Snack Stick Shelf life



  • I will start ordering my snack stick supplies and recipes from Walton’s this month to make 25 to 50 pounds of snack sticks every other week. Has anyone conducted shelf life studies using Walton’s ingredients and recipe’s? People will ask me how long they can keep the snack sticks out at room temperature? How long are they good in the refrigerator after making them? How long are they good vacuum packed and frozen after I make a fresh batch? These are the questions that I have. Any studies or experience from people who use Walton’s supplies and recipes that you can give me and I’m sure other customers out here who want to know how long we can safely store snack sticks would be greatly appreciated. I plan to use your heating and smoking directions. Thanks @dmdeshotels


  • Regular Contributors

    Walton’s products are an excellent start to making shelf stable snack sticks but the process is really the key. If you understand the chemistry and cooking process you can make very stable products. If you want to be absolutely sure about the stability of your finished product you will have to invest in some testing equipment and use it on every batch. As for actual experience without the testing equipment I have seen excellent shelf life on batches that were handled properly and cooked correctly. As you get more experience you will be able to tell which batches are going to last and which ones are not. If everything goes well on my batches I can store chamber sealed snack sticks in the freezer for over a year, in the refrigerator for 3-6 months and at room temperature for at least 2-3 weeks. It took me many batches and lots of storage testing to see what works and what doesn’t. Do your homework on safe food handling and cooking temperatures and you will save a ton of time and materials. It also extremely helpful to reach out a commercial snack stick processor for tips and suggestions. Most I have contacted are very willing to help smaller processors that are only making a few batches a month. Hopefully others will weigh in on this and give you enough information to get you headed in the right direction.



  • @vjbutler very positive advise. Thank you for the information.


  • Walton's Employee

    @dmdeshotels What @vjbutler said is absolutely correct! If you are looking to be 100% sure on every batch you need at the very least a water activity meter and you really should get a pH meter as well. You might be able to pick some of this up second hand, we sell a Testo pH meter at a pretty reasonable price but a water activity meter you are looking at about $1,000 for a quality one.



  • One thing to check into that would help you is potasium sorbate. Spraying that on the sausages and allowing to dry before packaging will greatly help with mold production as well.


  • Regular Contributors

    @lamurscrappy That is great tip. Thank you.



  • Very interested in using the Potasium Sorbate, where would i find this product, didn’t see it here, though i may have missed it too.



  • i have 1 more question before i go, i’m using the sweet maple bacon , Excalibur snack stick seasoning. made my first small batch a couple days ago. i need to find out the propler procedure working the bacon with the 93% burger. my first try i pretty much cooked all the grease out of the bacon and then ran it through my meat grinder with the burger and mixed. only made 5# total, couldn’t really taste the bacon, also i had daughter giver her opinion, she said she couldn’t taste the bacon either. HELP!!!


  • Walton's Employee

    @cornpatachguy Here is a link to Potassium Sorbate the smallest amount we sell if 5 lb which might not sound like much, but you only use 3 oz of this to a gallon of water as a rinse, so it will go a very long way!

    As for your snack sticks, why did you cook all the fat out of the bacon? If you are using 93% lean beef then you absolutely want that fat from the bacon. With that low of a fat content I’m not surprised you had trouble tasting bacon. Fat acts as a great vehicle for taste as it coats your mouth and lets the taste of the seasoning, or whatever, linger longer and stronger. I’d do it again without cooking the fat out first. You will probably also have a better consistency if you do it this way.



  • @vjbutler your welcome 🙂


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Recent Posts

  • S

    I seem to be having excessively long smoking/cooking times when it comes to processing my snack sticks & starting to wonder what could be the issue.

    my recipe is rather simple…mix an 80/20 batch of beef/pork, add 2.5 tsp #1, 2 bottles of soy vay very teriyaki &8-10 ounces finely cubed cheese, coated in corn starch (poor man’s high temperature cheese). stuff in (now)17mm casings & refrigerate overnight.

    when smoking, I start at 120 for a couple hours, and then, every hour to hour and a half, bump it 10 degrees…only starting the smoke after the initial couple hours.

    my issue is that everything I rewad says that it should be about a 5-6 hour process…currently, I’m looking at 14 hours & still only up to 140 with the smoker set at 170.

    I don’t want to raise the temp much higher & render the fats, but I really can’t be spending 18 hours to get my sticks up to temp on a sunday evening before having to get up early on a monday for work…

    any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

    J

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  • Wish me luck! This is my first attempt at something like this. Patience will be my virtue.

    The recipe called for Insta Cure #2. Does anyone know if there would be an issue with cooking/eating the trim meat sooner than the time required to fully cure the full cuts or should I cure those along side the others?

    3C9AD136-99AA-43BB-822A-B6090F1E5EB9.jpeg

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  • @craigrice I tend agree. I’ve had such hit and miss with lamb that it’s been quite some time since I made it. The last was one my folks bought from my aunt and uncle and processed locally. The cuts were just strange to say the least. I don’t remember specifics but the ‘chops’ weren’t what I was used to. The meat was gamey and tough.

    When I was in high school my dad had a lamb butchered and my brother and I ate ALL of the chops in a middle of the night, secret, drunken bbq fest. He was so pissed off he didn’t even complain that we drank a case of his keystone ice.

    read more

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