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.

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