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First time Smoker Here, Unthawing meat question


Joined Nov 1, 2018
Good afternoon all,

I am a first time processor. I have all the products I need to make venison/ elk summer sausage and snack sticks and now I have one question. I have weighed out the amounts of meat that I need to make each batch however what is the best way to unthaw the meat in order to grind and mix in the pork? How long do you unthaw for and how do you know when its ready.

Also meat percentages what are your thoughts?

I was going to use a20% pork butt fat to the venison and elk summer sausage and snack sticks. Thoughts on that?

Thank you for your time


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 14, 2014
I usually thaw mine in the sink, when it's almost thawed I put in water for final rinse pat dry and grind, I leave it a little froze when grinding it's just easier, 20% straight fat should be good that's about what I use, if your using whole butt I would go 40-50%


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 12, 2010
Sorry.... I just had to ask......
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Last edited:


Joined Feb 15, 2020
i let mine thaw in fridge
just did 20 pounds
took out sunday from freezer
and put into fridge was ready but not totally thawed by saturday
never let meat get to room temp if you plan to re freeze
usually process mine and meat is sooooo cold you need the wood stove to warm your hands every once in a while
usually there is still some ice /frost in the meat when you grind
good luck

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