Help with smoking deer meat.

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by bowhunter, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. Thanks for this website! I don't have a problem stuffing deer sticks, salami's but they do not turn out after they have been smoked. They don't look or have the texture of store bought sticks/salami's. I want to take the sticks on fishing trips for snacks so I won't have the refrigeration. I have a new bradley smoker. I use casings on my sticks and I think I will try making them without the casings. Any ideas for this new smoker guy. Unfortunatly, I did not shoot enough deer this year to waste 5-10 lbs of meat everytime I try it. Thanks.
  2. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There are several people here that smoke snack sticks. Someone will be along shortly to help you our.
    You may want to stop in to the Roll Call forum and introduce yourself. We're nosy folks here and would like to know something about you, your equipment, experience, etc.
  3. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    welcome to the SMF
    couple questions:
    what ratio deer / beef ,or deer/ pork are you using
    how much fat? what size casings and what size grinder plate?
    all important to making the texture right.
    for example, for a 10# batch I use 7# deer, 2# beef chuck and 1# beef fat. grind thru a 1/4 plate and stuff into 17mm casing.
    smoke @170* until they reach 152* internal.
    I used sausage maker hot snack stick seasoning and instacure #1 for the a little extra Garlic and jalepano for more flavor.
    heres a couple Pictures of my last batch I made last week.

    in the smoker

    finished and ready to cut up after cooling
  4. I use 8 lbs of deer meat and 2 lbs of beef talo. I season and add 1 cup of water or so. I have 2 grinder plates. I believe they are 3/8 and 1/2. 1 thing I noticed is you hang your sticks which I have not done yet. Also, what type of casing do you use. I used the 23mm callogen.
  5. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I use 17mm cologen casings
    I used to use 19mm but like the smaller size.
    are you stuffing with your grinder or with a stuffer
    you could possibly be stuffing them a little to tightly?
    what dont you like about the texture? what type sesoning and cure do you use?
  6. builder59

    builder59 Smoke Blower


    I like to use sheep casing for mine. I live in Michigan and have made about 60lbs of venison snack sticks this year. There is a very well stocked store in the country here and it is called Central Michigan Butcher Supply. They have internet sales and if you need to talk to someone in person, Chuck is a good ole boy from Virginia and has more knowledge about smoking than anyone I have ever met. There seasonings are so much better than the store bought brands from the outfitter stores. I use 7 lbs of venison painstakingly trimming all of the talo and silver from the meat. 2 lbs of very fatty pork shoulder and 1 lb. of really nice hard beef fat from my local butcher. I grind mine through a 1/8" plate I grind my summer in 3/16".

    You can also add a small portion of beer to your mixture for liquid as well as water or apple cider if you want a little sweetness to go with the hot. Be careful on how much beer you use as you will be able to taste in at the end. My friend wanted to use two cans and no water, I thought it was too strong and I really like beer. I keg my own. Also one more really important tip is to not to grind up the fat as fine as the meat. If you leave the fat in a coarser grind a 3/16" plate and you should grind your fat almost frozen. It will look like tiny plastic pellets they use in the plastic industry. It will blend far easier with your meat product. I also add the fat after the seasoning and the liquid then mix it thoroughly through the product.

    You will find it will steep, as it may be, into your product leaving you with a far more tastier and juicier snack stick..

    Hope this helps,
  7. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hey builder, thanks for the tip on the supplier,
    I added them to my list and checked out their site.
    looks like some good product and good prices!
  8. pigcicles

    pigcicles Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In Iowa they cook Deere like this


    Ok back to the regularly scheduled posts
  9. Thanks Uncle Lar and everyone. I will try sheep casings, beer and a little beef. Hanging is something I will also try. Love this website. My wife thought I was obsessed until I showed her this website.
  10. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    my wife also thought I was obsessed! I showed her this websight and now she knows for sure that I am!! LOL
  11. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the forum. There are lots of good people here with tons if great info on every aspect of smoking,curing etc.
    First off, as far as your grinding plates go, I would look for one smaller one to add to your arsenal, around 3/16". When your ready to make some snack sticks, try this. Get your meat to a somewhat frozen state. This makes it allot easier to cut. I would cut it into 3/4 inch cubes and then mix in your spices and ingredients. This makes it much easier to mix everything up versus trying to mix it into ground meat. As far as casings go, I am partial to natural. I only use natural casings, but I understand that the collagen casings provide a uniform shape and I am going to try them next time I make some sticks.

    Here is the recipe. Pretty easy, not hard to make.
    For a 10# Batch.
    8# Venison trimmed as much fat, silver skin, ligaments etc as possible.
    2# Beef suet.
    3 tsp Salt
    2 tsp Insta Cure
    1 Tb Onion Powder
    1 Tb Garlic Powder
    1/2 Tb Cayenne. 1 Tb if you like hotter. Adjust to your liking.
    1 Tb Ground Black Pepper
    2 tsp Ground White Pepper
    1 cup ICE COLD Water

    Take all your spices and add to the Ice Water, mix well. This is easier than trying to mix dry spices into meat, more evenly distributed. Take your cubed meat and mix with the Ice Water/spices. Mix well and put in fridge for 24 hours. During this time, take out at least once and remix to stir things up. After our 24 hours are up, put in a freezer and get the meat to the point where it is somewhat frozen, not solid though. The reason for doing this is that when you run it thru your grinder, you want the meat to grind and not tear as it goes thru the blades. Load your casing on the stuffing horn and add meat to the grinder as needed. Now the reason I said to get a 3/16" grind plate was this. Some will grind their meat thru a coarse blade first then add spices, mix and grind again thru a smaller plate and stuff into the casings. When you cube your meat, the ingredients get mixed into the meat quite well and all you have to do is run it thru a smaller plate ONCE and right into the casings. Make sense? The less you have to grind the better. You maintain the integrity of the meat. Take note of Uncle Lars Time and temps he used and the final product. Thats how a nice snack stick should look. As far as hanging them, you simply get more into a smoker. Hope this helped. Make sure you take phots and post them for all to see. Also, if you want to really cut your learning curve as far as learning to smoke and cure meat, I suggest you get a copy of Ryteks Kutas Book, "Great suasage recipes and meat curing" Invaluable in my opinion.
  12. builder59

    builder59 Smoke Blower

    We are all too funny!! I showed my wife the sight also last night. Her first words were I'll bet these folks will get the fridge conversion where it needs to be.. She loves smoked foods. We bbq at least three times a week in a Kingsford charcoil grill I found down the street that looks like a football in shape and the grill hinges up to add wood while your cooking so I always add some type of wood depending on what I'm cooking and that damn grill is the best thing I've cooked on. It's way better than my weber.

    Good luck Bowhuner and Unclelar glad you like Central Michigan Butcher Supply.

  13. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bowhunter, if she thinks you're obsessed now, wait until you start taking pictures of all your smokes.[​IMG]

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