Homemade Smoked Snack Sticks

>> Sunday, November 06, 2016

I recently got my hands on a Cabela's 5 pound sausage stuffer and for my maiden voyage into the world of sausage-making, I'm making smoked snack sticks. I'm following the recipe from Chop and Brew episode 42, the biggest difference being I'm using pre-ground meat (since I don't have a grinder).

A couple comments...the original recipe called for sheep casings or 17-19mm casings. I used smoked collagen casings, but the smallest I could find locally were 20-22mm. Keep the meat cold until you put it in your smoker. Here's the recipe as I made it.

6 Pound Recipe

4.5 # Walmart All Natural Ground Beef ~ 70/30
1.5 # Walmart Fresh Ground Pork ~ 80/20
6g Pink instacure
57g Kosher salt
4g Black pepper, freshly ground
4g Homemade chipolte powder
15g Garlic salt
11g Accent Flavor Enhancer
11g Table sugar
3g Cayenne pepper (add more for additional heat)
1.5g Smoked paprika
4.4g Crushed red pepper (run it through a mill/grinder)
2 tsp. Plus a little more hot sauce
12 oz Cold water
1 Tbls. Encapsulated citric acid (optional)

I blended the beef and pork by hand until it seemed mixed well. Add salt, sugar, spices etc. (except encapsulated citric acid) to water, then add to meat and mix well. If you're using citric acid, add it right before stuffing. The citric acid will give the snack sticks a slight tang similar to dry cured meats like salami.

Cook in smoker at 130F for about 30 min.
Smoke at 150F for 2 hours. I used hickory in my Pro Q cold smoke generator
Bump the temp up to 172F until internal temp hits 154F
Cool in an ice bath to halt cooking process. Leave out on counter for a couple hours to "bloom". Package and store in freezer until ready to eat.

I was planning on adding Sriracha for my hot sauce, but I forgot entirely. I skipped the encapsulated citric acid because I couldn't find it locally. The snack sticks turned out really well. I was a little worried the Walmart meat might have been ground too fine, but it seems to have worked well. I might cut back on the salt a little next time. Heat-wise, there's some spiciness there, but it's not super spicy, so everyone can enjoy them. Given the right equipment (sausage stuffer), this was a pretty fun and easy process.

Update 12/4/2016
I made another batch today. I remembered the Sriracha sauce this time. I also used smaller casings, increased the cayenne pepper to 5g, reduced the garlic salt to 10g, added 5g of garlic powder, and used the encapsulated citric acid. I also found my digital Maverick thermometer, so I was able to more tightly control my temps this time. The first time the temps were on the high side, so the snacks cooked faster than they should have and didn't spend as much time on smoke compared to this time.