Monday, May 20, 2013

Making Snack Sticks: Dehydrator or Smoker?

Jack from Eureka, UT wrote:

I’m making snack sticks for the very first time. Should I make them in my smoker or in my dehydrator? Any other tips for a first timer? Thanks!


Thanks for the question and certainly you will want to use your smoker. This would be the correct choice for several reasons.

First, the final internal temperature will be difficult to reach when you are running at the low temperatures in a dehydrator. You will be looking for a final internal temperature of 158F and this will be difficult to achieve if your dehydrator oven only goes to 155F.

Also, remember dehydrators are designed to remove moisture from the products that you place inside of them. Doing this to your snack sticks is going to make for a very dry product.

Fire up your smoker and run the temperature at 130-140F while smoking for about 2 hours, then turn the smoke off and increase the cabinet temperature up to 170F for 45min to an hour.

Check your temperature. If you have not achieved the 158F internal temperature you are looking for increase the temperature in the smoke house to 190 - 200F and watch your product temperature closely. The internal temperature will rise quickly at higher temperatures and you don't want to over do it and ruin the product.

After the temperature has been reached, remove the sticks immediately and begin cooling them down as quickly as possible.

Thanks for the question and good luck!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood