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? for you sasuage makers

1774 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Big Shooter
I have been making summer sasuage with venison for about 4 years now.. I usually do batches from 8lbs to 10lbs. which takes about 5-6 hours in the oven at 185 to 195 degrees.

Last night I put a 8lb. batch in the oven at 4:00 in the afternoon.
The meat was not up to 165 degrees until 10:00a.m the next day.

18 hours. I can't understand. My oven was at the correct temp the whole time. The only thing that I did different this time compared to the 50 or so other times is that I soaked my casings and I used 20% more cure than I usually do. The recipe calls for 1/4 tsp per pound I had 1/2 tsp left so I through it in the batch.

I also put a lb of pork sasuage in the venison burger.

Can't understand why it took 12 hours longer for this batch...
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If your using 2# casings, it might take you longer. I'd check the thermostat
I usually check it three times in the 6 hours. To make sure that the oven is at temp and my remote thermometer is working. I have a turkey thermometer to double check the internal temp.

Nothing worse than tossing out 7 lbs of venison burger...
I have run into this same situation from time to time also. The two biggest issues that add cooking time (or smoking time in my case) are:
Batch size, Bigger the batch more time it takes to cook. I normally do 25 to 50 lb batches in about 6 to 8 hours. 100 lb batch takes 14 to 16 hours.
Amount of moisture in the mix. A lot of sausage makers mix their dry seasoning with water to help evenly distribute the seasoning thru the mix. This is a good practice as long as you do not use two much water. Sloppy sausage runs thru the stuffer real nice but takes forever to get to temp. If a batch is thought to be too wet hang it overnight and allow it to loose some of the moisture. You may also open the oven door just a crack to help disapate the moisture during the first hour of your cook and if needed don't be afraid to take your heat up to 225 degrees to "Finish" the product. Better finish it to temp with more heat than loose the batch.
Couple of other points:
If you are using a sausage cure such as insta cure #1 do not just add additional amounts. This is powerful stuff and does it's job well with very small amounts, 1 ounce of cure per 25 lbs of product or 2 level teaspoons per 10 lb batch. DO NOT mix the cure with water before you ad to the product.
You say you added pork to your batch, have you added pork to your past batches? I do suggest adding a LITTLE pork to the mix. It will give a moister end product. Do not add pork fat, this only gives you a greasy end product and a big mess to clean up. Pork butt works well, packaged at the store it will be labeled as pork steak, pork shoulder or butt roast, or western style spareribs. Most pork you buy today is "Enhanced". That means to improve the eat-a-bility of the product it has been pumped full of a sodium solution (check the soduim content on the package). Using the enhanced pork won't ruin the sausage but I use very little (2 lb pork to 25 lb venison) to keep the salt and moisture level down.
Hope this helps and have fun!
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Anyone else "shock" the sausage when it is done? I let mine cool down for 5 minutes in ice water so the fat doesnt congulate.
I will "shock" the sausage with a cold water bath to quickly bring the temp down. This sets a natural casing and prevents fat pockets. Venison sausage is so lean you should not need to worry about the fat problem, if it occurs you are using too much pork.
I tried my first batch of venison summer sausage this Dec. I did a 30# batch using a store baught kit. I ended up with ten 3# sticks. I added 2 whole bulbs of fresh garlic run through a garlic press to the mixture. I cold smoked it 3 hours, then baked it in the oven at 185 til the meat was at the proper internal temp. It took 10 hours! In that time I checked the temp 3 times. The sausage was excellant. I think the added garlic with the extra moisture made it take longer. Also I think at the low cooking temps ovens will differ thus taking longer. Unless you have a digital oven or a thermometer in the oven, exact temps will vary.
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