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

    @raider2119
    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

    @raider2119
    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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  • R

    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!

    read more
  • R

    Jonathon, I have to agree that 275 is too hot… If you have the time I’d shoot for 225, but if it needs to be “done”, then 250 would be the max I would do…

    I have always filled the water pan for everything I smoke… 2 reasons, first it does tend to add moisture during the long cook thus keeping the bark from turning to shoe leather… and second because the water pan acts as a heat sink and helps maintain the temperature (in my vertical propane smoker) a bit more accurately… I’ve heard folks tout using apple juice in the water pan to impart a sweeter flavor, but I’ve never tried it…

    On the other hand, my dad smoked for years, mostly in a converted fridge with an electric hotplate in the bottom… he never used a water pan and never had an issue with dry meat…

    As for the type of wood to use, that’s just a trial and error, personal preference thing… I happen to like steaks cooked with oak… that may be too strong a flavor for your taste (my GF hates it)… Recently I have been using a lot of maple for NC bbq, chicken and even cheese… I like the maple for the meats, but next batch of cheese will go back to the hickory / cherry mix that I was using…

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  • D

    I followed the instructions on the video. It may have something to do with the sausage not getting as firm as it should. I used the cotto salami on duck breast with pork fat. It sure tastes good. But it’s a little soft.

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  • P

    @stan
    I’ve done a lot both ways. I would highly recommend a stuffer and I have the Weston grinder with the auger stuffing attachment. It’s slow, but if you’re doing 5# or 10# batches, it’s not that bad. I’ve had small 5# stuffer, old school cast iron Enterprise, 11# vertical and now a 35# hydraulic. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade the hydraulic but the 11# vertical I got on amazon had a lot of versatility. I think your bigger decision should be what type of stuffer should I buy. I would recommend the taller, smaller diameter instead of the large shorter one. The smaller diameter allow for a higher pressure for doing sticks with cure in them. The large short ones would be great for doing pork sausage or larger diameter casings, not 19-22mm sticks with cure. It would be fine as long as you’re doing fresh like breakfast or something like that. If you go the stuffer route I’d get it from Waltons and get the Weston-they stock parts, other no name from amazon is a one shot deal, once ours broke couldn’t find parts. Plus they have so many tube sizes now and Walton’s does a great job helping with casing and stuffing horn sizes, they carry them all.

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  • B

    I purchased a stuffer off Amazon for under $100 and would never go back to using the grinder. With the grinder, it was always a two man job and took forever. The stuffer is much faster and have no problems doing it all by myself. Plus with a hand crank stuffer, no electricity usage and wear and tear on your grinder.

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  • T

    Thank You Sir:
    Tarp

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