texashuntingforum.com logo
Main Menu
Advertisement
Affiliates
Advertisement
Newest Members
Csonnier19, Combatwelder, johnnywayne28, Tx87hntr, Wallace Rutigliano
65919 Registered Users
Top Posters(All Time)
dogcatcher 94,720
bill oxner 58,413
stxranchman 55,296
SnakeWrangler 47,585
RKHarm24 44,585
rifleman 44,439
BMD 41,029
Big Orn 37,484
Facebook
Forum Statistics
Forums45
Topics439,798
Posts6,380,639
Members65,919
Most Online16,728
Mar 25th, 2012
Print Thread
Dried Venison Sausage Alternatives #7382809 12/20/18 11:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 59
B
Bobvilla Offline OP
Outdoorsman
OP Offline
Outdoorsman
B
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 59
Looking for any suggestions on techniques to make dried sausage. I've done some reading about hanging it in cooler temp environments (with curing salt #2 obviously) for several weeks but frankly that seems like a pain in the rear.

How else are people doing it? In previous threads I remember reading about how some do it by cold smoking.

If anyone could provide some vague details on weather required, smoking temps, smoking durations, etc.

Once or twice before I've done it by slow smoking but I always "panic" and pull them off before they're dried out to perfection because I'm afraid they'll end up tasting like charcoal from smoking too long.

Re: Dried Venison Sausage Alternatives [Re: Bobvilla] #7382811 12/20/18 11:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 20,970
BuckRage Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 20,970
I haven't done it so I'm no help but I have done lots of research because its something I really want to do. As far as I'm aware that is the only way to do it. Cold smoking is part of the process it doens't help speed it up just imparts flavor and helps in the curing process and flavor of course. Only reason I haven't is because I live in a warm WTX but I will make preparations for it soon hopefully. One of the parts of the puzzle to good dried sausage is growing good bacteria. You can help kick start the bacteria with spores you can order but that all takes time. Theres no rushing it.


[Linked Image]
Re: Dried Venison Sausage Alternatives [Re: Bobvilla] #7383477 12/21/18 04:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 752
D
driedmeat Offline
Tracker
Offline
Tracker
D
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 752
I tried to keep it short but... This is the method I was taught. Take it for what it's worth.
We've been making dried sausage and jerky via cold smoke for generations. I've been using this exact method my entire life. I would call it part of our heritage. "Cold smoke" is just that - as little heat as possible. Duration in the smoke house varies depending on how much smoke it can make and how well it is sealed off to hold the smoke. Just have to figure it out by trial and error. Any sizable container will work as long as you can get smoke in it and close it off to hold the smoke and keep cool. You simply build a fire near the smoke house for a source of coals and then have just enough coals to produce smoke when the smoke wood is layed on the coals. When I was a kid, I had an old wooden deer blind boarded up and put a hibachi with a shovel of coals in it, then layed my smoke wood on top of the coals for the smoke then add coals and smoke wood as needed. My grandparents had a smoke house that was an outbuilding that they built specifically for processing with a cut room and screened in porch for drying. The smoker part was simply a closet with a port coming through the wall. A brick fire box was right outside. They'd build a fire in the box and wait for it to burn down to coals, put the smoke wood on the coals, close it off and stove pipe the smoke through the wall into the closet. The closet had slats on each wall that held rods for hanging sausage and chunk meat and screen trays for jerky. It was very efficient and held the smoke for the entire time. My current smoke house is an all metal 6x6 building with 2x12 floor. There is a cut out in the middle of the floor where I put a shovel of coals and the smoke wood. I have to add a shovel of coals and smoke wood every 30 to 45 minutes - it's nowhere near as efficient as the one my grandparents had. For dried sausage, I "cold smoke" it in heavy smoke for 8 hours. Same for "chunk meat" which is simply hind quarter muscled out and cut into chunks a couple inches thick and as long as the muscle. Strip jerky gets about 4 hours. I pull out the entire floor when I make hams or bacon. Those meats have to come up to much higher temps so coals are spread all across the floor (ground) - but that's a whole other process.
All of the dried meat that I make is air dried by nature. The place I dry is under a carport, in the shade, open to north wind. Simply suspended racks that hold my rods of sausage or chunk meat and/or my jerky trays.
As for weather, obviously cold and dry are what you want. Weather is not a factor for folks that use a dehydrator. I personally don't like the texture of meat from a dehydrator and the extra effort of air drying is worth it to me. Winter is the only time of year that is suitable for this method. Dry weather (humidity level) is much more important than cold - especially once the meat is "set". (I wouldn't suggest this - but we hunted a place in Mexico west of Laredo - the ranch family would take a fresh killed deer, cut the meat into thin strips, and dry it on the thorns of a mesquite tree (regardless of the temperature) to preserve it for later in the year. They used no cure, no salt, and no smoke. It was purely the extremely dry air.)
I try to aim for getting my dried meats smoked and hung right before a cold front. The front usually pushes out the humidity for a few days and blows in dry air. Drying time for sausage and chunk meat done this way can be one to two weeks (or more) depending on the weather. You learn to feel for "doneness" by squeezing with your fingers. Sausage dried naturally will only give a bit when squeezed with considerable effort. The strip jerky usually takes a few days but I've had it dry in as short as 24hrs (dry cold front blowing on it). Inevitably there are times when the weather does not co-operate and changes from cool and dry to humid. I have never "lost" a batch so to speak. As long as you get a good start, humidity in cool air won't ruin a batch. It can lessen the quality though (flavor). Cool and dry is best. Cool and humid is not bad. Warm and humid is bad. I have been scolded on here before for saying this, but I do not use any curing chemicals in the sausage or jerky other than table salt (no iodine) and smoke. That being said, I take very good care of the carcass from the kill to the end product so the meat is as high quality as it can be throughout the process. If you don't have a good meat to start with, you will not have a good end product. As for seasonings - I use salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder. There are many recipes and commercial seasoning mixes out there and from what I have experienced (and heard from others) is they have too many ingredients and tend to mask over the natural flavors of the meat and smoke. Kind of like when a person smothers a perfectly cooked ribeye in ketchup and steak sauce. To each their own, but making sausage is a lot of good work and in the end I want to taste the smoked meat - not a cabinet full of loud spices. As for spices, use name brand spices. Not generic. There is a difference in the strength and also quality control
For dried sausage, I use 60% venison to 40% pork butt. For "fresh" or "table" sausage, 40-50% venison depending on the pork fat.
All that being said, this is simply the way I was taught, the way we've been doing it for generations. Hopefully you can pull some useful info from this. As for alternatives... I am not aware of any other methods that don't require cooking the meat. Commercial dried meats are required to be brought up to minimum heat temps - they are cooked. That changes the texture and flavor in comparison the naturally dried.


Last edited by driedmeat; 12/21/18 04:32 PM.
Re: Dried Venison Sausage Alternatives [Re: Bobvilla] #7383485 12/21/18 04:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 32,035
R
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
R
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 32,035
We make dry sausage similar to what is said above.

We have a 10x16 tool shed in the back yard with a 20,000 btu window unit a/c.

We grind/season/mix meat then stuff in pork or beef casings tie and hang on pipes or split 2x4 or 2x6 from the rafters. To smoke it we have a metal bucket we fill with your flavor of wood chips (we use mesquite) light with liter fluid let it burn till fluid is burned off then snuff it out and uncover a sliver of the top of the bucket to allow it to smolder and it will smoke good for hours. Place the bucket on some bricks in the middle of the tool shed and close the door. Next morning we give it a peak and if its warm/humid turn the A/C on if its cold and dry leave it alone. In good weather it will dry in about a week.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Dried Venison Sausage Alternatives [Re: redchevy] #7383662 12/21/18 07:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 12,240
D
don k Online Content
THF Celebrity
Online Content
THF Celebrity
D
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 12,240
Originally Posted by redchevy
We make dry sausage similar to what is said above.

We have a 10x16 tool shed in the back yard with a 20,000 btu window unit a/c.

We grind/season/mix meat then stuff in pork or beef casings tie and hang on pipes or split 2x4 or 2x6 from the rafters. To smoke it we have a metal bucket we fill with your flavor of wood chips (we use mesquite) light with liter fluid let it burn till fluid is burned off then snuff it out and uncover a sliver of the top of the bucket to allow it to smolder and it will smoke good for hours. Place the bucket on some bricks in the middle of the tool shed and close the door. Next morning we give it a peak and if its warm/humid turn the A/C on if its cold and dry leave it alone. In good weather it will dry in about a week.

Same way i do it except for the air conditioner. If it gets too humid sometimes I have to wipe them off with vinegar if they get a mold on them.

Re: Dried Venison Sausage Alternatives [Re: Bobvilla] #7383702 12/21/18 07:52 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 32,035
R
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
R
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 32,035
We have done the vinegar also Don. We started with the A/C because life was busy and with the A/C we can make dried sausage in the middle of the summer when its 100 degrees out and raining.


It's hell eatin em live
Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

© 2004-2019 OUTDOOR SITES NETWORK all rights reserved USA and Worldwide
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3