911 HELP - pk100 snack sticks

  • Question- in meatgistics video on cooking sticks Austin said snack sticks should cook in 4-5 hours. It is taking us 8-9hours. Here is what we aredoing.
    1st time doing snack sticks and using pk100. We are choosing to use pk100 without smoke due to extreme outside temps so pk100 is in our basement. 125 for 1 hour open dampers, 140 for 1 hour(added water pan) dampers 2/3. 155 for 2 hours closed dampers. 175 for 4 hours IT only 150 so bumped up to 185 for 1 hour. Finally got to 160. Ice bath for 10 minutes and then set for 1 hour before refrigerator. Tastes awesome, some wrinkling of casing but not bad. Length seems really long…thoughts and suggestions.
    Also how much space do you leave between sticks? We cut to length and set on racks with about 1 inch separation but not getting even 25 lbs in pk100.
    We have another 50 lbs to do.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    Ya thats a bit long, i run 110° for 1 hour vents wide open, 125° for 1 hour with smoke vents closed to a 1/3rd open on bottom and 1/8th open on top. 140° for 1 hour, 155° for 2 hours, 170° both vents closed til 160° IT which doesnt take but maybe 30 minutes at the most. I have a bigger unit so my heat source is significantly bigger. You should be running your highest wattage the entire time, i believe 1250 watts

  • Team Orange Sous Vide Regular Contributors

    As for spacing. As long as they are not touching is fine. Smoke will penetrate if not touching. My last batch had some touching and didnt receive smoke. Those that touched, hade a pale appearance and not a mahogany color. Taste was fine tho.

  • We did not use a cure accelerator or binding agent. Would that cause a longer cook time?

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    Mschmidt i dont believe those lack of items would have an effect on time. Although the binders do have water retention capabilities. How much water did you use to mix your batch and how many pounds was your meat block. I have never used a cure accelerator and started using the sure gel just this year, have not seen a time change with or without the binder

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    Mschmidt your water pan, did you preheat the water to boiling before putting in the smoker? Or did you happen to use automotive sponges or wicking mat?

  • Did not boil water, but hot out of tap. Used 2 automotive sponges. For the Willie’s snack sticks 25lbs of meat and 2 quarts on water.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Mschmidt it could have come into play if you didn’t get good enough protein extraction. Is there a lot of fat in your drop tray? If the meat fats out it is going to take longer to cook. You’ve added as much moisture as you can so it is not that. If you have the ability I would pull them and finish them up in sous vide style like we have been doing. Get a container of water at 172°, you can do this with a sous vide machine or with something like a turkey fryer and then put them in the water. Depending on what your IT is it could take as little as 20 minutes to finish them.

    9 hours is too long, something is off either with the smoker or somewhere in your process. Do you have a calibratable thermometer? Might be worth checking to make sure that A) your probe thermometer is working correctly or B) make sure your PK100 is actually as hot as it says?

  • I think we got good protein extraction. NO fat at all in drip tray. The snack sticks look good and we can’t ‘push’ out any fat like your one video shows nor do we see fat on the outside ring of sticks(between meat and casing). We cut our sticks and laying them on the racks vs hanging them. We do not have a thermometer like the Meater or anything similar(need to purchase). So I am using Walton’s Waterproof Quick Read Thermometer. Of course that means opening the door and pulling out a stick and closing door while checking the IT of that stick(I know not ideal). We check about 5 different sticks from various locations. I have checked that thermometer against another meat thermometer I have and they read the same. I have not checked the PK100. It is the 1st time we are using the PK100 so hoping it is accurate from factory.

  • Regular Contributors

    I think laying product out on racks horizontally does affect air/heat flow through a smoker compared to hanging vertically. Agree with checking your PK100 temperature probe against another known to be accurate thermometer just to be sure.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Mschmidt I do agree with processhead that it could affect the airflow. When I make jerky in the smoker I leave a square in the middle of each screen about 6" x 6" to allow for proper airflow. Were your sticks taking up all the space on the racks? Unless they were jammed in there on each “row” then I wouldn’t say this was the main cause. Sticks are pretty thin and they should finish up quickly even without ideal air flow.

    So, no fatting out and your thermometer is good. If you are going to continue doing this I would recommend that you get a prober thermometer that can be left in, as you said opening the door is setting you back significantly. Doesn’t have to be an expensive one at all, there are a few models out there in the $20 range.

    What were your dampers at when you were at 175-185, you mentioned it in the leading up stages but not that.

  • I closed the dampers at 155 and left them closed. I left space between sticks, about an inch. Will definitely be getting a probe thermometer. I think next batch I will get some Dowels and hang.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Mschmidt this is what we usePXL_20210219_145003043.jpg

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    Mschmidt im surprised none came with the unit. But i bought my unit direct from the manufacturer so maybe i conned him into throwing them in with the deal, dint remember. Mine came with 6 and i bought 4 more. Mine are aluminum and are a triangle looking so they dont roll.

  • twilliams we bought directly from manufacturer as well but to cyber Monday price. It did not include any v grooved rods for hanging

  • Jonathon. Got some dowel rods and have some in the pk100 now. Hoping they cook faster

  • Team Blue Canning

    Mschmidt Just an fyi. If you look in the wood trim department they have triangle shaped wood trim you can get by the foot at Home Depot or Lowes.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    Mschmidt you bought your smoker right in Iron Ridge Wi from Vortron/ProSmoker?

  • Fat_Bob good to know. Thanks

  • twilliams yes I did.

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