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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Just thought I would make a post about how to do deer processing at home. I enjoy making venison sausage and its really not that hard. My boy loves helping me as well. I also like knowing what?s in my sausage. When you take it to the processor you get your meat, plus some of the peoples before.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Doing it yourself is not really cost efficient. Depending on how much you make, you could make some per pound cheaper than carrying it somewhere, but then you have to invest in some equipment.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Equipment.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">First you need a meat grinder. My first grinder was the $100 dollar Warner model. Cheap, slow, and it burned out on me during my second processing (in the middle of grinding 100 lbs of meat). I scrambled and was able to find a Kitchen Aid mixer with grinder attachment. It worked for a while, but it has a low capacity and I was afraid I would eventually burn it up as well. So I bought the model Bass Pro Shop carries for about 200 bucks. I think I got the 160 lb per hour model. It works great and I think it will last for a while.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 9.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA"><?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 9.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p>
</o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I did several processing?s before upgrading grinders. With the smaller grinders I couldn?t get the stuffer attachment to work. Basically, I grind the meat first and then stuff it. But you couldn?t run the ground meat back through the grinder. You have use the plunger to get the meat down the chute, but when you pull the plunger back out a seal would occur around the plunger and chute from the ground meat and pulling it back created a suction pulling all the meat back out of the stuffing. It was a pain. So I bought a stuffer. It?s a 5 lb capacity and looks like the one shown here.<P align=center>
<P style="TEXT-ALIGN: center" align=center><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Works great but if I had to do it again I would get a 10 pound capacity. I haven?t tried using my larger grinder as a stuffer, the larger capacity may eliminate the problem I had before. <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Finally you need a smoker. Nothing fancy. Just an old refrigerator or something. I?ve used my barrel smoker before, but the capacity is not that great. A tall rectangular box, like a fridge, gives plenty of room to hang the sausage up high and put a small fire below. Remember , you don?t want the sausage to get hot. Another reason a regular smoker isn?t that great.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Ingredients.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">There are three ingredients you need for making sausage in addition to the venison. You need pork trimmings, casings, and seasoning.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">You can buy pork trimmings in 50 lb boxes from a butcher. Costs about 50 or 60 bucks. I like to cut the trimmings down into 5 lb blocks, wrap those blocks, and then keep them in the freezer. You want to run around 25%-50% venison to trimmings ratio. I think most butchers go 50, but a little leaner would be 25. I don?t get to exact, I work in 5 lb chunks and typically round the pork up. So if I had 15 lbs of venison and wanted to go lean, 25%, then I would use 5 lbs of pork (1 block). Yea, that?s 33%, but close enough. I wouldn?t go any less than 25%, even it that meant getting closer to 50%. At the same time, I wouldn?t go over 50%. So if you went 50% then you could make 100 pounds of sausage for 50 dollars in pork. If you went leaner you could make up to 200 pounds of sausage.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">For casings use natural casings and yes, they are what you think they are. They are clean though. A package for 100lbs of sausage is about 15 bucks. They are kept in a brine solution so you have to rinse them really good. When you are done, make a brine solution (water and lots of salt), put the casings in the bag with the brine and put them in a freezer. Don?t know how long it lasts, but it lasts a very long time.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Your best bet for seasoning is AC Leggs sausage seasoning. If fact, I?m pretty sure this is what your processor uses. A bag costs about $1.50 and does 25 pounds and comes in different flavors. I just get the plain sausage seasoning. If you like a little spicer then use less meat but be careful. I tried using only 20 pounds and it was to spicy for me. At 25 pounds, its good but not to much. The whole family can enjoy it. You really don?t have to add anything to it. But sometimes I add fresh sage (need fresh, the dried stuff in the bottle just isn?t potent enough). Adding honey is really nice as well.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #033360; FONT-FAMILY: Tahoma"><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p>
</o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Making<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Okay, first you have to kill a deer and debone it. Make sure you get as much of that deer fat off as possible. It ain?t any good. Cut the meat into 1? strips or 1?x1? cubes. This is so you can get the meat down the grinder chute. After doing it once you will get a better idea of what size you need. At this point you can freeze your venison until you are ready to process it. Your first time you might want to do a single deer. But typically it?s just as easy to do two or so at a time. Another route is to simply freeze what you got and cut into smaller pieces as you are grinding. Then you can adjust as you go along.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">The night before processing day take out your venison and weigh it all. Determine how much pork you need and take it out as well. Let defrost overnight. When grinding they say its better to have chilled meat. Chilled meat does do better, but I don?t get hung up on that. You have so much meat that if you try to work with chilled meat you will also have frozen meat. Frozen meat is worse to work with then unchilled meat so I just let everything thaw.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Now grind all the venison and then pork. Once its all ground, mix it together and add the seasoning. Go light to begin with. Once its all mixed take some out, make some patties and fry up for a test. Adjust as needed.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Get your casings and rinse thoroughly. Stuff your sausage. This is easy, just refer to your stuffer instructions. I think some of my problem is I let my meat get dry as I go along. I think next time I?m going to add a little water just to kept it moist for stuffing. But if you do, go easy on the water. Also, don?t stuff to tightly until you get used to it. If you go thinner then you can make your links with out busting. Your first few batches won?t be the prettiest, but who cares, it tastes the same.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Finally you need to smoke it. I think I go about three hours with a small, smoldering fire. Use whatever flavor wood you want. You can skip this step all together. Actually, I don?t like a strong smoked flavor on my sausage. Remember, you aren?t cooking your sausage so don?t get it hot.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Finally, wrap and freeze.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
wanted to add this. If you would rather have pan sausage than link sausage then simply don't stuff the meat. Its the same otherwise.

You can get pan sausage "casings" like the one below. These casings can be smoked so you can still get that flavor if you wish.

 

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I also make my own. I usually make it in patties and freeze in individual portions. Yes AC Leggs is good, in fact the factory is here in Calera, AL about 2-3 miles from my house.
 
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