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Fat Content for Summer Sausage?


Smoking Fanatic
Joined May 16, 2017
I am going to try summer sausage for the first time and want to use up some venison as part of the product. I have ground pork that is roughly 75-80% lean, as well as ground beef that is likely in the 85-90% lean, can anybody offer a good mixture from what I have on hand or should I be looking to get some beef or pork fat to grind in with it?

Also any good basic recipes would be great. I want a traditional SS taste, but I dont want to get into peppers or cheeses at this time.

Any help would be appreciated. I borrowed a mes 30 to hang them in, ordered a Amazen 5x8 to throw in there so I can get better smoke than what most fight with the factory chip design. ( if this goes ok I plan on buying a mes40 and will likely do some sort of mail box mod.)


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Dec 30, 2016
I like the 80/20 meat to fat ratio for making sausage (which would include summer sausage).
It makes consistently great sausage, the math is simple (4 pounds meat + 1 pound fat = 5 pounds sausage; 8 pounds meat + 2 pounds fat = 10 pounds of sausage; make 5-10 pound increments from there) and if you ever need to experiment you can buy 80/20 beef already in those proportions.

Almost all of my sausage comes from the 5-7 wild animals I take each year during hunting season so I do a lot of venison sausage. Because of this I simply just buy Trimmed Pork Back Fat from the butcher to mix with my pure Venison or pure feral Hog meat (rarely much fat on them) grinds.

I am biased because it makes the math simple, uses only my hunted meat, and creates a good consistent sausage every time, SO I lean towards buying fat separate and then going 80/20 meat/fat and making the sausage that way. It never goes wrong, unless there is a mess up with the seasoning or cooking lol!

If you want to use what you have on hand, I would use the fattiest cut you have. If you are already at 80/20 and you add more meat you will be modifying the ratio. I wouldn't drop below 15% fat and I personally wouldn't exceed 25% fat in my sausage unless is was one that called for a lot of fat like Mexican Chorizo.

I don't have any recipe info for you so others can chime in there.
I hope this info helps! :)


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Aug 24, 2014
JI, I would use the pork and go about 4 parts venison to 1 part pork, maybe a hair more on the pork.I cheat and use a SS mix from the Sausage maker and add fermento.Hit the search bar above to see all kinds of tips/recipes for SS. Have fun !


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Oct 26, 2015
I mix 73% with deer making it about 14% and that is pretty good, but could be higher. I used 80% making it batch 10% and that was too dry. I would stay at 15% - 20%


Joined Feb 6, 2018
i use 80/20 mix using pork fat to venison.i finish at 152. not dry at all


Smoking Fanatic
Joined May 16, 2017
I am thinking I am going to go 5# Venison, 5# of ground pork (20-25% fat) , and 2# of ground beef (10 to15% fat) it will be 10#, but I will end up with about 1 to 2 pounds left in the stuffer neck and tube so I am hoping for about 10# of cased product with a fat content of approx 13% for my first go at it.

anybody got a simple goto recipe for me to try? I have the buttermilk powder, but no citric acid stuff. what about milk powder, yes or no in the SS?

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