First Run at Beef Hot Sticks



Once I got back to work from a week off for gun deer season, I caught a new bug, a sausage bug. A number of guys that I work with were making their own sausage and it was fantastic. Since I already had a grinder and a smoker, I went on the hunt for a sausage stuffer. I struck out trying to get the stuffer that my grandparents had on their farm, so I hit the Internet. I ended up with a LEM 5lb stuffer that I ordered directly off of their site. By doing so, it came with stainless steel stuffing tubes instead of plastic.

Now that the holidays are over, I decided to take a crack at Beef Hot Sticks. There are a ton of recipes across the internet so I mashed a few together and took a crack at it.

First I ran the crushed red pepper through my spice grinder (coffee grinder set aside specifically to grind spices), just to break it up a little.



Next I gathered up all of the other dry spices and then mixed them together.



Next I whisked together the water, salt, sugar and hot sauce.




Five pounds of Niemuth’s 85/15 ground beef was weighed out.




My six year old sous chef daughter and I then mixed the dry and wet spices into the meat in the Cabela’s meat mixer.




After mixing the meat together, I took a small amount of meat out and fried it up in a pan. It allows you to adjust spices if needed before stuffing in the casings. In this case, the flavor was good for the first try.




We then stuffed the 5lbs into the stuffer and into the collagen casings. The stuffer worked great, my daughter cranked while I fed the casing off the stuffer tube. It made quick work of the meat.


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Hot Sticks Recipe

  • 5 lbs of 85/15 Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp of Pink Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Garlic Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Penzey’s Chili 3000
  • 1 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of Paprika
  • 2 tsp of crushed red pepper (run through the spice grinder to bust up the seeds)


  • 1/2 cup of cold water
  • 3 tbsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Hot Sauce


  1. In a small bowl, combine the water, salt, sugar and hot sauce and stir until all ingredients are dissolved.
  2. Combine the remaining dry ingredients in another bowl.
  3. Mix the wet and the dry ingredients into the meat.
  4. Fry test a piece of meat to ensure spice to taste.
  5. Stuff in snack stick size collagen casings.
  6. Smoke at 125-150 degrees for one hour to dry the casings.
  7. Smoke for about another hour at 200 degrees, until the internal temp is 152 degrees.
  8. Submerge sticks in ice cold water for a minute.
  9. Place in fridge overnight to dry casings.
  10. Cut and vacuum seal.

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