• PK100

    Hi all, I just finished a 20 lb batch of snack sticks made with bear meat and beef fat that had a wicked stall that just wouldn’t break through. I used a roughly 80:20 lean:fat ratio, sure gel binder, and Willie’s snack stick seasoning. I followed the smoke schedule for venison snack sticks that has worked well for me before: 125 for 1 hr drying, 140 for 1 hr, 155 for 2 hrs, and 175 until internal temp of 160. Smoker is a PK 100.

    First stalled at 139 deg. internal temp after 1 hour with the smoker set at 175. Stayed there for next four hours. I added more water and used car wash sponges to increase humidity. Creeped up to 149 in a couple hours and stalled again. Bumped the smoker setting to 180 and it creeped up to 156 and stopped there. I finally pulled the plug at midnight after they’d been in the smoker for a total of 12 hours.

    They’re dry of course and there seems to be a little bit of case hardening. Flavor is fine but like I said dry. I don’t think case hardening happened early since they didn’t look hard when I added water after first stall.

    This is my second time having a nasty stall with bear meat. Anyone else have this problem? More important, anyone have any suggestions for how to deal with this?

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    The water that you put in with sponges did you boil the water first to get it up to temp? I would think that would help faster since it doesnt have to heat up first.

  • PK100

    twilliams I didn’t boil it but I put it in hot out of the kitchen tap and that’s pretty darn hot. But even with that it only got me part way. There was still water in both pans when I finally pulled the plug on the deal.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas Dry Cured Sausage

    twilliams I have not done that but it makes sense. If you start the water molecules moving it should evaporate faster…However, the sponges should mitigate that, they draw the moisture up into it and then allow for massive surface area and the air should be able to “get at it” from all sides. It is still an interesting idea. Roe Bear Sorry, I have never used bear but I don’t think it will act much differently than other proteins. Have you considered pulling your sticks at 130° and finishing in water? Some good information https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/1099/cured-sausage-205-advanced-thermal-processing and https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/1108/cured-sausage-206-advanced-cured-sausage-processing It would have brought you from 130 to 160 in about 30 minutes (at most) and none of the flavor or smoke gets washed off.

    I do that 100% of the time now when I am not using the large 500T in our test kitchen.

  • PK100

    Jonathon I’d like to try finishing in water, but I haven’t done it and am wondering about what I would need (equipment) to make it work for big batches like this. Could a sous vide heater in a medium-sized cooler work for something like that? Or would I need to go back to smaller batches?

  • PK100

    And thanks Jonathon and twilliams for your replies!

  • Team Orange Sous Vide Regular Contributors

    I did 2.5"x24" trail bologna in the sous vide recently. I used a 40qt storage tote. Put the sticks in naked, let er rip at 175degf for 1hr. Came out perfect. Oh, ran a normal smoke schedule till IT was 130degF then pulled for sous vide. I will NEVER go back to 12+ hrs smoke again. I use a $66 yissvic cooker from amazon.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas Dry Cured Sausage

    Roe Bear Yeah, it is all about the size of the container you are planning on using. If you use a small one then the little weston is fine. If you want to do a meat-lug or something then you need the Vacmaster SV1, the HBC or something like that. I have done larger batches with 2 small Westons and it seems to work.

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