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Venison sausage rookie - please tear apart my process

post #1 of 7
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 7
I've smoked venison summer sausage two years now. 60/40, Lem cure, soy protein,full smoke, 180 deg, till meat is 160 deg. Then water bath,Ice, to stop Cooking. I would check your thermometer, if correct re smoke to higher meat temp.
post #3 of 7

Sometimes it takes a while to get to 152 IT. 6-10 hours is not unusual. Keeping your smoker temp below 175 helps prevent the fat from rendering but also slows the cooking process. Check your thermometer and then trust it when you are smoking.

 

With your sausage that got to 137 IT, I would poach it in hot water and get to 152 than ice bath again. Your sausage must have cure #1  so it should be OK.

post #4 of 7

Like woodcutter said........ need to check your therms..... 137 is not fully cooked..,..... did you add cure?

post #5 of 7

 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.

 

 

I would have concerns about the 6 hours on the counter.....   They probably should have been under refrigeration during that time......

 

Dave

post #6 of 7

You know.. if your unsure and we are also unsure..... were talking processed ground meat here.......Chuck it.... You dont want to take a chance of getting sick... I got sick from sausage once and never want to live through that again

post #7 of 7

you can not cook (smoke) sausages by time ....... you have to go by internal temp ........... it can take several hours to go from 140 to 152 ..............the closer you get to 152 the slower the gain....... raising your smoker temp is not the answer because you will melt all the fat out of your sausage.... I usually finish my salamis and sticks with steam cooking for the last 10 degrees ........ you can gain 10 degrees in 30 minutes with steam . .......... if you dont finish with steam your only option is patience

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