Gamebird Gourmet // Quail Snack Sticks

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Roasted, smoked and even seared quail or gamebird are all great, but perhaps the best way to make use of your quail is to make snack sticks!  The light texture, taste and consistency of quail works wonderfully with snack stick seasonings and makes some of the best snack sticks!  Learn how to use your quail to make snack sticks that will have your hunting buddies and dinner guests raving. 


Recipe: Quail Snack Sticks

Meat Block: 
Cleaned Quail or Pheasant Breast 
Pork Fat 20-25% (Or Untrimmed Pork Butts 50%) 

Ingredients
Willies Snack Stick Seasoning 
Sure Cure (included) 
Water at the rate of 1.25 oz per lb of meat 
19mm Smoke Collagen Casings  

Optional
Sure Gel Binder  
Encapsulated Citric Acid  
High-Temp Cheese   

Directions
1 - Freeze your gamebird breast almost solid and then use a serated knife to cut it into pieces that will easily fit down the throat of your grinder 

2 - Grind your gamebird (and untrimmed pork butts if you are doing a 50/50 mix) through a 3/8" plate once.  The meat being frozen here helps speed up the grind and keeps your meat protected. 

3 - Grind your gamebird and your pork fat (or untrimmed butts if you are doing a 50/50 mix) through a 1/8" plate.  Mix in the pork fat throughout the 2nd grind.  Put in a few handfuls of gamebird and then a large piece of fat and repeat until all of the gamebird and pork fat have been ground. 

4 - Add your gamebird, seasoning, sure cure, water and if you are using a binder add that as well, to your mixer or in a bowl.  Mix until all seasoning has been distributed and you have achieved protein extraction.  This is when the meat becomes very sticky and will stretch if you try to pull it apart, in a mixer this should take around 8-10 minutes. 

5 - During the last 60 seconds of the mixing process add your Encapsulated Citric Acid and High-temp cheese to the mixer and continue mixing. 

6 - Transfer your meat to the cannister of a Walton's Sausage Stuffer.  If your meat has been out for more than 30 minutes at this point we recommend putting it back in the freezer for 10 minutes. 

7 - Choose the largest stuffing tube that your casing will fit over, if you chose 19mm casings this will be the 12mm stuffing tube. 
 

8 - Stuff all gamebird into the casings.  You will know you are properly stuffing when you can just barely see a faint line swirl down the casing. 

9 - If you did not use Encapsulated Citric Acid or some other cure accelerator hold your snack sticks overnight to allow the cure time to work. 

10 - Transfer to your smoker and follow this smoke schedule: 
  • Temp - 110° for 10 minutes with vents open and fans on if your smoker has them.  Do not add smoke or humidity. 
  • Temp - 130° for 30 minutes with vents open and fans on if your smoker has them.  Do not add smoke or humidity. 
  • Temp - 160° for 60 minutes.  At this point add smoke and humidity and close dampers. 
  • Temp - 145 for 10 minutes with dampers open and fans on.  You can leave smoke but remove humidity. 
  • Temp 180 - Until internal temperature is 165° 

11 - Place finished snack sticks in ice water for 10 minutes, then replace water with fresh ice water and leave in there for another 10 minutes.  This allows the cooking process to stop and helps set the casing. 

12 - Leave out at room temperature for 1 hour before moving to cooler overnight and storing the next day.