Smoked sausage recipe and process

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by oklahomajoe, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. oklahomajoe

    oklahomajoe Fire Starter

    Ok, the smokehouse is done and 2 deer in the freezer. Ready to break out the grinder and try out the smoke house. Any good recipes. Ive read the other posts, and it sounds like 40% deer to 60% boston butt. Now what about the seasoning? Either a homemade blend,a packet from LEM, the seasoning place in opelousas, What yall think? Mainly gonna use it on the pit, light pan fry, or in chicken and sausage gumbos. jambalaya and in crawfish boils. And then how do yall smoke it? Temp? Time? What type of chips.
    Im ignorant to the whole process except for the grinder, but feel like I now have all the equipment I need to start.
    Thanks for any help.
  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've never used venison , but I think you'd want to go 60%-80% venison and the rest pork trimmings, depending on the recipe you're using.
    If it's your first attempt at it you might want to pick up a premix package from LEMs or the SausageMaker, I might make your first experience a little easier. You also want to make sure it has cure #1 in the ingredient list if you're going to smoke it.
    Smoking temps will be low, to hot and you'll melt the fat right out of the sausage. Start around 100° and gradually raise it over hours to 170° or so till you get the internal temp you want. I take it to at east 152° the time it takes to get there will very.
    I hope this is some help, I'm sure a seasoned venison smoker will be along soon to add and/or correct me. Good luck with the new smoker.
  3. cajun_1

    cajun_1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Got pics of your smokehouse? I'd like to see it.
  4. Hi Joe I just made 30 lbs of venison snack sticks for my step sons. I used 21lbs of lean venison to 9lbs of pork. The reason for the pork is to bind and enhance the flavor of the venison. (need the fat for a binder).
    As far as seasonings check into the Legg's brand.
    If using the polish sausage, I would add some extra garlic with it. I use the regular Legg's snack stick seasoning with an additional 4tbs of brown sugar and 4tbs of liquid smoke to the mix. It kind of gives the sticks that lebanon Belonga flavor to them. Legg's seasoning is very consistant in nature, and the site I refered you to has the best prices.
    Thanks Dennis
  5. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    When I do venison sausage i use about 25-30% pork butt this will help with the moistness but still allow you to taste venison instead of pork. I have used the Legg's and most of it very good. I too would suggest that you get some instacure #1 you will want to low temp smoke the sausage for the best results and it must be cured to do that.
  6. cajun_1

    cajun_1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Link no workie
  7. I agree with Piney. I cure everything I smoke, even the thanksgiving turkey was Injected and brined with cure before a 7 hour smoke. When in doubt cure it out!!!!!!
  8. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Nice looking smoke house [​IMG]
  9. oklahomajoe

    oklahomajoe Fire Starter

    Thanks man. The LEGGS, is it certain flavor or a 1 coverall kindof thing?
    Thanks for the cure tip. What temps are you thinkin to smoke it? And how long?
  10. jjmrascal

    jjmrascal Smoke Blower

    Agreed. I use the rations mentioned above. Pork fat can usually be gotten from your friendly neighborhood meat cutter. I agree that the premix route is good for your first time. It will have all the proper amounts of cure too (assuming it is for a SMOKED sausage). Temps are imperative! You must have a smoker capable of controlling the low temps required. A good website to study is and (click on tutorials). The most imperative thing...HAVE FUN![​IMG]
  11. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Legg's makes lots of different spice packs click on this link and check them out

    They also sell the Legg's brand cure they call it Sodium Nitrate and its the same as instacure #1
  12. rhino70

    rhino70 Fire Starter

    I have been smoking for a few months now, the new hobby really gets ahold of you once you get into it. However, i have been using exclusively venison, as i have a whole freezer full. The guys above are right, as far as the percentage of venison to pork. What I did prior to getting a grinder was I mixed the lean venison half and half with 70/30 ground pork. however, I think 70/30 is about what you get from a boston butt as well if you are going to freshly grind all of your meat. I guess from one newbie to another, don't be afraid to put a little extra fat in. I say this because for your first few smokes, it is going to be pretty stressful trying to maintain your temperatures, keep a proper amount of smoke coming, and keep from wrecking your sausage. My first attempt was well seasoned, but drier than bag leather. Just be religious about monitoring your temperature, and keep it in the ranges that are specified in your recipe, and you'll be fine.

    As far as using venison goes, the most important thing to consider when making sausage with veni is the geography that the deer came from when you are figuring out how much pork to add to what you are making. What i mean by this is that I have eaten a lot of venison in my life, and the meat picks up some flavors based on the diet of the deer. So, if you shot your deer in an area where there are dense woods, with little crop land around, where the deer's diet more than likely consists of acorns, bark, plant buds, and lower quality food, the meat will taste very strong and gamey, regardless of how you season it. In this case, the balance of pork and venison should lean a little more towards pork.

    If the deer was taken where there is a lot of crop land where corn or other nutritious forage are available, the meat will have a milder flavor, more comparable to beef. Thus the scale should tip a little more towards the venison rather than the pork.

    As far as seasoning, Rytek Kutas has a recipe for just about everything in his book, which if you don't have a copy, get one. Any one of these guys will tell you that it is the predominant guide on the art of sausage making for sure. Otherwise, if you want to get started in a hurry, the LEM kits are just fine. I have had really good luck with their bratwurst, summer sausage, and snack stick kits. They aren't anything that is going to make your friends go "WOW, where di you get that sausage!" but i think LEM makes them to be something that is kind of a middle of the road recipe that everyone will like. Rytek does have about a dozen smoked venison sausage recipes in his book. I can find some for you if you like.

    Otherwise, just keep the temps low, keep the smoke coming, get everyting as cold as you can get it for grinding and stuffing, make sure to get it up to 152 internally either in the smoker or the oven, and have a lot of fun. That is the key to the whole thing. Just remember, nothing is lost from a screw up, unless you royally burn it up. It is all good, some tries are just better than others. You have an awesome smokehouse, and you'll be turning out awesome product in no time. Good luck!!!
  13. oklahomajoe

    oklahomajoe Fire Starter

    Thanks Rhino. SOunds like you know what you're doing and self taught. The deer that Im huntin grow up on rye grass, acorns, and corn. But I think I'll lean towards the pork like you said, just to keep from drying it out. And boston butts are easy to get my hands on so I'll use those. And you say I need to get it internally to 152. What kind of themometer do you use? I need to invest in an internal thermometer and want to get a good one. For seasoning, I've got a guy at Targils, a big seasonin place in opelousas, la sending me some samples to try. I appreciate the encouraging words and will post pics of the smokehouse smokin.
    I truthfully want to wait until after huntin season to start cause any time off I wanna be in the woods, but I got an itch to light this smokehouse and pop a few tops too. So we'll see which side wins. Go on vacation for 2 weeks starting this evening, so if I can get another good buck down, the smokers gonna get lit. Thanks again.
  14. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just finished my first batch of venison sausage and I added only fat. I used 10lbs of venison hams and added 2 lbs of beef fat from a couple of briskets I did a while back. Then I added a patches of bratswurst seasoning and cure from Hi Mountian and they came out fantasic. I smoked them starting at about 120 for an hour the 135 for an hour both without smoke and then 150 with smoke (some apple) for an hour then turned it up to 165 with smoke for the last hour and took it to 152-155 internal temp and then Let's eat. Man were they ever good. I even gave some to some friends that eat really healthy to and they loved them and wanted more.[​IMG]
  15. oklahomajoe

    oklahomajoe Fire Starter

    Awesome man. I dont even know what bratswurst taste like, but it sounds like you know what you're doing. Whats the reasoning of bringing your temp up slow like that? Is it to keep from burning up the outside with the inside still at low temp? And Why only smoke the last hour?
  16. rhino70

    rhino70 Fire Starter

    Hi OklahomaJoe,
    for the thermometer, I use an el cheapo weber digital remote thermometer. It is a little finicky and goes through batteries pretty quickly. I normally have to change them in the sending unit about once per smoke. Since i am rather new to this as well, I haven't invested in a good thermometer yet. What I do is hang the remote probe down through the middle of all the hanging sausage so that the probe hangs right in the middle between the sausage links. then i drilled a little hole in the side on my smoker and stick a standard meat thermometer from Wal mart down the side to monitor the external case temperature. It will take some playing with, but i know that since the sausage absorbs heat, it will always be about 15 degrees cooler in the middle of the sausage than the external case temperature. I set my digital to alarm at 135, so i know that the external temperature is no hotter than 150 while i am smoking. It is rather crude, but it works for me. I think that half of the fun is just figuring out your method.

    in any case, if you are looking for a good thermometer, it seems that the guys on this board tend to like the Maverick thermometers. I know that there are models available with two probes that go into one sending unit, and you can monitor the internal meat temperature as well as the chamber temperature from one remote unit. I have heard a lot of good things, but can't endorse one over the other as i haven't used them. Don't worry, though, someone will be along that will have better advice, and experience with maybe several of these units. My smoker doesn't get hot enough to finish most things, so i end up finishing them in the oven. I normally lay my remote probe on top of the sausage in the oven to make sure i'm monitoring the oven temp, then i stick a couple of cheap meat probes in a few of the sausage links, and watch them through the window in my oven until they are at 152. Then i take them out and shower them in cold water until they are at 120.

    Actually, i don't know how much money you are looking to tie up in this right away (all of my smoking purchases need to get approved by "the boss"), but one of the things that i am looking at is a PID, which is a temperature control device that automatically monitors your temperature and adjusts your heat source accordingly. There are some PID threads on this board that explain them a little better than I can, because i honestly have never worked with them. However, it is my understanding that they make them for all kinds of smokers. For electrics, for example, if you have a hot plate, you plug it into the PID unit, and the PID has a thermostat that sits in your smoker. When you get up close to temperature, it decreases the amount of juice that goes to your hot plate rather than just turning the burner on and off, and then going way past your temperature point. As a result, you can maintain temperatures within very narrow ranges. There are some that you can even program to step up the temperature at certain time intervals. Like you could set it at 130 for an hour, then it would automatically step it up to 150 for an hour, and you can do this up to 5 or six different timepoints. I would imagine that for a gas burner, the PID would attach to some sort of gas regulator, and then you would also need to have an ignitor for if the gas shuts completely off (similar to a furnace). But, i have only looked at electric ones, so don't quote me on this. I know a lot of guys say that it is overkill, but I figure that whatever I can do to ensure that i get good product while minimizing the time that i need to be tinkering around with the temperatures, the better. But, like so many other things with this hobby, it is personal preference. :)

    Also, to answer you other question about stepping up the temperatures with no smoke, it is my understanding that this practice is done to dry the casings to prepare them to take smoke. Times and temperatures vary depending on the recipe that you are using, but i have normally dried my stuffed sausage with no smoke for roughly 2 hours at between 100 and 120 (for summer sausage), then slowly brought the temperature up to 140 to 150 while adding the smoke. Some sausages require more smoke than others though.

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