So here's my newbie story. Let's start by saying that I get this is not rocket science, but there is so much information out there it can make one paranoid they're making a mistake. Combine that with every equipment failure that can come up and well...here I am!! I got a good reference on a Venison Summer Sausage recipe. Instacure #2 was used if that helps for a reference. Overall, if it could go wrong, it did. The recipe/mix part went great. However, after I packed the casings, due to work and family obligations, it was two weeks that the logs stayed in the fridge. Then I went to cook at 100 degrees. The smoker was all over the place, from 80-130 degrees. When I saw the casings shriveling, it had gone about 12 hours before I finally yanked the logs out. I switched to my natural gas grill for smoking, hoping for more consistent temps. At 150, I wanted to get the internal temps up to 140-145. The temps were somewhat consistent for the first couple hours (148-156).. Then winds picked up, I raised temp, make the kids dinner, yada yada and soon I've got five logs being cooked at 175; all with different internal temperature ranging from 145-180!!!! I throw them in an ice bath, then read that a bath is bad because it lets water in the casings. I cut open the casings and dry them out. Now everything is leaning against my counter wall (can't hang because I cut the casings!). Some of the logs smell "different". Not having any experience with venison summer sausage, I'm of course wondering if this is normal or if they were spoiled anytime in the process. My guess is that the curing ingredients took care of any botulism issues...but that's just my hypothesis! So I'm looking to the grand puba masters here to tell me if I really blanked-up or will I just have a few very inconsistent logs!! I'm going to keep at this, but just want to know if I'm thinking too much!! Thanks in advance!!!