Determining Snack Sticks IT
ADJWIS last edited by
Most recipes I’ve researched suggest an IT of 152° - 155°. My question is, what’s the most efficient method of taking the IT of a snack stick. Should I use a probe and slide it into the center of one of the snack sticks hanging in the smoker? Is it better to slide the probe into the top of a snack stick as it hangs or up from the bottom? Thanks in advance for your help!
@ADJWIS It will depend on what type of thermometer you have available. If you have something like the Grill Eye that can stay in the smoker during the smoking process then you will most likely want to insert it so the probe is facing down and angled slightly so the tip of the probe stays as close to the middle as possible. If you were to try to push it in from the bottom you run the risk of the probe being pulled out by its own weight.
If you are using something like the a Digital Probe Thermometer like this one then you can insert it up into the center of a stick from the bottom as that will generally be a little easier to get in the exact middle.
I hope this helped!
I have the Tenergy Solis 6-probe, works awesome. I monitor pit temp, and a probe in the hot spot and one in the cold spot of the smoker. This way i know when to rotate. I also use a thermo-pen instant read to verify a couple places before we take them out. I do put the probes in on an angle get a good reading from the center of the sticks.
ADJWIS last edited by
Thanks for the reply Gents! I have a Maverick ET-733 Dual Probe Thermometer that I use when smoking. I inserted one of the probes from the top down into one of the sticks and it seemed to do a pretty good job.
This was my first attempt at homemade snack sticks and based on the feedback I received from one of my daughters and my wife, two of my three biggest critics by the way, they both told me the sticks were really good. Needless to say I was pleased with their feedback but know there are some areas that need improvement.
@ADJWIS They look good! A few things that can help almost any snack stick
1)Make sure you are getting the proper amount of protein extraction. This will keep your fat bound up in the meat and less will cook out during the smoking process.
2)Use Encapsulated Citric Acid when making almost any snack stick. The ECA gives the meat that nice tang flavor, increases shelf life and allows you to go right from Stuffing to Smoking without having to hold it overnight. I’d also say the same for Summer Sausage actually.
3)Add Cheese to your sticks. The pieces of cheese we carry are easily small enough to fit into a snack stick casing and we have Ghost Pepper (one of my favorites now but VERY hot) Sriracha (a good taste, slight Sriracha flavor and little to no heat) then we also have Swiss, Mozz, Hot Pepper and Cheddar.
If you had any specific deficiencies in your sticks that you wanted some help with let us know!
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!
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…
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.
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.
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.
Thank You Sir: