Snack Sticks process
I like smaller snack sticks, didn’t have a small enough tube for my 16mm casings, so used what I had on hand, 21mm. This is my second attempt at using casings. I’ve graduated, or rather, am in the process of graduating from a jerky cannon and making fragmented sticks. Last time I kept it as one long coil in the smoker, and the outside got overdone and the middle wasn’t done.
Just looking for input on processing. It appears most cut them into sticks after smoking, correct? How do you get even smoking/heating? My current smoker doesn’t have the ability to hang sticks.
macminn18 16mm isn’t a good size for most home processors, yes, it can be done but it makes it more difficult and probably wouldn’t have solved your issue of the outside cooking too quickly anyway. What I am guessing you ran into is called case hardening, this is where the outside cooks too quickly and will not effectively pass heat into the center of the stick. So, you end up with raw inside and burnt edge. The best way to combat this is with a slowly increasing smoke schedule. Check out all the videos that deal with snack sticks in https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/category/40/cured-sausage there is a lot of good information in there. Use the smoke schedule from this post https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/763/cured-sausage-106-basics-of-making-snack-sticks
Then, pay special attention to https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/1099/cured-sausage-205-advanced-thermal-processing where we used automotive sponges and a large water pan to increase the relative humidity in our smoker.
Hanging is better but coiling will absolutely work, if you want, flipping them every once in a while isn’t a bad idea because the metal of the grates will hold heat more effectively than the air so you want each side to have about equal time closest to those.
Jonathon, thanks for the info. Here’s what happened last night with my snack sticks. Had a nasty thunderstorm come up, so ended up having to do them in the oven, not what I wanted, but couldn’t put them off. I used the Hatch Green Chili seasoning and sure cure. I increased the seasoning by about 10% or so.
Unfortunately the lowest my oven goes is 175, so started there. I have jerky grid style trays that I used, criss crossed them to keep air between the sticks. I did cut them in lengths to fit in the trays, 14" or so? Some of the meat did extrude in the process, but not a big deal. They fit on 3 trays, which I rotated after about 90 minutes. After about 3 1/2 hours or so some of the sticks were at 160. Some were at 140. Ended up having to check every one. Put them back in, after about another 45 minutes, more of them were done, but about 4 of the sticks, half of a rack were not. I put them back in for another half hour. They were still in the 140 ish area, so I ended up cutting them in half. In the middle of a few of the sticks, they were still at only 127! Having needed to get to bed, I put them in our toaster oven at 300 just to get them to 160. Those ones will be consumed by me. I did take some pics this morning, recreating my setup but don’t know how to post pics here.
I used 4 lbs ground beef, 1 lb ground pork. I did screw one thing up on the recipe I think, and I’m sure it has alot to do with the results. However, I’m still very confused as to the inconsistency in temps of the product. I have a nice oven, and the trays sit on top of each other, so it’s not like they’re a foot in difference in the oven. I miscalculated since I was doing 5 lbs of meat, I put a little over 2 cups of ice water, where I think it should have been 1 1/4 cups?
The other thing I’m not sure may have had an effect is I did have an orange shirt on
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