• After making and smoking beef sticks i vacuum sealed in bags. Later when vacuumed bags of sticks were opened the sticks were wet on the outside. They were cooled to 73 degrees and dry when vacuumed sealed. The casings were still tight but wet on outside. The sticks condition did not change on the inside or outside just wet. Is there a way to prevent this wet condition other then putting a desiccant bag in with sticks when they are vacuumed sealed?

  • Regular Contributors Team Orange

    Man, I am sorry for your troubles, but this title sure made my mind go into another avenue of life!

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    Jesser im gonna say not really, however could have to do with how much water you used during mixing and smoke schedule.

    If you use alot of water to make it stuff easier that can have a hard time to expell during the smoke/cook schedule. I use the max amounts for 25lbs at 2qts of water. I do not have a problem with water standing in the vac bag. Really good protein extraction may help as well.

    As a smoke schedule you are creating a semi dried sausage. I prefer a longer schedule than most people like to do, so this may be a reason why i do not have water issues, i am not sure as i have not tried doing a test of some sort. It works for me so i stick with it.

    One thing you can try is when you pull a package out of the freezer just make a small slit in the bag to release the vacuum in the bag. This will help as it will not continue pulling liquid out of the sticks as they thaw.


  • Jesser when I am finished with my beef/venison sticks I always let the sticks cool to room temp. then I make sure there is no visible moisture on the sticks (I check each one) if there is any moisture I wipe of with a towel, then I arrange drying racks that are stackable (like the type used for cooling cookies, or loaves of bread) over a sheet pan, place the beef sticks on the racks, place in the frig overnight. The next day I vacuum seal, and place in the freezer. I have never had to use desiccant bags using this process.


  • twilliams I use 1 ounce water per pound of meat which is less than half compared to 2 qt to 25 lbs.
    I like the idea to try the slit in bag to stop the vacuum in case it is pulling liquid from the sticks when not in freezer. Thanks

  • Team Blue Masterbuilt Canning Sous Vide Power User

    Jesser too much vac will wick the moisture out before frozen but I am a firm believer in breaking the seal before defrosting.


  • I used to have this problem. Now I let the sticks sit out overnight to bloom/dry. Vac bag them the next day. Then put them in the fridge for a couple days before transferring to the freezer. When I use them, I pull a bag out of the freezer, cut it open and let it thaw at room temp.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Jesser What twilliams and Grimpuppy say is most likely a combination of your issue. A) dont add too much water or run a longer dry cycle and leave them out for at least 1 hour, and 2-3 is better and dont package until the next day after they have sat in a cooler. What I am imagining happener was your outside was dry but when you vac sealed them they still have water inside and part of just natural movement of water in cooked meats and because when you vac seal them you squeeze them so the water is pushed to the outside.


  • i put mine on drying racks overnight then put the in brown paper bags and put in the fridge for a couple days. frost free fridges pull moisture out of the air and the sticks too. i do like mine a little on the dry side. then vac pack. works well for me

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    Jesser what was your smoke/cook schedule in this particular event?


  • twilliams hang on wood rods 1hr in room before loading in master built smoker. 140 1hr vent open, 150 2.5 hr vent 1/4 open turn on external smoke box, 160 2.5 hr vent 1/4 open smoke box still on, 170 1hr no smoke vent 1/4 open, 175 vent closed pull at 160 - 165 internal temp. Put half in ice water bath for 15 min other half hang in basement with fan on them. Ones with fan on for 15 min dropped internal temp to 81 degrees by that time. Did this as a experiment. Both look the same no wrinkles. The ice bath sticks were a little flimsier. Used willies seasoning, sure cure and sure gel 1oz of water to one pound of meat. Hand dried ice bath sticks and hung with other sticks with fan on all sticks for 2 more hours. Cut to size and vacuum sealed and put in refrigerator over night. Kept 2 packages in refrigerator and put the rest in freezer. No complaints of any kind with either sticks. Looks taste and snap is awesome. Just the freezer sticks would have moisture around them once defrosted and package opened.


  • Jonathon next batch will try the method of putting in refrigerator over night and packaging the next day. Maybe try putting in refrigerator for 2 days then package and freezer. Looks like several stick makers are giving there sticks some refrigerator time before vacuum sealing them and having good luck. I appreciate all the great advice! You all are awesome!

  • Team Orange

    Jesser When I do smack sticks i always let them cool in the fridge in an open container at least over night or even a little more to let them dry before packing and freezing.

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