Gator sausage

  • Boys and I filled our gator tags this year. We make venison smoked sausage every winter after deer season, would like to use some gator for sausage. Any ideas or tips?

  • Walton's Employee

    @randynight Awesome job on filling your tags, post pictures here if you have any!

    Okay, few thoughts on making Sausage out of your Alligators. First, Alligator is almost as lean as Chicken Breast, somewhere around 3% fat so you are going to need to add some pork fat (you can use other fat as well, pork is just my favorite because of its creaminess) or you are going to end up with a dry crumbly product. If you do add pork fat I would do something around the range of 17 lb of Gator meat to 8 lb of pork fat or untrimmed pork butts.

    If you really don’t want to add any pork fat you can try what I did with chicken and add Cold Phosphate and Carrot Fiber or even better Cold Phosphate and Super Bind. Generally, I think Super Bind is a little expensive for the home processor but in the case where you have a really special product, it might be worth it for you? Super Bind is a blend of carrot fiber and potato starch so you get the additional water holding capacity of the carrot fiber plus the Potato Starch will begin to gel at the same temperature where your meat will start expelling most of its water so it is able to hold onto that water.

    Second, I’d get a really good frost on the meat before grinding it, so cut it into cubes and throw in the freezer until they start to get pretty hard and then I would grind twice through a 3/16" plate like normal brats if you are making a fresh product. If you are making a cured product then grind twice, 1st through a 3/8" and then through a 1/8".

    Third, if you are going to make a cured product I wouldn’t add Encapsulated Citric Acid if you are going to add cold phosphate as the two shouldn’t be used together. This is because the Citric Acid will lower the pH and the Cold Phosphate will raise it, so they will cancel each other out.

    Last some thoughts on seasonings

    If you think of using cured - The Cajun Sausage, or Andouille Sausage (Cajun) or for something a little different Cheeseburger Cheddarwurst Seasoning

    If you are staying Fresh Inferno Hot Bratwurst Seasoning or Jerry’s Bratwurst Seaoning(this is a really basic but good bratwurst that will let the Gator taste shine) South of the Border Cheddarwurst Seasoning (this is one of the best chicken brats and gator has some similarities) Habanero Mango Brat.

    Make sure you keep us up to date on how it all comes out!

  • @jonathon
    Thanks for the ideas. Yes, it is lean and any fat that is in it needs to be trimmed as it does not taste good, I have been told. We have been adding 20% pork trimmings to the venison, looks like you recommend about 50%. The binders you mention are interesting, I have only been into making sausage the last 3 seasons.
    My grandfather was big into butchering, he butchered 80 hogs the year he was 80. My mother and his family have an annual butchering day each February where 6-7 hogs are killed and cut up. I’m getting into it late, but enjoy it.
    0_1541520752482_Photo Sep 00_1541520768072_Photo Sep 04, 10 38 48 PM.jpg 4, 10 58 42 PM.jpg

  • Walton's Employee

    @randynight Nice pic and good luck! It sounds like you’ve got it handled. As far as fat content just try to get it somewhere in the 70/30 lean to fat ratio for the texture and taste.

  • @jonathon 0_1541520987496_Photo Sep 04, 10 38 48 PM.jpg Female we think. Hard to tell on a reptile, since it was 9’5" and only weighed 200 lbs we assumed female as males can be much heavier

  • I added a pinch of nutmeg and some high temp cheddar cheese and it was absolutely fantastic. I also mixed in 20% chicken thighs along with the pork fat. The Gator I got was very large over 500lbs. So was a little tough.

  • Walton's Employee

    @randynight I grew up in New York State so we didn’t run into Gator meat a lot, so excuse my ignorance on this topic but other than the tail what is commonly eaten from a gator? Is it pretty much all the meat? I’d imagine that the thighs have some good meat on them, no?

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    Any idea of brand on the “brown” ones? I used to be able to buy them from my local butcher but he has since stopped selling them. Or where to purchase?

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  • E

    @ramt600 I had the same thing happen with the reddish ones also and the brown ones worked the best so, I just stopped using the red casings.

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  • Another way is with a digital gram scale. 1 ounce = 28 grams. 6 oz = 168 grams. 168 ÷ 100 = 1.68 grams per pound.

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  • @meatmadam
    You will need to inject the hams first. After injecting, then take any leftover brine, and put that with the hams into a tumbler. Then, tumble for 2-3 hours. Hold it overnight in a cooler, and then smoke it the next day!

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  • M

    Thank you Austin, looking forward to try it with my new vacuum tumbler! As the tumbler does not allow for 24 hours of tumble ( dial cannot be set longer than one hour )what is recommended for doing a ham?

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  • @meatmadam
    If the usage is 6 oz per 100 lb of meat, to recalculate for another batch size, simply divide the additive weight by the meat block weight (6/100) and that equals how much to use per lb of meat (which is 0.06 oz per lb). You can then take the 0.06 oz and multiple that by however many pounds of meat you are making, so if that is 5 lb, then you end up needing 0.3 oz per 5 lb of meat.

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