Tips for Making Venison Sausage


Processing venison at Feral Kitchen

Processing venison.

This is Passport to Texas

Sausage is an easy, tasty way to utilize the scraps and organ meat of large game animals like deer. The trick to making good sausage, says Jesse Griffiths, a hunter and chef who teaches people how to process and cook venison, is to keep everything cold—from the ingredients to the equipment.

You want the fat and the protein to remain separate, so when you mix it together, they’re going to bind together and form this cohesive mass; that’s going to greatly affect the texture of the sausage and keep the fat from leaking out of the sausage which is going to moisten the end product, and keep that venison really tender, and make the sausage a really nice texture—sliceable, and not crumbly or grainy.

And then, the one step in your recipe is where you put the chilled ground meat into your kitchen aide stand mixer, and mix it again with water. Could you explain why you do that?

You’ve got it ground to the point where you want it already. And now you want to bind those and make those stick together, like, literally become sticky. And by using the paddle attachment and by whipping it a little bit, you are creating a bind to the sausage, where the fat and the proteins are stuck together.

Cold water lowers the temperature and maintains the bind between the fat and the protein, and also reduces the likelihood of the fat separating out, and at the same time it distributes the flavorings—the salt and the seasons that are in the sausage—and makes them more homogeneous within the sausage.

We have a venison sausage recipe at Our show receives support from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration program, working to increase fishing and hunting opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Venison Jalapeno Summer Sausage
Chris Houston, Feral Austin

I make these into 1 lb logs using 1.5” fibrous casings, but it’s also fun to make larger ones that can be a real conversation piece at a party or bbq.  To take it up a notch, consider making your own mustard to accompany it.


  • 5 pounds meat – venison, feral hog, or a combination (at least 20% fat content – otherwise you’ll need to add fatback)
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 5 fresh jalapenos, seeded (unless you really like the heat)
  • 1 teaspoon Instacure #1


  1. Coarse grind the meat and fat through a ⅜” grinder plate.
  2. Grind half of the mixture through the same plate yet again.
  3. Stuff tightly into 1 ½” (or larger) Fibrous Casings
  4. Let cure in the refrigerator for 1-3 days then smoke until the internal temperature reaches 152 degrees.

I like to use hickory with this recipe, but oak works well too.

I start my smoker at 140-145 deg for 1 hour without water to dry the sausage.  Then add a water pan and smoke at 155 degrees for 1 hour.  Then increase the temperature to 175 until the internal temperature of the sausage reaches 152 degrees (about 2 hours).

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