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B-man715

Best Way to Smoke Snack Sticks?

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What is the best way to hang them in the smoker?

What works best to get a good volume of meat done at once?

I imagine I could just cut them to the length of the shelves, but I couldn't do much in a batch.

Does anybody stuff 20' and hang it off hooks in a continuous run? Then cut apart later?

Or wrap them around a wire cage?

Fishing for some ideas wink

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ive always just cut them the length of my racks when stuffing and laid them down for smoking. i always smoke them for a while and finish them in the oven. one trick ive learned for doing large volumes. that way you can have the smoker filled, finish in the oven while you get more goin in the smoker

and the oven finishes them faster

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With my smaller metal propane smoker I would have to do two batches to get 25 lbs done. Both batches would be cramped and you'd have to rotate at least once to keep from getting inconsistent results. I tried hanging them and cutting and laying on the racks but always preferred to hang them and was much easier to rotate, plus if I racked them the center of the racks would always be less done. Thanks to a fellow FM'er who posted the plans to modify I built a bigger smoke house and can easily get 25 in now (50 of summer sausage). There is so much room for air to circulate I don't have to rotate dowels or top to bottom- it's all consistent inside temp, no burnt bottoms because there's ample space for the meat above the burner. It's working great. Also, the longest possible runs you can hang the easier it is to package and the most consistent product. You have very few 'end' pcs to even trim off. Everything is straight as an arrow for the vacuum bag and when you're trimming the ends they just pop in your mouth washed down with a cold one.

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Thanks for the replies guys! I like the idea of hanging them off dowels.

I also got to thinkin'.............usually not a good thing smile

What if a guy wrapped each shelf with a continuous peice; around the top, then across the bottom, then back over the top and so on?

This would in theory allow twice the meat per rack. As well as reduce the amounts of ends and peices?

Anybody ever try it?

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I did that a few times, but after they are cooked, they stay in that shape.

I like the nice straight pieces I get by cutting them because I can pack them in vacuum bags easier.

No reason you couldnt double stack straight cut pieces on top of each other on a rack.

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in the commercial smoker i ran a few years back there was a air circulation sytem it it. everything was automatic and even i could operate it grin. it fed it's own very fine chips, set the temps, and even showered the finished product with cold water in the last cycle. i would think a fan would help however i have no idea how to set something like that up. i would think a small fan is all that is needed if one chose to put it in a smoker. i would think that most smokers made today have a so called "hot spot". after some uses you get to adjust the products to prevent or at least minimize the old burnt ends and such. i think for a homemade smoker a small adjustable speed fan would be a good idea, but some may have good results the way they set it up. good luck.

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get a bigger smoker!!! I know exactly what you are thinking. I've tried every way to get more product into a smoker, but by the time its said and done, I much prefer having sticks as straight as my arrows! like hockey said, much easier to vac seal

and by hanging them from dowels, i doubt you would get any more sticks in the smoker than you would by laying them on racks. but what do i know, my smoker is a 55 gallon barrel that i have modified quite a bit, and rack smokin sticks works the best. ive got hooks in the top for brats and summer sausage. just my 2c and if you have hot spots in the smoker, its easier to swap racks around to keep things smokin the same

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I smoked 13 lbs of sticks hanging from dowells on the top rack like you two weeks ago in a Bradley smoker that belongs to my cousin. Couldn't have fit any more in if I wanted to. The Bradley is the only thing I have ever used and don't have much experience with it. It has a separate smoke generator that attaches to the side and feeds sawdust pucks onto a small hotplate every 20 minutes. To increase the temperature in the smoker itself there is a separate 500 watt heating element in the lower back of the cabinet.

Although it is insulated, 500 watts blasting wide open red hot for two hours never got it above 150 degrees, which is where I wanted it. This however, does create a hotspot in the lower back and dries out the ends of sticks or sausage closest to the element.

I have been reading lots about this unit on a Bradley User Forum and everyone on the forum seems to love them but right off the bat they start making modifications by adding an additional heating element, a fan and a digital temperature controller. They say the fan works good at eliminating the hotspot and does away with having to open up the door and rotate selves. They drill a hole through the wall and buy a small fan motor from Granger that mounts on the outside of the smoker and then the fan blade mounts on the inside right above the heating element. Sounds great but the unit costs about $100.

For the life of me, I don't understand why a guy would spend $300+ on a high end somker and then start chopping holes in it and spending another $200 to $300 to make it do what you want it to but then again I have no experience with say a Masterbuilt. To me the fan is a great idea. I just need to find a cheap one that works.

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i think the smoker you mentioned and the Masterbuilt have certain hot spots. heck even if you cook stuff in the oven there are hot spots. it's about adjustments made after your first batch. dont overload the smoker you buy. i appreciate the smoker in this thread that the poster built himself. i think if someone wanted to add on a fan with adjustable speeds to something like that it would work out fine. good luck.

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In my big smoke house, 4'x 4'x 7'6' tall, I build a wood fire right inside

of it. I had some issues with the stuff in the back half getting done way

faster than the front. I would always have to rotate hanging sausage from

front to back, and if I had jerky or fish on the racks I would have to

flip front to back and rotate the bottom two and the top two. A buddy

brought me a small 2 inch computer fan, we put it on a reastat to slow

the fan down as slow as possible, but enough to move the air. I suppose

what I have done is create a convection smoker. Since then no problems

with uneven cooking or smoking. Things actually get down a little faster.

To get back to the thread, I stuff and hang sticks in as long of lengths

as possible. I have done just over 100lbs at a time, and it came out

evenly smoked and delicious.

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Thanks for replies guys!

In my old smoker if had a fan too. It was one of those 30 gallonish horizonatal charcoal grill jobs. I just set a small auto fan (for like on a dash) inside of it, jimmy rigged to a battery charger.

For heat I had an electric charcoal starter, as well as a hot plate in the bottom, with a small cast iron pan for the wood chips.

It worked good for what it was wink

I doubled the volume of sliced jerky I could do by stacking some baking drying racks on top of the original grill. With the fan I could smoke/dehydrate jerky at least twice as fast as a normal deydrator with extra trays.

Last week I ordered a Cajun Injector smoker (I think it is built by Mastercraft, looks identical) with the digital display and timer. They were out of them and upgraded my smoker to the new model for the same price!

It should show up any day now!

I can't wait to try a made from scratch summer sausage recipe with it smile

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sounds like your getting a great smoker. i like the idea that your trying your own recipe also. to me smoking is something very special just like sausage making. building your own smoker like the old goose hunter and the others has to be even better. but i'm not too mechanical so the Masterbuilt is my choice as well at this time. i make 25 pound batches and smaller so it's just fine. but i do envy the old goose hunter and others that build their own. good luck.

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I like the fan idea a lot. I might have to look into getting an old convection oven fan.

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