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SNAX STICKS - Smokey and Sassy

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Griz44Mag

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January 3rd, Guests all gone, Christmas decorations are down and back in the attic, house is cleaned up - I have a whole day all to myself!

SNAX sticks!

10 # Meat - ground pork, venison, leftover ham from New Years gathering and pork belly for some extra fats.
Seasoning -
.3 oz - Kosher Salt
.8 oz - fresh ground black pepper
.1 oz - mustard powder
Big pinch of pickling spice
3 tablespoons - Texas-Texas Ghost pepper salsa
.2 oz minced garlic
1 - bundle of chopped fresh cilantro
2 - Serrano peppers - remove seeds and puree with 3 tablespoons of apple cider
2 - tsp - #1 cure dissolved in 1 cup of ice water WARNING - check your cure instructions - this must be used EXACTLY per instructions.

Chop the meat - mix with all the spices -
Chill the meat to near freezing - it grinds a lot better when it's really cold.
Grind to whatever course or fine texture you like. ( I have 50/50 fine and course)
Mix completely! Until the texture gets sticky -
Ball it up and cover or wrap with plastic wrap. Let it cure for at least 8 hours - overnight is better.

For snax sticks - I used a 21MM clear collagen casing.
Stuff fairly tight -
Leave it out on a rack and let it dry and warm up to room temp - a couple of hours or until it does not feel cold or damp.

I use an electric smoker - so this is MY WAY - YMMV - If you know your smoker and use something else - then do it YOUR WAY.
I cut mine to the smoker rack width - it's ok to cut or link for hanging. I hang my smaller batches - it works fine either way.
I cut mine so I can get a full 10# in the smoker at a time. Either way is fine - if you already make sausage - then treat it like you do any sausage.
Don't use a water pan - yet.
Set temp to 100 and let it warm up slow. (An hour or two) This is to dry the case and let it bond to the meat.
Bring temp up to 120 - hold for an hour or so. (I rotate my trays here so it dries evenly.)
Bring temp to 140 - Add a water pan - I like to use 50-50 apple cider vinegar and water, but whatever you like is fine.
Start the smoke - on my electric that means adding chips to the wood tray and opening the stack.
Smoke for as long as you like - I usually smoke for 4 hours at 140 degrees - more or less is a personal choice.
Hold the temp at 140 until the sticks dry out to whatever dryness you like.
I like to rotate the trays or the wood rods if I am hanging about every 2 hours - not required but it will dry more evenly.
If you want them to look like the shriveled up sticks you get in the local 7-11 - then it will take 8-10-12 hours or longer - don't get impatient - drying meat takes a lot of time. I dry mine until the first wrinkles start - but I like mine more like sausage than jerky. It's a personal choice.
Now it's time to finish the cooking -
When the desired dryness is achieved - start watching the internal temp - VERY IMPORTANT.
I use a remote temp probe so I can keep an eye on it.
Bring the smoker up to 180-190 degrees - and WATCH IT!
Get a bucket or tub big enough to hold all the sausage and fill it with ice water.
You are doing this to arrest the cooking process.
When the internal temp hits 152 then pull the sausage and drop it all in the ice water. Leave it there until it's cool or even cold - 5-10 minutes is enough for sticks.
Pull it from the water bath - rack it or hang it and let it dry and "bloom" for a couple of hours.
And yes - at this point I get impatient and eat some of it.
I vacuum pack with a paper towel to absorb any escaped greases -
Enjoy! - If you do make a batch - post some pics here!

TEST PATTY
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Stuffed!
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Smoked
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Packaged
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