Snack Stick Questions



  • Recently made a batch of sticks using the Jalapeno blend from Waltonsinc (below). I measured out the suggested amount exactly but was quite surprised at the lack of flavor that came through in the finished product (seemed to need way more salt). Fat ratio was slightly over 30%. Added 6 oz water per 5 lb.

    I was thinking to either add more seasoning next time or add in MSG as I prefer seasonings with MSG included. What would you recommend?

    I let these sticks refrigerate for 36 hours before smoking but there was still a total lack off tanginess. However, I generally find with ECA that the recommended amount creates an overly tangy product. Would it make any sense to let the meat sit for a day then add in say half the usual citric acid prior to stuffing? Or should I just add less ECA and stuff immediately

    Lastly, is there any downside to cooking to an IT of 170? I’ve made some mods to the smoker, but I still get about a 10 degree difference in IT from the hottest to the coldest spot. I don’t notice any fat separation as long as the meat was thoroughly mixed.

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  • Walton's Employee

    @ericm First, if you want a really strong Jalapeno taste and some heat then I would recommend either more seasoning than recommended (though be slightly careful with this, something around 10-15% more) or add jalapenos.

    For the Encapsulated Citric Acid, if you are using it then you need to go right from the smoking to the stuffing, holding it overnight could allow the Encapsulation to break and leak the citric acid into the meat too soon. However you also don’t want to hold the meat and then add the ECA as the meat will start to set up and could break your stuffer when you try to stuff it into the casings. My recommendation would be to cut back slightly on the ECA and still stuff immediately.

    Cooking to 170 will not create any real problems other than drying the meat out a little, if you are happy with the moisture and texture of your snack sticks with your current smoking schedule I say keep with it!



  • I wanted to put my raw sausage in my cabinet size dehydrator to dry them out before transferring them to my smoker,any thoughts?


  • Walton's Employee

    @skipdiggidy I’ve never done this, I know some recipes and smoking books call for the meat to be dried before smoking but I am more comfortable doing it in my smoker with no smoke and the dampers wide open. I usually do this at 120° for an hour, then I close the dampers 2/3 of the way (or so) and begin introducing smoke. Let me know if you need anything else!



  • @jonathon thank you,I’ve tried to put in my smoker without smoke for an hour or two @140°
    But last time it didnt seem to dry them out,and I had uneven smoke on them,maybe I was just impatient waiting till they were dry


  • Walton's Employee

    @skipdiggidy If you aren’t drying in that time at that temp I would think it might have something to do with how much water you added to the meat? Just a thought, it could have been anything (including the humidity outside that day) that caused it to have issues drying.


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Recent Posts

  • @TinCupTom I agree with both @bobing195-7 and @ed-jordan in regards to the H Summer, great tasting Summer Sausage without being too strong or having any real heat.

    Just so you know, in case you were looking for it and couldn’t find it, the ingredients are listed on the products web page. Just scroll down and click the “Additional Info” tab and it will show up.

    The W Summer (4550300082) might be the most mild of all the ones you listed. That doesn’t make it bad at all just a very mild flavor

    Summer 107 (4550300032) Similar to H, contains mustard seed but I don’t think it is whole.

    Summer Sausage Seasoning (4550300012) Very similar to the 107 in flavor, has whole mustard seed.

    H - Summer (G4550300070) is our best selling Summer Sausage Seasoning, contains whole mustard seed. If you are looking for a peppery seasoning this is the best one to use for a base and add some black pepper. This would be the basic summer seasoning favored by most employees and customer.

    Another option, if you are making 100 lb batches or don’t mind breaking down the seasoning into smaller batches, would be the Ton’s Summer Seasoning (4550806642) It has a very good flavor and is pretty peppery if I remember correctly, I pepper is listed higher in the ingredients list than any of the others… Of all of the basic Summer Sausage seasonings (excluding ones like Jalapeno and Habanero BBQ) this is the second best scoring one amongst employees.

    read more
  • E

    @tincuptom i can only speak to the H summer sausage seasoning, but it has a lot better taste than the backwoods. Not a lot of pepper (you could add more I am sure) but it is a good solid flavor profile. I did not use the ECA for the tang, but plan on doing it this week in a batch. You can’t go wrong with the H seasoning!

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  • B

    I have been in search for a summer sausage seasoning with black pepper but couldn’t find one. I’m new at this so the H Summer Sausage is the only one I have used so I can’t give you any comparisons with the other 3, but you mentioned black pepper so thought I would share my first experience.
    So I used Waltons H Summer Sausage and mixed in about a quarter cup of fine black pepper. I liked the results and several others did as well. It had a light pepper taste and I probably will add a little more in the next batch for a slightly stronger flavor. I used 25 lbs of venison and 4lbs of beef fat to keep it on the leaner side. Good luck, Bob

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  • S

    thanks. As it turned out I did use a pork butt, cost only $1.48/# on sale and pork fat appears to be running about 50 cents more. Pure fat is a lot harder to come by, guessing because there is just less of it – supply and demand. One recipe I was using called out pork fat and I directly substituted the ground pork butt and it tasted fine even at a 25% ratio. The other sausage experimental batch I made with 50% and it is even better. So, 50/50 is the future now. thanks for your input folks!

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  • S

    excellent, thanks.

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  • @Jeff-Allen While the 26 and 33 lb sausage stuffers absolutely will make 19mm snack sticks the reduced size of the piston on the 11 lb model does make it easier. I have made snack sticks with all of the sizes and especially when you are working by yourself the 11 lb is easier to do.

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