Venison Summer Sausage
Decided to try my first attempt at making some venison summer sausage after a relative gave me 18lbs of frozen venison (most of it had already been ground once). So I added 7lbs of pork butt with Walton’s Summer Sausage H seasoning. I used meat binder and sure gel, but not eca. My plan was to do about half the meat in 2.4" x 12" fib casings and the other half in 21mm snack stick. I also knew my hands could not mix the meat well enough, so I also ordered a 44# meat mixer (that is a life saver). So this past weekend, I used my #12 grinder and ground all the meat twice (different plates) and then used the meat mixer to combine the season, sure gel, meat binder and water. At the end, I added both high heat cheddar and hot pepper cheeses.
I only have a 5lb stuffer, so we had to reload it several times. The summer sausage casings were a piece of cake. But my smallest stuffing tube was still a bit too large for the 21mm casings – I could load the casings on, but I had to stretch it out and not leave it bunched up. This meant I could only put a couple of feet of casing on at a time – really time consuming. So we ended up stuffing 21 of the summer sausage casings and then about 16’ of meat stick.
The end result was awesome in my opinion – and for my first time, I was quite impressed. I will be making more of this in the future. Summer Sausage is a great snack we take with us when we got out on the boat in the summer and hang out at the sandbars with friends.
@sstory Those look great! I’m glad everything came out well and the H Summer is a very good classic Summer Sausage Seasoning. You mentioned that you used Sure Gel and the meat binder, but sure gel is a meat binder. I am wondering if you meant sure cure when you were saying sure gel? The Sure Cure comes with the seasoning in a small orangish package and sure gel comes in a larger white package similar to a seasoning.
Sorry, I thought I had responded to this yesterday!
@jonathon you are correct (as always), it was the sure cure that came with the seasoning. And also used the sure gel as the meat binder. The summer sausage was amazing. I’ll be trying some of the other summer sausage seasonings next time. I thought I’d go with something more classic for my first attempt. You guys supply great products that can help the most novice, produce a great tasting end result.
Great looking summer sausage! I hope my first attempt works out nearly as well.
@megajunk thank you. When will you be trying your first attempt? For me, I think part of the success (well, besides great supplies from Walton’s), was having the meat mixer to make sure to get good even distribution of the seasoning, cure and binder. After watching the videos from Walton’s, I could really see when I had good protein extraction and the mixture was getting really sticky. I don’t think I could ever have gotten that with just trying to mix all of that together by hand – possibly could have done it with a small 5lb batch, but never with the 25lb batch that I did.
@sstory If there is anything I want people to walk away from any Cured Sausage Video like Snack Sticks, Summer Sausage, Bologna etc, it is that protein extraction is incredibly important, so I am glad that is getting across!
Thanks for the reply, @sstory. Sorry it took me this long to see it.
I plan on doing my first Summer Sausage batch on the weekend of 1/26. The reason for not doing it THIS weekend is my mixer won’t arrive until 1/21. I just couldn’t imagine trying to mix 25# by hand enough to get the protein extraction necessary. I was originally planning on hi-jacking my wife’s Kitchen-aid mixer, but … nah. Too small.
My plan is Summer Sausage H.
18# Axis Venison, 7# pork butt. (through #12 grinder: 3/8, then 1/8 plate)
Sure cure that came with the SSH
4 oz. Carrot Fiber binder
4 oz. Encapsulated Citric Acid
2 qt cold water
Maybe a bit of extra course black pepper.
I’ll be stuffing into 2.4"x12" and 2.4"x20" fibrous casings.
Feel free to comment/critique the recipe. I’m especially unsure as to the water amount.
@megajunk That recipe looks similar to what I did. Except I used Sure Gel instead of Carrot Fiber and I did not use any ECA (I don’t care for the tangy flavor that adds). But you won’t have to hold overnight before starting your thermal process. I added that same amount of water – it may have made the mixture a bit too wet, which is what took longer to get them up to the target internal temp.
You will thank yourself for getting the meat mixer. I had the same thought about not getting good protein extraction with trying to mix by hand.
I don’t see any high-temp cheese in your list??? We really enjoyed the Hot Pepper Cheese and the Cheddar Cheese pieces in the summer sausage.
Hopefully you have larger than a 5lb stuffer. That’s all I have and it took several reloads to get through the 25lbs of meat.
I’m going back and forth on the ECA. I think I will try it, but @rodbiggs in this thread mentioned something about some lots of ECA being double strength, or something. I need to get some clarification on that. If he means some lots had double the amount in the package, that won’t be a problem, as I will weigh it. If it is double strength, I’ll need to find that out, and figure out what I’ve got.
I have an 11# stuffer.
I’ve also gone back and forth on the cheese, (I had it in my cart, but took it out) but I think for this batch I’m going to forgo the cheese in the sausage and just slice some good cheese to eat with it.
After hitting [Submit] last night, I also started second guessing using the Axis deer for this. If I have enough whitetail meat, I will probably use it instead of the axis.
@megajunk My advice is to experiment, experiment, experiment. Pull aside a small amount of the product and add measured amounts of ECA, seasonings, Axis or Whitetail, etc…
I only second guess my Walton’s orders a day or two later when I remember what it was I was actually going to order…I’m the same with grocery shopping.
We’ll that was the first thing that came to mind the first batch i ever made. had a cold beer in hand and was sampling one and closed my eyes to savor the moment and the smoke aroma smelled just like i had a lit cigar in my mouth thus the term [meat cigars]
@Jonathon Was there another thread or topic that addressed glycerine and using a vacuum tumbler?
@doug7777 142 degrees is a stalling point where the fat starts to render. I used to get very impatient and start cranking up the heat to get the INT to go up. That usually results in burning all the fat out of the snack sticks. Be patient. The temp will eventually start to rise again. Once it does, it will continue to do so at a steady pace. I have had snack sticks in the smoker for 24 hours or better due to having 25lbs hanging at one time. I have also had 4-5 lbs at a time in the smoker only take 4-5 hours total.