No flavor in my snack sticks


  • I am not sure what I am doing wrong, I have tried and failed the last couple of years. I have cooked several different flavors of snack sticks and when they are done cooking they taste all the same, a bland mild sausage.
    We have cooked a sample in the microwave to make sure it is spiced well enough and it tastes great. We tried Willie’s snack sticks, Jalapeño, Habanero, Teriyaki etc and we get bland sticks at best.
    We are cooking the sticks in an oven set at 200 degrees with the door slightly ajar until the sticks reach 160 degrees internal temp between 5 to 6 hours. We have also tried a lower temp (170) for about 3 hours reaching our target internal temp of 160 degrees. We take them out of the oven and right into an ice water bath. We do not experience any fat out and they look great, just not flavorful.
    Where am I going wrong, any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

  • Team Orange

    Is your meat block 20%-30% fat? Fat is the flavor carrier.


  • keend0 we used a 60/40 ratio venison/pork butt

  • Team Orange

    You need more fat. An un-trimed pork butt is about 30% fat, trimmed even less. If you have 6lbs venison, you have 6lbs lean and near 0lbs fat. Mix with 4lbs pork butt you have 2.8lbs lean and 1.2lbs fat. That gives you a total lean to fat ratio of 8.8lbs to 1.2lbs. Or 12% fat. Bump the fat to at least 20% or 25% and you should have a lot more flavor. And use a good binder like sure gel.


  • Meatmaster I use 50/50 butt to venison, but I think that your 60/40 should be fine if you are using all of the fat from the butts. I have never used the oven method. I don’t consider myself an expert, but my snack sticks and summer sausage are always very flavorful. Maybe because you’re not smoking?


  • How much Sure Gel would you add to 10 pounds of meat?


  • The Walton’s instructions call for 1.2 oz of Sure Gel per 5# of meat, so i’d use 2.4 or 2.5 ounces for 10 pounds of meat.

    Are you weighing your spices and other additives or measuring? Since all your sticks are coming out bland, I’m wondering if you’re just getting the amounts wrong. I bought a really sensitive kitchen scale off Amazon for $15-$20 and I’m frequently surprised how far off I am when I guess the weight on something, especially small amounts. Just a suggestion.


  • Kentucky Fisherman yes everything is weighed out and double checked before mixing.

  • Team Orange

    I made snack sticks last weekend, my second ever batch. About a 25% fat ratio of pork and beef.
    I also was surprised at how unspicy they turned out.
    A pan cooked sample patty before stuffing them was spot on for spice. But when the sticks were done they too seemed bland. Maybe they needed a night in the fridge before the smoker?
    I hope to try again this weekend, but add more than ratio says. I’ve been doing 5# tests until I can get a good system. People at work don’t complain, and they think I’m trying for a mild summer sausage or something.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors

    Elsos are you using a cure accelerator if you are not holding them in the fridge overnight?

  • Team Orange Sous Vide Regular Contributors

    May want to bump up the seasoning a bit. When I make Bambi dogs using waltons frank mix, I will be adding in a little more than called for to suit my taste. Last batch were gooood but could have had a bit more flavor. Everyone’s pallet is different.

  • Team Orange

    twilliams Hi. I did use ECA at the end of mixing. Now I am not complaining at all with these (it looks like I am …hmm) , except my expectations was they were going to be a tad more spicy like the fried patties were. Maybe its because of the portion you eat with a bite of a stick is smaller vs a bite of the patty. I’ll just add a little more spice, watching the salt flavor. 😛

    I’m actually super excited that the casing was excellent vs the first time I did these, I think I had some old LEM casings from days of past, and those were not so bueno.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Elsos What seasoning did you use?

  • Team Orange

    Jonathon said in No flavor in my snack sticks:

    Elsos What seasoning did you use?

    It was Willies, and I used at another time an LEM snack sticks seasoning. I think my conversion math was right (doing 5lbs at a time). It’s more than likely my expectations, but today I’m adding about a 15% additional of season.
    It will be fine, just learning my way around these things… and adding some hatch chilis.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Elsos The only caviat I will give you is that at 15% more seasoning it may come out a little saltier than you’d like. The hatch will add flavor for sure. Try upping your fat content too, more fat will deliver a more flavorful snack stick.

  • Team Orange

    Man, Jonathon, you are so fast to respond on this site helping people! Awesome, thank you!

    I thought of the saltiness right after posting that.

    I made two 5# batches of pork/beef sticks yesterday.
    Fresh Garlic / canned Hatch chilis, and those were pretty good, I did add about 5% more seasoning though.
    The other one was Bacon/Cheddar Cheese. This one I used shredded Sharp Cheddar, and I think next time I’ll be getting some hightemp cheese… a little funky at first, but the cheddar ends well. 🙂 You can see a little of the cheese in a cross section, but it sort of melted around, and sort of didn’t.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Elsos I dont see a pic, it seems like you posted one? Recently I haven’t been as available to help as I would like to be, other things are needing my time but in general I try to be online and helpful! Right now I am working from home for a while so I should be online more!

    So, you used non hightemp and some didn’t melt? That is interesting, Id assume all the nom-high temp cheese would melt in a snack stick. It certainly did on the test batches I made with regular cheese. Next time consider toasting your garlic first. I did that with some Willies once and it was pretty excellent in my mind!

Log in to reply
 

Suggested Topics

  • 11
  • 2
  • 2
  • 15
  • 12

Community Statistics

28
Online

14.4k
Users

3.0k
Topics

31.4k
Posts

About Meatgistics

Meatgistics is brought to you by Walton's (waltonsinc.com). Meatgistics is a community site, knowledgebase, forum, blog, learning center, and a sharing site. You can find help and ask questions about anything related to meat processing, smoking and grilling meats, plus a whole lot more. Join Austin & Jon from Walton's and sign up for our Meatgistics community today.
Change Text Size