Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Making Summer Sausage from Pre-Processed Ground Venison

Ashtyn from S. Charleston, OH wrote in:

Hi Brad,

After watching your shows and Youtube videos, I am a first time summer sausage maker. I plan on using venison from the deer that my boyfriend and I shoot. I have 2 questions. First question: We take our deer to be processed and have it all ground up for burgers and sorts. The butcher adds some pork fat to the deer and then packages it for us in 1 lb tubes. Do I need to add additional pork fat to my summer sausage or should that be enough? Second question: I plan on packing my fibrous casings with a Kitchenaid sausage attachment and I was wondering if you have ever tried to use one of them and if you have any tips about that.

Thank you and we love your videos!!


Thank you for the challenging question! Ok, here's the battle...

You are working with meat that has already been ground twice, as most hamburger type products are. So the challenge here is how do you get the seasonings mixed into the meat properly without grinding the product again? The added pork will not hurt anything, that's fine, and the fact that you are making a large diameter product will help as well.

For future reference: I like to freeze bags of trim meat without grinding it. This is what I use to make my sausage type products from. I generally freeze the trim in bags 3-5lb in size. Then I can thaw it out and make small batches of products later in the year as I choose. This will also allow you to grind the seasonings right into the product and eliminate a lot of things that could go wrong.

However, we are working with already ground meat here so this is what you will need to do:

#1: Thaw the meat COMPLETELY. If you have any frozen particles, the Summer Sausage seasoning will not blend and absorb into the frozen meat, so you will have salty and bland spots in your product.

#2: When adding the seasoning, be sure to add 24oz of water to every 10lbs of meat. This will help dissolve the seasonings and get the meat to soak up the salts and sugars in your seasoning blend.

#3: Mix, Mix, Mix the meat until you are sure you have all the seasoning dissolved and completely coating the meat. No lumps of seasoning visible. Mixing meat is just like making homemade bread.

#4: Place the mixed product into the refrigerator and let it rest, covered for 24 hours. This will allow the seasoning additional time to blend into the meat. This normally would happen during the grinding process but we are using already ground product so we need to give it additional time.

#5: You will notice that a lot of the water has now absorbed into the meat or evaporated in your refrigerator so you will need to add a little more to help during the stuffing process. Maybe 8-12oz per 10lbs of meat depending on how dry the product is.

#6: You are now ready to stuff the product into your casings and smoke to an internal temperature of 156F. I have never used the Kitchenaid products so I really don't have a lot of information to share with you there. When it comes to grinding and stuffing, I use stand alone Weston products.

If you are using a grinding attachment, be sure to remove the knife and plate from the head so you don't grind the product a third time while stuffing. You should be able to stuff off the head of your grinder attachment and simply use the auger in the unit to push the meat into the casings (again, I don't know how Kitchenaid attachments work).

Summer sausage can be a little tricky because of the diameter of the product. If you need any additional tips, this video might help you:

And if you need further instructions, check out our Advanced Sausage Processing DVD which is 2 hours of grinding, mixing, stuffing, processing and smoking knowledge on all types of various sausage products.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood

Monday, January 21, 2013

2013 SHOT Show Review

Shot Show 2013 was filled with great products and a record crowd to share in our love of the outdoors & shooting sports! Great Show! Here's a look at some of what went on...

A complete look at the full line of Outdoor Edge's Game Processing Kits.

Review of the new Outdoor Edge Razor Blaze knife.

Weston's Realtree® Sportsman's Advantage Vacuum Sealer in action!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Freezing Smoked Meats

Tim from Paxton, IL wrote:

Hello Brad,

Love the show and really enjoy the hunts. I made some summer sausage using a Sausage Kit. Followed the directions as close as possible.

My question is: Now that I've smoked/cooked the sausages, is there any harm in freezing them? I bought a vacuum sealer and have plenty of bags.

Thanks for the advice and keep on cook'n.



Thanks so much for the question, and yes you can freeze your summer sausage! The only issue with freezing smoked products is the cure. Smoked products tend to have much shorter freezer storage times than fresh meats. I never keep smoked products in a frozen state for over 3 months.

Try to eat fast my friend and thanks for the question!!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood
Outdoor Edge's LOH TV

Friday, January 4, 2013

Webisode: Making Smoked Cheese in a Bradley Smoker

In this Love of the Hunt webisode, I show you how to smoke cheese in a Bradley Smoker. Winter is the best time to smoke cheese. Why a Bradley Smoker? Because this smoker lets you turn the smoke generator on without turning on the heating element. This means smoking the cheese without melting it. Check it out!
Products Shown in this Webisode:
Bradley Digital Smoker

How to Prepare Heart?

Clint from Similkameen, British Columbia wrote:   

Hey Brad, 

I have been hunting since my grandpa took me out when I was three. He made some spectacular liver when I got my first moose. He used onions, garlic, and a bunch of other ingredients that I do not remember (I was five). He passed away when I was eight, and my grandma does not know his recipe for spectacular heart and liver. 

Now that I am older and have a family of my own, I was wanting a new way to cook liver and heart up. I do the old style "flour-salt-pepper" and the "garlic butter" style, but I wanted to know if you knew some spectacular way to cook up liver and heart. 


I can advise you on heart, but liver has never been one of my favorites!

I always prepare heart fresh and in a hot skillet with pure butter! Brown and serve it with caramelized onions and peppers! I love smoked venison heart! It's been tops on my list for a Butcher Block video segment! I smoke mine in a Bradley Smoker, then thin slice it with a Weston Meat Slicer and add a little Hi Mountain Trail Dust seasoning, and it's perfect!

Thanks for the question, and I wish I had some fancy reply for you, but sometimes simple is best!

Brad Lockwood
Outdoor Edge's LOH TV

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Linking Sausages into Single Links

Braydon from Wayland, MI said:

Once I get my sausage all stuffed, how do I make it into single links, so it holds together when I want to use it later?


The best answer I can give you here is from this loveofthehunttv.com blog page; under videos, click on the Hotdogs link. There is an excellent video that shows you step by step exactly how to link sausage products!

Good luck!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood
Outdoor Edge's LOH TV

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How to Make Jerky in my Smoker?

Mike from Ontario, Canada asked:

I have researched the jerky making process and I still cannot find the answer I'm looking for. Can you help me? When I put my strips into the Bradley Smoker, I have the temperature set at 150 degrees and want to run for 2 hours, then turn up the heat to 180 degrees. My questions are:

1. How long do I generate smoke for? 
2. How long am I going to run at 180 degrees before removing product?

Thanks for your time, love all the shows and helpful info each week!


Thanks for the question! My true advice to you would be to look at The Advanced Jerky Processing Video on The Hunter's Butcher Shop website. Jerky processing is never simple; it's one of the more difficult products to explain because there are so many variables: The thickness of the slices, how much you have in your smoker, the damper setting on the smoker... I do my very best on the short Butcher Blocks on LOH TV, but I can only explain so much with the time I have on the show.

The DVD is over 2 hours long with every detail and type of jerky you can imagine. When you ask how long at 180F, it's going to depend on all the factors above: damper, how thick, how many pounds. This is why I really can't give you an exact time at 180F. I dry my jerky until its still flexible and allow it to air dry from there. Once you have a system in place & you slice your product the same each time and place the same amount in the smoker each time, then you can set exact times. But for now, it will take a bit of trial and error. I would look at the DVD. You will really enjoy it.

Thanks for the question,
"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood
Outdoor Edge's LOH TV

Goose Marinades

Megan from Drayton Valley, Alberta asked: 
Do you have any videos or recipes on goose marinades? 


We sure do! Check out our Mastering Marination DVD on The Hunter's Butcher Shop website! Great DVD with tips and techniques for processing geese and ducks! Check it out!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood
Outdoor Edge's LOH TV