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Venison sausage rookie - please tear apart my process

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I thought I'd try and make my own venison sausage, so I bought a smoker, read a ton of threads on this site, and gave it a try.  Here is what I did: - questions at end.

 

60% venison, 40% bacon ends and pieces.

Spices and casing from a kit purchased at Gander Mountain.

 

Mixed spices and meat by hand (forgot to add water, not sure if that matters).

Immediately stuffed casings and left them in the refrigerator for about 2 days.

 

120*, vent wide open, no water, no smoke for 1.5 hours.

150*, vent 1/4 open, water, smoke (4 times) for 5 hours.

165*, vent closed, water, emptied wood from smoke tray, 3.5 hours.

 

I have a Masterbuilt 30' electric smoker.  I opened the door 4 times during the process.  (added water, emptied wood, etc..)

 

I had an internal thermometer inside one of the sausages the entire time, and it never got over 137.5*.  I'm not sure why.  According to the posts on this site, after bumping the temp up to 165*, it should have only taken 2 hours.  After 3.5 hours, I was afraid I was overcooking it, (maybe the thermometer was wrong).  I took the sausages out, put them in an ice bath for about an hour, dried them, left them lay on the counter for about 6 hours, then into the refrigerator.

 

1.  Is this safe to eat?

2.  Any ideas why the temp didn't get to 152*?

3.  Do I need to take the wood out of the tray after every round of smoke? 

4.  How much water is supposed to go in the water pan?

 

Please shoot holes into my process, any help would be appreciated.  I'm not sure what I'm doing, but I'm already hooked on this smoking meat thing.   Thanks

post #2 of 5
welcome1.gif to SMF!!! We're happy you joined us! We have over 50,000 members now who just love to share what they know. You've come to the best place on the net to learn and share everything Q!!!
post #3 of 5

welcome1.gifto SMF!  We are so glad you joined us! Haven't done sausages yet....but I see you posted in that forum.  The folks there will help you out with that question!

 

We love to see pictures of what you are cooking (or what we call q-views here at SMF).  To "upload the q-views" just follow the directions here and it will be easier. If you are using a cell phone, an IPad or a kindle, go to the main SMF page and click the Mobile button. Will make the uploads a bit faster too.

 

If you didn't read the "Terms of Service" notes.....please do.  There are a few things that everyone should know about those pesky little rules before plunging into the forums and some guidelines of how to interact within the forums. Off site links are not allowed here at SMF per TulsaJeff. Not that you have done anything wrong....just a little bit of FYI for new members!

 

If you need any help roaming around the forums....just holler!  Happy to help out!

 

Kat

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerfan View Post
 

I thought I'd try and make my own venison sausage, so I bought a smoker, read a ton of threads on this site, and gave it a try.  Here is what I did: - questions at end.

 

60% venison, 40% bacon ends and pieces.

Spices and casing from a kit purchased at Gander Mountain.

 

Mixed spices and meat by hand (forgot to add water, not sure if that matters).

Immediately stuffed casings and left them in the refrigerator for about 2 days.

 

120*, vent wide open, no water, no smoke for 1.5 hours.

150*, vent 1/4 open, water, smoke (4 times) for 5 hours.

165*, vent closed, water, emptied wood from smoke tray, 3.5 hours.

 

I have a Masterbuilt 30' electric smoker.  I opened the door 4 times during the process.  (added water, emptied wood, etc..)

 

I had an internal thermometer inside one of the sausages the entire time, and it never got over 137.5*.  I'm not sure why.  According to the posts on this site, after bumping the temp up to 165*, it should have only taken 2 hours.  After 3.5 hours, I was afraid I was overcooking it, (maybe the thermometer was wrong).  I took the sausages out, put them in an ice bath for about an hour, dried them, left them lay on the counter for about 6 hours, then into the refrigerator.

 

1.  Is this safe to eat?

2.  Any ideas why the temp didn't get to 152*?

3.  Do I need to take the wood out of the tray after every round of smoke? 

4.  How much water is supposed to go in the water pan?

 

Please shoot holes into my process, any help would be appreciated.  I'm not sure what I'm doing, but I'm already hooked on this smoking meat thing.   Thanks

 

 

Morning Badger........

A couple of questions for you........why bacon if you are using a premix? Unless the mix calls for it. I use bacon in some recipes that calls for it but my thought is that it might get to salty.

Was there cure #1 in your mix? If so, I'm thinking that 137.5* for that long would be OK especially if you heat it up to eat it. (Hey guys and gals.......if I'm wrong here please let me know)

As for your IT, my final temp bump is usually about 180. I almost never go over that temp. Now, for another idea, I have never tried a hot water bath to finish but I know there a bunch of people that do. I'm going to keep that idea at the ready for this winter if the outside temps are really low and I need to finish some sausage.

I don't bother to empty the old wood unless I need more room for fresh wood.

And, I don't use a water pan so I will be no help for that answer.

 

Keep plugging away........it only gets better with practice........and deeper in your blood. I keep making smaller batches because I can't eat all I want to make. But, I do have some "new best friends" when I need more room in the freezer to make another batch......:sausage:

 

Brad

post #5 of 5

 Hello, and Welcome from Texas. This is a great site, lots of good information and great people.texas.gif

 

Gary

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