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.
megajunk last edited by
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!
@newbe … Afternoon… Keep the meat BELOW 40 degrees F… Bacteria is growing while the meat is warming up… then again when cooling down… The LAST thing you want or need is a batch of meat that has been warm for an hour or longer… One good way to do that is double bowl the meat… Ice in the larger bowl and the smaller bowl, with the meat in it, on ice… You don’t want your family to get food poisoning… Dave
I do it all the time. Still remember my mom saying it’s not a good idea. I’m sure if you are buying a nice steak and intend it eat it as a grilled T-bone you might notice some flesh cell break down (texture change). If you are going to use it in sausage you will not notice any difference. Made brats last night. Once frozen pork and elk. Refroze the brats. I do it time and time again.
Here is a link to a website that has a handy Excel spreadsheet. It is, as it says a free non-commercial site.
As for Waltons dropping the ball, I vote they are doing a great job.
I think for all of us there are general guidelines, but unless you have a temperature and humidity controlled environment, both for the preparation, cooking (if you cook them) smoking, hanging etc, the results are bound to vary from batch to batch.
Personally, I am searching how to get my home made smoked and dry cured pepperoni to the exact texture and firmness of Margarita pepperoni from the store.
Through trial and error I have the flavor where I want it, but not the texture or firmness. I know time, temperature and humidity are all crucial, but the best I can do is in the basement and then subject to the environment that is there.
I figure as long as I am not killing anyone or making anyone sick I am making progress. Thanks Waltons for all of the great information so far.
Having said that, it would be nice to have your chart in an Excel spreadsheet.
Thanks Jonathon! One question tho! You eluded to 178 being high for a temp! Don’t you guys recommend setting the temp at 175 during the final stage to completion to internal temp? Three degrees shouldn’t make that much difference should it??
Sounds reasonable. Thanks for your input. Pulling the meat at 152 will make a big difference I bet! Thanks again.