Rochester NY transplant from PA farm country. Been butchering and processing animals for years. I don’t like hunting, too cold… but I like the processing part so I found some friends that bring the venison, I bring the knowledge and tools: 3/4 hp grinder, 15# vertical stuffer, small vertical smoker, and a custom built 4x4x2 propane assisted smoker to process massive amounts of snack sticks-old PA dutch family recipe, Italian sausage, hot dogs.
I use lots of natural and collagen casings, like the bulk pack of small slim jim collagens are perfect. Typically run 100# batches of slim jims- cheese, no cheese, mild, hot… you name it we make it but always used base family recipe, worked for the first 100 years, good enough for me…
Do some BBQ, ribs and butts mostly. Getting into sous vide now to add a new angle.
@Parksider The processing part is definitely just as fun as the hunting is!
Welcome to the community!
@KSHusker First, yes they should be safe to eat. You cooked them to 160° which will kill anything harmful. Now, obviously use common sense and your senses, if it smells bad don’t eat it!
The first thing to know is if you used sure cure (or another version) or not? From the sounds of it, you did but I just want to make sure we are looking at all possibilities. Were the butts untrimmed? If they had a nice fat cap on them then you should have been okay, I still like to use a little more fat than that but you should have been in the realm. How did you mix it, was it by hand? If you mixed for 30 minutes in a meat mixer that is a long time to be mixing it (I don’t think this was your issue, just pointing it out). Starting at 200 is a little high but it also sounds like it came down to 180° pretty quickly but this would be my thought on why the casing stuck, cooking too high can cause this.
For the color, the only thing I can think of (if you used a cure) is that it looks pinker around the edges because you got a nice smoke ring around it? How deep does the nice pink color go and what type of casing did you use? With wild game, I always use some sort of cure accelerator, either Encapsulated Citric Acid, Smoked Meat Stabilizer or something, it helps burn the color more and then you can skip holding it overnight and go right from stuffing to the smokehouse.
Anyone else have thoughts?