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I need some help with Venison sausage

 
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:52 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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I need some help with Venison sausage

Hi all. I am very dissapointed and upset with myself right now. I harvested my first deer last week. I spent a lot of time cutting and preparing this thing and it all came to a halt today. I ground up 24 pounds of it. I bought a package recipe, high mountain, from Gander mountain. I followed the recipe to a T. I bought a real nice fatty pork roast and even threw in two extra pounds of ground fat back to mix in with the venison. So, I had a total of 19 pounds of pork and 5 pounds of venison. Mixed everything just as the instructions said. Stuffed my casings and they looked really nice. Started twisting them and quickly dicovered that I had stuffed them too tight. Once I got passed that, I was ready to smoke them. I have a brinkman upright charcoal smoker. I got my temp to as close to a steady 150 as I could. I put them in and checked on them 30 minutes later. First batch had all split open and were partially burned. Got my temperature down to 120. Put the second batch in. These turned out nice and brown. Let them cool off and packaged them. Well I wanted to taste one so I soaked one in beer for a few hours. Lit up the grill and cooked it for about 15 minutes. It was absolutely dry as all get out. Why are they so dry? I used a very good amount of fatty pork. I am sick that I just wasted so much deer and a lot of money on pork. What am I doing wrong?
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:12 PM
KRP KRP is offline
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Re: I need some help with Venison sausage

With that much pork they shouldn't have been at all dry. I use 25-30% pork in the mix with elk/deer and it works well. Check your thermometer, at 150 you should have been hard pressed to burn them but you could have just dried them out. How long did they smoke for?
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:23 PM
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Re: I need some help with Venison sausage

I do 6 lbs pork trim which is 50/50 fat and meat, then add that to 19lbs deer meat. Double grind then mix seasonings with 8 cups water mix and add a little water to get it though stuffer. Use quality casings, soak for 1/2 hr and flush and stuff and link. Smoke for 1/2 hr at 120 then ramp up to 180-220 until they are 160 ish and pull.

Split cases happen for a couple reasons, to much heat but there should be some scorching of the dog, the most common is over stuffing and about an hour after you've stuffed they will split, or you could have had weak casings or as you stuffed them they came of the horn and were stressed. If your cases were tight, tight I bet they were over stuffed, it takes some time to hit it just right.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:27 PM
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Re: I need some help with Venison sausage

If the theromemter was off and you got over 170* the fat will liquify and drop out of the caseings leaving you with sawdust dry meat. Sounds like you got way too hot. Split caseings and burned exterior. Get a new digitail thermometer. see what it says.
I too shoot for 80/20 meat to fat. Ie 8lb deer mixed with 2lb pork back fat.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:29 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Re: I need some help with Venison sausage

Thanks for the reply. I think you are both right. I think I stuffed them too tight and i also think that my fire was too hot and I melted all my fat out. I am so new to all this so I appreciate all the help. I was wondering though, what is the purpose of smoking other than the flavor? I really like brats and I really enjoy soaking them in beer for about 12 hours and then BBQ them on the grill. Is smoking really neccessary? If I were to not smoke them, would I still need to put cure in them? Would they even tast good to do this? Also want to do some breakfast suasage as well. Do these need to be smoked if my intent is to freeze and cook a little at a time from time to time?
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:02 PM
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Re: I need some help with Venison sausage

Smoke is for two things typically, one a little flavor which you can just use a small amount of liquid smoke and get the same thing and the second thing is color, it give you that nice color that your looking for and doesn't look like meat in a pigs gut
I don't put cure in breakfast sausage or any fresh bulk or link but in any pre cooked or partial cook link you want to.

You can tell if you melted all the fat out because there will be pockets of it at the surface of the casing, OR if you had air in the sausage it will build in a pocket and could blow out I guess, you can solve that by pricking any air pockets. If your sausage is super dry you need to raise your humidity in your smoker, put a pan of water in there or something to bring the humidity up.

Check out Butcher Packer supply, much higher quality product and seasonings!!!!!
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High Fence, Low Fence, Stuck in the Fence, if I can Tag it and Eat it, it's Hunting!

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Old 11-14-2012, 07:14 PM
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Re: I need some help with Venison sausage

bigngreen is spot on here. Buthcer Packer has better pricing and quailty and great customer service for all meat questions. I don't smoke my brats just freeze em or cook them like you... first warm beer n oinions just below simmer, then on the grill for color. No cure needed. Cure is used for preventing undesirable bacteria growth during the smoking or dying periods (temps between 40 and 140*F)
ps I am making some duck snack sticks tomorrow
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