I need some help with Venison sausage


Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2012
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?
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?
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.
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.
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?
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:D
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!!!!!
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
This is really good to know. I think for my next batch, I am not going to smoke them. I may just try a tiny bit of the liquid smoke just for flavor. I cook store bought brats all the time. I normally poke holes in the casing and soak them in beer for about 6-12 hours. I usually biol them in the beer for a minute or two and finish them off on the grill. I am assuming that I can do the same thing with venison brats. For some reason I was under the impression that you had to smoke them for preservation purposes. Like I said, I am really new to all this so I apppreciate all the help. I will definately check out that butchers place you mentioned. I plan on hopefully getting 1 more deer this season if not 2. I want to do about 20-30 pounds of jerkey as well.
morning, here in TX we mix our sausage 50%deer,20%beef and 30%pork. we do all

our own grinding, mixing and seasoning. every body has there own seasoning mix.

we use garlic, kosher salt, hand ground pepper, red pepper to taste. mix a small batch

of sausage into patties. we fry patties in a iron skillet. taste and add more seasoning

if necessary. we buy and clean our sausage casings. we wash our casings in warm

water and turn them insideout. we keep the casing in a bowl of warm water while

stuffing the casing. if we can find pork casing we will use them if not we use beef

casing. u can take the sausage to a meat market to have the sausage smoked, not

more than 3 days. then a person can have the sausage wrapped at the meat market

r wrap urself. if a person wants to dry the sausage they put the links on poles

in there garage inbetween the rafters. space the sausage 8" apart. outside

temperature 45Deg. to 30deg. and dry to ur preferred hardness. use vacuum

machine and put the freezer. the seasoning in home made sausage

makes the difference. as the sausage ages the taste will increase.

Last time we made sausage the process took almost 3 days. 1 calf 450lbs, 2 hogs

roughly 225lbs piece, 5 deer. we skinned, cleaned, deboned in 1 night till midnight.

Next morning we cut up all the meat, we ground all the meat, weight 100lbs patches

seasoned patches to owners taste. stuffed 100 cases or more for that batch. we made

6 100lb patches. while we were making sausage. we took all of the bones of the

cleaned animals put them in 5 black kettles with fire and boiling water. put the bones

in the kettles. boiled the meat off of the bones. straining the bones from the meat

on the bones. put on a table. removed any excess pieces of bone from the meat

put meat back in 2 kettles added seasoning and corn meal. made our breakfast

ponous. filled meatloaf trays with ponous and let cool to a gel formed over the meat.

roughly 80lbs of breakfast ponous. we smoked the deer ribs on pit and ate with

hot sauce made breakfast tacos. lots of fun very tedious work.
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