Help, buffalo snack stick seasoning

  • Hey all, I’m new to conversational sites like this but figured id give this a try since making meat sticks seems to be my new obsession and I have no one else to talk about it with lol.
    I did 12.5 lbs. of 50/50 pork butt and lean pork loin with the buffalo snack stick seasoning while watching the snow fall this weekend. I found a thread on this site previously that mentioned it’s a little light on the buffalo flavor so I added an additional 1.5 oz. of the seasoning for more flavor. I also added 1.5 lbs. of hi temp blue cheese. The seasoning was a bit disappointing. Not the buffalo zing I would expect from buffalo wings. It seemed to lack the vinegar flavor I am accustomed to. I read a previous thread that mentioned vinegar would do something to the proteins and make an undesirable finished product.
    I was wondering has anyone actually added buffalo sauce to this recipe to see what happens? I know Franks makes powder seasoning which has a vinegar in it. Or i could substitute the water in the meat with Franks Buffalo sauce.
    If not using vinegar or hot sauce is there any substitute I can use to achieve my goal?


  • Regular Contributors Veteran Canning Team Blue Power User Sous Vide Wisconsin Gardening

    LukeB Welcome to the community. I have the same thought, not much buffalo flavor. On my second batch of sticks, I replaced one cup of water with franks buffalo sauce. It did help the flavor some, but still not what I was looking for. It did not seem to hurt the texture of the sticks, but they got eaten pretty quick. I also made a batch of fresh brats using blue ribbon brat mix, then added franks buffalo powder and hi temp blue cheese to try and get a buffalo blue brat. (About 2 oz of powder in 12 # of meat). They turned out good, but not much buffalo flavor. I think next time I am going to try both liquid and powder on a small test batch and see what happens.

  • Thanks for the info… I may have to just try a small batch and add Franks sauce and powder to see how it comes out. It’s disappointing making such large amounts with poor results.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Power User Arizona Dry Cured Sausage Dry-Cured Expert

    Luke, this is a pretty common opinion on the buffalo seasoning. I’ve read several folks wanting a boost.

    You need to decide exactly what flavor you want, and boost to that. Here are the ingredients in Franks Red Hot sauce, the original buffalo flavor:
    Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Salt and Garlic Powder.

    There is a sausage that is flavored with cayenne, garlic, and vinegar–Mexican Chorizo. So it is easily tried and useful to compare flavors against. It has a few other spices too, oregano and black pepper.

    That’s it. You can’t use vinegar, acetic acid, at a very high level without changing the meat texture to a crumbly mess. Have you ever had fresh, actual chorizo, at a Mexican restaurant? It’s all loose and crumbly, like browned ground beef almost–that is because chorizo has added vinegar.

    So your options are cayenne, salt, and garlic powder. Salt you will have at 1.7% or so probably, though you can boost that to 1.9% for more flavor and be OK in a stick IMO.

    Cayenne. Based on my use of cayenne in hot vs. Regular breakfast sausage, I would say 0.5% cayenne is needed as a decent baseline for a spicy sausage. That is 5g cayenne powder per 1kg of meat.

    Garlic powder. Based on my making Polish hot smoked sausage, which is the sausage with most dominant garlic flavor, I would target 0.4% garlic powder. That is 4g per 1kg meat. That will give a garlic flavor about 2x as strong as kielbasa, which you’ll need to stand up to the cayenne. Mexican chorizo uses 0.7% fresh, and dry is usually 3x as strong. So would be like 1.5x the garlic in Mexican chorizo.

    I would use 0.2% black pepper, 2g per 1kg meat. Because it is almost always in sausage at that rate, adds a bit of heat, and produces a good flavor everyone likes.

    Lastly, acid. If you want to add acid tang, you either need to ferment (think pepperoni), or add an Encapsulated Citric Acid. Just citric acid coated with palm oil to keep it from contacting meat until it melts off at 130f, when meat proteins have already set up and it thus won’t ruin texture. Citric acid doesn’t taste like vinegar… if you don’t have a bottle of powdered citric acid from the canning jelly section of supermarket, you should. Get some, taste a bit vs. a spoon of vinegar. But, Encapsulated Acetic Acid, vinegar, isn’t easily available. Balchem industries sells it starting at 100 lb smallest order. So you’ll need to use ECA for more acid taste if desired. Walton’s sells it. It’s the twang in modern fast summer sausage. I would start with 1.5 to 2 times the suggested usage rate on bag.

    Grind up some pork butt. Take 500g, about 1 lb, break it up and add the correct ratios from above in your test batches. Will just take a minute or two with calculator, but use metric! Grams spice and meat! Weigh your spices. Fry a small patty in pan of each, see what you like.

    Lastly, you could try mixing in up to 1T, 15ml, of WHITE vinegar to 300g meat. That is 5%, the same rate as Mexican chorizo. See what you think about texture and flavor.

    You can do the whole spice mix and test thing in an hour, I do this kind of thing all the time. Give it a try! Nothing like dialing in YOUR perfect flavor!

    (First thing I’d do, actually: fry up a chicken wing, and a similar sized bit of pork. Toss them both in Frank’s redhot. Eat. You can’t make a Buffalo Chicken Wing from pork…there is a reason no place sells Buffalo Pork Nuggets. If you don’t love the pork nugget with the actual, authentic, seasoning sauce… then you’re totally wasting your time, and will never be happy with them. But at least this will give you a baseline for what ACTUAL buffalo-pork tastes like so you’re not aiming for a mythicla flavor target in your mind that doesn’t exist.)

    Good luck, hope all this typing is helpful to you or someone! 😉

  • Washington Canning Sous Vide Regular Contributors Team Camo Gardening Power User

    LukeB welcome aboard!

  • Team Blue

    LukeB welcome it is like Dave said try small batch’s with different ingredients until you get what you want a little more fat might help to

  • One option would be to make chicken sausage. I just made a batch with Frank’s powder (you avoid the acid from liquid vinegar this way). Do as others have said, make a small test batch carefully weighing your ingredients and fry up a patty. You may need to use more powder than you expect, I did, but the flavor started to come out as I increased the amount of the powder. Chicken sausage is quite good, and no different than making pork sausage. Be brave, experiment!

  • Washington Canning Sous Vide Regular Contributors Team Camo Gardening Power User

    smgharley welcome aboard.

  • LukeB welcome as newbe I will give one word of advice ! I have been making my own sausage for about 50 years. All kinds and believe me I have pitched my share that even the dogs wouldn’t eat! SAUSAGE LIKES AND DISLIKES IS A INDIVIDUAL THING, but over the years you come up with some combinations that you get the blue ribbon! This is a great site and at 81 I am still learning from these posts! Here is what you should do, whether you buy a seasoning pack or put together your own spices, MAKE ONE POUND INITIALLY!! FRY A PATTY AND TASTE IT WITH AT LEAST A COUPLE OTHER PEOPLE! IF NO ONE SPITS IT OUT CONTI UE ON, SMOKE IT OR FREEZE IT IF ITS A FRESH SAUSAGE AND PREPARE IT AGAIN IF YOU ALL SAY THIS IS SOME GOOD SAUSAGE AND LETS HAVE ANOTHER BEER, PUT THE RECIPE WHERE YOU CAN DUPLICATE IT OVER AND OVER! AND DRINK AMERICAN MADE BEER WITH THIS AMERICAN MADE SAUSAGE! good luck!

  • Washington Canning Sous Vide Regular Contributors Team Camo Gardening Power User

    ghostrider VERY WELL SAID! And welcome to the community. Sounds like you have MANY years of experience, and that experience will be very helpful to all.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Power User Arizona Dry Cured Sausage Dry-Cured Expert

    LukeB just saw you were brand new here, didn’t notice before… welcome!

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    LukeB welcome to the mad house. I’m sure you will find someone who has tried to recreate that zing.

  • You could try pickling the sausage in vinegar & salt after it’s cooked to provide the tanginess you’re looking for. Vinegar is about 5% acid. You might try putting some of it in 1/3 water, 2/3 vinegar, and about 5% salt. Water is 8.34 lbs/gal and 5% acid vinegar about 8.39 lbs/gal. You want to pickle at a ratio of 1:1 (1 lb product in 1 lb pickle). If you had 10 lbs product and wanted 10 lbs pickle, then 6.67 lbs vinegar (about 3 qts + 3/4 cup), 3.33 lbs water (about 1 qt + 2&1/4 cups) and half a pound of salt. If the product floats, you want to weight it down. Try a small batch first, 1 or 2 lbs. It will take 3-4 days in the refrigerator for the sausage to absorb all the vinegar it’s going to absorb, so you can taste it every day and see if it’s to your liking and take the sausage out of the pickle. when you think it’s ready. Over a long period of time, the acid will still work on the proteins and make the texture softer, but usually much longer vs. adding it to the blend and tearing it up right away.

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

    LukeB I have made a few batches with that seasoning and I have added the dry powder from franks, it helps but like kyle says, it isn’t going to make it taste like you are expecting. The best batch I have made with that seasoning was with Beef as the protein, pork fat as the fat and I used encapsulated citric acid, which gave it a bit more of that zing that I want with a buffalo sausage.

  • Regular Contributors Veteran Canning Team Blue Power User Sous Vide Wisconsin Gardening

    Jonathon dont laugh to hard, but one thing I tried and it work pretty well was, I injected my brats with franks buffalo sauce before I grilled them. The high temp blue cheese I used was very strong and that was the only way I could get a balanced flavor.

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

    kyle No laughing from my end on that! Ali Walton and I once made the Pumpkin Pie Flavored Bratwurst Seasoning and injected frosting into it. Your idea is much better than that!

  • Wow, a lot of great advise! Thank you everyone for your input. It’s much appreciated!

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Regular Contributors Veteran New Mexico Sous Vide Gardening

    Jonathon Man, I would love to see some of your mad scientist creations. Must be fun to try all the different experiments, although I think we have seen the last of the possum!

  • Masterbuilt Canning Kamado Joes Regular Contributors Power User Sous Vide Oklahoma Team Camo

    Dave in AZ Wow what a nice wrightup. So full of great info. Thanks 👍

  • Masterbuilt Canning Kamado Joes Regular Contributors Power User Sous Vide Oklahoma Team Camo

    LukeB welcome aboard

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