Snack Sticks are very salty

  • Regular Contributors

    I had purchased the “Willie’s Snack Stick” spice mix from you, and just finished casing a 25lb batch of snack sticks. Being that I bought the mix and everything was measured, I made the mistake of not tasting before casing…
    I am going to smoke them tomorrow, but I cooked one up in the oven to try it and it is very salty… is there any way at this point to reduce the salt taste?

  • Admin

    Since it is already in casings, there is not a lot you can do from here. However, I don’t have a good explanation why, but it is typical to have a stronger flavor, either spiciness or saltiness, when quickly cooking a meat product like this in the oven or pan frying. I would expect the final flavor profile after you actually smoke them to be more mild and less salty. I can’t give a scientific explanation why it does this, but I would bet after you smoke them, you’ll be ok with how the flavor turns out.

    If you are still concerned about the flavor and saltiness, the only other things I can think of that could help is to use a bit heavier of a smoke on the snack sticks. A stronger smoke flavor might help mask some of the other flavors.

  • Regular Contributors

    Thanks Austin… This is what I am hoping for!!! Aside from that the flavor of the mix is excellent, and they are going to make great Christmas presents!!!

  • Walton's Employee

    @raider2119 What an amazing Christmas present that would be! You have some lucky friends and family!

  • Regular Contributors

    Jonathon; Let’s hope… LOL, used the propane smoker and it’s a fairly warm day today so I have been fighting with it all day to try to keep the temp down… We are going on to hour 4 and the smoker is at 162, the snack sticks seem to have stalled at 118…

  • Walton's Employee

    @raider2119 If they have been in there for 4 hours they are done picking up smoke, time to let them cook, let your smoker get up about another 10 degrees, somewhere around 175°. That should help with the stall and get you there quicker. Do you have a different way to measure the smokehouse temp aside from the thermometer that is attached to the outside? I might question that it is at 160° if you are still at 118° after 4 hours.

    If you haven’t already add a pan of water to the inside as well. You won’t be able to control the moisture amount but it will still help a little at this point!

    Good luck and I will keep an eye on the board if you have any other issues or questions!

  • Regular Contributors

    You always can take them out of the smokehouse (4 hours is the max smoke-Jonathon is right there) and put them in a turkey fryer or large pot, simmer them, don’t boil them until they reach 155F, they will keep cooking for a while even if you ice bath them. I do my sticks either way I really don’t have a preference taste wise. The smoke doesn’t wash off, it’s inside the meat by that point. Simmering them will also keep some of the moisture inside the sticks. I keep the pot around 180F so the sticks don’t blow out. If you keep them in the smoker use the water pan for sure or they will dry out a lot.

  • Regular Contributors

    I am using a Maverick 2 probe digital thermometer… The ambient temp probe is the one that came with the unit… the IT probe is a brand new replacement I just got from them… I have not checked either for accuracy… but, I replaced the thermometer on the front of the smoker with an adjustable that has seemed to be pretty accurate…

    Smoker is now at 172, IT=129… water has been in there from the start… but they are starting to dry… if it does not finish in the next half hour or so I’ll throw them in the sous vide to finish…

  • Walton's Employee

    @raider2119 I have no experience with finishing off snack sticks in a Sous Vide cooker but other than the temp drop when you transfer them I can’t see any issue with that. My first thought though is you have come up 11 degrees (IT) in the past 40 minutes, so unless you see some case hardening or stall again finish them off in the smoker. I assume dampers are closed at this point?

  • Regular Contributors

    Just an FYI, everybody that received snack sticks for Christmas last year loved them… I just ordered another batch of Willie’s Snack Stick spice blend to do it again this year!

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