Smoking deer sausage; 1st go at it

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jul 25, 2009
Zachary, La
Ok friends,
Bout to try my to make my first batch of deer sausage. This is my plan; coming from friends that have made it in the past. Now I come to the experts, you, to see if I have a sound plan.
I have a cabelas grinder with stuffer attachment.
I have a premade mix I ordered from Targils online.
I plan to grind my 20 lbs on deer and 30 lbs of boston butt.
After the first grind, I plan to mix in my seasoning and cure. How much water should I mix the seasoning and cure with before blending into my meat? Then I'll run it through the next pass straight into stuffing my north american preflushed casings.
Now goes to the smokehouse, at 160 degrees for six hours. Then I'll spray it down with water and smoke another 1/2 hour. From there and plan to let it cool and package for the freezer.
Does this sound right? Am I missing anything? What temp should I look for internal? When I get to that internal temp should I call that good, wet it with water and smoke a little while longer; or should I go the 6 hours I plan? And should I wet it like I plan? Thanks for the help.
Oklahoma Joe
I'm not an expert but heres my thoughts.
I think thats way too much pork your making venison sausage why make it over half pork? Try more like 20-30% pork and keep the taste of the venison
I try to use a cup of water in my mix unless the directions on the package say different make sure you mix well
Let it sit in the fridge overnight after stuffing to allow time for the cure to work.
Hang it in the smokehouse and run the heat around 100 degrees for an hour or so without smoke to allow the sausage and casings to dry before applying smoke. ( my smokehouse is wood fired so i just let them hang until dry before firing it up)
I smoke for a couple hours at 120 then a couple at 140 then I go to 170-180 until the the internal of the sausage is 152-155
When the internal temp is hit I take them out and put them in an ice batch to stop the temperature from rising any further and hang them back up to dry then into the fridge overnight to allow them to bloom then I package them the next day

These are my opinions and others I'm sure will give theirs good luck with the sausage and be sure to take Qview for us
I am not familiar with the wetting of the sausage at the end. Most people let them try in the smoker for an hour or so before they even put smoke to them. I personally don't let them dry in the smoker I just let them hang in the garage where we are working until I have enough to fill the smoker. We normally don't have a set amount of water we put in we go by feel. We mix the seasonings into the water and mix it up good and pour it over the meat. If it feels to sticky I add more water. We also use warm water because our hands are usually freezing cold from mixing the meat so the warm water feels good. If it has more water it stuffs easier but you don't want too much water. Many people stuff their sausage the same night they grind it so the seasonings sit in the casings over night and then they smoke them the next day. We don't do that. We grind and mix our meat the night before and then let it sit over night then stuff it and let it hang for a bit then into the smoker. I am no expert on sausage by any means these are just things we have picked up along the way that we feel help us out.
Hopefully someone will have some idea on the wetting of the sausage at the end of the smoke to see if that is beneficial or not. I was also going to add that you don't need that much pork but if all you have is 20 lbs of venison trim and you are trying to make a 50lb batch then by all means go for it its not going to hurt anything you just don't need to mix it that heavy with pork if you don't want to.
Just my two pennies, if this is your first go at making sausage, and you are using your grinder with stuffer attachment to stuff the sausage, 50 lbs is a little too ambitious. I would start with 30 lbs max (15 would be better) I just want to warn you that stuffing with your grinder will take FOREVER..... that being said, i have done it (30 lbs) and it works.
I would second the "forever" if you are stuffing with your grinder.

Hopefully I will have a lot of venison this fall, am waiting to see how this thread pans out.
So what kind of sausage is it? A sausage that needs cooked or a summer sausage/ salami?
I do it like Piney does for the salami style and use around a third pork or beef mixed with the deer, and it turns out very well. But i also do breakfast sausage that doesn't see the smoker, and use 50% pork with that. I have never heard of the wetting either!

I agree with coffee junkie... start with a small batch 12.5lbs or even 6 lbs so you get a feel to how much work it is to stuff through a grinder. It can be done, but it is alot harder and slower to do. Been there and done that.... ONCE. That was the last time I stuffed with my grinder. It took me 3 hrs to do 6 3lb sticks. So , with that said, Try it out and get your feet wet with a small batch. And then you might want to try a 50lb batch.

You might not want to use that much pork. For a 25lb batch I use 10lbs of pork trim and 15lbs of venison.

Good luck, blza
50lbs of sausage is ALOT of sausage. I just made some last week and it was 17lbs and I wondered why I made so much. As far as the % pork I only used 15% . I like the taste of the deer and I do not want it to be gressy. Try to get someone to help you with your stuffing it will be much easier for your first time...Hey Man good luck !!!!! Let us hear how it turns out. I got a little to much smoke on mine but the taste is great.
As far as meat %'s, The most that I make at one time is 30lbs, I use any and all game, this weekend I plan on making Goose Cheddar Kielbasa, but what I do is 15lbs of game, 13 lbs of pork butt, and 2lbs of pork fat. Never too greasy, always good! The amount of water I add is whatever the sausage kit instructions tell me too add. Good luck with your sausage makin' make sure you qview.
I agree with everyone here......50# is very ambitious for someone who has never done this before. Stuffing with a grinder works very well.....if you have an Enterprise 32 with a 1hp motor driving it like we had. One guy making tennis ball size gobs of meat, one guy loading the grinder, one guy stuffing the casings and two guys tying. We went through a lot of meat in a very short time, much quicker than using a stuffer. We quit using the grinder to stuff because the texture of the finished product was "mushy".
Also the 40% venison, 60% pork is just the opposite of what you probably should try. I would advise 60% venison 40% pork. As far as the "shower" goes, I have never heard of that. The ice water bath when it is finished makes for a nice looking product. Good luck with whatever you try, but for a first-timer I would advise scaling down a little.....
Now when I first got my grinder and all I ground everything I could find. Butnow I have slowed and take more time with the sausage that I'm making. I also like to add alittle maybe 20% pork to mine so I don't have to add so much fat. It's not the easiest thing to get here in the city I guess. But as far as smoking I have always smoked it at low temp more for the flavor then the then being ready to eat. I always want to cook the sausage as I want it. Now I have taken some to the 156° temp to eat it right away or for the guys at work.
I would certainly start with a smaller batch for two reasons. One, thats allot of meat to try to stuff with a combo grinder/stuffer. 2, thats allot of meat to make into sausage if the recipe turns out to be something you don't much care for.

Your meat to pork is pretty high. For 20# venison, I would use around 5# pork trimmings. The way you had it, your basically making pork sausage with some venison thrown in and would not be able to taste the venison.

If you have not made this up yet, and this is just a suggestion, I would opt for a smaller, more manageable batch first, try it to see if you like it.

Next, remember, smoke to temp, and not time. Sausage like this should be place in a preheated smoker of about 120-130 degrees where it should remain for around 45 minutes or so to dry. Gradually raise the temps to 160-170 until an internal temp of 152 is reached. This sausage will not need to go above 152 degrees. Most recipes and I would say more so for any wild game recipe, smoking at higher temps will render fat out, and on something lean like this, can end up with a very dry sausage and casing separation.

It is at this point where you can take the links out and cool them under a cool shower of water till the internal temp drops to around 110 degrees. Place links inside refrigerator overnight to chill them further. Here you can separate the links and pack and store them as you see fit. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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