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Epic Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Oct 31, 2012
Canadian Rockies
First, I apologize for being MIA the last month or so. Age and circumstances overcame me. Life is improving except for heavy snow here in the Canadian Rockies today.

Trail Bologna is an all beef sausage that originated in Trail, Ohio. You can still buy Troyer’s a brand from one of the original purveyors. However, I don’t like the texture of 100% beef sausage so I tried to maintain a tasty version with some pork in it.

I have had to do work arounds for making sausage. To get a good texture in cured sausage, you need 2 things. First, you must keep the meat cold at all times.

Second, you need to start it at a low temperature that you slowly increase to prevent the fat breaking from the meat giving a poor texture from a fat out.

My trustee old Bradley would go to low temperatures but my newer pellet smokers don’t. I have got by by using my WSM mini but I am getting lazy and wanted an more automated system.

I have started cold smoking my sausage with a A-Maze-N tube smoker and then using my oven to do the slow cooking at the lowest temperatures. I then put it in my pellet smoker when the desired temperatures are in that range.

I put a couple of fibrous casings in warm water to soak.

OFG Trail Bologna 1.jpg

I started with a mixture of 70% lean beef and 30 % fatty pork shoulder. I have made this with venison and moose instead of the beef. I used ground beef and ground my own pork shoulder. I put the meat in the fridge to get very cold.

OFG Trail Bologna 2.jpg

I mixed a slurry to add to the meat. For each kilogram of meat, you will need:

  • 100 ml dry skim milk powder
  • 13 ml Kosher salt
  • 7 ml dry mustard
  • 7 ml paprika
  • 5 ml white pepper
  • 5 ml garlic powder
  • 4 ml onion powder
  • 2 ml celery seed
  • 1.5 ml dried chili flakes
  • 1 ml ground cardamom
  • 1 ml ground mace
  • 0.5 ml ground nutmeg
  • 0.5 ml ground coriander
  • 2.6 grams (2 ml) Prague powder #1
  • 90 ml ice water
  • 10 ml light corn syrup
If you are uncivilized and use US measures, for each pound of meat you will need:

  • 3 tablespoons skim milk powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/5 teaspoon Prague powder #1
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
I spread the meat on a large sheet tray and poke holes in it with my fingers. I poured the slurry over the meat and mixed by folding half of it towards me and pressing the meat flat. Turn the tray 1/4 turn, fold towards me and press. Continue turning and pressing for 3 minutes.

I put the meat in the fridge for an hour to chill.

I put 1 kg (2 pounds) of the meat in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. I mixed at medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes.

OFG Trail Bologna 3.jpg

You are looking for the meat to be pasty and sticky. It took two batches to mix it in my stand mixer. I refrigerated the meat for 1 hour.

I stuffed the meat into the casings and tied off the open end.

OFG Trail Bologna 4.jpg

I refrigerated the chubs overnight to allow the ingredients to blend.

My pellet smoker just doesn't go low enough to do the sausage well. I cold smoked for 2 hours with my A-Maze-N Tube smoker and refrigerated overnight.

I put the chubs in the oven as follows:

  • 1 hour at 140 F (60 C)
  • 1 hour at 150 F (65 C)
I moved them to my smoker and smoked at:
  • 1 hour at 160 F (70 C)
  • 1 hour at 170 F (75 C)
I increased the temperature to 180 F (80 C) and cooked until the internal temperature of the sausage was 155 F (68 C).

I plunged the chubs into ice water for 10 minutes to stop the cooking. Then let them sit at room temperature for 4 hours.

OFG Trail Bologna 5.jpg

OFG Trail Bologna 7.jpg

The Verdict

I love this recipe. It has a nice firm texture, hints of bologna spices but with a great garlic hit and just a touch of spice.

Very nicely done Sir!! That looks like a great Bologna.Thanks for sharing.
Hope everything is okay and you don't go MIA any more.
Looks Great Disco.

Point for sure
Looks Great I "LIKE" it

Nice job my Northern Friend

Another Great one From the MIA.
Still doing Outstanding Work, I see!!
Nice Job & Great thread!

Glad to see you back posting Disco! You returned with a bang!! It looks amazing. You also educated this Ohio guy on the Ohio origin of the name for trail bologna. Never realized that. I can buy a ton of Troyer products in my area for sure, especially at my favorite Amish market.
Oh yea, that is something I'd really like. Going to give it a try for sure. Thanks David.
Good work and thanks for the recipe. Those look like they turned out great. I will be trying this out with some venison and pork. I live smack dab in the middle of Amish country in Ohio but never knew the origin of trail bologna. Thanks again!
Disco , looks great bud . Hope things are getting back to normal for you .
Your bologna came out beautiful, great write up and step by step. Going from the A-Maze-N tube to the oven then back to the smoker, nice piece of work, Like. RAY
Disco!! MIA or not, it's always great to see your smiling face my friend. Bologna looks great!! That has been a bit of a nemesis for me. Tried a couple times and it just didn't come out right. I may have to give this one a run though. I've never made anything that you've posted that wasn't fantastic.

On a different note, I notice that you have an OFG version of pretty much everything on the planet :emoji_laughing: It's all good though, that's for sure!!

Wow! looks great!

As far as "uncivilized" goes, I read one study that 91 % of Canadians use Imperial measure for height and weight.

87% use metric for temperature when addressing weather, 78% use Fahrenheit for cooking.

besides our family recipe for Panhas turns our perfect using uncivilized measurements every time!

going to try your recipe soon.
Funny, I was just thinking a few night back I hadn't see any post from you in a while. Glad to see you back to cooking & sharing. Jana & I also recently discussed grinding some of our own meat. Great post as always David. Try and stay warm with all that snow.
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