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Unread 07-17-2011, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default Homemade Slim Jims

So, I'm flying home yesterday, in First Class, and this dude next to me pulls a Slim Jim out of his computer bag. As he ate it, we started talking about our boats, and he told me all about his bass boat -- and I don't know chit about bass boats. But, I have eaten my fair share of Slim Jims in the past. First class aint what people think it is. After all, t let me sit up there.

So, while he was talking about his bass boat, I nodded a lot, and I thought to myself, I wonder if it would be possible for me to make these tasty, heavily processed mystery-meat snacks at home, without the heavily processed mystery meats.

And, I figured if anyone has done it, that person is probably a BBQ Brethren.

So, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to come up with a recipe and process for home made Slim Jims.

This post may self destuct in 30 seconds -- although I doubt it.

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Unread 07-17-2011, 05:28 PM   #2
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I bought a jerky gun but haven't had a chance to try it out yet. I'm in it for the same reason... I want to know what meat went into mine.
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Unread 07-17-2011, 05:45 PM   #3
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I had Slim Jims about 10 times in my life. All in my teens, and all after lots of beer.
However CD, this is an interesting postulation you have presented to the Brethren.

So I did a little digging and found this on the New York Times....

The Original Slim Jim

1 lamb intestine casing (4 feet long)**
2 1/2 pounds top round chuck, cubed
1 pound beef fat, cubed
3 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1 teaspoon No. 1 curing salt
4 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/3 cup lactic-acid starter culture

** edible sausage casing can be substituted instead

1. Rinse salt off the sausage casing. Soak in ice water for at least 1 hour.

2. Combine meat and fat. Run the mixture through a meat grinder into a large bowl, using the finest setting. Add all ingredients, along with one cup of ice water. Knead vigorously until mixture is the consistency of bread dough (about 8 minutes).

3. Rinse casing one last time. Choose the narrowest gauge tube of your sausage press. Splash the tube with ice water, then pull the casing over it. Transfer the mixture, about two fistfuls at a time, to the sausage press and then pump the meat into the casing, splashing more water on the tubing as needed to stop the casing from tearing.

4. Preheat an electric smoker to 100 degrees. Hang sausage in the smoker for 22 hours. Temperature should never dip below 90 degrees or go above 110 degrees. After 22 hours, raise the temperature to 150 degrees and cook until the internal temperature reaches 150 to 155 degrees (about 30 minutes).

5. Remove from smoker and let cool at about 50 degrees in a dry place for 4 hours. Cut sausage into 4-inch lengths.
YIELD 16 servings
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Unread 07-17-2011, 08:04 PM   #4
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That looks completely doable in a dehydrator minus the smoke. You could probably cold smoke this stuff for a couple hours and then run it through a dehydrator as well.
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Unread 07-17-2011, 08:27 PM   #5
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Thanks Brian I am bookmarking this one. I just started doing Brats and want to get the flavor closer to my liking before moving on to the next thing for the sausage stuffer.
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Unread 07-17-2011, 08:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JMSetzler View Post
That looks completely doable in a dehydrator minus the smoke. You could probably cold smoke this stuff for a couple hours and then run it through a dehydrator as well.
Hmmm? Interesting for sure, but I'm a doubting Thomas if you are using a true culture, not fermento or citric acid. The long soak @ 100* allows the bacteria to do its thing, the higher temp afterwards not only kills off the bacteria, but also cooks the meat.
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Last edited by bluetang; 07-17-2011 at 09:11 PM..
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Unread 07-17-2011, 08:42 PM   #7
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the thing with slim jims or "snack stix" , is they are like making andouille or any other cured/smoked sausage. You have to start out at very low temps....110=120 then slowly increase those temps over a period of several hours without exceedin say 170-180. I prefer the collagen casings in the 18 mm diameter for snack stix. If you have the smoker that can do that , then try this recipe-

Slim Jims (10 pound recipe)

2 level tsp. Prague Powder #1
4 tbsp. paprika
6 tbsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground white pepper
1 tsp. ground celery
1 tbsp. mace
1 tsp. granulated garlic
3 1/2 ozs. kosher salt
1 1/2 ozs. powdered dextrose
6 ozs. Fermento
10 pounds lean ground beef

This is the Kutas recipe. The last two ingredients are for fermentation and
may be omitted if you don't want the tang. After you stuff the beef sticks,
he recommends smoking at 90-110 F for 8 hours and letting it go at this
temperature for another 12 if you want the tang to fully develop. Then you
raise the smokehouse temperature until the meat reaches 145º internally.

If you wish to modify your current recipe for the dehydrator, or use this
one in it (I highly recommend it, I've made it several times), just follow
the temperature guidelines - IOW, keep the temperature under 110 for 8 to
20 hours, then crank it up to cook the sausage at the very end. What you've
probably been doing is following the same procedure as for jerky, at 145
until dry, and have been ending up with jerky in a casing. Beef sticks will
not be as dry as jerky, hence the lower temperature. FWIW, I use the Prague
Powder #1 and make jerky at 120 and it is much more flavorful than the stuff
dried at 145 like most recipes call for. Under 140, the curing powder is
absolutely necessary to prevent the growth of botulism.

or this one-
Pepperoni Snack sticks

This Pepperoni recipe can be made from beef or pork or a combination of any meat such as venison, Bear, Elk, Moose or other sources. You'll want about a 15%-20% total fat content
Per each 1 pound of ground meat add; (coarse grind , or fine grind according to your preferences. keep your meat as cold as possible to avoid smearing the fat. White specks of fat are preferable in the finished product.

per each pound of ground meat, add;
1 level Tablespoon Mortons Tender Quick
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground or whole mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, slightly crushed or ground
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (double amount for spicier product)
1/4 teaspoon crushed or ground anise seed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
1 TBS Smoked paprika for color, or a mild Hungarian would also work but avoid the dark bitter Spanish paprika
You may also add encapsulated citric acid for tanginess

Mix well, let cure overnight after stuffing casing then smoke to an internal of 150-155.

stuff into hog casing, and link into equal length pairs for hanging in the smoker. I have also made snack sticks using edible collagen snack-stick casings with great success.

place in smoker, for 2 hours at 120F vents open 100%, with no smoke
Then increase the temperature to 140F, set vents at 75% open with smoke for another 2 hours. finally close vents to 25% with smoker temperature at 180F with smoke until internal temperature of 150-155F is reached. You can spray with cold water for a more plump appearance, or let them cool naturally for a denser texture with wrinkled casings.

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Unread 07-19-2011, 01:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for the recipes.

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Unread 07-19-2011, 01:38 PM   #9
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i made some deer snack sticks. they weren't quite slim jims, but were pretty good.
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