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Livin the dream

Venison snack sticks

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A guy at work gave me 10 pounds of ground venison to make snack sticks for him. This batch is 2 pounds venison and 3 pounds of a beef/pork mixture. I used a half pound of hi temp cheese and 3 jalapeños. He choose pepperoni as the seasoning.  Hopefully they turn out as good as my first 2 smokes.

I have some questions for you pros. How do I store my left over cheese? Are you guys poking small holes in the casings?  Water bath or not? 

Have a good day.

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My snack stick process is as follows:

 

1.        Mix Vension to ground pork shoulder 50/50

2.       Season and mix meat (I use prague powder #1 for cure).

3.       Stuff collagen casings and let them stand overnight (This is a huge factor in case adhesion and creating a ‘poppy’ snack stick)

4.       2 hours of hickory smoke at extremely low temp, and I typically finish in the oven on low (175) with a digital probe make sure to just achieve 165.

5.       I might lightly towel off the finished product, but I don’t rinse or submerge.

 

I have had plenty of homemade sticks from folks that had good flavor, but people seem to have trouble producing a finished product with a tight poppy casing that I like.  I think the biggest factors in creating that type of stick are allowing the stuffed casings to stand overnight before cooking, bringing the sticks to temp slowly, and not spiking the temp anywhere along the line.

 

I have made sticks with both salted and fresh sheep casings in the past.  I didn’t really like the texture and snap from those as much as collagen.

 

On the high temp cheese front…I buy it in 25# bags and keep it in the freezer.  I wouldn’t know the difference.

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Well said.  With sticks there is no reason to make the small holes in the casings and should not give them a cold bath when done.  I don't buy as much of a amount of high temp cheese [maybe 2 or 3 pounds at a time].  I can get the cheese here all the time locally.  I keep the left overs in the fridge since I would be using it soon. The high temp cheese we used at work came in frozen in large boxes so freezing larger amounts like CharliePete did is the way to go.  Those sticks look very nice!!!!!!  The mix used is personal preference.  I like a mix for sticks that is 80/20 for sticks.  good luck.

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1 hour ago, charliepete said:

Stuff collagen casings and let them stand overnight (This is a huge factor in case adhesion and creating a ‘poppy’ snack stick)

Even more important in terms of letting them sit overnight is giving time for the cure to "do its thing" which is why you should wait until the next day to smoke.

Looks great, Livin!

Edited by pikestabber

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Why are my venny sticks when I get them back from the butcher all wrinkled up? They weren't the way the very first year I went there but the last 5 deer or so have been and I keep forgetting to ask them about it when I pick up the meat? :(

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Leech, to a lot of us as far as sticks are concerned a few wrinkles can be a badge of honor.  If you are happy with what you are getting as far as texture and flavor the wrinkles really don't matter.  Most of the guy's that I know that make sticks have their sticks on the wrinkle side when finished.  Other than sticks after the smoking process sausage is cooled in cold water right away to avoid wrinkles and stop the cooking process.  With sticks a different texture is wanted by most folks so this is not done, thus wrinkles.  However wrinkles in my other sausage links will not happen nor wanted.   Just saying the procedure I think they are doing so I hope it answers your question.  Seems like you like their stuff is something you like, just wondering about the wrinkles.  good luck.

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1 hour ago, reinhard1 said:

Leech, to a lot of us as far as sticks are concerned a few wrinkles can be a badge of honor.  If you are happy with what you are getting as far as texture and flavor the wrinkles really don't matter.  Most of the guy's that I know that make sticks have their sticks on the wrinkle side when finished.  Other than sticks after the smoking process sausage is cooled in cold water right away to avoid wrinkles and stop the cooking process.  With sticks a different texture is wanted by most folks so this is not done, thus wrinkles.  However wrinkles in my other sausage links will not happen nor wanted.   Just saying the procedure I think they are doing so I hope it answers your question.  Seems like you like their stuff is something you like, just wondering about the wrinkles.  good luck.

Thanks for the info RH. They do seem a little dryer then in the past as well.

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