I had 60lbs of venison to grind so I gathered up what I needed. I was out of the spice packs I normally used so I went to Cabela's and bought boxed kits.
I have a friend that has been wanting some ring bologna and I saw a kit that said "Old Fashioned Bologna" so I picked it up thinking it would be what he was wanting. The kit included everything but the meat. When I got it home I discovered it didn't have the "ring casings".
I had a bag of snack stick seasoning so I decided to make 15lbs of that and 15lbs of the bolo, instead of putting 30lbs of good venison into bolo that I wasn't sure if we'd like or not.
The meat didn't thaw like I thought it would so when we got ready to start grinding, we fought with a lot of meat that was mostly frozen. This caused a major delay in my plan. I did the snack sticks first and they came out great, but by the time I got them done, I had run out of time to get the bolo mixed and stuffed, much less start on the 30lbs of German.
I ended up taking a day off from work on Monday to finish everything up. I took my time getting started on Monday, all the meat was ground, all I had to do was mix and stuff then get it in the smoker, right?
Once I finally got started, probably about 8:00, I knocked out the bolo and put it in the fridge. I got everything cleaned up and got ready to start on the German. Organization is definitely not one of my stronger suits! I remembered I hadn't rinsed my casings yet!
By the time I got the casings rinsed, ate a bite for lunch, it was almost 2:00 and I was ready to go. I opened the box to remove the seasoning and cure from the kit and there were two packs of cure and one of seasoning!! Should've been just the opposite! I had to shut my process down, and make a run to my normal supplier. I spent a third of what the kit cost at Cabela's to buy what I needed and got back to the house to resume what at this point had turned into a major pain in the back side instead of a leisurely day of something I enjoy!
Since I'd already rinsed and soaked the natural casings from the kit, I went ahead and used them. I had one blowout after another and this project was about to get the best of me!
I finally got it all stuffed and hung in the smoker. The boxed instructions said to let it dry for an hour before applying smoke so I did that, although I'd never heard it before.
By the time I got around to lighting the AMNPS, the torch wouldn't work!! It went out and I couldn't light it again. It acted like it was clogged! Luckily, it was a cold day in Texas and I'd had the fireplace burning all day. I got a coal from there and set it in the AMNPS to light the pellets.
After all the fun I had trying to get this batch made, it actually turned out pretty good, except for the shrinkage. I'm guessing it was fat out, I was also having issues with the thermo on the smoker. I guess my next purchase will need to be a dual probe thermometer.
Here are a couple of picks, minus the snack sticks.