Snack Stick Casing Issue

  • First batch of 80/20 beef snack sticks today with 19mm collagen casings. Good protein extraction and easy stuffing with slightly less water than recipe. Problem is the ends of the tubes oozed out when cut to length. Don’t believe casings were over-filled, but there seemed to be a little residual pressure released when cut. Temp of the mix had risen up into the 40’s F–is re-chilling before stuffing recommended to help prevent the oozing?

  • Walton's Employee

    @reprice Just to be sure the casings were the 19mm smoked collagen right? Can you attach any pictures of what the ends look like? How much product oozed out, was it just bulbs at the cut or did it leak out of the casing and land on your drip tray or bottom of the smoker?

    If your meat had gotten into the 40s when mixing I would have stuck it back in the freezer for a while before stuffing. I’m not convinced this is the cause of the oozing though. Let me know about the above questions and I will talk with our food scientist here and see what he thinks.

  • Thanks for prompt reply. Yes, casings were smoked collagen, but too late for photos (had already trimmed ends). Oozing ranged from about 1/4" to 3/4" at each cut end, with most 1/2" or less, and no drips below. This was the first time for me using such a narrow (1/2") stuffing tube, and I was concerned that the meat mix remain fluid, for easier cranking. Maybe next time I’ll use a little less water, and add a brief trip to the freezer before stuffing.

  • Walton's Employee

    @reprice I think you are correct if you reduced the water a little that would clear up and stop happening. I’m not sure if a trip to the fridge would help this but it certainly wouldn’t hurt so I would recommend you do that as well! Also, I’m not sure if you used a binder or not but that might also help. I’d go with either Sure Gel or Carrot Fiber. Let us know how the next batch goes!

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  • @papasop I have a response from the manufacturer…
    They said that they designed the mixer in a way that it would not need to run in reverse for a long time. It should mix efficiently enough in one direction and it was designed to mix in just 1 direction. So, using the grinder in any scenario (grinding or mixing) you should limit the reverse time to approximately 5 seconds at one time.

    My own opinion on the mixing is that I wouldn’t mix in just 1 direction though. I think there is still a benefit to going in reverse, even if temporarily, so I think my course of action for the future will probably be to mix 90% of the time in 1 direction, but still do the reverse in the 5 second interval. Probably something like 30 to 60 seconds forward, 5 seconds backward, then another 30 to 60 forward, etc… I think that would get enough benefit of a direction mix cycle, but still limit the reverse action as much as possible.

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  • @jonathon Moscow Mules!! I’m sold. Will It BBQ is on the way soon for sure!

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  • @alan Lol, I’m an idiot, just the other day I said that I am fully capable of thinking one thing and typing something else! Getting information from an old timer is usually a great way to go! Glad you got it worked out though! Send pictures of them!

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  • @Danbow Back when I was in customer service I know I talked to someone who either said his wife did it exactly how you are explaining it or I talked to the woman who did it, I wonder if I was talking to either you or your wife?!

    Wrapping it in foil would keep more moisture in the product, same basic process that some people do when they are smoking ribs. I can absolutely see how this would work and I think the way she is doing it, without a casing, would be more effective when wrapping it in foil. I don’t think you’ll ever convert me from using a casing but we might be making some updates here and when we do I might have access to an oven and will give this a try!

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  • A

    Lol, no rice in Andoullie. You are thinking of Boudin.
    I spoke to an Old Timer Cajun down here and he said, after you cure your meat for 24 hours, spray and moisten the meat just before stuffing it. If the stuffing is too dry, the meat will shrink when smoked and it will make voids between the stuffing and casing.
    The recipe I use is hundred plus years ago and I added some modern safeguards and seasonings. By the way, I use Boston Butt & Cushion Meat, in lieu of the hogs head and neck.
    The Smoke Houses are selling it for over $10 a pound here and I can make it for $1.30.
    LaPlace, LA is, The Andoullie Capital of the World!

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  • H

    @jonathon Thank you for your quick and detailed response. It is greatly appreciated. Just another reason why Walton’s is the best. For some reason, I thought that you needed to soak the collagen before loading it on the stuffing horn. Thanks for the correction there.

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