always do both of my grinds before I add seasoning or start mixing but there are plenty of people on here that add seasoning either before they do the first grind or before the second so not sure if there’s a right answer there. Your cook schedule looks spot on so just make a few tweaks and you should be good to go on your next batch.



  • AdamCA i appreciate your help. People like you are encouraging.


  • Regular Contributors

    Your citric acid broke its coating from mixing too long and burned your meat giving it that texture. It happens! Yea next time dont mix that acid very long. 1 min or less and you should be ok as long as you cook it right away. And yes you dont need to grind your cheese. Mix it at the last with the acid.


  • Regular Contributors

    Also be careful how much water you add with carrot fiber or your sausages could come out way too wet. Im not a big carrot fiber fan and if your mixing that much as you described i dont see a need for you to use a binder.


  • Regular Contributors

    Just finished my first batch of snack sticks and they turned out great, tried Excaliber pepper sticks and Brand x pepper sticks mix both came out close to same flavor, so I labeled them a and b an am doing tase test with friends, verdict still out, I made 2 12.5lb batches both 10lb caribou and 2.5lb beef fat with .5 ounce cure salt and .5 ounce sodium phosphate and .5lb binder. I think I will skip the sodium phosphate next time as to cut moisture, but wife likes them the way they were, may not win that balttle. Did the hot water bath to Finnish cooking them, that went great, glad I tried it as it was soo fast and ensured even cooking.



  • lamurscrappy thanks for your help. Lesson learned.


  • Regular Contributors

    Todd Phillips no problem! Its a lesson i had to learn years ago too! I think one major thing a lot of people need to think about is when your adding different enhancers to meat, how is it going to affect cooking / drying / taste / etc. Once you break away from doing just your basic cure and dry seasonings things can change your output drastically. For a lot of people ive seen on this forum they get real excited about all the enhancers you can add to the meat and want to rush right in with them. Make sure if your adding something other then basic ingredients that you do the research on them because they will change how you do things to your meat and nobody wants to destroy their animal they hunted for or waste all that money on beef/pork because they missed a step. Please make sure if you dont fully understand how something works ask as many questions as you can about it so you have a real good feel good about it. The only stupid question is one not asked!



  • lamurscrappy great advice


  • Regular Contributors

    lamurscrappy
    Does the temperature of the mixture you put in your stuffer change the resistance of getting it to flow out or is it the chemical change of the mixture in 45 minutes time. It seemed like the 2nd charge of mixture that we put in the stuffer was much harder to crank out then the first ?? I really want to try some 16mm snack sticks but the resistance of the 19 was about all my stuffer with the crank handle will handle and some blow by on the gasket. I am going down to our local Hydraulic shop and see if we can come up with a better seal arrangement as it is now a leather gasket that works great with larger stuffing tubes but I think blow by with 16mm tube on there will be a lot more. I think I have solved the effort to turn the crank problem, I am going to use a large ratchet handle so we will only pull down and I can put an extension on it if necessary. Any other suggestions as I used 2 quarts of water on the 25lb mix, 20lb caribou and 5lb beef fat and 1 table spoon vegetable oil and the finished product was near perfect for my first try, everybody loves it. Also thanks a lot for all the he advice and I don’t think I will ever make snack sticks with out the hot water bath to Finnish cookingIMG_3429.JPG


  • Regular Contributors

    akdave the temperature is only one part of the resistence. You want it very cold so the meat sticks more to itself rather then all your equipment. Once it starts warming up youll see it start sticking more to your stuffer tube and horn causing more resistence. I think in your case after about 45 minutes the meat is actually setting up and binding to itself. After mixing and getting the protein extraction all the fats and muscle meat are basically gluing themselves togeather and it doesnt take long after the mixing is complete! Did adding the vegetable oil seem to help you out?


  • Regular Contributors

    Your welcome! Im always glad to hear it turned out good the first time! Its a lot of work that goes into this stuff!


  • Regular Contributors

    lamurscrappy
    from what you are saying I should keep the mix as cold as possible during the mixing process and then stuff as fast as possible while keeping the rest of the mix refrigerated while I am stuffing, That is where I probably went wrong, in my mind I was kind of thinking that warmer meat would stuff better. I really don’t know whether the oil helped or not, but I will do it again, because the product was great and in my mind 1 tablespoon of canola oil can’t heart anything and should help


  • Regular Contributors

    akdave yes perfect! Cold meat is the key throughout the entire process! Ive done summer sausage up where i put the probe in at first and its about 20 degrees. (Frozen meat,bandsaw, big grinder,big mixer to do this) Colder the better! I think you got it down now! Your a professional!


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