Help with meat sticks


  • I’ve made meat sticks several times but I can’t get past one thing, Case separation. I get good protein extraction, very sticky. Overnight in fridge after stuffing in smoked collagen cases. Smoke over 6 hours until IT of 165. Water bath until IT is under 80 degrees, Hang until dry, then I vac seal and freeze. On the ones that come out of the freezer the cases separate. What can I do to stop this?
    Thanks for the help.

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    Eric1 Are you using a binder like sure gel and how much water are you adding? Also, you said water bath, did you mean either shower or ice bath? You don’t want to let it sit in cool water, it has to either be ice water or spraying it down with running water and have a powerful fan blowing on them. If you do the shower go 1 minute shower, then 1-minute fan and go back and forth. I assume the casings are smoked collagen?


  • Jonathon Hey , Thanks for getting back to me. I haven’t used a binder on them. I was using an ice bath. Yes the casings are smoked collagen. Water was 5 ounces per 5 lb of meat. Sorry I was slow to respond. I’m outside pressure washing a food warmer I’m converting to a big vertical smoker.

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    Eric1 No worries, the same day response is about as much as we can ask for! Okay, so my first suggestion would be to use a binder. It is going to help a lot with all sorts of snack stick issues and any time there is a texture or casing fall off issue that is what I’d suggest since you said you use an ice bath. That is almost always the biggest cause of casings falling away. Ahhhh I just reread and I think you are getting moisture in your bag when you seal them. I didn’t correctly read that they come out of the freezer, for some reason I read that as cooler. Okay so after ice bath put them in a cooler overnight and then let them sit at room temp for about an hour to make sure the moisture from the fridge has dried off. I’ve done that before and after a week in the freezer (or less honestly) you can start to see that happening.

    If you are already laying them out after the fridge to let them dry off then try running a fan over them for 20 minutes or so, then let them sit for the remainder of the hour. Check the surface and if they are moist hit them with the fan again. Snack stick is semi-dried sausage so there will always be some moisture but the majority of it should be bound up in the meat and not on the surface. 5 oz to 5 lb is a fine water to meat ratio so no worries there!


  • Jonathon I’m gonna order some sure gel binder. Could you suggest the amount for ten pounds?Also should I add more water for the sure=gel? I’m trying to get an idea of how much to order. I’ll try running the fan before I package next time. That will come soon, I’m down to two packs after gifting family and friends. These things get gone quick!!!

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    Eric1 https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/811/additive-conversion-chart has the breakdowns for all additives by 1 and 5 lb batches so just double the following
    3 tbspn & 1 tspn (1.2 oz/33.9 g) 1 of the https://www.waltonsinc.com/sure-gel-meat-binder 6 oz size will do 25 lb of meat.


  • Thank you Jonathan. have a blessed weekend!


  • Making snack sticks for the first time.just wondering what cut of beef I should use

  • Team Blue Dry Cured Sausage Admin Walton's Employee Canning

    scott kilpeck You want something with 20-30% fat. I think chuck is probably the best beef cut to use. However, you can use anything and then add some extra fat to it, pork fat is the best fat to use but beef fat will also work.


  • Thank you for all your help Jonathan. I will try to send pictures and let everybody know how it came out.

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