First time summer sausage, need some pointers....

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Original poster
Dec 18, 2020
Lake Charles, La.
Ok, Im not a rookie at making sausage in general, just this is my first time making summer sausage.
Ive got plenty of ground venison put up, got to do something with it right?
I search the web came across many different recipes, used a lil bit of each to tune to how i would like.
After finished stuffing, took the last bits left in the stuffer and put on the george foreman grill and it tasted fine.
But my questions are a part of the stuffing and smoking...
I used the same technique that ive done for regular sausage in hog casing by taking the dry ingredients and putting in a blender, add 2 cups water and blend well.
I started with 10 lbs of coarse ground venison from the freezer. My blended seasoning mix included 2 spoons of cure #1 as per instructions of 1 spoon per 5lbs of meat from
Then i mixed these together with the wet mixture until fingers were frost bit and arms sore. haha
Then i put it all back thru the grinder with the fine plate. The mixture did not seem watery.
After grinding i added the cheese and stuffed with my dakota water stuffer.
Doing this by myself and i thought i was stuffing them full and tight, but i think i might have been getting air in them.
Then as i was trying to reload my stuffer i knocked it off the counter and broke it.
Had to finish stuffing with the grinder and stuffing plate. The auger doesnt like cheese. hahaha
Anyway, everything seemed fine while stuffing, then i placed in the fridge overnight.
Started smoking on my masterbuilt electric this morning. Started at 120 for 2 hrs, then step up to 160 for 2 hrs, then step up to 225 until internal temp reached 160-ish (162 on the ones i checked.
After a few hours i started checking temps with meat probe by piercing the casing up near the tied knot. While continuing to cook liquid was dripping from the hole in the casing, not surprising. But after done and placing in the water bath to stop cooking i noticed that just about all of the casings had fluid in them as i could grab both end, squeeze and "pump" the liquid back and forth, also the casings were not tight like when i stuffed them. The large log in the pic with the clear casing definnitely had air in it, that one was stuffed with the grinder.
But the 2 that i had pierced with the probe had leaked into the water bath and also taken on some of the bath water.
I squeezed the water out of these 2 and placed all in the fridge after the bath of 20 min or so, drying all with a paper towel as i did so.
After and hour or so in the fridge i checked and some had apparently reabsorbed the liquid into the meat, some not so much. The ones that did the casing is now loose, I expect some of this is expected.
They are still in the fridge as i type this, my plan is later tonight to pierce the casing on any that have liquid still present and drain before vacuum sealing and freezing.
This just seemed odd to me. All other sausages i make with similar manner and it dries during the smoking process, but that is with hog casing and not fibrous casings.
Is there anything i did wrong or could have done different? Or is this just part of the process? Any pointers are appreciated.

hanging in smoker.jpg
Hmmmm... where to start...

2 cups water
This is WAY to much water for 10 lbs of meat... I like to use as little water as possible... I don't measure but go by looks.. I use a half a red solo cup of water for 10 lbs..

Started at 120 for 2 hrs, then step up to 160 for 2 hrs, then step up to 225 until internal temp reached 160-ish (162 on the ones i checked.

You smoke all your sausages with these temps ?? It's sounding like you had "fatout" (along with to much water) from cooking at such high temps... the 120` sounds good... but then then you jump right up to 160`... proper temp ramping is no more than 20` per 2 hours (10` per hour)... MAX cooking temp should not be over 170`... The 225` cooking temp is going to render (melt) any and all fat (which I did not see you mentioned you put any in)...

internal temp reached 160-ish (162 on the ones i checked.

The proper finish IT is 152` .. much higher than that will cause fatout as well ...

2 spoons of cure #1 as per instructions of 1 spoon per 5lbs

was this teaspoons or table spoons ?? Proper cure ratio is ONE LEVEL TEASPOON per 5 lbs of meat ..

finish stuffing with the grinder and stuffing plate

I'm pretty sure this added plenty of air to the mix... Next time use a sausage prick and prick the whole thing all over to let and air escape...

I'll let others comment on your procedure as well ...
yea, kinda figured on the water.
the recipes i found mentioned internal temps between 155-160.
also mentioned the ramping of temps due to larger casing size of summer sausage and more even cook. I should have mentioned that normally when making sausage use smaller casings , my uncles smoke house (first time making on the masterbuilt, cooked many times but first time making, so this was different for me). When at my uncles we dont ramp,, fire offset box with wood and gas burner and try to control around 200 and let it go for 5 hrs or so (but also 50-75 lbs at a time). For 50lbs, we use one gallon of water and its all gone by the end when done. In hind sight i guess im more of a rookie than i thought. lol
There was no fat added, straight venison.
It was 2 level teaspoons as per package instructions.
I dont know what to say about the 225, brain fart i suppose. Dont know what i was thinking. I know better now that you mention it.
Oh well, live and learn. Guess its a good thing i didnt make 25 lbs. hahaha.
Thanks for the feedback.
  • Like
Reactions: indaswamp
Well after several hours in the fridge i decided to cut some up.
Results were as expected. Of the 11 links i had 4 that were wet. Definitely had air in them. Overall, not the best ive had, but not bad. Taste is good, texture is off. Will serve its purpose of slicing up for "snackables" at work. Have some divided containers that put sliced sausage, grapes, cheese, and goldfish crackers in. Been using my regular sausage and wanted a little diversity. Ill do better next time. Practice makes perfect.

cut good.jpg cut wet.jpg packed up.jpg
  • Like
Reactions: Plinsc
I went back through and want to highlight the most important things in my opinion . You have a lot to fix so thought it might help .
I like to use as little water as possible... I don't measure but go by looks..

The proper finish IT is 152`

Proper cure ratio is ONE LEVEL TEASPOON per 5 lbs of meat ..

Never let the chamber temp. rise above 175*F.

Stick around here and you'll learn more than you thought possible!!
I won't add any comments to the quotes , They speak for themselves .

No fat , no binder with straight deer meat ? I guess it depends on what you're used to , but I have to add fat and a binder .
You'll get it figured out , but focus on what they told you above . It's great advice , and just like the water , anything more than enough is to much . So I think you have a great starting point for next time .
  • Like
Reactions: indaswamp is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads