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One of the more difficult decisions hunters make each year is deciding what to do with the venison from the deer you harvest. One of our go-to options every year is venison snack sticks. You can have a processor produce these for you, but they often charge an arm and a leg for the option. You can save a ton of money by just cooking it yourself. The prospect of making snack sticks may seem intimidating, but it's easier than you might think. Trust me, I have next to no cooking skills, and I've made them several times. If I can pull them off, just about anyone can. See our guide for complete instructions on how to do just that.
Now, you can make snack sticks by mixing the raw ingredients, but if you really want to simplify things, consider picking up a meat stick snack kit. These kits come with everything you need to make several pounds of sticks with or without collagen casings. Today we're highlighting some of our favorite kits for processing our wild game meat. These kits will make you help you produce sticks with great flavor like a pro in no time. The only real problem is making enough for everyone. Once your friends and family have a taste of your homemade snackin' sticks, they probably will not last very long!
1. First Thing's First, the Casings
Before we go any further with this list, we wanted to briefly talk collagen casings. These are an optional part of making sticks, but they do add a little extra texture and flavor to them when cooked properly. These casings from Lem are made from beef protein and are already smoked. Just stuff them and cook them. Lem offers the option for 19, 21, and 32 mm collagen casings, so you can pick the size best suited for your jerky gun or other stuffer. I've personally had good success with these casings. They stuff easily and when done properly, do not burst or fill with air bubbles that must be popped before cooking.
2. A Simple Blend For Your First Batch
Maybe you're a traditionalist. Maybe you just want to do something simple for your first batch of sticks. Either way, it's hard to go wrong with a simple original blend snack stick seasoning. I've used this with both ground venison and bison as a stick and jerky seasoning and it always turns out great. They include enough ingredients here to turn approximately 15 pounds of meat. This is a great kit for beginners to start with because it's cheap and Hi Mountain includes some very nice instructions with each of their kits that are easy to follow. Combine with the Lem snack stick casings and you've got a tasty snack the whole family will enjoy. They're so tasty you may not even get a chance to vacuum seal them!
3. Pep Your Next Batch Of Sticks Up
You can use this kit to make jerky or sticks with a little bit of a kick to them. At the same time, it's not an overpoweringly hot taste. This is for anyone who doesn't like the sweet taste offered by some other of the other hotter blends out there. Lem sells this product in 5.6 and 28-ounce packages that will season five and 25 pounds of meat respectively. At only $5.99 for the smaller pack and $17.99 for the larger one, you'll save a ton of money over paying a processor to make this type of product for you.
4. Try Something Different With Pepperoni
We know pepperoni may seem like an odd choice for venison, but I recently made some and you know what? It works. You'll get a little bit of an Italian and garlic flavor with this kit that makes for an interesting combination when combined with your favorite wild game meat. This kit will season approximately 25 pounds of meat. The nice thing about this kit is that Cabela's includes the casings already, so no need to buy extras. We recommend this one to anyone who has tried all other flavors and is looking for something new and different to try with their next batch.
5. A 100-Pound Kit for Making Sticks in Bulk
This is one of the largest snack stick kits you can get online. $80 may seem like a lot for seasonings and casings, but when you consider some processors charge $8 to $10 a pound for sticks, this is a real deal. These sticks include seasonings, nitrites, phosphates, curing salts, and casings for up to 100 pounds of meat. This is also a nice option for someone who harvests a lot of deer and wants to make sticks and package them up as gifts for friends and family. Or if you just need a ton of sticks for those big holiday celebrations. It always seems like there are never enough to go around. A.C. Legg also sells a 25-pound and 50-pound kit if 100 is overkill for your stick project.
6. A Hot Hunting Camp Classic
Jalapeno is arguably the most popular flavor among hunters for venison sticks and jerky by far. This kit gives your sticks a good amount of hot kick to them. Included in the ingredients are jalapenos, spice, and soy sauce. This is a great blend if you're making a batch of sticks for deer camp. Just be warned they aren't likely to last long, so you'll want to hold some in reserve for later. This kit seasons up to 20 pounds of ground meat. Hi Mountain also includes some 21mm collagen casings with this kit, so you only need this one package to make some tasty treats.
7. A Teriyaki Blend To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
I'm not sure about you, but I'm a huge fan of teriyaki beef jerky and sticks. The semi-sweet flavor of brown sugar permeates every bite. If you've never tried it, you should know this flavor works extremely well when paired with venison. Who would have thought? This blend will work for either jerky or snack stick forms and Lem includes enough in this package to marinate and produce up to 25 pounds of wild game sticks that are sure to be a hit with friends and family. I've paired teriyaki with both ground venison and bison before with excellent results.
8. Sticks That Are a Little Sweet and a Little Spicy
If you like sweet treats but also want a little kick to it, consider this kit from Pit Boss. This kit is for jerky, but it will work for sticks too. You just need to provide the casings. It will produce sticks that have a delicious sugary taste to them that is backed with just enough heat. This makes for a blend that pairs extremely well with venison. I made sticks a few times last year and this quickly became a favorite with the family. Pit Boss includes enough ingredients to make five pounds of sticks for a great price.
9. An Alternative Hot Seasoning Spicy Fans Will Love
This is a great hot alternative to the jalapeno, and if I'm being honest, I enjoyed this more when I first made it last year. There's a nice kick to this one and the source of that was obvious when I was prepping it. There were literal crushed Chipotle red pepper pieces in there when I was mixing the ingredients together and the taste shows up well in the sticks. Hi Country notes there is also some habanero and jalapeno in there. This kit is enough to treat about 15 pounds of meat.
10. The Healthiest Blend Out There
As tasty as venison sticks are, many kits also produce sticks with a lot of salt in them. You don't need to give up snack sticks completely. Simply utilize this low sodium hunter's blend instead that has up to 50 percent less salt. Perfect for anyone with a restrictive diet for health reasons, or anyone who simply wants a slightly healthier alternative. Hi County says this kit has a ton of tasty spices like jalapeno, habanero, cayenne, Chipotle, and black pepper that works well with a tasty smoke flavor. This kit includes enough ingredients for up to 15 pounds of meat.
11. For Fans of Smoky Flavor
Perhaps you are the type of hunter who prefers jerky and sticks that has more of a smoky flavor to it. Hickory also pairs extremely well with venison and that's why we like this kit for anyone looking to achieve that kind of taste with their sticks. Pit Boss includes enough here to season up to five pounds of meat. We especially like this option as another sure-fire hit at deer camp. It's sure to be a hit with your fellow hunters. Especially the old timers who maybe don't like a lot of heat or sweetness with their venison.
12. The Best Option For the Undecided
Maybe you simply cannot decide what blend you want to use for your first batch of snack sticks. Well, this variety pack is probably the perfect option. Hi Country makes a few different variations of this with different blends. The first includes original, Cajun, cracked pepper and garlic, hickory, and mesquite flavors. The second has sweet and spicy, pepperoni, Teriyaki, inferno, and pepper. The third includes hunter's blend, original, burbon BBQ, jalapeno, and spicy lime. Each packet is good for four pounds of meat, which gives you a chance to sample and find the one you like best for future batches. It's also a solid option for anyone who just wants to make something for every member of the family.
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