One of the healthiest and tastiest sausage options is deer sausage. You can make it at home from scratch or purchase it from a nearby deli or grocery store, and the last thing you want to do is poorly cook your handmade Deer sausage links. The links can also be divided into smaller pieces and added to pizza, soups, and other dishes. They taste fantastic when chopped into bite-sized pieces and used in any recipe that asks for sausage as an appetizer or ingredient.
The main ingredients in this hearty, rustic venison sausage recipe are ground garlic and bay leaves. These are particularly suitable for grilling because the flavors of cooking over an open flame and bay appear to complement one another. Many cooks flavor their sausages with herbs, spices, dried fruits, nuts, and butter. Some people mix deer meat with other meats like pork or beef to make venison sausage mixtures. Sausages can be prepared immediately in an oven, stovetop, or grill. Additionally, they are usually frozen and then prepared fresh as needed.
Deer Nutrition Facts
What is Deer Meat?
Venison, which generally refers to the meat from deer, became more popular among American diners as commercial ranching increased. Due to its lack of the “gaminess” frequently associated with deer that have been shot, venison from pasture-raised animals is becoming increasingly popular on restaurant menus nationwide. Deer meat has a smooth texture and retains its firmness because of its short, thin muscle fibers.
Contrary to popular belief, venison does not taste like beef and has a comparable overall effect. The flavor of venison is sometimes seen as being overpowering. Still, in reality, it has a beautiful herbaceous, almost nutty flavor that goes especially well with fruit- or wine-based sauces.
How Long do you Cook Deer Sausage?
The cooking equipment you intend to employ is thus the first factor to consider. Are you going to bake, boil, grill, smoke, or fry the sausage? We’ll expound on each of these options, which are all good ones. However, frying deer sausage in a skillet or saucepan is the most practical method.
You only need a hot stove, a little oil or butter, and six to ten minutes. The sausage should be cooked inside to a temperature of between 155 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The goal is to prevent the skin from burning and the interior from being undercooked. That can be avoided by frequently tossing the sausages in the pan. If pan-frying deer sausage is not your preferred technique, let’s discuss more options.
How Long to Smoke Venison Sausage?
Smoking deer sausage can be tricky, and the issue stems from the fact that this cooking method often takes longer than any other.
You want to ensure that your venison sausage isn’t dry, which can only be done if you do it slowly at a low temperature. Here’s what you need to do:
- Preheat the smoker to a medium-high temperature.
- Place the links in the smoker and let them cook for around five minutes. Turn them over once during that time.
- Now, reduce the heat, close the smoker, and let the sausages cook for at least two hours.
The temperature should never go over 180°F, and somewhere around 160°F is ideal.
Use a meat thermometer if unsure when the deer sausage is done. The internal temperature of the sausage should be between 155-165°F to be safe for consumption.
How Long do you Boil Venison Sausage?
This is one of the most untraditional ways to cook venison sausage or any sausage. There are some benefits and downsides to this cooking method, however.
The advantage is that you don’t need to use any additional fats, especially if you’ve chosen deer sausage for its leanness in the first place.
The disadvantage is that you can’t get that crispy golden-brown skin that makes the sausages scrumptious. But what’s the best way to boil the deer sausage?
- Place the sausages in the pot.
- Cover them with water. Poke small holes in the sausage with a knife.
- Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Another way is to do a quick sear in a pan, then boil the deer sausage in the pan itself—be sure to poke holes in the skin, add a cup of water, and cover the pan with a lid.
You could call this frying as well, only without any added fat. The fat from the sausage will seep out, allowing you to get a crispier skin if that’s what you want.
How Long do you Bake Venison Sausage in the Oven?
Undoubtedly, one of the most convenient ways to cook deer sausage is to bake it in your oven. You don’t have to hang around and can ensure that nothing burns or undercooks.
Plus, roasting the sausages allows you to add vegetables and other pieces of meat.
Your goal is to cook the venison sausage thoroughly without breaking the casing of the links. Here’s what that process looks like:
- Take out the sausages from the fridge and preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Place aluminum foil in the baking tray or use some cooking spray instead. Optionally, brush the sausages with oil or butter.
- Place the deer sausages on the pan, giving each as much space as possible.
- Roast the sausages for about 15 to 20 minutes.
However, remember that not all ovens are the same, and if yours runs a bit hot, you’ll need even less baking time.
How to Store?
It’s recommended to consume your deer sausage within three weeks of opening it and putting it in the refrigerator. It is advisable to carefully cover the sausage in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to safely keep the meat for that long and maximize its shelf life. This will prevent the meat from being compromised by air infiltration. Unopened venison summer sausage packages are kept in the refrigerator for three months.
Here’s how to safely freeze your venison summer sausage:
- Get enough freezer paper for the sausages you have.
- Put the paper on a flat surface and wrap the sausages just like you’d wrap a gift.
- Fold the edges around the meat.
- Get some freezer tape and stick it around the edges.
- Label the sausages and don’t forget to write down the date. Otherwise, you might forget it.
- Store the package in the freezer for up to six months.
- If you have a vacuum sealer at home, you can also use that and then toss the packaging in the freezer.
Thawing Deer Summer Sausage
Deer summer sausage can be defrosted in either the refrigerator or the microwave. Although it will take a little longer, thawing in the refrigerator is the easiest and healthiest method. However, it would help if you guaranteed that your refrigerator’s inside temperature is below 41°F.
Find space on the bottom shelf for the sausages and put them on a dish. The plate will stop the fluids from the meat from dripping all over your refrigerator.
If the sausages feel soft to the touch and there is no sign of ice, they have likely thawed. Depending on your batch size, the complete procedure can take a day. You should take frozen deer summer sausage out of the freezer the day before if you intend to serve it for dinner.
Microwave thawing is an additional technique. This method is significantly faster than defrosting sausages in the refrigerator but also calls for extreme caution.
Put the sausages on a platter and turn the microwave to “defrost” to prevent scorching them. They should remain indoors till they split up.
How Long does Frozen Venison Sausage Last?
If you made enough venison sausage to last the entire week, you might wish to freeze the extra. If you decide to do that, you can safely keep the leftovers in the freezer for two to three months. The easiest way to store sausages is to freeze them if you want them to last as long as possible. You can store your smoked venison sausages in the freezer, and it is advised to store them in the freezer for no more than five to six months.
This is provided that you correctly store them. Using a vacuum sealer, sausages can be stored in the freezer without risk. All the vitamins and minerals will be locked in, and freezer burn will be avoided. The sausages can be frozen by wrapping them in freezer paper, taping the edges, and placing them in the freezer. With proper packing, your venison sausage will keep its original meat quality for the longest time possible.
Sausage from venison should be kept in the freezer at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit. If your frozen venison sausage improves in flavor after some time in the freezer, don’t be surprised! Avoid over-freezing because keeping meat in the freezer for too long might reduce its flavor and quality.
Only the venison sausage that was in your refrigerator should be frozen due to security concerns. If you thaw the sausage in the fridge before eating it, you can freeze it.
Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Venison Sausage
Here are some tips to extend the lifespan of venison sausage:
- We recommend inspecting the label on the venison sausage package for extra information. In a situation where the label describes “Needs refrigeration,” field-to refrigeration is necessary.
- For the “refrigerate after opening” instruction, keep the links in the cold room before utilizing them.
- For your safety, you have to freeze the sausage that only came from the fridge.
- In situations where you thawed the meat previously in the refrigerator, freezing such a sausage won’t put you at health risk.
- If you thawed the meat in the fridge and decided not to cook it the same day for one reason, refreezing it again is safe.
- While thawing, giving your meat enough time is highly recommended. I say so because the thawing process may go up to 12 hours for fine meat pieces and three days for coarse meat cuts.
The cooking technique determines the time, although it is not the only one. Along with the type of fat and the proportion of fat in the sausages, the size of the links is important.
The type of oven, grill, or smoker you use will also affect how long it takes to cook. It would be best if you relied on a meat thermometer rather than checking the time because it can let you know when the sausages are fully cooked.
Keep in mind that deer sausage should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F before serving.
The open packaging of deer summer sausage should ideally be kept in the refrigerator before consumption. Most unopened containers are secure in the pantry, and you can always double-check by reading the information on the packaging label.