Best Casings For Snack Sticks - Cured Sausage 103
Best Casings For Snack Sticks
WHAT ARE THE BEST CASINGS FOR SNACK STICKS?
For Snack Sticks, the most common types of casings, and probably the best ones used, are Smoked Collagen Casings, known as the Processed Stix Variant. These casings are tough enough to stand up to being hung in a smokehouse without spilling the meat or breaking under their own weight, they have a mahogany color that will impart a reddish color after being cooked, and they still have a tender bite.
Clear Collagen casings, also known as Processed Fine-T variant, are also sometimes used for snack sticks. These casings have an opaque appearance when they are fresh, but as they are cooked, they will become clear. This gives you a casing that will look similar to fresh collagen or natural casings when finished.
A few people still use Natural Casings to make snack sticks; because of the small diameter desired with snack sticks, sheep or lamb casings would be the only ones used.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF COLLAGEN AND NATURAL CASINGS
Smoked Collagen Casings are the most popular casings for a snack stick, and for good reason. They are easy to use; simply take them out of the package and put them onto the tube. The Processed Stix (Smoked Collagen) is a strong casing, so when you are stuffing them, blowouts are not a major concern. Stuff until the casing looks full and smooth as it comes off of the stuffing tube. Walton’s also makes many sizes of collagen casings, so you do not need to purchase an entire “caddy,” which would process multiple hundreds of pounds of meat. The major disadvantage to collagen is that it will not hold a twist, and this does not apply to snack sticks as you don’t twist snack sticks; you just cut them into the desired lengths.
The major advantage to Natural Casings is that some people prefer the “snap” of these casings. The major disadvantages are that they need to be rinsed, soaked, and sometimes flushed before using them, costing you valuable time. They are also more prone to blowouts than Collagen Casings are.
WHAT SIZES ARE SNACK STICK CASINGS?
Snack Sticks can range from 15mm in diameter up to 21mm when using collagen and as large as 22mm if using sheep casings. In recent years home processors have been trying to make smaller and smaller snack sticks, with 16 and 17mm being desirable sizes. However, it is more difficult to stuff these size casings as you need to use a considerably smaller stuffing tube, and therefore it will require more force to push the piston down through the canister. The best and most common sized casing for the home user is the 19mm smoked collagen.
For sheep casings, the only ones that should be used are the smallest size of sheep casings (22-24mm) or lamb casings, which can be difficult to find.
Collagen casings do have a correct way to be loaded onto the stuffing tube. If you look closely at the casings when they are compressed into a single solid piece, you will see that they look almost like bowls stacked inside of each other. You want the casing to come off of the stuffing tube as if you were taking one bowl out from another.
pjenschke Any recipe can me modified on the protein side. Just make sure that end result contains enough pork fat. Your typical trimmed pork butt will be in the 70/30 range, so if you replace some pork butt with some lean venison then add pork back fat in to give you the same 70/30 and calculate your spices on the TOTAL weight of all your protein ingredients
pjenschke What Dr_Pain says is correct. We have a video on Meatgistics University…I just realized that there are more categories in Meatgistics University than are showing on the main page…the entire Wild Game section and the small amount we have about Dry Aging aren’t showing. Will try to fix that. But here is a link to the Deer Snack Stick Video https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/1851/meatgistics-university-wild-game-venison-snack-sticks