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I keep adjusting how I smoke my meat sticks (Slim Jims). I have a Masterbuilt 30" electric smoker (oh the horrors, probably banned from this board).

In the past, I just started smoking the meat sticks at 160F. I use 19mm collagen casing to make the meat sticks. I have had the casing separate from the meat and the meat wrinkle on the surface.

Last week, I tried a new technique. I put the meat sticks in the smoker at 130F for 1.5 hours. Then I raised the temperature to 145F for another 1.5 hours. Then I raised the temperature to 160F and started the smoke. I smoked the sticks for around 5 hours. The final product was my best batch yet. The casing clinged to the meat and meat didn't wrinkle on the surface. The product was uniform throughout and has a good smokey taste to it.

As for the smoker, I don't use the wood pan in the smoker. The smoker doesn't produce any smoke once up to temperature. I now use a smoker tube in the smoker. It's a perforated stainless steel tube that I fill with wood pellets.
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