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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  • @Jonathon
    We’ll that was the first thing that came to mind the first batch i ever made. had a cold beer in hand and was sampling one and closed my eyes to savor the moment and the smoke aroma smelled just like i had a lit cigar in my mouth thus the term [meat cigars]

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  • @Jonathon Was there another thread or topic that addressed glycerine and using a vacuum tumbler?

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  • C

    @doug7777 142 degrees is a stalling point where the fat starts to render. I used to get very impatient and start cranking up the heat to get the INT to go up. That usually results in burning all the fat out of the snack sticks. Be patient. The temp will eventually start to rise again. Once it does, it will continue to do so at a steady pace. I have had snack sticks in the smoker for 24 hours or better due to having 25lbs hanging at one time. I have also had 4-5 lbs at a time in the smoker only take 4-5 hours total.

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