Snack Sticks

Who doesn’t love a good snack stick. Tangy, smoky, and perfect on any occasion. In todays recipe we will be fermenting our snack sticks to achieve that beautiful tangy flavor. This step is completely optional but will add a complexity to your snack stick that will make them totally delicious.

We are going to be fermenting our snack sticks to naturally lower the pH through lactic acid producing. These bacteria that we add in our snack sticks will consume the sugars in our recipe and release lactic acid. As they release lactic acid the pH of our meat will begin to drop. The lower the pH gets the tangier your snack stick will be. You don’t need to worry about testing the pH for this recipe as I’ve dialed it in for you but if you have a pH meter you would be looking for a pH around 4.5 – 4.8

I used collagen casings in this recipe but if you happen to have sheep casings those work great as well. Just be sure to dry your snack sticks out before cooking so that the casings can adhere properly and the snack stick can take on that tasty smoke. To dry your casing out simply hang it at room temperature for a couple of hours before smoking or set your smoker to very low (110F-115F) with the baffles wide open or the door slightly ajar. This will speed up the process.

Follow basic fermented sausage preparation practices when making this sausage.
  1. Clean and Sanitize all of your equipment.
  2. Keep your meat and grinder parts super cold (below 34F)
  3. Any liquid that is added to the mince needs to be ice cold
  4. Mix your very chilled meat till the mince becomes very tacky
  5. Stuff the mince into sausage casings and prick out any air pockets
  6. Ferment your snack sticks at room temperature for 24 hours (75F-90F)
  7. After fermentation smoke and cook your snack sticks low and slow:
    Start at 125F for 1 1/2 hours, 135F for 1 hour, 155F for 1 hour, 165F till the internal temp reaches 140F (smoke is being applied lightly through the entire cooking process)
  8. After they finish smoking submerge the snack sticks in ice cold water to cool them off completely
  9. Finally let them bloom at room temperature for several hours.
  10. Refrigerate and enjoy!!

Here are a few things you might find useful when making sausage

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

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Print Recipe
4.67 from 3 votes

Snack Sticks

Smoky, tangy, and incredibly delicious
Prep Time2 d
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time2 d 6 hrs
How much do you want to make? 1000 grams



  • Clean your meat of any silver skin, sinew, arteries and cut into small strips or cubes. Place the meat and fat in the freezer for an hour or until the temp reaches 32f – 34F.
  • Prepare all of your seasonings, clean and rehydrate your casings, and rehydrate your starter culture. The starter culture needs to rehydrate for 30 minutes prior to use.
  • Grind your very chilled meat and fat on a course plate then regrind on a medium plate
  • Add your seasonings, the ice cold water, and the starter culture to your mince meat and mix till it becomes very tacky. If you grab a small handful it will stick to your hand if you hold your hand upside down.
  • Stuff your mince meat into the casings and hang them in an area where the temperature is 85f-95F for 24 hours (you can also place them in your oven with the light on during this fermentation stage)
  • After 24 hours of fermenting place the snack sticks in your smoker and begin to apply smoke (we use an external cold smoker for this)

Cooking Schedule

  • Start at 125F for 1 1/2 hours, 135F for 1 hour, 155F for 1 hour, 165F till the internal temp reaches 140F (smoke is being applied lightly through the entire cooking process)
  • Once finished cooking submerge in ice cold water and hang to bloom for 3-4 hours

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17 thoughts on “Snack Sticks

  1. charlene edwards
    charlene edwards

    can you smoke these sticks in a pellet smoker like traeger or rectec?

  2. Sam Stevens
    Sam Stevens

    I’m interested in recreating the snack sticks you find at gas stations and liquor stores. I’ve made the cooked version like this but you have to eat them within several days or they go bad.

    I’m thinking with a fast ferment culture like F-CL or others that you should be able to ferment at high temperature to greatly bring down the PH value to 4.5, like this recipe shows, and then just don’t cook them so they don’t grow bacteria after the cooking phase.

    Or am I missing something? Can you cook these after the ferment without bacteria regrowing?

    1. Eric

      If you use a starter like I did you can cook after fermentation and your product will be ok. Commercial sticks use antioxidants, and mold inhibitors in their product that makes it more shelf stable but with a lower pH your product will naturally resist bad bacteria and if you can dry it slightly to reduce the water activity you’ll have a stick that will be more shelf stable.

  3. Don Gray
    Don Gray

    I already have Bactoferm F-RM-52 US, BLC-007-US, and T-SPX. Would any of these work in place of the LHP?

    1. Eric

      F-RM-52 will do the trick.

  4. Mark Tipsord
    Mark Tipsord

    Hey! Love your channel, can my snack sticks hang over night for a further bloom at room temp ? Or, should I only do 3-4 hours and package and refrigerate ? Thanks so much

    1. Eric

      Hello Mark. I hang mine overnight (with a fan on them) at room temp. All in all my sticks hang for about 15 hours..

  5. RO

    Our family likes “spicy” but the pepper really hits home with these snack sticks. Between the cayenne and chipotle powder nothing much else comes through.

  6. Knut

    5 stars
    Thanks for a sharing all insights and recipes! Truly inspirational. I don’t have access to hot smoker, but have sous vide equipment and a cold smoker. I guess a plan B could be to ferment, then sous vide, then cold smoke? How do you suggest storing the sticks when they are done? Vacum sealed in fridge should be ok for a couple of months i guess?

    1. Eric

      I would ferment, then at the end of the ferment cold smoke, then sous vide. The smoke will pick up better in the raw meat. The sticks can be stored safely in the fridge vac sealed for several months..

      1. Corey Schonke
        Corey Schonke

        Hi Eric, these snack sticks sound delicious and I can’t wait to try them, just wanna confirm the recipe calls for 21 grams of mustard powder per kilogram of meat, seems like a lot is that correct or should it be 2.1 g per kg?
        Regards, Corey

        1. Eric

          Hey Corey. Thanks for catching that!! I just changes it. Must have forgot the decimal.. I went ahead and redcued it to 2 grams😅

          1. T. Hanson
            T. Hanson

            You still need to change the calculation on the “English standard” calculator because that one is still off by a factor of 10

          2. Eric

            Maybe you can help me here. Specifically what are you talking about. The way I see it, it looks fine. Am i missing something. Maybe you can give me a specific example of how the recipe is off..

  7. Eric

    Any substitutes for the Bactoferm LHP Dry? Just trying to save a few bucks.

    1. Eric

      You can use encapsulated citric acid and not ferment…

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