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We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and is excited for more warm weather grilling! This week, we’ll be making these two burgers: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Caribbean Chicken, and also eating lots of these Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Month! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Pepperoni Snack Sticks

BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

Here is my latest combination of egging and sausage making - Pepperoni Snack Sticks. 

To make it simple and fit my schedule I bought a Hi Mountain Pepperoni Snack Stick kit which included the casings, cure, and spice mix.  All I needed to add was 10lb of meat - which I did a combo of 5lb lean beef, 3 lbs lean pork, and 2 lbs fatty ground pork.  I also added about 3/4 cup of skim milk powder to bind the water and keep the finished sticks a bit moist.

Lots of the recipes recommend mixing the meat with the cure and seasonings and leaving to combine in the fridge overnight.  The Hi-Mtn kit instructions specifically said to stuff right away as the cure will bind the meat so I did that and let the sticks age overnight.

Figuring out how to place 10lbs of 22mm snack sticks on the LBGE was a bit challenging.  I overcame this by using a mesh pizza grid I have and set it on top of some conduit straps to make a fourth grid for my adjustable rig.

The snack sticks had to be moved around to even out the temp and to get even colour.  To prevent fat out of the meat the temperature for smoking and cooking must be kept below 170'F.  I started the egg at 140 and used my cyber q to bump up the temp to 155 after the first hour.  I let it roll there with lots of hickory chunks for about 4 hours and then bumped up the temp to 165 for 3 hours then to 170 for 3 hours and to 175-180 to finish because it was getting very late.  In the end the final rack of sticks took a total of 14 hours to finish to 152'F. 

I let them bloom on the counter for about 1 1/2 hours before refrigerating overnight in a poly bag.  The next day I cut them into 4 1/2 inch lengths and vac packed them in packs of 10.  I had about 7 bags total - and I'm down to 4 now in the freezer.  The rest won't last long.

 

 

Large BGE

 

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Comments

  • td66snrftd66snrf Posts: 662
    The sticks look great and I really like the conduit straps idea. I can see using that to keep things off the platesetter.
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE, MINI, 2 Kubs, Fire Magic Gasser
  • DMWDMW Posts: 2,856
    Man those look good. My kids would finish those up quick. Need a grinder and stuffer...
  • hondabbqhondabbq Posts: 738

    We love these kind of snack sticks.

    How many sticks equals 10 lbs? Was that just 1 kit?

    Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Sledder, Quadder, Big Green Smoker.

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,004
    Damn, @BigWader!! You da man!! ^:)^ Looks like i need to find a mesh pizza grate and some conduits and get my butt in action.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

     

  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

    @hondabbq - the Hi Mountain Kit makes 20 lbs but ships in 2 cure bags and 2 seasoning bags.  I was sure I wouldn't fit them all on the egg, or if the flavor was what I like so I just made 10 lbs.  What you see in the last pic is what I got in full sticks.  I had another couple part bags of trimmings and short links that got eaten in short order. 

    In addition to the skim milk powder I also added about 1 tbsp. of granulated garlic to the mix since other reviews I read recommended a bit more garlic for taste.

    My 4 year old daughter really likes them, and on Sunday for her afternoon snack she only wanted these sticks so that made my day.

     

    Large BGE

     

  • This looks great...thanks for sharing...SWMBO has been asking be about doing something like this...if my math is right you turned half of the high mountain kit and 10 lbs of meat into about 70 or so 4.5 inch sticks? I gotta get something different for multiple grates...

    Thanks
    Making the neighbors jealous in Pleasant Hill, Ia one cook at a time...
  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

    Seems about right - probably 75-80 (counting for the nibbling while cutting).  They are so much better than store bought - less fatty and full of flavour - and even though I spent $12.50 for half the kit + $30 for the meat - I figure the cost per stick is less than $0.50 compared to $1.30+ per stick for the fatty ones at the gas stations.

     

     

    Large BGE

     

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,004
    Can you be a bit more specific on the meat you used? Was it ground meat? Or, if you used cuts and ground them yourself, what were they?

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

     

  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

    @Griffin - I'm a bit disappointed I didn't grind my own - the Asian supermarket down the road from me grinds fresh in store - and I was really excited to do this so I got the fresh ground from them...

    They have lean ground beef (in Canada supposed to be 15% fat), Lean ground Pork (same 15% fat) + some fatty ground pork that looks like 50/50 lean/fat.  I've had good luck the couple times I got the meat there - I've only found 2 gristle bits in all the ground meat I've bought.

    My next batch will be from ground I make myself - I'm planning lean beef like 5 lb eye of the round, or outside round/rump roast + 4 lb pork butt + 1 lb fat back.  If that ratio is too lean I'll add a bit more fat.

     

    Large BGE

     

  • That is so awesome...how did you check the internal temps...did you get a leave in probe in one?

    Making the neighbors jealous in Pleasant Hill, Ia one cook at a time...
  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

    @Mike_the_BBQ_Fanatic - I let the sticks roll along without probes for the first 4 or 5 hours.  Then I put my maverick in and started watching the temp on the highest rack.  After a couple hours the Maverick was giving me weird temp readings and the thermopen wasn't agreeing so I switched to the probe on the Cyber Q and followed them that way.  I basically only watched the top rack and checked intermittently the others with the thermopen.

    I was moving them around from low to high racks, from inside to outside and flipping them over so the temps came along pretty evenly for all of them. 

     

    Large BGE

     

  • hondabbqhondabbq Posts: 738
    I don't have the AR set up, so I was thinking could you not just coil the "sausage" and just tie off at specific junctions? Or just leave it as one giant coil and when its finished just cut them to the lengths?

    Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Sledder, Quadder, Big Green Smoker.

  • this is being saved.  ive done quite a few deer snack sticks, but never tried it in the egg.  really looks good.

  • hondabbqhondabbq Posts: 738

    I have been on the fence about making sausage. I cant seem to find anything good out there anymore.

    This thread inspired me to take the plunge. I bought a 5# stuffer today and some Hi Mountain mixes. That was the easy part. Now I just need the time to do it.

    Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Sledder, Quadder, Big Green Smoker.

  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

    @hondabbq - that's awesome!  I am really enjoying the added exploration of flavours available with sausage.  I like making sweet Italian sausage with wine and fresh herbs that I use in sauce for lasagna or on pizza. 

    Next on my list is breakfast sausage since my daughter prefers it to bacon at breakfast and I don't want to give her the mystery meat that is usually in products like that.  Saw a nice blueberry maple breakfast sausage at Whole Foods - maybe that's what I'll do.

     

    Large BGE

     

  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479
    edited November 2013
    did you go to Princess Auto?  I think they originated in Winterpeg and that's where I got my stuffer and Hi Mountain mixes

     

    Large BGE

     

  • hondabbqhondabbq Posts: 738
    edited November 2013
    I did actually. I didn't get the PA branded one. I think it's called Kitchener or something like that. Picked up the pepperoni and cracked pepper and garlic from hi mountain. I really wanted the sweetand spicy one. I'll have to find that elsewhere.

    Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Sledder, Quadder, Big Green Smoker.

  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

    @hondabbq The Kitchener stuffer is the one I have.  People said to watch the plastic gears if you force the plunger when it is at the bottom.  When I first set it up I lowered it to the bottom in an empty hopper and marked with a marker the threads on the shaft. 

    I've never had a problem knowing when I'm at the bottom and need to start over. 

    You'll find with the collagen casings they don't really want to curl into rings like you mentioned earlier - they like straight.  I just made all the sticks about the length of my cookie sheet and then laid them flat on the grids like you saw. 

     

    Large BGE

     

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,004

    No experience with the Kitchener stuffer, but I love their grinder that I have.

    Depending on the sausage you are making, you might want to stuff it right after you mix it and then let it sit overnight in the fridge. Some of them bind up, like @BigWader said earlier, if you let them sit overnight. That will end up stripping the gears if you try and stuff them the next morning. So glad I have metal gears. But gears can be replaced on some models, so if you do strip, check before you chunk.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

     

  • hondabbqhondabbq Posts: 738
    edited November 2013
    I was doing some more reading last night and did see that Hi Mountain suggests to stuff immediately and to let cure in the casings overnight. Leave out at room temp for an hour or so and then smoke. I read that some have even done it in the oven. Sacrebleu!!!!!!!!!!!

    Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Sledder, Quadder, Big Green Smoker.

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,004
    I don't know about pepperoni sticks, but for smoking sausage, I usually go one hour with no smoke, then take a towel and wipe off any moisture and then apply smoke. @BigWader what do you think? Is that a necessary step for sticks?

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

     

  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

    I put these sticks on the racks sitting in the laundry room for the hour or so until the egg came up to temp which seemed to dry the casings a bit.  I didn't put my chunks on until after the first hour in the egg at 140 so there was a bit more drying time but then just went ahead from there. 

    When I made summer sausage I went straight from fridge to egg and I think next time I will do the 1 hour rest like these ones.

     

     

    Large BGE

     

  • hondabbqhondabbq Posts: 738
    I am surprised too that the cook took 14 hours.

    Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Sledder, Quadder, Big Green Smoker.

  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

    @hondabbq - I think that is a factor of the differential in temperature, the set up I had, and maybe the outside temp that day. 

    What I've read is you don't want the temp over 170 or the fat will start to render out so bringing the temp to 152 takes a while.  I had to move them around to get even colour and heat so for some of the time they were taken out and flipped around outside in the cold. 

    Some were done at 11 hours - but the last rack held on until 14 hours.  I think this might be the disadvantage of the egg for this application is uneven heating, but everything I've read about electric or gas smokers like the Bradley etc is they either are underpowered for cold weather, or can't get a small enough flame for the low temp drying and smoking. 

    I've been really happy with how the egg is able to hold a small fire at 140'F with the Cyber Q using small bits of charcoal I recover from cleaning the ash out under the High Q grate.

     

    Large BGE

     

  • hondabbqhondabbq Posts: 738
    edited November 2013

    So when I you loaded your lump you just used small pieces and leftovers?

     

    I know I tried to keep my egg low when I first got it, but haven't had the need since as my low now is for butts etc and that is at 250 ish. I hope my egg can go that low.

    Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Sledder, Quadder, Big Green Smoker.

  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

    @hondabbq - what I have been doing - and I don't know it is necessary - but I've stirred up my old lump and if I see any small pieces there I'll try and collect them in one spot near the front.  Then I scrape out the ash from underneath into my ash pail and jiggle it a bit to get the ash to fall down and the small pieces of lump to rise up.  I scrape the small pieces out and put them on top of the small stuff already near the front.  When I light the fire I put 1/2 of a firestarter in the small stuff, light it and cover with a couple bigger pieces. 

    Once I see it going pretty good I close it up, leave the DFMT open just a big on two petals and hook up the Cyber Q.  The first 10 min or so is a bit smokey and then the fire seems to take hold and I've been good.  After 45 min or so everything seems stable temp wise and I'm ready to put on the food and go...

     

    Large BGE

     

  • hondabbqhondabbq Posts: 738

    I was just questioning the need for small pieces of lump as compared to "normal" set up. I may be wrong but I don't know if it would make a difference, maybe it does if you are going ultra low in temp. I just think that air flow is airflow whether its med to large pieces or just smaller remnants. I guess time will tell.

    I was going to smoke these up this weekend, but it seems that time will not allow me to. I am having my basement spray foamed tomorrow and have to be out of the house for 24 hours, putting me back into the house mid afternoon on Friday. To which I then have to prep and smoke a pork belly for Saturday. I think this weekend is a gonner for me.

    Nevertheless, I will prevail.

    Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Sledder, Quadder, Big Green Smoker.

  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

    @hondabbq Basement spraying is going to save you large on heating costs.  Don't they get like R-20 in normal stud depth?  Our renovation plan is room by room and most sprayers have a minimum charge to show up so I'm not sure it is feasible for us.

     

     

    Large BGE

     

  • hondabbqhondabbq Posts: 738
    edited November 2013

    We are just getting our basement finished. To make an extremely long story short, we bought the house 5.5 years ago. It was a new build, but we didn't build it, the couple broke up prior to it being finished. It has an ICF foundation. When the permits came in for the basement reno, the inspector noticed the ICF walls weren't covered, and there was no insulation in the joist ends. He couldn't do anything as he was there for only the basement inspections. He followed up with me and told me there was never a final inspection done on the house. I am told this house would have never been passed for occupancy with those 2 things not being done. Who dropped the ball here, lawyer? Bank? Municipality? The municipality knew we were moving in. Either way I am piecing my case together with the assistance of my contractor for the quote for the above mentioned issues plus the electrical ( who would put up drywall and not put in the electrical). The municipality is providing me with a letter stating the deficiencies prior to occupancy. The one upside to all my stress with this is I will at least get some of my reno paid for. I estimate $4-5000, plus punitive.

    Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Sledder, Quadder, Big Green Smoker.

  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 479

    Man I hope that works out for you - stress for no good reason isn't good and glad you can get it put right.

     

    Large BGE

     

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