Snack stick grind too fine?

  • It’s been several years since I’ve made these and I’ve forgotten a lot. I followed the recipe here at Walton’s and have a couple of questions:

    1. I did a 3/8 grind on 4# of venison, followed by a 1/8 grind. My 1hp #8 grinder did just fine with the 3/8 plate, good particle definition. But when I did the 1/8 grind it really slowed down and darn near emulsified the meat and fat (I added 1# fat trimmings from bacon). The consistency and appearance were almost like bologna. I’m smoking now, so I don’t know how they’re going to be, but I want to know if the bologna-like consistency is correct? I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have just done a second grind with the 3/8 plate.

    2. I started out trying to stuff with my grinder but it’s way slow. Is that a common problem when stuffing with a grinder? I ended up using a PVC hydraulic stuffer that I MacGyver’d a few years ago. It does great, but has so much “horsepower” that it’s kind of hard to throttle it down for snack sticks. So, my question is “Does everyone eventually gives up on stuffing with a grinder or am I maybe doing something wrong?”


  • Walton's Employee

    @Kentucky-Fisherman The second grind is always going to be slower and this is doubly true when going from a 3/8th plate to a 1/8 plate. By breaking the meat down into a ground product you are making it harder for the grinder to push the meat down to the plate and knife and you are also trying to make it go through a smaller plate. Best thing i can tell you to fight this is to get your meat ICE COLD before grinding, some ice crystal forming on the meat is just about right! This will speed up the process and improve your finished product.

    With it looking like bologna I have the feeling your 1/8 plate, or the knife you use with it, are in need of sharpening or replacement. What you are describing sounds like your plate and knife are smooshing your meat instead of cutting it cleanly.

    As for the stuffing, yes, trying to stuff snack sticks off of a stuffer is incredibly difficult, frustrating and annoying! It is much easier to use a stuffer when making any type of sausage but especially when making snack sticks.

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