• Team Orange

    Hey guys! I believe this is the first time I have posted. I made 27 pounds of venison hot dogs this past weekend and am not pleased with the result. I’m sure you guys will be able to tell me what went wrong, so here is what I did.

    I followed the Bearded Butchers recipe from YouTube. I used 22 (due to the amount in the bags selected) pounds of clean venison and 5 pounds of pork fat. I mixed in 12 ounces of Bearded Butchers Original Seasoning, 4 ounces of Hickory Smoke powder, 4 ounces of minced garlic directly to the meat prior to the first grind. Ground it a total of 5 times through my Waltons #32: first time through 3/8" plate, 2nd - 5th through 1/8" plate. I added 2.5 pounds of ice in the mix for grind #5. Grinder handled it awesome. Moved it to the 50# mixer attached to the #32 grinder. Added 1 ounce of sure cure (Waltons) and 16 ounces of water. Mixed it for 4 minutes, added another 16 ounces of water, mixed for additional 4 minutes (total 8 minutes of mixing). Loaded up the Waltons 11 pound stuffer and stuffed Waltons cellose 26mm hot dog casings. European -style linked. Refrigerated for about 20 hours. Cooking was done with the Traeger Ironwood 885. First 2 hours at 165 degrees. Then, 1 hour at 185, then turned it up to 205 and cooked to internal temperature of 165. Pull them out at 165, placed them immediately into an ice bath for 1 hour. Pulled them out and dried them off.

    The issue is… it looks like most of the fat came to the outside of the meat and the dogs seem kind of dry (even though you can see the meat is moist) and the texture is grainy.

    Where did I go wrong and what is the solution?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Team Blue

    Have no clue but sounds like the meat to fat ratio is off? 22 to 5 sounds like it would make a dry product in the sausage world

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    Ozgrams actually thats about right. They would want 25% which would be 5.5lbs pork fat for 22lbs.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    ToddDSheppard my guess would be your smoke/cook schedule is the reason for your fat out. You want to be low and slow. Starting at 165° is way too high. As far as texture although you ground it a bunch i dont think you can get an emulsification with a grinder in which you are looking for.

  • Regular Contributors Team Grey Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Power User Meat Hack Winner

    Did you use a binder?
    To me 2 quarts plus 8 oz. total of water sounds like a lot

  • Team Orange

    I did not. I was following their recipe. I have Sure gel, but didn’t add any. Should I have used it?

  • Regular Contributors Team Grey Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Power User Meat Hack Winner

    Found their recipe and was surprised no binder was called for
    2.5 lbs. of ice for the total water content may have worked for them without a binder
    I would have used it especially when adding more water
    I have found out the hard way too much water is a major cause of “fat out” and holes in sausage

  • Regular Contributors

    Ozgrams said in Venison Hot Dog Issue:

    Have no clue but sounds like the meat to fat ratio is off? 22 to 5 sounds like it would make a dry product in the sausage world

    That puts you right at 80/20 lean to fat, which might be ok for a snack stick but a hot dog could probably use a bit more fat.

    The combined ice and water content sounds excessive to me as well and agree a binder of some sort would help.

    The fat rendering out you are seeing is due to too high a temperature. For wieners and sausages, you may have trouble regulating temperatures low enough on a Traeger style pellet grill.

  • Team Orange

    Thanks Guys!! This was the first attempt with the new equipment. I will have to try another round.

  • Team Orange Power User Masterbuilt

    ToddDSheppard
    If at first…


  • Smoked sausage should never exceed 165* internal temp.

    You cooked/smoked to fast and to hot. You leached out all the fat, water and goodness.


  • ToddDSheppard I think that your temp schedule is too high and rendered out all of you fat. Also, how was your emulsion? How high of a temp did it get while mixing? If it gets too high then your fat will start smearing and could not bind very well. Did you grind it all 5 times one after another? If you did then you most likely overheated your meat and the fat smeared. I would recommend putting it back in the freezer between each grind. This will keep it nice and cool. 5 grinds seem a little obsessive? I’ve done some with 2 grinds and without using a food processor and they came out great, but with more texture. Also, using some kind of binder should help. I would recommend never going above 45F during mixing. My cooking schedule these days is to use the smoker to set the wieners and for adding the smoke and then I finish them off with a sous-vide @ 160F for 45-60min. This prevents overcooking and speeds up the process. I would recommend doing small batches until you get the hang of it. I hope my ramblings help!

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors

    low and slow is always the best way for good results


  • Definitely too hot and a lack of binder.

    Fat will start to flow around 162’ish. We start at 135 and step up 10 degrees every hour with 165 being the final smokehouse temp.

    The Department of Agriculture requires 155 degrees for a final internal temp which was actually lowered from 156 awhile back.

    Binder is a must in wieners. Mustard flour is what we use although carrot fiber or Non Fat Dry Milk (sausage NFD milk NOT Carnation) will work. The binder helps hold in the moisture.

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Green Mountain Grill Masterbuilt

    I think you have a couple issues at hand here, first you should’ve used a binder, second too much total water and if you didn’t chill the meat in between grinds then like someone else said you probably got the meat to warm during your process. But a #29 grinder plate (https://www.waltonsinc.com/300-x-29-triumph-plate) would be a good investment. I’d only grind 3 times, using the plates you currently have for your first 2 and the #29 plate for your 3rd and final grind. The last issue I believe you had was your cook schedule, it was too hot to soon, you really want to start low and step it up until you reach an internal temp of 160.

  • Team Grey Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt PK100

    The Brat Barn …very interesting, using mustard flour as a binder…how much would one use per lb/kg and does it impart an overwhelming mustard flavor or just hang out in the back of the flavor profile.

  • Sous Vide Canning American BBQ System Team Blue

    ToddDSheppard agreed with everyone, that smoke schedule can kill you. I did a batch using 12 lbs 80/20 ground beef, 6 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, and 7 lbs pork back fat and used sure gel as my binder along with about 48 oz water and they turned out awesome! Especially when my smoker only goes down to 150, started it there with the meat already loaded so it helped the slower process…

  • Sous Vide Canning PK100 Team Blue Power User

    I have not made hot dogs as of yet, but I sure want to. I will have some venison this fall, so this has been a very informative thread - Thank You!


  • Thanks for sharing your experience. I had an almost identical experience a month ago. I also used the Bearded Butcher recipe except I used 10 lbs venison, 2.5 lbs fat. The other ingredients were proportionally identical. I had left a package of pork fat in the fridge for several days since I knew I was going to be using it and it was spoiled when I got it out so i ended up using 1lb pork fat and 1.5lb beef fat. I initially blamed some of it on the beef fat but from what you are describing it sounds about identical to my results. Also done on traeger with similar smoke schedule.
    Mine also had an extremely strong (untasteful) smoke flavor. I would have used 2 oz of the Walton’s Hickory smoke powder in my 12.5 lbs of meat per the Bearded Butcher recipe which I later discovered is about 4 times the amount recommended on the package. I’m assuming they must have used something less potent.
    This was my first attempt at hot dogs, lots of very useful info in this thread. I’m thinking of trying again, using a binder and trying to Sous Vide them since I’m using a cellulose casing and they are not benefiting from the smoke anyway.

  • Team Orange

    Pivodog Do you put the hot dogs in bags prior to the sous vide process? Then, ice bath, remove from bags, and re-bag?

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