Author Topic: pepperoni sticks  (Read 9304 times)

Offline HuntinFool

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pepperoni sticks
« on: February 03, 2010, 05:39:50 pm »
Need some help with this one....I've only ever made fresh breakfast sausages and franks with hog's casing for as long as i can remember.

Now....I picked up some collagen casings - 18mm, not sure what that is in inches.  But I am really not sure what to do.  Do I need to soak them like hog's casing?

Here is what my plan was...tell me please if I should change something.
1) Grind meat
2) Mix seasoning into the meat.
3) Let meat sit in fridge over night
4) Stuff casings in the morning
5) Hang sticks for.....how long????? (or can i throw them into the smoker right after i stuff them????
6) Smoke appropriately, then allow to bloom when done.

Thanks for all your help guys!!

Offline NePaSmoKer

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2010, 05:54:57 pm »
Need some help with this one....I've only ever made fresh breakfast sausages and franks with hog's casing for as long as i can remember.

Now....I picked up some collagen casings - 18mm, not sure what that is in inches.  But I am really not sure what to do.  Do I need to soak them like hog's casing?

Here is what my plan was...tell me please if I should change something.
1) Grind meat
2) Mix seasoning into the meat.
3) Let meat sit in fridge over night
4) Stuff casings in the morning
5) Hang sticks for.....how long????? (or can i throw them into the smoker right after i stuff them????
6) Smoke appropriately, then allow to bloom when done.

Thanks for all your help guys!!

Did you get collagen casings or natural?

If collagen you dint need to soak, you can mix and stuff right away.

If natural you need to soak and rinse the salt off them. Most of the time the soak is about 30 mins. Then you can stuff.

If you mix and hold the meat in fridge before stuffing just make sure the meat is close to room temp. Very cold meat is hard to stuff through the smaller tubes. I mix stuff then put stuffed casings in the fridge.

Yes you can mix, stuff and smoke right away.

Hang time will depend on some things. Outside temps, wind, how wet the meat is. I start my sticks at 130-140* for an hour or so or until the casings are dry. A dry casing holds the smoke better. After this time i put from 4 to 6 pucks of wood and bump the heat to 150*. After the smoke stops i bump to 160* for 2-3 hours. Check the IT of the sticks, If need bump the heat to 170* for another few hours and then IT check of meat.

You may need to finish at 180* to get your target IT of the meat to 149-152* If you cant get your 152* dint worry cuz you have an oven that you can use for backup. Sticks can  take anywhere from 8, 10 to 16 hours. REMEMBER try not to exceed 180* or you will have whats called a fat-out.

Bloom is done different ways. You can cold water rinse/bath or hang at room temp. I have done both ways with great success.

everyone has their own way so i'm sure you will get lots of ideas.

Have fun

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2010, 06:00:08 pm »
You have to have cure (pink salt) in your mixture if you want to smoke them and that has to be measure by the weight of your grind.



PS 24mm = 1inch so 18mm = 3/4 inch

Offline HuntinFool

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2010, 06:08:23 pm »
Thanks NePas.  Now I'm set.
Yes, they are collagen casings. Mahogany colour.
I think I will grind-mix-stuff all at once and then put in fridge overnight, then start smoke in AM.  That way, I don't have to be up all night watching the smoker.

I will be using straight venison, no pork added, so hopefully they don't dry out immensely.  Pork trimmings are harder to find sometimes.  All I have is elk, moose, deer, and bighorn sheep in the freezer.

It is likely going to take a little on the longer side for me, as I live in Northen Alberta.....it's cold out here eh!

Thanks Again

Offline NePaSmoKer

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 06:17:54 pm »
Thanks NePas.  Now I'm set.
Yes, they are collagen casings. Mahogany colour.
I think I will grind-mix-stuff all at once and then put in fridge overnight, then start smoke in AM.  That way, I don't have to be up all night watching the smoker.

I will be using straight venison, no pork added, so hopefully they don't dry out immensely.  Pork trimmings are harder to find sometimes.  All I have is elk, moose, deer, and bighorn sheep in the freezer.

It is likely going to take a little on the longer side for me, as I live in Northen Alberta.....it's cold out here eh!

Thanks Again

One thing to watch for in straight venison is the dry out. In this case have your vent 1/2 open and fill your water pan. This should keep your sticks from being to dry. If pork is not available cut some ground beef in with the venison.

For the life of me i just dont know where it is written that pork needs to be the only cut in meat for added fat?  Must be one dem police folks  :D

Offline HuntinFool

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 06:32:57 pm »
That's kind of what I thought might happen....dyring out.

I cut everything white out because I hate the rancid taste of smoked deer fat on a nice piece of jerky...SOOOOO, if there is no fat, am I still worried about fat-out? and could I smoke higher temps-quicker so as not to dry out over a long period of smokin?
Or does that just not make any darned sense at all?

Offline NePaSmoKer

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2010, 06:38:53 pm »
That's kind of what I thought might happen....dyring out.

I cut everything white out because I hate the rancid taste of smoked deer fat on a nice piece of jerky...SOOOOO, if there is no fat, am I still worried about fat-out? and could I smoke higher temps-quicker so as not to dry out over a long period of smokin?
Or does that just not make any darned sense at all?

If you cut all the fat then you prob will not have a fat out, but the downside is they will be kinda dry. If i were you i would only stuff a pounds worth, smoke em up then see how they come out. if not to your liking then cut some sort of fat into the remaining venison.

Offline jcohan

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2010, 06:58:22 pm »


It is likely going to take a little on the longer side for me, as I live in Northen Alberta.....it's cold out here eh!

Thanks Again

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who tries to smoke in these temperatures.  I'm in northern Manitoba and at -21C I just put in a batch of sticks that I stuffed last night.  I expect to be up half the night with them. Sometimes I wonder what possesses me to try and smoke at these temperatures, but come summer I want to be on the lake fishing, not sitting by my smoker all evening!

I've managed to use my Bradley down to about -30 but around that point the bisquette advancer in the smoke generater starts to stiffen up and cannot advance properly.

You'll find when it's this cold, it takes a long time to recover your heat once you've opened the door so don't be peeking too often.

Jim

Offline HuntinFool

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2010, 07:10:32 pm »
Sooo....if I can badger my buddy into giving me some pork...will 2 pounds do? with 5 pounds of venison?
PS, thanks for taking the time to help out NePas; it is much appreciated.

LOL cohan, it was about -3 one day, and I said heck, I'm gonna smoke a bunch of salmon. Threw 'em in the brine and next morning--> -41...WTF!!!!

Had to put the smoker in the garage....wife wasn't happy, garage is attached and well....house smelled good to me ;D I guess she has a better idea of what "smells good"

Offline NePaSmoKer

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 07:13:56 pm »
You got 5 lbs venison i would add 1 1/4lb pork. 2 lbs might be too much. Its cold here like 19*

Offline HuntinFool

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2010, 07:33:22 pm »
ya, i only wanted to try 5 punds at first. first time making pepperoni.
But if it turns out, watch out ozone layer, cause I've got to smoke a whole elk and half a moose worth of meat before next season, as I'm up for special moose draw!!

And belive it or not, we're warmer than you right now, NePas. We're at about 25*

Offline NePaSmoKer

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2010, 07:40:02 pm »
ya, i only wanted to try 5 punds at first. first time making pepperoni.
But if it turns out, watch out ozone layer, cause I've got to smoke a whole elk and half a moose worth of meat before next season, as I'm up for special moose draw!!

And belive it or not, we're warmer than you right now, NePas. We're at about 25*

wow a heat wave  :D

Offline jcohan

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2010, 08:04:11 pm »
Check with some butchers in your area (if you have any) and ask if they have "pork trim".  I've found a couple that I deal with that throw together the scraps that are left over from cutting pork, and sell them as 85% pork trim or 50% pork trim.  The 85% is perfect for making pork sausage because it already has what I consider the ideal ratio of 85% lean to 15% fat.  The 50% trim is good for adding to lean meats like venison to provide the extra fat you need.

Jim

Offline marauder11

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2010, 08:48:27 pm »
I just made some sticks a while ago. I get 75% pork 25% fat from a co worker who is also co-owner of a butcher shop in town. I only found this out in the past couple months and he has been a good source of info. One thing i have learned is everybody does it a little diffrent. He tells me that is why making sausage is an art. I use 7 pounds deer to 3 pound pork in one recipe and 6 pound deer to 4 pound pork in an other. So like others said start small till you find what you like. I  think no fat at all in a stick would not hold together as well. You would have to add a binder to keep them from falling apart or fat re placer. I am sure others have some more input on this. What part of northern Alberta are you close to slave lake.

Offline jcohan

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Re: pepperoni sticks
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2010, 06:50:07 pm »
Well, I finally got to bed at 2:30 this morning when my first batch of pepperoni sticks was done. Well, not exactly my first.  I tried my first before I had my 3/8" stuffing tube and small casings.  I rolled them into sticks with my hands and after smoking they looked like something out of a cat litter box.  But, there were all eaten after a couple of days.

Here's my first real attempt with 16mm collagen casings and 85% lean beef:



Then ready for the smoker after curing,



And the final product.



I've seen quite a bit of discussion on how soon to smoke the sticks after stuffing so I decided to try a bit of an experiment.  I wanted to ensure I provided enough fermentation time to get a nice tang to the sausage. I used the amount of fermento indicated on my package, which was 1/2 oz for 5 lb of meat.  According to my scale, 1/2 oz is about one rounded tablespoon.  I then placed 1/3 of them at room temperature for 12 hours, 1/3 at room temperature for 24 hours, and left the remainder in the fridge.  I placed all of them in the smoker at the same time and smoked for 2 hours, then continued to cook and dry them at 180F for another 6 hours.

When I do a taste test, the ones cured at room temperature for 24 hours have a definate tang, and are exactly what I was hoping for.  The ones I left in the fridge have practically no tang at all.

So, for my taste, the next batch will be cured at room temperature for 24 hours before smoking. 

Jim