Smoked Venison Peppersticks
Image courtesy of Linda and Lars L.
"We wanted to show you our methodology for hanging pepperstick in our big SmokinTex. We struggled with how to do this for quite a while, and then my husband Lars came up with this approach: he lays wooden dowels across the racks and threads the pepperstick through them. The racks hold them in place so they don't slip off, and it works great. We thought you might want to share it with the SmokinTex community.
Yes, it is venison pepperstick. We have been making it for a number of years and we think this was our best batch ever, so our expertise has evolved over time. We grind our venison with a mix of 80% venison, 20% ground fresh pork fat that we get from our local butcher. We have tried a lot of commercial spice mixes, but our favorite is Cabela's Teriyaki Spice mix. We just follow the directions and it comes out great.
We learned a new trick this year to help keep the casings from splitting when we are stuffing with our stuffer: pour a little vegetable oil down the center of the casing roll before you load it on the stuffer tube, and place the concave end of the casing roll on the stuffer tube on first. The combination of the vegetable oil and always placing the concave end on first really reduced our casing-splitting issues.
Time and temp is somewhat an art rather than a science (as I'm sure you know!), and you need to factor in how many peppersticks are hanging and the amount of moisture that is being thrown off in the smoking process, but we found that with this year's batches, with the smoker very full as you could see from the photos, 6 hours at 140°F degrees was about right.
Visual checks are important, and the great thing about our new wood dowel method is that the peppersticks cooked so uniformly when hung like this. Before we used the fish racks and the problem with those is that the sticks on the outside were overdone and the sticks in the middle were underdone. We'll always hang them after this year, because they were all just so nice and evenly cooked and gorgeous to look at!
We have 2 SmokinTex smokers, believe it or not. We have the big Kahuna that we use for smoking projects like pepperstick, and we have a little one that we love for making Prime Rib and other dinner items. It is also nice because the little one is portable. This year we took it to a hotel where a bunch of our friends were staying and brought a smoked turkey in it, still hot! We love the SmokinTex smokers, and have also given one as a gift to some friends of ours who love to smoke.
Hope that helps! We'll send more photos and recipes if we have anything we think is worthwhile!"
Linda & Lars L.
3-2-1 Method of Smokin Ribs
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- "Get a good notebook and use it to record cook times, temps, wood type and amount, and how you liked the results.
- Try using chunk wood rather than chips.
- Get a good remote read thermometer. Temp is where it's at, time is only a general guide.
- Buy a gym membership. You're gonna need it with the wonderful food that's going to come out of this unit.
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