Play Outdoors Had a SausageFest

This weekend we finally got all of the venison processed. I am well aware that this was basically a two week long project. Matt had most of Saturday off. So, after waiting in a Starbucks for him to wrap up a couple things in the office, we made the rounds to the outdoors stores and our local awesome PawnAmerica (a totally non-shady pawn shop), where we sometimes find gems in the form of nice, cheap powertools, fishing poles, and electronics. My next camera will probably come from there. Technically, there could be another Dispatch from his toybox, but honestly, I’d be doing one of those every two weeks if I recorded every single one. We each got a fly rod this weekend, though, and he picked up some more lures, and a heavy-duty rod to complement the other two or three we have so we can troll for muskie, and also catch giant catfish more easily. Onward to the meat of the story.

This is what 25lbs of summer sausage looks like.

This is what 25lbs of summer sausage looks like.

Matt and I took on the herculean task of meat grinding, stuffing, and curing on Saturday afternoon. I only got a couple pictures, as, again, my hands were too grody to really handle a camera. We were at it from about 4pm until after 1am. Luckily, we purchased a dedicated electric meat grinder for this season, since an errant bit of silverskin murdered my Kitchenaid with the meat grinder attachment last year.

The Kitchenaid is dead. Long Live the Kitchenaid.

The Kitchenaid is dead. Long Live the Kitchenaid.

So, after much grinding and stuffing with possibly the worst-designed sausage stuffer in all the world, we were finished late Saturday night. Before cooking any of it, we had 25 pounds of summer sausage, as pictured, 15 pounds of snack sticks, and 15 pounds of jerky meat before dehydrating it. I also had an upsetting amount of dishes to wash.

Snack sticks and the meat grinder.

Snack sticks and the meat grinder.

We turned the oven to about 200 degrees, loaded most of the summer sausage into it, and let it go overnight. We took those out in the morning, swapped in the last two summer sausages, and some of the snack sticks, and just rinsed and repeated this cycle. It’s still in progress as I type. Last night before bed we put the jerky in the dehydrators, and it was done this morning when I got up.

More jerky than you can shake a stick at.

More jerky than you can shake a stick at.

Even with all the scrap we had to grind up, we still didn’t end up making any into breakfast sausage or bratwursts. It all was cured into dry sausage and jerky. So, I have quite a bit of hog casings that I need to figure out how to store. Any recommendations are welcome.

Wanting to wrap up this deer processing once and for all, we also oiled the hides yesterday afternoon. We took them down from the line and rubbed a lot of canola oil into them. They soaked it right up, but are still quite stiff. I think we let them dry a bit too much, and hopefully it can be corrected.

Taking the buckskin down.

Taking the buckskin down.

With the oil on them and a heater pointed at them.

With the oil on them and a heater pointed at them.

We were hoping that we’d have a mild week with enough sunny days to melt off some of the snow so we could work on getting the old tires off the boat trailer. There’s still a lot of ice on the lakes (and snow on the ground!), but there are thin ice caution signs popping up everywhere, and it gives me hope for spring time and open water.

From being backed into the water as often as the trailer probably was (we bought it used), they’re rusted on tighter than anything, as well as possibly being cross-threaded. As I said before, that’s a post in it’s own right. The one tire is completely chewed up around the rim. Like, COPS-police chased, torn up tire. The other went flat over winter. However, it’s snowing right now, and the forecast has us right below the freezing mark for most of the week. Ever the optimist, though, I plan to pick up a lot of WD-40 to soak them with. If that doesn’t pan out, I can possibly pick up fabric to complete the camper.

Oh, and if you need summer sausage, you know the girl to ask. We have more than we could eat and expect our blood pressure to remain reasonable.


The array of dishes did get washed, and yes, by hand. That dishwasher doesn't work. A lot of stuff in this house is out of order.

The array of dishes did get washed, and yes, by hand. That dishwasher doesn’t work. A lot of stuff in this house is out of order.








11 thoughts on “Play Outdoors Had a SausageFest

  1. Pingback: A Different Kind of Self Tanner. | Play Outdoors

  2. That is a lot of summer sausage!! I want to try and make some this season.

    Were you using a grinder as a stuffer? I know mine will do that, but it really stinks at it. If you can, get yoruself a dedicated vertical sausage stuffer. Best $100 I’ve spent in a while. Makes stuffing sausage a breeze and turns it into a one man job.

    • We will be getting a vertical stuffer this year. The one we have now is shaped like the hook of the letter J. The plunger squishes the ground meat out behind it, and trying to open the throat of it back up with meat behind the plunger causes a vacuum. You basically have to push each pound of meat 3 or 4 times to get it all into the casing. It’s a huge pain.

      • Oh, geez. I’ve heard about those and nothing good. I got the 5lb stuffer that LEM makes. Its pretty good and more importantly it has metal gears, not plastic ones that can strip. 5 lbs works for me because that’s how big I usually make recipes, but you might want to step it up to 10 or 25 just from the feeling I get after reading a few of your posts. Whatever you decide, it will be a joy compared to what you are using. And if you really feel like forking out cash, Google Dakota water stuffers.

        • We were looking at all the ones our Gander Mountain had on display. Up until this year, Matt had been only grinding his own venison, or maybe his and his roommate’s, and they were small little deer from up north. We got two this past year from here around Madison, and they were chunky critters. He wants to get five deer this year. We would definitely need a 25lb capacity one then.

          • 5? Wow! I would need to buy a freezer for that many. I took my first deer this past season at my wife’s family’s ranch. Nobody has hunted deer on it for years. Hoping to get another one or two this year.

            • I told him we’d have to find the deer first. There’s still plenty on the land we hunted last year, but to get 5 we would need to pin down a few other chunks of public land. The deer on his grandpa’s land in northern Wisco are most nocturnal. And we have a chest freezer, but for 5 we might need another. Hopefully this year the weather cooperates. Last year, the days after we shot the deer were 70F. In November, in Wisconsin. Totally out of place. We had to freeze entire quarters. It sucked. I’d much rather process fresh meat that wasn’t hand-numbingly cold.

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