Making Your Own Venison Summer Sausage
Making your own Venison Summer Sausage is easy, but does take a few trials to find the ultimate taste and pork to venison ratio you prefer. I also recommend you visit a local butcher shop for purchasing your mixed spices as they have already perfected the seasoning and you will find the spices will cost much less then purchasing them in a store. The butcher shop should also have other mixed spices like Brats and Pepper Sticks.
Purchasing Summer Sausage Spices, Casings, And Your Pork
Purchase your spices from a local butcher store. The butcher shop will mix them for you and let you know how much water to add (Make sure to add your water to your spices and mix well before adding it to your meat). When I buy mine, I purchase enough for 20 pounds of sausage at a time, which is approximately 1.3 pounds of spice mix at a cost of $5 -$7. Purchase your pork at a local grocery store and look for specials, you should be able to get pork shoulder or butt roasts for $1.86 to $2.18 a pound. For your sausage casings you will want to use Mahogany Fibrous Casings.
How Much Venison And Pork To Use
Here is the recipe I use, but you will need to do a few trials to get the right percentages for your taste. Grind your venison, pork, and bacon separate on coarse grind, then mix then by hand and grind them together on fine grind. Note, for Summer Sausage I do not use Bacon. This Venison to pork mix is 50%, Butcher shops will use as much as a 4 (pork) to 1 (venison) ratio, but I have found this to be too much and it will be too fatty. You may want to start with a 2 (Pork) to 1 (Venison) and try 5 pounds of total sausage before doing large batches.
10 lbs of Pork
10 lbs of Venison
Spice mix for 20 lbs of Summer Sausage
How To Prepare Your Sausage For Smoking
Once you have your sausage ready let it set in the refrigerator for 12 hours to allow the seasonings to work. After sitting overnight you will want to dry out your casings/sausage before smoking, as this will allow the smoke to penetrate the casings easier. To dry the sausage & casings place it in your smoker at a temperature of 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, do not add wood chips yet. Now let this dry for 90 minutes, then turn your smoker up to 125 degrees, add your wood chips, and smoke and cook until the center of your sausage reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Your sausage is now done and ready to serve. See this post for converting your charcoal grill to an electric smoker
What about the extra sausage meat left over that you could not stuff into casings? Take the left over Sausage and form it into a roll, using wet hands will work best. Then place this on a piece of parchment paper and smoke and cook as you would the rest of your sausage.
If you want a great thermometer for aiding in your temperature control and knowing when to remove your sausage invest in the Dual Oven and Meat Sensing Probe Thermometer and Timer. You can purchase one for $21 and it will be much more accurate than your grill thermometer and comes with alarms.