Learn the steps to make your own venison snack sticks at home on a Traeger grill with this step-by-step tutorial.
This post contains affiliate links for The Bearded Butchers, Amazon, and Traeger, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
For many of us living in Wisconsin, deer hunting is a big deal! It’s a chance for hunters to go out into the woods and provide meat for their family for a relatively low cost. This year, our family was lucky enough to have three deer to process, giving us a chance to enjoy some hearty and delicious meals like venison stew. But one of our favorite and most practical ways of processing our venison is in the form of venison snack sticks. This year, we decided to make them ourselves (we’ve made sausage at home before, but not snack sticks), and we were really pleased with how smooth and simple the process went. We hope that you can benefit from this post and can start making your own snack sticks at home too!
Table of Contents
- Tools Needed to Make Venison Snack Sticks on a Traeger Grill
- Ingredients for Venison Snack Sticks
- Steps to Making Venison Snack Sticks on a Traeger Grill
- Mix Venison and Pork Pieces
- Grind Meat
- Add Seasonings
- Grind Meat Again
- Stuff Casings
- Smoke the Snack Sticks
- Cool Snack Sticks
- Cut and Package Snack Sticks
- Store Snack Sticks
- Video of Steps
- Get Your Supplies at The Bearded Butchers
- Save and share this post!
- More meat recipes
- Want to read more about growing, raising, and cooking your own food?
Tools Needed to Make Venison Snack Sticks on a Traeger Grill
- Meat Grinder: We used this meat grinder from Amazon for our small batch processing.
- Sausage Stuffer and Stuffing Horn: We wanted to invest in a sausage stuffer that was going to last us our lifetime, so we got the MEAT! 15 lb. vertical sausage stuffer for our needs. For stuffing the snack sticks, we purchased the 10 mm size stuffing horn.
- Traeger Grill (or Smoker): The Traeger will be used to cook your snack sticks slowly to a safe-to-eat temperature.
- Snack Stick Casings: You can get these in a kit (like we did) from the Bearded Butchers, or order them separately.
- Sharp Knife: These knives are really sharp, which is exactly what you want when you’re at that final stage of cutting the snack sticks. This is also a great knife for cutting the venison too!
- Large Container: You’ll need a food-grade container to hold the ground meat as it is grinding and for mixing in seasonings.
- Meat Thermometer: You’ll use a meat thermometer to continuously check the cooking progress of your snack sticks and to help you know when they’ve finished cooking.
- Wooden Cutting Board
Ingredients for Venison Snack Sticks
- 20 pounds venison:Best harvested from a big buck with a fun story to tell! But not necessary, of course. You’ll want to cut your venison into smaller sized chunks so that it can easily fit through the grinder.
- 5 pounds pork: You can use pork trimmings or pork fat. Venison is a very lean meat, so adding pork fat helps to add flavor and hold the meat together. Again, make sure that this is cut into small sized pieces to fit through your grinder.
- Seasonings and Cure: We used a Cajun snack stick bundle from the Bearded Butchers that we really enjoyed. They have a lot of great seasonings over at the Bearded Butchers to check out and try!
Steps to Making Venison Snack Sticks on a Traeger Grill
Mix Venison and Pork Pieces
In a large tub, combine your venison and pork together so that the meats are mixed equally and are combined nicely for the grinding process, which comes next.
Grind your venison and pork mixture into a large container. During this first grind of meat, you’ll want to use a coarse grinding plate so that the meat can go through the grinder easily.
After your meat has been ground once, mix in the seasonings and cure. You can also buy a smoke flavoring packet to mix in, and you’ll want to do that now during this stage if you are choosing to use that. Make sure that the seasoning covers all of the meat equally. We used our hands to manually mix it in, but you can purchase a meat mixer to do this job if you’d rather.
Grind Meat Again
After seasonings have been well mixed into the meat, grind the meat once again using a finer cutting plate. This is the final grinding stage and prepares the meat to go into the casings.
Fill your sausage stuffer, and then slowly push the meat into the casings. Don’t overfill or underfill your casings; simply let it come out of the stuffing horn to fill the entire casing evenly.
Smoke the Snack Sticks
Take your rope of snack sticks and place them on the trays of the Traeger grill without them overlapping. You can use both upper and lower grates of your grill for this smoking process. You will cook the snack sticks slowly, changing temperature as you go. You should cook your snack sticks at these temperatures during these times in the cooking process:
- Hours One and Two: Smoke at 165 degrees
- Hour Three: Raise the temperature to 175 degrees
- Hour Four: Raise the temperature again to 200 degrees. *Your finished snack sticks should reach an internal temperature of 155-160 degrees.
Cool Snack Sticks
Once your snack sticks have reached the 155-160 degree mark, you should remove the snack sticks from the grill and place back into your clean container (be sure you don’t place it back into a container that had raw meat in it as this can potentially cause bacteria to be spread). Mist the snack sticks with cold water to stop the cooking process, then drain. Place the snack sticks in the refrigerator until cooled down completely.
Cut and Package Snack Sticks
The final step is to cut your snack sticks into pieces that will fit into your packaging. We vacuum sealed our snack sticks in quart bags, which allows for about an 8 inch snack stick and fits about 10-12 per package. In total, we got about 200 eight inch snack sticks from this process.
Store Snack Sticks
Store your snack sticks in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
Video of Steps
Watch this short video to get an overview of what each step looks like.
Get Your Supplies at The Bearded Butchers
My husband Dan has been a huge fan of The Bearded Butchers for a long time. To purchase some the great products we used to make our snack sticks, head on over to The Bearded Butcher’s website and shop their store.
The Bearded Butchers often offer great discounts upon arrival to their site, so please check them out!
Save and share this post!
More meat recipes
Smoked Venison Summer Sausage on a Traeger Grill
Want to read more about growing, raising, and cooking your own food?
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