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Does this sound right? Dry Aged Deer Sausage/Venison Salami *Lots of Questions*


Joined Nov 26, 2013
So, deer season is here and historically I’ve been given deer sausage from dozens of different people. However, many of them use pretty much the same technique. Grind/Mix/Stuff into fibrous casings. Then they let air dry and hang them in a smokehouse and hit it with smoke for about 10 straight hours but NOT cooking them. Temperatures stay below 104* F (warm smoking) but more ideally 70-90* just for the smoke flavor. Here’s where it gets tricky. Some people I know have full walk ins where they’re able to hang with the correct humidity and temperature. However, some just leave it in the smokehouse for 6 weeks (plus/minus) regardless of the humidity, temperature (hot or cold)…Since it’s using a cure #2, does the humidity or temperature matter regarding the safety of the food. Obviously, it will affect the texture and quality of the product but I’m curious about the safety side of it. I'm just not really a fan of the softer cooked kind

I’d like to start doing this myself and be able to pass it on down the road. I’ve helped make it a few years and I smoke a lot of foods but obviously dry curing meats is a different level.

I’ve read “Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing” by Rytek Kutas and “Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages” by Stanley Marianski and Adam Marianski and while they’re loaded with tons of great info and recipes, many recipes can differ on the ideal temp and humidity.

So, I’d love some feedback to see if this looks good

25 Lbs. Venison
25 Lbs. Pork Butt/Fat
10 Teaspoons of Insta Cure #2
Spice pack from meat market

Stuff into 2.5"x20" fibrous casings, prick the casings and let hang dry for an hour to dry a bit to absorb smoke

Cold/Warm Smoke for 10 hours for hickory flavor

Hang between 45-55* F with a humidity around 70-75% for +/- 6 weeks till approximately 30% weight loss

Also, the spice mix is actually a Summer Sausage seasoning the meat market sells but they said that it comes with a cure #1 which obviously won’t work so I can just use the spices they give but use a cure #2. This is the spice mix I was told we used a couple years ago which was the best deer sausage I've ever had. The spice mix was from Wenneman Meat Market in Illinois. My only question is will I have to find out how much salt is in it so I know I have enough or does it not matter? What about dextrose



Joined Nov 20, 2020
Ohhhh... That was an old post. How would love to hear what you did and how it turned out. I love Wenneman's dry sausage. I've tried making it once. I confirmed that it is a cold/warm smoke then hung to dry. But I don't understand how people just hang it in their basement and it turns out. Mine case hardened which makes the center soft and the whole thing shrinks. This killed me because I know better as I do airdry salami's. The next time (next week) I will hang then in a chamber that I control humidity and temperature in.

It still kills me when I ask people how they did their sausage and they say they hung it in the garage or basement. I just want to say, oh no you didn't. If I cooked it to temperature and cooled it, I might hang it in the basement. Not cold smoked.

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