It's Almost Time. - Jim loves to cook Blog at - 292710

Jim loves to cook

It's almost time. 
Dec. 21, 2012 11:37 am 
Updated: Dec. 28, 2012 7:06 pm
In January of every year as long as I can remember we have processed our deer sausage... A little deer summer sausage (the semi dried kind) a few deer brats,  and of coarse for all the deer you need some fat.  So, I buy a big hog every year so we have fat for the sausage.  I set the rear hams and bacon off to the side until were done with the deer sausage.  Now I brine cure my bacons and hams.  After 10 days in the brine, I wrap them in cheese clothe and hang them in my garage to dry for 24 hours.  Yes I have newspapers on the floor.  Then to my smoker they go for 48 hours in a cold smoke. I have a heat probe in the hams so I know when they reach 156 degrees.  Normally I probe the thickest part of the bacons and then move the probe to the ham.  Anyhow when they reach a 156 degrees its time to wrap them in plastic wrap, tin foil, and food saver bag with the air sucked out.  Fresh is so much better than the other hams and bacon's.  This Frick's  ham for Christmas is only because the extra festivities this year.
Normally I have one of the 2 hams at Easter, and the other at Christmas.  Bacon is usually gone by August.
I've got all my smoking wood together.... I use Hickory, Oak, Apple, a little peach, and sassafras.
I can smoke 250 pounds at a time in my smoker.  You might find this boring, but I grew up this way and I guess I'll do this to the day I die.
Come on January!
Dec. 21, 2012 12:27 pm
Hey Jim! Sounds great! I'm curious how sassafras smoke works on meats. I love it in my fireplace, and tea from the root is really tasty. I've never tasted meat smoked with it. My neighbor gave me a bunch of deer meat and I'm thinking of trying to make sausage with it. Any hints for a feller without a smoker?
Dec. 21, 2012 12:41 pm
Oddly enough I was just thinking about game (boar & deer) and sausage. I was wondering about the fat content and what to use. Lucky you have that hog!
Dec. 21, 2012 12:44 pm
Cat, you can use fat back or salt pork. I used it making Italian sausage one year.
Dec. 21, 2012 1:37 pm
Doc Simonson: Sassafras gives the meat a little zip I think. I use some many different woods for smoking this and that. Try it some time. I forgot to say I use wild cherry for smoking my hams and bacon's as well. If you user hickory only I think it's to bold, so through the years I've come up with all of these woods for smoking bacon's and hams.
Dec. 21, 2012 1:46 pm
Doc Simonson: Make deer hamburger or deer brats, neither of them require you to smoke them. My mother love's the deer-burger. She uses it for Chili, Lasagna, patties for out on the grill. Zip lock bag, get the air out. Stacks great in the freezer. We process any where between 12 to 21 deer all at the same time, so it's an all day event. Depending on how many pounds of deer we have depends on how many hogs we do. We have never done more than 2 300lb. hogs with all the deer we had.
Dec. 21, 2012 2:54 pm
What breed of hog? Not that I know the differences, but I've heard that some breeds gave more and higher quality fat than others. I was hoping for a summer sausage. I've seen a few recipes that call for liquid smoke. Probably not the best, but... Maybe I could try the hot plate and cardboard box smoking method. How many hours are the sausages on smoke?
Dec. 21, 2012 6:27 pm
Mmmmm Sassafras Tea, Yummy
Dec. 21, 2012 7:24 pm
Doc Simonson: I get my hog or hogs from a local hog farmer. I haven't a clue to what breed they are. He kills, them, skins them, dresses them, and splits them down the middle of the back bone. Please don't use liquid smoke, I want it to be a wonderful experience not a disaster. My first smoker was 4 1/2 pieces of plywood, hinged together with door hinges and a bunch of holes at the top for the rods to stick through. hug the sausages around the poles. Had a very small kindling fire in the middle on the ground and a bunch of dry wood and wet chips. When you look at your sausages they'll be a purpleish color,,,,there done. About 2 to 4 hours for me. but remember there still not cooked so they have to be frozen. And again, I can't stress this enough, a cold smoke, not hot.
Dec. 21, 2012 10:15 pm
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ChefJim!! Wow! You are the next best thing to Santa! Great and informative blog. Would love to get a hold of deer sausage. Thanks for sharing:)
Dec. 22, 2012 5:06 am
Patty Cakes: Thank you so much. Not sure exactly what I did information wise. I've been making deer summer sausage for I want to say 25 years now. I cut it up at all the festivities we have all year. I'm on my last stick. I make every stick 2 pounds, but after they dry, they might be 1 11/2 pounds. Oh! And yes I want to wish you a Very Merry Christmas as well. I'm not telling anyone what I'm making for New Years Party this year, there not to happy about that. A feast!
Dec. 22, 2012 5:58 am
Chef Jim- I used to know a man who has since passed away who made the best smoked hams-I really miss eating the hams that this gentleman used to take so much time to smoke and cure. Enjoyed reading your blog.
Dec. 22, 2012 6:25 am
Lela: I do enjoy making the hams and bacons. It's an old tradition that hasn't died on my end. However, I want to say this, my son and daughter take no interest in this at all, so I guess when I die, it die's with me. Lela, You have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Better talk to me now cause come January I'm gonna be busy.
Dec. 22, 2012 8:14 am
Chef Jim, I find your blog very interesting. My brother is a hunter and just started having a friend of his make some of his deer meat into summer sausage. He brought some over on Thanksgiving which was smoked sausage and some cheese in it. Oh my was that the best summer sausage I've ever had. I'm not a fan of pork sausage but deer summer sausage is right up my alley. Great blog hope to see you post more on your smoking meats. Merry Christmas.
Dec. 22, 2012 12:07 pm
Merry Christmas to you to Sherri.... Thank you for your interest in one of my hobbies. I said earlier that I've been doing this for 25 years but when I thought about it,,,It's been 32 years now....Wow.
Dec. 22, 2012 12:14 pm
Patty Cakes I'm sorry, I just kinda passed you by didn't I. Didn't mean to. I love fresh pretty much everything. Sorry though, I can't sell or give sausage away, something to do with the Dept. of health and Il. Dept of conservation. My saying is if the government is involved in it, it's screwed up. Anyhow you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
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Jim McGuire

Home Town
Granite City, Illinois, USA
Living In
Caseyville, Illinois, USA

Member Since
Mar. 2006

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
I am a easy going guy who is always busy. Yes ladys and gents I don't have time for TV. During the winter months I am either hunting or most likely helping down at the church. During spring I am working on repairs outside and getting my hotbox ready for the garden. Summer and fall I am busy canning and freezing what comes out of my garden. I also cook all the meals for the day or event.
My favorite things to cook
I have to thank my mother for this. She broke her ankle when I was 10 years old, and there is where I learned to cook. I am nothing compared to my mother,(she is a true Chef), can make a delicous dish from scraps in the refigerator. Anyhow, I make a lot of bread type, deserts, nationalities.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I would have to say Thanksgiving. Every year I do the Turkey and dressing, and homemade dinner rolls. We have a big family I want to say (33 people+)and everyone likes my marinaded turkey and special dressing. I never have any leftovers of anything.
My cooking triumphs
Everything I have ever done has been great. I always end up with a empty dish.
My cooking tragedies
None: My daughter burnt popcorn;;; how do you burn popcorn? She said I did it, thats my girl.
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