Snack stick casings extremely tough
We recently visited the Waltons West store in Wichita and purchased the jalapeño snack stick mix, several spices, hi temp cheese, and a small stuffer. Enough for 25lb of snack sticks.
I already had some brand XXX edible collagen snack stick casings from a name brand supplier at the house so decided to use them instead of buying more.
Using ground elk with 10% pork fat added at the processor, decided to add some cheap pork sausage for additional fat content and seasoning.
After cooking on the Traeger, monitoring the internal temps with a blue tooth thermometer, brought them in and cooled in an ice bath according to instructions.
Conclusion: I wish we didn’t add the cheap sausage. The flavor was of excess fat, not meat/seasonings.
The edible collagen casings ended up extremely tough. So tough they are just about not able to be eaten. Why so tough?
The casings could have just been dried out, or coming from another supplier, who knows how long they were on the shelf before they were sold to you. That would be one reason I’d recommend our casings. The casings that come from us are also the same high quality casings that commercial meat processors are using, whereas the casings from another retailer many times can be a lower quality and cheaper casing.
If one was to assume the quality of casings was not an issue, case hardening (tough exterior and casing) is typically a result of cooking temperatures. Sometimes it is from cooking at too high of a temp, or simply increasing the cooking temp too quickly. Adding a water pan to the smoker to help increase humidity and avoid a dry/hot heat can help as well. We recommend starting out the cooking with a low and slow incremental rise in temps (recommended cook cycle is 125F for 1 hour, 140F for 1 hour, 155F for 2 hours, then finally 175F until the internal meat temp is 160F). If you can’t hit some of those lower temps, keep the smoker as low as possible to start and don’t increase the temps past 200F.
Those are at least a few ideas to start with. If you don’t think the cooking process was the issue, let us know what your approximate cook cycle was, and we can help brainstorm further from there!
I'll have to admit the casings were old. Probably well over a year at our house, and no telling how long they were hanging in the store. Pretty tough getting them on the stuffer tube even when coated with some vegetable oil.
Next batch will be with fresh casings.
As a general rule of thumb, we highly discourage using vegetable oil for anything involved with meat processing.
It can ultimately cause more problems than it solves.
If you are using vegetable oil for lubricant to slide casings on the stuffing tube, that could be a portion of the problem in this specific case too. If you get oil on the casings, it can dry them out and almost fry them while smoking/cooking. It can at least cook them faster and dry them out though.
I’d say there is a good chance you reduce the casing issues you had by not using the vegetable oil.
What is recommended for a lube to get the casings on the stuffer tube if vegetable oil is not good?
Perhaps it was the old casings being the issue, but the casings were very difficult to get on the tube without some sort of lube. Bacon fat?
Bacon makes everything good! LOL.
The best answer would be to just use a smaller stuffing tube, or use a larger casing that fits better on your stuffing tube.
Using fat would be better than vegetable oil, but still the best answer is to match up the stuffing tube and casings for a better fit.
Dill Pickle Almonds
Learn how to make Dill Pickle Almonds with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.Overview
The Dill Pickle Jerky and Snack Stick Seasoning is quickly climbing the list of most versatile seasonings, a while ago @Joe-Hell said he used some to make some awesome almonds, so we thought we would give it a try in our new kitchen and see what it was like!“Meat” Block
Almonds (8 oz)Steps
Dill Pickle Jerky/Snack Stick Seasoning (1 tablespoon)
Excalibur’s Salt & Vinegar Wing Shake
Fully dissolve 1 oz of the Dill Pickle Seasoning in a small amount of very hot water. Mix with almonds and shake/stir very well for even distribution. Lay almonds out flat on a pan coated in foil and cook at 375° for 8 minutes. Pull from oven, spray lightly with spray olive oil and then shake on some Salt & Vinegar Wing Shake
The addition of the Salt & Vinegar Shake here changed the overall taste, without that the main flavor was just the dill, there wasn’t any real pickle flavor but the vinegar in the wing shake really brought it all together.Watch WaltonsTV: Dill Pickle Almonds Shop waltonsinc.com for Dill Pickle Jerky & Snack Stick Seasoning Shop waltonsinc.com for Excalibur’s Salt & Vinegar Wing Shake Shop waltonsinc.com for Seasonings & Additives Non-stick Grilling Mesh Basket
Agreed. I will mix smoke
30 minutes 130 C and later 30 minutes 71 C
After that will finished 100% grill on fire…
I hope to get flavour and safety even to take in refrigerator
Sorry for boring,
I will talk to my meat guy if possible to cure all my coarse chopped meat
only for me in this case.
If positive reply, I will start back smoking topic
@LaBarca-cf like @Joe-Hell said you can still get some smoked flavoring by just adding lump wood or wood chips to your smoker. The Hickory Smoke Powder would work as well. The issue is without I would not recommend cooking/smoking it at low temperatures to start off. You run too high of a risk of getting people sick with food poisoning and if you are trying to make a business out of this then getting people sick will stop anyone from eating at your cart more than once.
So, adding wood chips/lump wood and using hickory smoke powder will help with the taste and if you cook them over wood you should still get some color, it just wouldn’t be what we would consider a true smoked sausage here.