Pretty much everything we make is 50/50 venison and pork. We did butcher a cow, but that’s another story…We do plan on venturing into the beef world but we have so much venison in the freezer that we are just trying to find new ways to use it up!!! I’m really impressed with the casings, the cellulose really allow the smoke in and they have great color. I had plenty of practice linking them this time so i’m getting faster but not overly consistent so we had to cut them down to fit in the bags. I’m surprised how well they stand up to the linking and twisting and so on. Ordering more supplies while there is free shipping!!!
Came from backwoods of PA raising and processing hogs
Currently we process about 25 deer a year
Slim jims 17/19mm collagen, ring bologna 32mm collagen, Italian sausage-some with herbs, some with wine 32mm fresh casing, breakfast sausage 21mm fresh casing-all the above done hot/mild & cheese/no cheese just about everything goes in the smoker except Italian sausage.
Dried Venison-it's cured and cold smoked
The Crew: Jason, Tommy, Billy, RJ, Dave and myself and whoever else stops by because the door is open and the beer is cold…
Equipment: Six gambrel hoist setup at the barn we refer to as the morgue, 30# hydraulic stuffer, Minipak 31 vacuum sealer, 44# Weston mixer, 3/4hp Gander Mtn grinder, stainless steel tables-one has poly butcher block top
Smokers: small vertical gas, Weber Smokey Mtn 22.5", custom built 4'x4'x2' propane assist smoker set up to hang 24" slim jims-holds about 60# per run and it has 4-2'x2' removable shelves-capable of 16 pork butts or 100ish halves of chicken
Posts made by Parksider
RE: More chili dogs please!!
RE: New to Collagen
If you really want to keep the twists we use small zip ties. Don’t seem to be an issue in the smoker we’ve used them for years and we like the linked look so that’s the simplest way to keep them. We used to tie with butcher string but that seemed to take forever. I know we’ll get some comments about the plastic but it works and I haven’t started sprouting an extra arm or anything so we go with it…And its a good way to color code hot=red, mild=green, cheese=yellow.
More chili dogs please!!
So we started handing out some of the chili dogs and sure enough we got the “can you make some of those for me, they’re awesome!” Friday night we triple ground, stuffed, smoked, simmered, and packaged 80# of various chili dogs for some friends. We used high temp pepperjack, cheddar, we put some extra habanero pepper in some, and just plain. Got great reviews! I’ve never been a proponent of using pre-mixed spice but after struggling with hot dogs, I’ll never go back so keep the Excalibur chili dog mix in stock!!
RE: Advice on building a smokehouse.
So I spent many years watching my great Uncle Cecil run the smokehouse after butchering pigs. Looked like #2. It had a small pot belly stove in the middle and “vented” out the sides around the rafters. FYI never saw a thermometer in his hand ever…he’d run the smoker during the day let the meat rest overnight and start it up again the next day. So to get a hard smoke he’d repeat that process over several days until the color was right- deep cherry color.
Now I don’t have the time or maybe it’s patience… but I built a metal smoker box 4’x4’x2’ with a propane burner. You’ll see it in some earlier posts. I think it works great, consistent temp within a small range I can add small chunks of wood as needed.
My brother made a wood box that is is elevated on legs and is fired by a small wood burning stove and uses the vents to control the temp. The smoke comes in through the bottom.
So I think it will come down to are you going to be a purists and go wood only or can you sleep with yourself using propane. I sourced my burner from Amazon. Got any questions let me know.
Meatgistics Match Maker
This is a little hard to explain, I met a guy on a web chat forum called Meatgistics…careful don’t judge until you read the rest of the story…
So a few months back I get a PM from another Meatgistics user who lives in Rochester, NY and has connections back to where I grew up in PA. Long story short, we went back and forth a bit about our backgrounds and desire to make awesome sausage and so on.
Well last night we had to opportunity to have Allen down to our clubhouse to meet the fellas and give him a taste of what we make and how we process. I knew it was going to be a good night when he showed up with a bag of sausage seasoning mix from a small butcher shop in PA as a gift!
We ran 25# of Excalibur chili dog mix with pepperjack high temp cheese then smoked them and 80# of my bologna mix in Walton’s supplied 19mm smoked collagen casings. Everyone had a great time and we were happy to welcome a new face to clubhouse. Allen on left, and I’m on the right in the picture.
There is only one bad thing to the story, sorry Austin and Jon but I’m not ordering anymore regular hot dog mix EVER…we are HOOKED on the chili dog mix now!!! It was about 11:30 last night and we finished up simmering the dog to get them up to temp, ice bath and peel the casings and the fellas asked if we could order a 100# spice mix pack of chili dog mix for next time…thanks, I think!!
got a few pics from sausage making this weekend we did some volume…
40# bologna (50% venison/50% pork) using Walton’s 32mm smoked casing my own spice mix, half regular and half hot with habanero powder and Walton’s pepperjack cheese.
20# fresh sausage (50% venison/50% pork) using walton’s fresh 32mm casing and basil, feta cheese, and basil + some randon spices
20# maple breakfast sausage using Walton’s 26mm fresh sheep casings and Sausagemaker spice
30# regular breakfast sausage Walton’s 26mm casing and Sausagemaker spice mix, in coils in the smoker
I use the Weston #22 grinder, fine plate, and the Weston 44# mixer that attaches to the grinder.
I use Walton’s 8x12" chamber vac bags
![alt text](![6_1516639505163_vac pack.jpg](Uploading 100%) ![5_1516639505163_smoker.jpg](Uploading 100%) ![4_1516639505163_sausage coils.jpg](Uploading 100%) ![3_1516639505162_grinder.jpg](Uploading 100%) ![2_1516639505162_fresh sausage.jpg](Uploading 100%) ![1_1516639505162_casings.jpg](Uploading 100%) ![0_1516639505161_bologna.jpg](Uploading 100%) image url)
RE: Measurements for REALLY small batches
Doing test batches in 1# is very small, I’d do 5# test personally.
I’d also recommend a digital scale in .1 oz increments and converts to grams. If you want to do 1# tests, convert the recipe to grams and do the math from there it’s more accurate in smaller amounts. Convert the recipe in relationship to the meat not the other spice.
RE: breakfast sausage
You’ll never 100% replicate commercial processed meats sooooo… Start with Walton’s breakfast mix or another brand’s premix and go from there. The dominate flavor in breakfast sausage is sage. If it’s not “strong” enough, just add some additional sage to one of the premixes. Or get a maple flavored in you like the combo taste.