Next to jerky, snack sticks are the family favorite. Here I will show how I make a 30 pound batch of snack sticks or hot sticks. I start with 80%lean venison and 20% pork trim.
I ground the venison first as the fat has a tendency to clog up the grinder
I mixed the two together by hand and then added the water and spices. I use LEM brand seasonings packets
After mixing the seasonings with the meat I ground it again using a finer hole plate and then packed it away in the cooler overnight to cure. This morning Josh and I stuffed the casings with the cured meat.
Each smoke stick holds around 15 or 16 links that are a total of 52 inches long each. (I should have smiled for this picture) ;D
I preheated the smoker to 125F and hung the sticks at 11:00 am. I spread the sticks in the middle so I get good air flow.
Adding that much cold meat to the smoke brings the temp down to about 115F which is a good starting temp. I will keep them at this temp for about 2 hours. After the 2 hour drying time, I add hickory chips to make a heavy smoke.
After 5 ½ hours the temp is at 150F and I keep them there until the internal meat temp reaches 165F. I then take them from the smoker and let them cool at room temps. When cool, I put them in the fridg.
After a night in the cooler, I cut them to size I saved a bunch for the family to eat and sealed the rest in about 1/2 pound packs or 12 sticks per pack. This is the point when the scavengers start to show up.
It really does not look like much for all the hard work.