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Wild Game Help!

Noah

Newbie
19
1
Joined Nov 1, 2018
Good afternoon everyone. I am hoping I can get some help and or some opinions.

I have Elk and Venison that I would like to make into some smoked meats for a special event (Wedding) that I am hosting. I am not trying to gain anyone's world famous recipes just a all around good recipe that will be flavorful for guests to try wild game is all.

I would like to make: Summer sausage, Snack sticks & Breakfast links.

In specific, I would like to make some cheddar and, cheddar jalapeno summer sausage. Hot and cheddar jalapeno snack sticks or any other flavors that would be good and last Maple breakfast links.

I have a good friend that does a lot of meat smokin however being that I only have a month to do this, he said that he would smoke it for me however I would need to come up with the recipes. Would it be easier to buy the kits or does anyone have any recipes that they would offer.

I am have all the equipment to grind/stuff however no smoker as of yet. I have always took my meat to get processed however this year I would like to make some of my own processed meat.

What kits would be the best or recipes would you suggest?

I am used to using pork and what percentages of mix?

Would you use natural or collagen casings?

Looking for any an all information to make this a quick and smooth process to provide some wild game at the wedding. Thank you for your feedback.
 

smokerjim

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
5,585
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Joined Jan 14, 2014
I haven't made this stuff before, I make venison kielbasa and hot and garlic sausage, but if you check out bearcarvers step by steps you might find some proven recipes.
 

creek bottom

Smoking Fanatic
393
177
Joined Mar 13, 2019
I do quite a bit of summer sausage (we call it deer bologna) and hot sausage with our whitetail deer meat. I have found it easiest to buy kits and hi temp cheese to add. We have a couple of places locally that I have used with great success... I actually just did a batch of each a couple weeks ago, about 50 pounds total.
 

smokerjim

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Jan 14, 2014
this is my hot sausage, 25lb. meat 5oz. salt 2oz. fennel seed 2oz. crushed red pepper(more or less depends on how much heat you want) paprika for color and water for easier mixing.
 

archeryrob

Smoking Fanatic
594
208
Joined Oct 26, 2015
for the breakfast links I would add 25 - 30% pork fat and natural casings. You can also use a 5/8 - 34" tube on a stuffer and squirt is across your hand and pull up. Freeze indiviually on trays efore wrapping up. Learned that one from @indaswamp and it makes a nice skinned breakfast link. He has a thread on here somewhere about maple links I think.

Snack sticks use collagen casings and it is a lot of work to stuff these. Lots of pressure and a bit of getting used to making them.

Fibrous casings for the Summer sausage. I like to smoke to 145° and hold for 15 - 30 minutes and smoke low and slow to start

I mix venison with 73% beef 50/50 and that makes a ratio of about 13.5% fat for SS and Snack sticks and I like that.
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,470
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Joined Dec 30, 2016
Good afternoon everyone. I am hoping I can get some help and or some opinions.

I have Elk and Venison that I would like to make into some smoked meats for a special event (Wedding) that I am hosting. I am not trying to gain anyone's world famous recipes just a all around good recipe that will be flavorful for guests to try wild game is all.

I would like to make: Summer sausage, Snack sticks & Breakfast links.

In specific, I would like to make some cheddar and, cheddar jalapeno summer sausage. Hot and cheddar jalapeno snack sticks or any other flavors that would be good and last Maple breakfast links.

I have a good friend that does a lot of meat smokin however being that I only have a month to do this, he said that he would smoke it for me however I would need to come up with the recipes. Would it be easier to buy the kits or does anyone have any recipes that they would offer.

I am have all the equipment to grind/stuff however no smoker as of yet. I have always took my meat to get processed however this year I would like to make some of my own processed meat.

What kits would be the best or recipes would you suggest?

I am used to using pork and what percentages of mix?

Would you use natural or collagen casings?

Looking for any an all information to make this a quick and smooth process to provide some wild game at the wedding. Thank you for your feedback.
Hi there and welcome!

Oh wow you have a lot to tackle in a short amount of time.
I process my hauls every year now which mostly include 5-10 whitetail deer and some random feral hogs if if they come out. I have a lot of first hand experience making sausage with venison BUT not the sausage you are asking about. We do brats and franks mostly.
Anyhow I'll help with my input where I can.

Meat Processing Advice
Clean up your venison very well and keep it refrigerated as much as possible while processing it.
VENISON MEAT RULE OF THUMB: If there is something on the venison meat you would NOT throw into a skillet and eat then it does NOT need to be included in grind of any kind or on a steak cut.
Moderns humans have developed the preferance for beef, pork, and poultry fat... NOT venison fat. So remove any venison fat, skin, tendon, fat, or non-meat tissue as best you can because that will have flavors you are not trying to include. If this meat was being braised then it wouldn't be an issue

Equipment:
STUFFER:
Have a dedicated sausage stuffer if possible!!!! Also size does matter. If you plan to stuff 200 pounds of sausage using a 5 pound stuffer then plan for the stuffing step alone to take 2 days worth of work. A 5 pound stuffer fits more like 4 pounds of meat in it. Using a grinder as a stuffer will go even slower.

GRINDER:
If you are planning to use a Kitchen Aid then stop now and buy a real grinder. If you are doing anything 10 pounds or more then you need a real grinder. It doesn't have to a massive or super expensive grinder but it should be one with all metal gears and metal where it counts, doesn't get super hot from normal use, isn't too large for your working space, AND gets the job done for what you need. I use a 450W grinder I bought years ago which is around .5 hourse power (less I think) and I grind 100 pounds of sausage grind in no time. I'm usually a 1 man grinding operation so it works at a speed that is perfect for me managing the cutting of meat/fat, loading the meat into the tray/hopper to grind, and managing the ground output in a meat tote. If it was a 1 horsepower or more I wouldn't be able to keep up with the performance of what the machine is capable of.

MEAT TOTES/LUGS:
Also have some large totes/lugs or giant tupperware handy. You will need to be able to put the sausage grind in these things and put these things in a fridge until you can work them if you are doing any signifigant amount of sausage (40+ pounds). Having 1 available at all times is a must so if you have 80 pounds of sausage grind and a tote holds 40 pounds you need a minimum of 3 totes. 2 to be full and 1 to be worked in. As you stuff sausage you pull ground meat out of 1 tote and the stuffed sausage should then be held in the empty tote until all the stuffing is done and the ground meat tote can be cleaned out to be the empty tote.

Here is a meat tote/lug:
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My Mix of Meat/Fat
I personally mix my Venison sausage and meats with 80% Venison meat and 20% trimmed Pork Back Fat from the butcher. I don't mix with pork butts or any other meat because I like having it be as close to a pure venison sausage as I can make it. The additional fat is unavoidable but that is the only non-venison part I add.
Pork fat works best for most sausage flavors in my mind.
Beef fat is the exception for me when I want/need more beef flavor (My ground venison pastrami sandwich meat, or Texas style sausages which have pork and beef)

My Meat to Fat Ratio
At 80/20 the sausage comes out fantastic, consistent, AND the math is super simple
  • 10 pounds of sausage = 8 pounds of venison, 2 pounds of fat
  • 5 pounds of sausage = 4 pounds of venison, 1 pound of fat
  • Make in increments of 5 or 10 pounds :)
I'm with the other guys that with breakfast sausage you can up the fat. I still go 80/20 and it works well but if you want to get closer the amount of fat and grease from a store bought then up the fat some.


Sausage Casings Advice
As already mentioned in another post use Fiberous Casings for the summer sausage.

For linked sausages the following is non-negotiable for your situation.

Buy a Hank (that is the amount) of natural hog casings and I highly highly highly suggest you buy the pre-tubed versions.
Getting a Hank ensures you are getting the best casings that are produced vs the over runs, shorts, and crappy ones that the companies decide to put into the little home packs.
AVOID THE HOME PACKS!!!!
Home packs = a nightmare (this is what a home pack looks like)




Pre-Tubed Casings:
Fighting with stuffing a casing is a very very very real thing. With this being your first major sausage event you want to minimize the amount of hassle you are going to deal with across the entire job.... there can/will be a lot!
Pre-tubed casings are SOOOOO much easier to deal with. Also get HOG CASINGS and do NOT fool with the Lamb.
Lamb are finicky even when pre-tubed so just avoid that experience until you have the time to fight with lamb casings.

Syracuse casings seem to be very popular on the forum (here is an image of their pretubed)


I have used LEM's pre-tubed casings but that is just because I end up using other LEM products and when I order I just get them all at once. I'm cool with any casing that works and does not cause a great amount of frustration. Lems:
upload_2019-5-3_11-50-16.png



Seasoning Advice
I don't have a recipe for you and here is what I can give you for feedback on LEM's premixed stuff:
  • LEM's Summer Sausage - avoid it, the flavor isn't bad but it tasted like CORNED BEEF not summer sausage
  • LEM's Breakfast Sausage - Regular is Bland. Sweet was pretty good. Hot was good as well.
  • LEM's Snack Stick Original - I haven't made snack sticks but I have made jerky with it using ground venison and a jerky gun and it taste fine. I use it as a base to make my own jerky flavors
Store Bought Seasoning and ANY Untested Seasoning Recipe Word of Caution: Often these mixes are just TOO salty and other times they are bland. The solution when using store bought mixes or an untested recipe is to buy or make up a little more than the instructions say you need.
Mix a test batch with the seasoning. So if you are making 25 pounds, then mix a 10 pound test batch to see how it behaves at 10 pounds. From there you can add more meat if it is too salty or add more mix if it is too bland.

The FRY TEST!!!
When mixing your test batch, mix it about 1-1.5 pounds light (for 10 pound or more test batch).
Make about a 4oz patty (or two 2oz patties) and go fry it up in a skillet and check if it is TOO SALTY.
If so then mix more meat and fry test again.
If TOO BLAND then mix more seasoning and fry test again.
THIS WILL SAVE YOUR ASS!!!! Maybe the worst thing you can do is put in all that work and get a sausage that is too salty or just plain sucks!!!! I have experienced this and when you look at 20-40 pounds of sausage that sucks it is a downer hahaha.

One more thing. The flavor will not be the same from the fry test to the finished product. When doing the fry test just ensure it tastes good and don't worry about if it is hitting the exact flavor it is supposed to just yet. For example, a maple sausage mix may taste like regular sausage at fry test time but then the maple flavor stands out in the end, or vice versa it was strong on maple flavor but in the end was just right. JUST check for too salty (if close it is too salty) and for blandness.

Conclusion
I've thrown a whole boatload of stuff at you and I hope it helps. To summaraize though:

  • Get the proper equipment for the job
  • Process your meat well to get a great product
  • 80/20 meat to fat ratio is well within the standard sausage range and is easy to work with
  • I prefer to mix Venison meat with pure Pork Fat to again make things easy with ratios and to get the most Venison out of the final product vs some venison and some store bought meat
  • Buy HANKs of pre-tubed Natural Hog Casings to make life easy for linked sausages and Fiberous casings for summer sausage, AVOID home packs
  • Any seasoning route you take, make test batches before mixing it all in and FRY TEST IT OUT!!!!
  • Finally, make life as simple and easy as you can because you are about to be in for a learning experience with a fast approaching deadline and lots of learnings and obstacles to overcome BUT you can do it!!!!
Best of luck and if you have any questions with my stuff feel free to ask and feel free to incorporate my info with all of the great info the other posters are/will provide! :emoji_blush:
 
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