Venison Summer Sausage
You want a final meat/fat ratio somewhere between 80/20 and 70/30. Most common is to use pork fatback for the fat. Most folks also add some pork butt. If you do, be sure to consider the fat content of added domestic meat when computing your meat/fat ratio.
Venison Summer Sausage
You want a final meat/fat ratio somewhere between 80/20 and 70/30. Most common is to use pork fatback for the fat. Most folks also add some pork butt. If you do, be sure to consider the fat content of added domestic meat when computing your meat/fat ratio.
Servings
25lbs meat&fat
Servings
25lbs meat&fat
Ingredients
Meat/Fat
  • 16lbs venison — trim well and slice into grinder strips or chunks
  • 4lbs pork butt — trim out large fat chunks.
  • 5lbs Fatback — try your local butcher. Read more in “notes” below.
Ground/powdery bits
Liquid
Chunky Bits
ECA
Other (be sure you have these ready)
  • enough casings — Enough to hold your batch. I recommend “fibrous” – check notes below for more info. Be sure you have hog rings & pliers too.
  • enough ice — for ice bath to quick-chill sausages when done cooking
Instructions
Step 1 – Plan & Prep
  1. Read through the directions and make a plan for your time. Most important is to avoid significant delay between the time you add the ECA, and when you load the smoker. Get all your ingredients together. And clear out enough space in your fridge and freezer – you’re going to be shifting meat and grinder parts back and forth and need room to refrigerate the sausages when you’re done.
  2. Make slurry by mixing ground/powdery bits with liquid. Take care to ensure there are no lumps. Consider doing this a day or two ahead and storing it in the fridge.
Step 2 – Grind
  1. Before grinding, stage detachable grinder parts, fat and chunked meat in freezer until meat is well firmed but not frozen hard (≈ half an hour)
  2. Coarse grind the fat and meat (≈ 3/8″, 9mm or 10mm plate) and return to freezer along with the detachable grinder parts for another 20-30 minutes.
  3. Fine grind meat and fat (≈ 3/16″, 4.5mm or 5mm plate).
  4. Optionally stage covered overnight in the fridge. Otherwise return meat to freezer another 20-30 minutes before proceeding
Step 3 – Initial Mix
  1. NOTE: Mixing is not just to distribute the ingredients. There is also a physical change to the meat called “protein extraction” which is a key factor in the final texture of your sausage. Cured/smoked products like summer sausage take about 5-7 minutes in a powered mixer to hit the right amount of protein extraction. A little more for a hand-crank mixer (depending on the operator). For pure hand mixing you go by feel, not by time. As you mix the meat it will become increasingly more sticky. When it wants to stretch a bit rather than just separating when pulling a glob apart, it is ready. If you’re not sure what I mean go to youtube and search for “sausage protein extraction” and you should find some clear examples.
  2. Briefly mix slurry into the meat
  3. Add peppercorns and mustard seed and thoroughly mix until correct protien extraction achieved, about 5 minutes.
Step 4 – ECA Mix
  1. Add the ECA and mix 45-60 seconds, not longer, unless by hand and you think it needs a little more. This is the final mix.
Step 5 – Stuff
  1. Soak fibrous casings in warm water at least half an hour before stuffing
  2. Stuff casings
  3. Hang sausages at room temp an hour or two but not longer if you used ECA. This is a good time for the dog to be outside.
Step 6 – Smoke
  1. Preheat smoker to 120°F then dry the casings by hanging sausages as high in the chamber as possible with full open damper for 2 hours with no water.
  2. Add a water pan with a chamois or large sponge (helps increase humidity). Keep an eye on the water for the rest of the cook and top off with boiling water if it gets low.
  3. Apply smoke, close damper to about 1/3rd open, and follow this schedule for the smoker temp: — 125°F for 4 hours — 145°F for 2 hours — 165°F for 2 hours
  4. Stop smoke. Raise smoker to 170°F and hold there until internal sausage temp hits 152°F. BE PATIENT – it can take a while
  5. Remove from smoker and immediately shower or ice bath until internal sausage temp < 120°F
  6. Hang to “bloom” at room temp 2 to 4 hours, then refrigerate a couple of days if you can stand to wait. Keeps a long while in the fridge, but best to freeze for long-term storage. Slice some and email a photo to Steve@KillerNoms.com.
Recipe Notes

Two things can be done the day before to make things less hectic: make the slurry the day before, and store covered in the refrigerator overnight. You can also grind and stage the meat/fat block in the refrigerator overnight.

Purchase enough casings to comfortably hold the batch. Somewhere around 2.5″ diameter is traditional for summer sausage. If you plan to hang them to smoke, buy a length that will hang without leaving the bottom of the sausage too near the heat source – which might cause the bottom to overcook. Of course, you could cut them to fit before stuffing. Or you can lay them on grates rather than hanging.

Casings are widely available but my favorites are the beautiful casings from a Ukraine company called Seym. They sell through Ebay and Amazon here:
Ebay: ebay.com/sch/fashionseim/m.html
Amazon: amazon.com/s?k=SEYM&i=kitchen
(2022 update – Though SEYM is in Ukraine, their ebay and amazon presense appears to still be current and active)

They liked the picture I took of my sausages so much they made it their profile pic on their Facebook page! Shipping takes a few weeks so plan ahead.

View online at KillerNoms.com/summersausage