How to Make Venison Sausage
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How to Make Venison Sausage

Oct 22, 2023

Tired of burgers and meatloaf? Let how to make venison sausage with the rest of your ground deer meat

By Jack Hennessy, Jonathan Miles | Updated Feb 5, 2023 12:02 PM EST

It's that time of year when hunters find themselves sitting on a mound of ground meat trying to figure out how to make venison sausage. You can do a lot with ground venison, from burgers to spaghetti dinners, but with a little time and the right equipment, you can get more creative. Here's everything you need to know about how to make venison sausage from frozen ground meat.

You’ll need some specialized equipment to learn how to make venison sausage. You may already have some of the following at home, but other things—like the sausage stuffer—can be found online or in kitchen stores.

Learning how to make venison sausage is all about precision, and if you want to be precise, digital scales are the way to go. A standard digital scale can be used to weigh venison. To accurately measure spices, a dry goods scale is best.

A grinder allows you to add pork fatback to ground venison for better texture. Without it, venison sausage tends to be dry. Pork fatback is basically flavorless and lets the flavor of the meat you’re using come through.

A meat mixer is optional, but I recommend it to those who want to learn how to make venison sausage in larger batches (think 10 pounds of sausage or more). A mixer will help distribute spices. It also helps break down the protein which, in turn, allows the seasoning, water, meat, and fat to bind together. You can mix by hand, too, but it adds excess heat to the meat which can affect the texture of the finished sausage.

If you’d like to learn how to make venison sausage links, you’ll need a sausage stuffer/press. Most grinders include a sausage-stuffing plate and tube attachment, but I don't recommend using it. A stuffer/press is more efficient and, generally speaking, easier to operate.

If you plan on learning how to make venison sausage patties, you can get away without using any of the equipment above. Instead of grinding pork fatback you can add store-bought ground pork shoulder to ground wild game to make it juicier and more sausage-like. The pork will add its own flavor and texture, which will be a little different than grinding your own fatback, but it works in a pinch.

You want to work with ice-cold, borderline-frozen meat. If the meat warms up, fat can smear, and this fat will leak out during cooking—leaving you with dry, crumbly sausage and crinkly links. If at any point you think the meat is warming up too much, while grinding or mixing, add it back to the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes.

When learning how to make venison sausage from pre-ground game, I suggest thawing out a chub bag of ground meat just enough to cut into four pieces that are small enough to fit in a grinder chute. I also freeze the grinder chute an hour ahead of time. If you’re hand-mixing sausage, the meat should be so cold your elbows start to hurt while mixing.

Compared to whole muscles, pre-ground venison results in a drier texture after it's been thawed and cooked. Small muscle fibers (in the form of ground meat) leak more juices after thawing. For that reason, venison sausage made from a frozen package of ground game needs more fat than you’d use when making deer sausage with fresh cuts. I recommend 40 percent pork fatback (by weight) as compared to the 30 to 35 percent used with fresh game. For game meat with a higher fat content, such as waterfowl, I like to add 25 to 30 percent fatback.

If you don't have a grinder and you’re making venison sausage patties with pre-ground pork, you’ll want to opt for a 1:3 ratio. That's 3 pounds of ground meat from the freezer to one pound of store-bought ground pork. Any more pork than that will result in sausage that tastes more like pork than wild game.

The amount of salt you use will vary depending on what type of sausage you’re making. A good rule of thumb is to add 6.8 grams of kosher (non-iodized) salt per pound of sausage.

If you’re using pork fatback, grind the pork fat by itself once, then a second time with the ground game and spices. This allows you to easily combine both types of meat while incorporating your spices. It also results in a more consistent sausage texture.

A binder such as C-Bind (also known as carrot fiber binder) helps bind the meat while also retaining moisture. C-Bind retains 26 times its weight in water, and up to four times its weight in oil. If you use pre-ground game, which tends to have a drier texture, C-Bind will ensure that the finished sausage stays moist.

When you’re learning how to make venison sausage, it helps to have a recipe to follow. Here are the ingredients for a 5-pound batch of Italian-style venison sausage. If you’d like to adapt the recipe for different amounts of sausage, use a blend of 60 percent venison to 40 percent fat and adjust spices accordingly.

Spice Mix

Read Next: The Complete Guide to Making Wild Game Sausage

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Ingredients Spice Mix Read Next: The Complete Guide to Making Wild Game Sausage