Deer Sausage- Hard and Sunken In?

Air dried cured Meat Techniques

Deer Sausage- Hard and Sunken In?

Postby funkyone » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:07 am

I will start by saying this wasn’t my personal sausage but someone I know and trying to help them. I’m familiar with how they did it and wanted to get your thoughts. This is an old fashioned summer sausage/salami (not cooked)

Was 50/50 Deer-Pork Butt
1-3/4” Collagen casings

• Rough Grind
• Add Spice
• Add Cure
• Smaller Grind
• Stuff with stuffer and horn
• Sealed off with hog rings
• Did not prick

Smoking Process
• Smoke 4 hours with hickory under 120* F
• Smoke a 2nd time with hickory for 2 hours
• Hang 3-6 weeks in 32-60* F This went about 6 (but was hard on the outside pretty quick.)

That is the process they used. Here are some observations by me but I’d love to see what everyone else’s thoughts are.

• Really hard on the outside (deep dark ring) and some are still soft (mushy) on the inside after 5 weeks
• Caved in (sucked in and not round)
• Curled

Some of my thoughts
• I think it’s possible they went quite a bit hotter than 120* when cooking. I usually stay under 90* (these are dry hung cured)
• Since it was hung in a non-insulated garage, the humidity was not even close to where it was supposed to be and ran very wide ranges of temps. Had to keep lights on it just to try to keep it from freezing.

My guess is that it was *cooked* too much and had poor hanging conditions. Middle couldn't cure properly as the ring was so hard

What are your thoughts? Why so sucked in and caved in? Fat content?

I usually try for 45-55 degrees and roughly 70% humidity
Personally, I prefer 2.5” fibrous casings but collagen casings should have worked fine.
Pricking them is usually a personal preference but I’ve had great with/without

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Re: Deer Sausage- Hard and Sunken In?

Postby funkyone » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:31 pm

Do I have this in the right section?
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Re: Deer Sausage- Hard and Sunken In?

Postby NCPaul » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:29 am

A long overdue welcome to the forum. :D This section is fine for your question, I'm just not sure anyone has a good answer for your questions. It is maybe that this sausage falls into it's own class. Summer sausage is normally a lean, cooked, semi dry product; this seems to be not quite cooked (which would set its dimensions) and then over and rapidly dried. Without any fermentation step, this severe drying would likely collapse the structure. My best advise would be to ferment the sausage, hot smoke to a cooked temperature, then hang to dry for a short period.
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Re: Deer Sausage- Hard and Sunken In?

Postby wheels » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:47 pm

I can't add to what both you and NCPaul have said, but want to add my welcome to the forum. :D :D

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