gChart checking in… I’ve been shopping at Walton’s for several years now, but finally decided to stop by and say Hi.
I’m from central Illinois (a small farming town not too far from Peoria, IL). Life long hunter, mostly deer; so that’s where most of my meat comes from for processing. We usually make 50-100 lbs of sausage each year, but that’s been increasing as my family grows. The plan for this season is 25 lbs summer sausage, 25 lbs kielbasa, 25 lbs brats, 12 lbs linked breakfast sausage, and perhaps some snack sticks.
As far as equipment goes… fairly simplistic. I process my own deer. Ground goes through our Weston #8 grinder. Mixing by hand or KitchenAid (hoping for a proper mixer in the next couple of years). I’ve been using our old Enterprise #35 stuffer. It’s neat to use something that old, but it’s frustrating too - I swear half the meat escapes from blowback. So I just purchased a small, modern stainless stuffer and the Enterprise will get relegated to ornamental duties. For the past 10 years or so, smoking has been done in an el-cheapo electric cabinet-style smoker with a low-med-high dial. That finally kicked the bucket and I’m now using my Pit Boss 820 for smoking (still not perfect, but much better than my old one).
In preparation for the upcoming season (still working on my skills, even after these years), I made a test batch of kielbasa over the weekend: 50% venison, 50% fatty pork shoulder, stuffed into 30mm fresh casings, cured, and smoked!. It came out better than ever before, thanks to the many great how-to articles and videos here on Meatgistics!