How to make venison hot dogs!

  • I’m looking for a proven process for making venison hot dogs at home. Many processors in my area make venison hot dogs which , I have tried to duplicate but always seem to fall a little short. Maybe I’m just lacking the commercial processing equipment or maybe my process to be changed. Any information or help with this would be greatly appreciated thank you.

  • Walton's Employee

    @tom Can you give us what your process was and where you think they are falling short? Is it the taste, texture, moisture or appearance? Austin did a good video on this a long time ago and you can see it here but he probably used some equipment in that video that you wont have access too. Everything should be doable at home though.

    You’ll either want to get your hands on an emulsifying plate or grind it twice through a 1/8 plate to get the consistency right. I would also recommend using Excalibur Sure Gel to help with the consistency.

    @Parksider Makes a ridiculous amount of Hot Dogs, or maybe they are chili dogs? Either way, I know he makes them out of venison so his input should be helpful here!

  • Power User

    @Tom I was in the same boat as you, tried a bunch of different stuff and never seemed to get it just right but now we’ve had some success. First was using Excaliber spice packs, hot dog or chili dog, if you haven’t tried chili dogs DO IT and throw in some high temp cheddar and some ground habanero if you like some spice!!
    Next is the meat, we use 50/50 venison and pork, that we triple grind on a 3/8" plate. Rumors flying around you can use a juicer to emulsify but haven’t tried that yet…Key here is to grind, put the meat in the freezer until it’s stiff, between each grind, yes this takes time but without the commercial equipment this is as good as it gets. I just got a stack of used restaurant sheet trays that we are planning on using this year with parchment paper. I like to mix the seasoning in between grind 2 and 3 by hand. From there into 26mm cellulose casings. I hand link then we smoke for 2 hours then into a 170F turkey fryer water bath until they reach 160F. Then ice water bath to cool. We use scissors and remove the casings, let them dry and vacuum seal. You can check out my instagram @ black_run_bbq to see hand linking video. I learned from youtube before Jon did one on meatgistics. We did a 200# run took 8 hours…If you find any way to speed up the process PLEASE let me know. I’ve thought about buying a buffalo chopper(commercial equipment) by they don’t come cheap. Good luck and let us know how they turn out!!!

  • @jonathon thanks for your help… my process is 50/50 ground venison / ground pork shoulder. Then three trips through my number 12 grinder , and we all know what can be like. Then hand mixing in my seasonings , cure, and binder. I think last time I use phosphates for my binder. I’m not sure if that was a good choice. I prefer my hot dogs in casings so I stuff them in natural casings as well as collagen casings. The natural casings went into a smoker at a low temp just enough to get smoke for an hour. Then they were finished cooked in a hot water bath approximately 180 degrees till they reach the i t of 160. Followed by a cold water bath to stop the cooking process . When complete they taste like hot dogs but the texture was a little rubbery and the moisture content is lacking. Maybe I’m just asking too much. FYI I normally work in 5 lb batches it’s just easier for me to manage. Any info you can give me on the best binders to use and how much additional water to add when using these binders. Also maybe a better hot water cooking method might help? Parkside thank you for your help also I’m reading everything your posting and absorbing as much of it as I can. PS I’m a PA boy also.

  • @parksider thank you for taking the time to share your information with me. I’ve only been at this for a couple years now so I still have a lot to learn. Although my peers tell me my snack sticks bologna jerky and kielbasa is some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Not trying to be braggadocious here. I just enjoy cooking. There’s a processor in my area that averages over 30,000 pounds of venison hot dogs each season. reason why he does that many because they’re that good! Everybody wants them. I just read your online profile you guys sound like you have a lot of fun. I’m sure there’s a lot I could learn from you. So I will try to follow your online posts. Thanks again for taking the time to reply back. Tom King

  • Power User

    Sounds great! I just use the Walton’s mix, nothing more, very good and easy to use. Over my course of experimentation i found that the finer you grind the smaller particles and it’s easier to overcook and fat them out. Dry product was always an issue until I used a premix spice pack.

  • Used a champion juicer for the first time tonight. Emulsified amazingly well. Will go in the smoker tomorrow since i dont have cure accelerator. Had trouble with the Cabelas 2spd vert stuffer. It didnt like to eat the fine emulsified venison 80/20fat mix. Wouldnt push it thru the 1/4" snack stick tube and the next size up is a 3/4 so the cellulose casing wont fit. Ended up using the jerkey cannon. At least this was only a 2.5lb test batch. Time to buy a new 5/8" tube!

  • Power User

    @smokinbubba Now you’ve peaked my interest…I’m stopping at the Salvation Army store on my way home tomorrow in search on one to test!
    Thanks for the update!!

  • Walton's Employee

    @smokinbubba One thing you could try is putting your meat in the freezer before stuffing it. Super cold meat will stuff easier than warm meat as the fat will be less sticky. I tried using a blender once and it just didn’t work as well as I hoped, but a Juicer is an interesting idea! @Parksider let us know what you find out!

  • Has to b a macerating type juicer. The centrifugal type like a Jack LeLane or whatever his name is, wont work. My biggest problem was the tiny stuffing tube not letting the stuffer do its job. My new tube will b here thurs from Waltons.

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  • @smokinbubba How well did the champion Juicer work, I am considering buying one. How long would it take to run a 20 lb batch of trail bologna mix thru it. I just finished making 20 lbs that I ran thru my grinder 3 times, 1time 3/8 and twice 1/8 and I still did not quite get the bologna consistency I wanted. Every body loved it but I would like to get it better.

  • @akdave the champion juicer does an amazing job at a fraction of the cost of a buffalo chopper. As for speed, it works about as fast as a #12 grinder. So not that fast. But, i didnt grind my venison at all, just the one time my deer butcher did. So u are saving 2 additional grinds per the 3 grind method. If i remember, i took ground meat out of package, added 20% ground back fat, mixed it all with seasonings and binder. Then ran it thru the juicer and immediatly stuffed. Texture is perfectly smooth. Chomping at the bit to run another batch! Need to perfect my cooking process though since i had a major fat out last time.

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