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#3082819 - 12/16/12 11:03 PM first time summer sausage help!

Registered: 10/01/09
Posts: 75
Loc: tn

hey guys, i have plenty of ground burger with fat added from last year and received a grinder for christmas last year also and now have the casings, so does anyone care to walk me through the process as far as grinding, or double grinding, a great recipe, how long to cook, what temp, etc and i will be using the oven most likely, i make jerky and have for 14 years or so, but summer sausage is totally foreign to me but ive had it that was ok, all the way to id make a whole deer out of it without hesitation, although ive only had it that good once, and cant figure out who made it so any and all help is appreciated!
#3082854 - 12/16/12 11:57 PM Re: first time summer sausage help! [Re: r1100s]
16 Point

Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 15381
Loc: Lewisburg

curious as well
"I will predator hunt for food "

#3083168 - 12/17/12 09:10 AM Re: first time summer sausage help! [Re: redblood]
Mud Dauber
16 Point

Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

I highly suggest this book:

Page 159, Summer Sausage. The Ruhlman recipes are not for wild game, but they can easily be adjusted for it. It not hard, just time consuming.
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

#3083177 - 12/17/12 09:16 AM Re: first time summer sausage help! [Re: redblood]
4 Point

Registered: 03/14/12
Posts: 174
Loc: Brentwood, TN

Summer sausage is fairly easy to make. We have a family recipe that we developed over about 8-10 years. I don't have it with me, but I would suggest that you start with a pre-package seasoning mix for your 1st time. You can get it from or maybe Bass Pro Shop. We made 70 lbs over Thanksgiving & used the 2.5" collagen casings.

Casings: There are a couple types of casings out there. I prefer the collagen, but don't have any complaints against the fibrous mahagony type. I think the collagen casings dry out better for a harder/dryer sausage.

Pork Fat: We typically use 30%-50% ground pork. It usually depends on how well we do hunting. If you use 100% pork fat vs. ground pork, then you may need to reduce the amount in the mix.

Mixing & stuffing: This is best done by hand. Mix well and stuff immediately. The Morton's Tender Quick or other seasoning will make the mix stiff quickly. I use a 5 lbs stuffer and it works well. Try if you don't have one.

Curing: The stuffed sausage should be allowed to cure at 34-38 degrees for at least 3-5 days. We typically stuff it on Friday and smoke it on the following Sat. So about 8 days for us. This will take up a bunch of space in the fridge. Hopefully you have a spare. Put a tray under it, since the sausage will sweat/drip.

Cooking: This will take a couple of hours. We give it an initial smoke and leave it at that. Get the internal temperatures up to 165 degrees for 5 minutes. Either spray it down with cold water or dip it in Ice Water. This will stop the cooking.

Vacuum Seal & Freeze. Enjoy. Hope this helps.

#3083994 - 12/17/12 06:05 PM Re: first time summer sausage help! [Re: Legnip]
6 Point

Registered: 09/20/09
Posts: 807
Loc: Wears Valley & Cannon County

Venison Summer Sausage:
10# ground venison/pork butt 70/30 to 50/50
6 TBSP Morton's Quick Tender Cure
3 TBSP mustard seed
3 TBSP paprika
1 TBSP red pepper
2 TBSP red pepper flakes
3 TBSP kosher salt
1 TBSP garlic powder
2 TSP liquid smoke
8 TBSP black pepper

Combine the meat and cure. Mix thoroughly by hand for 5 minutes. Refrigerate for 3 days, mix twice daily.

Add the remaining seasonings and mix well. Stuff into 1 3/4" non-edible string tied casings from

Smoke at 140 for one hour.
Smoke at 160 for one hour.
Smoke at under 200 until internal temp reaches 160. Watch for hot spots in the smoker.
Spray with cold water and hang over night so the casings will shrink back and not wrinkle.

This is a pretty spicy recipe that can be adjusted. Be sure you read the directions on any "cure" that you use. The stuff can be unhealthy in large doses and the Morton TC has a lot of salt in it...too much and you'll taste it.

I don't worry too much about getting the pork/venison ratio exactly right. I grind my own pork butts and it turns out I get about the right amount out of half a butt to 2 gallon size freezer bags of ground venison. I do weight it, just so I get the right amount of cure. I only grind once through the medium plate.

I'm a nut about the state of the ground venison I use in this. I trim very carefully and I use everything but the backstrap and tenders in sausage. I keep everything cold, clean with a bleach sanitizer solution, wear rubber gloves, etc. It makes a difference in the taste and I give a lot of this away as gifts, so I sure don't won't any doubts as to safety or quality.

I use it all up with 45 days or so and I don't freeze cured sausage.

Smoking is complicated and a pain. I use hardwood (can't tell the difference in taste between oak/hickory/mesquite etc. in smoked sausage) and it's hard to keep the temp regulated. You just have to watch it. On cold days it's always dark when I'm emptying the smoker. The recipes aren't's the smoking that will make or break you. If you let it get too hot, like I did last weekend, you'll melt all the fat out of it and the sausage will be pretty dry and the casings will be badly wrinkled.

Lots of good books out there. I buy all my "stuff" from the link above.

Don't be scared of it. Even when you blow it pretty bad it generally still tastes pretty good. After a time or tow, you'll start to get the hang of it.

There are homes I can't go to over Christmas any more unless I have a stick of summer sausage along.
Semper Gumby

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