Making Snack Sticks from already seasoned mild and hot Italian sausage


  • Regular Contributors

    I have a client with several hundred pounds of loose pack mild and hot Italian sausage that they would like converted to snack sticks. I believe it has about 20-25% pork fat already ground in and would need to be re-ground through a finer plate. My question is what spices could I add to these mixtures to make a good snack stick. This loose pack sausage does not have anything other than meat, fat and fresh sausage seasonings so I plan to add sure cure, carrot fiber and encapsulated citric acid. Any suggestions are appreciated.


  • Walton's Employee

    @vjbutler If I were you I might try to talk him out of this. Yes, you can add cure and other additives, regrind (add the Encapsulated Citric Acid after the final grind though) and end up close but there are going to be a couple of issues. You will not be able to add a prepackaged seasoning as the salt content will be way too high if you do this so you will have to just add spices to create a flavor profile and I have no idea what that good spices it would take to work in conjunction with the already present seasonings. Also, even though it was only packed into meat bags it still went through a stuffer and has been “setting up” trying to stuff it again might cause some issues with your stuffer, not to mention that is a lot of stress to put on the meat.

    The best advice I can give is to do a small batch first to test for taste and how difficult it is to stuff them. Good luck!


  • Regular Contributors

    After doing a little more homework it looks like pepperoni snack sticks are going to my best bet. Talking the client out of this process for 1000 pounds of professionally prepared sausage is not really an option. They have a lot invested and need to find a way to move the product. Snack sticks are a hot commodity right now so this seems like an obvious solution. Since this was professionally processed I can get the exact ingredient list and add the required spices to create pepperoni snack sticks or some other similar recipe. I still plan to use sure cure, carrot fiber, encapsulated citric acid and most likely some additional salt to attain the correct levels. If I can master this process I will share it here so anyone with an excess of ground sausage can turn it into snack sticks.


  • Walton's Employee

    @vjbutler Yes, snack sticks keep becoming more and more popular! When you say loosely packed I am assuming that they are in meat bags right?

    Yes, if you can come up with something that works well please share your experience and process. When you said several hundred I was thinking 3-4 not 1,000 lb!

    It sounds like you have a plan the only thing I will say again is to try small batches first, though from your previous response I am sure you were planning on this already. If you need some help with the formulation let me know and I can run it past our application specialist to see if he has any input.


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