An incredible method to use venison, pork, or beef for a lazy Saturday snack in the backyard is to hang snack sticks in a smoker. Smoking these delicious snack sticks are the way to go, whether you’re cooking them for your kids or spicing up a birthday dinner.
But exactly, how to hang snack sticks in a smoker? In this article, we will try to share every single detail about how to hang snack sticks in a smoker.
Simply prepare the smoker, prepare the snack sticks (using around 80% meat and 20% fat), pack the meat into the casings, and hang the sausages on hooks in the smoker while keeping the door slightly open. Continue reading to find out more.
What Are Snack Sticks?
Snack Sticks are meat snacks and semi-dried sausage packed in a tiny diameter casing. Typically, a collagen casing is used; however, natural casings or even skinless snack sticks are fine.
These little slices of smoked sausage could provide a quick supply of protein. Take a few with you on a trip or stash one in your workout bag. Snack sticks fulfill mid-morning hunger pangs and may share after school, after work, or at any time.
Snack sticks suit the whole family with a selection of tasty options. This delicious snack fits a hectic lifestyle well, with flavors ranging from sweet to spicy and everything in between.
Benefits Of Hanging Snack Sticks In A Smoker
Racking and hanging are the two most frequent ways of making snack sticks at home. Both, however, have advantages and downsides.
Racking, for example, is more successful at properly cooking the meat, but it involves rotating the sticks now and again.
When the sticks are hung, the smoker creates greater space for air circulation. You also don’t have to keep rotating the sticks all the time.
More significantly, the hanging process guarantees that all ingredients tie together and that the tastes develop to their greatest potential.
Furthermore, hanging the sticks frees up space in the smoker for more meat without leaving any grill marks.
Overall, smoking snack sticks will provide a tasty feast for everyone to love.
How to Hang Snack Sticks In A Smoker?
To smoke the snack sticks, you need some ingredients. Let’s check them out in the below listing!
What You’ll Need To Smoke The Snack Sticks
Snack stick smoker
You may try- Pitt Boss grills
You may try- Oklahoma Joe’s Apple Wood Smoker Chips
You may try- KitchenAid Attachment Food Grinder
You may try- LEM Edible clear collagen casing
You may try- Regency Wraps Natural Cooking Twine
You can try- LEM Backwoods Hickory Seasoning.
There are some easy-peasy steps to follow to Hang snack sticks in a smoker. So, Let’s check out the steps first:
- Set the smoker
- Prepare the meat & stuffings
- Smoke the snack sticks
- Cool the snack sticks
- Store the snack sticks
1. Set the Smoker
Setting up the smoker for snack stick hanging is a simple process.
To begin, just remove the racks from the smoker and cut a 12-inch wooden stick to fit the width of your smoker.
Next, hang the sticks on the brackets that hold the upper shelf.
Then just suspend the looped sticks from the dowels and get ready to smoke.
2. Prepare the Meat & Stuffings
When it comes to meat preparation, you can hang snack sticks of any lean meat blended with fat. (the perfect ratio being 80:20 percent ).
Then, while trimming away extra fat and removing blood clots, cords, and other undesirable portions, crush the meat and fat via a grinder plate. The first grind should be with a 3/8-inch plate, and the second with a 1/8-inch grinder plate.
Next, put the meat in a mixing bowl, add the spices, and gently mix everything until it is equally distributed for perfect snack sticks.
The filling is required for the subsequent hanging of the snack sticks. You want to pack the meat into a casing no larger than 0.8 inches in diameter. The casings are often made of collagen or a natural sheep substance.
When filling the sticks and stuffing them into lengthy ropes, avoid leaving any air gaps. Of course, they shouldn’t be too long — they need to fit the smoker and not reach too close to the heater. Finally, after the snack sticks are inside the smokehouse, you may alter the length of the ropes.
The majority of the sausage will have dried by the time you finish filling it. Hang the sticks in a room heated to 90° F for an hour to allow the cure to absorb. Ensure that they do not come into contact with one other during the procedure. The dryer they become, the better they will be when they reach the smokehouse.
3. Smoke The Snack Sticks
After the snack sticks have been outside the smoker for a suitable amount of time, let them inside, leaving enough room between them. Because air needs to travel equally on both sides of the snack sticks, you don’t want the meat to cling together throughout the cooking process.
When you hang the snack sticks inside the smoker, insert a small pan at the bottom. It will assist in boosting humidity while also preventing your sticks from getting too dry.
After selecting your wood, hang the snack sticks or lay them on the rack in a preheated smoker (ideally at 125°) with the door slightly open. If your smoker cannot reach this low temperature, start with the lowest temperature possible and gradually increase it.
Cook the meat for about an hour and a half at this temperature. Then, slowly raise the temperature to 135° for one hour, followed by 155° for another hour.
Finally, hold the temperature at 165° until the sausages’ internal temperature reaches 160° F. It is to be done gradually. The entire procedure takes many hours.
If you skip the gradual temperature change and go directly to 160°, you’ll have a few issues. First, the meat will be excessively dry, and second, the outside of the sticks will be overcooked.
Ultimately, the sticks will have a burned ring on the outside and an uncooked middle.
As you can see, different cooking temperatures serve different objectives, such as introducing smoke, drying, finishing, and so on. A too low temperature will result in your sticks frying for an eternity and a day.
Setting the heat too high, on the other hand, will press out all of the fat, leaving you with extremely crumbly bits of meat.
It’s worth noting that you may smoke the sticks with either hickory or apple. To keep track of the temperature, insert a probe into the middle of one of the sticks.
As you smoke the sticks, make sure that the little areas of white fat on the outside don’t melt and that the temperature doesn’t get too high. Otherwise, you’ll end up with snack sticks that are oily on the exterior while still retaining the fat on the inside.
Remove the casings from the smoker when they turn dry and brown.
4. Cool The Snack Sticks
Cool the snack sticks with cold water after removing them from the smoker. Allow at least 10 minutes for the temperature to fall.
After that, let them be at room temperature for approximately an hour before putting the snack sticks in the fridge or freezer. If you want to eat the snack sticks later, you can store them in vacuum bags.
5. Store the Snack Sticks
When vacuum sealed, these delightful treats may be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or frozen for one year.
However, keep in mind that they only survive one week in a zipper-lock bag inside a refrigerator, so make sure to finish them up ahead of time.
The snack sticks are a terrific way to use up leftover venison or beef, and as you can see, they’re not as difficult to create as you would think.
Furthermore, they are less expensive than store-bought items, and you have total control over what’s inside.
Tips To Keep In Mind Before Hanging Snack Sticks In A Smoker
- Freeze the meat beforehand to prevent the fat from spreading.
- Leave enough space between the bottom of the stick and the burner. It will prevent your snack sticks from burning at the bottom.
- Cut the pieces into smaller parts to have a bigger room for themselves.
- To distribute the heat evenly, place the snack sticks as close as possible to the door.
- Raise the temperature very slowly while smoking the snack sticks.
- Make sure every snack stick gets an even temperature.
- How do you smoke snack sticks in a smoker?
Use the proper process to mix the meat, season it with your preferred seasoning, put them into the casing, and then hang them in the smoker at the right temperature to Smoke the snack sticks.
- Can you smoke snack sticks?
Yes, you can smoke snack sticks if you follow the right procedure. And it’s even healthier to smoke snack sticks at home rather than buying them from the super shops.
- How long should I smoke snack sticks?
Snack sticks usually take 6-10 hours to smoke. It depends on the meat and the recipe you’re using.
- Do you use a water pan when smoking snack sticks?
Yes, to keep the humidity up, you may use a water pan in the smoker to smoke the snack sticks.
If you’ve been putting off hanging the snack sticks in the smoker, now is the time to start. You’ll have clear, practical knowledge if you follow the instructions provided in this article.
Whether you choose beef, jerky, or venison snack sticks, smoking them in the smoker will be an excellent snack for the entire family. Just remember to allow the casings to dry well before applying smoke, gradually increase the temperature, and provide enough space between the main heater and the bottom of the sticks to avoid overheating.
Hopefully, you have the whole idea and process of how to hang snack sticks in a smoker by now. Best of luck making those snack babies!