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By October 15, 2013 Read More →

Venison Breakfast Sausage



How to make breakfast sausage with venison.
Written and lived by Stephanie Dayle.

Since I was a child I have practiced ‪subsistence‬ hunting, meaning we hunt for part of our meat supply that we eat throughout the year. Not for something pretty to hang on the wall. I was taught by my parents to use nearly every part of the animal and I continue that practice to today. Usually if we are lucky my husband and I each bag a deer (the legal limit in the state of WA) after the hunt we are usually fairly busy processing the meat and different parts of the animals late into the fall.

One of the things I see hunters struggle with is what to do with the less desirable pieces of meat from a deer. Like with beef or pork – on a deer there are more desirable (more tender) and less desirable cuts of meat. I often see hunters pack this meat up and pay to have butcher turn it into sausage and jerky. While this is infinitely better than wasting it, turning venison meat into sausage and jerky is an easy task that can be done at home for far less money than you would pay a butcher, although it is time consuming like anything else (click here to see an article on making jerky).

Why Should I Learn How to Make Venison Sausage? 
Making sausage is a great self-reliance skill to learn, it not only flavors and tenderizes less desirable cuts of meat but it helps to preserve it too! Even if you don’t have time to do it yourself each year, just learning how make it and acquiring the equipment will help ensure that you and your family will have food if times ever get hard.

One of our most favorite sausage recipes is breakfast sausage! Many deer hunters already know that venison makes excellent breakfast sausage! Here is the simple (but tasty) recipe and the process we follow for our venison breakfast sausage. Venison is lean and high in protein, reaching for a pack of homemade venison breakfast  sausage is more healthy than it’s preservative filled, pork by-product counterpart at the store.


All photos by Stephanie Dayle ©2013


Venison Breakfast Sausage – Recipe

  • 5 lbs of Venison
  • 1.75 lbs of Whole Pork Fat (not rendered lard – ask your local butcher)
  • 2 TBS Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 TBS Kosher Salt
  • 1 TBS Rubbed Sage
  • 1 TSP Cayenne Pepper
  • 3 TBS of Medium Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 TBS Granulated or Powdered Garlic
  • 1 Cup Ice Water


Equipment you will need

  • Meat Grinder (this can be a hand powered meat grinder or an electric one we use both)
  • One Big Stainless Steel or Glass Bowl 
  • One Small Bowl
  • Sausage Funnel / Stuffer (this should come with your grinder, if not purchase one that will specifically fit your grinder before hand if you want links)
  • Natural Sausage Casings (for links)
  • Butchers Twine (again only worry about this item if links are the desired end product)


1) Measure out all of the spices and combine in a small bowl, set it aside.

2) Trim the port fat and venison of all bloody areas and tough connective tissue. Cut each of them up into 1 inch cubes. Exactness is not required. Grind it both up together through your grinder using a medium grind blade letting the final product fall in your large bowl. If you don’t have a medium grind blade, the course grind blade will work, but you may want to run it through twice.



All photos by Stephanie Dayle ©2013


(TIP: If you are using a hand crank grinder and it becomes plugged, try reversing the hand crank for a few times around then moving forward again. If still plugged, remove the blade assembly and rinse with hot water to remove the tissue that is plugging the blades – reassemble and resume grinding. This is usually hard work no matter which manual grinder you buy.)


Ground Meat

Ground Fat and Meat


3) Next, mix one cup of ice water in with your spices and pour it over the meat mixture.

4) Mix thoroughly for two minutes with clean and sterile bare hands to assure even distribution.




5) Once the sausage is completely mixed , stuff it into casings if links are desired. ‪I find it much easier to keep it in a ground form. We shape the sausage into logs which are then put into FoodSaver bags (as shown below) and frozen.  To eat them – simply thaw a package out and cut them into slices which can be easily smashed into individual patties. Leaving the meat ground also makes it very easy to make sausage gravy!


Sausage log

Venison sausage log


Natural sausage casings usually come packed in salt. To make things run smoother, pre-soak the casings in a bowl of cold water. After ½ hour, change the water and soak for another ½ hour. Hold one end of the casing up to a tap and add some cold water. Pinch off that end and slosh the water around inside the casing, working your way to the other end. Empty the water completely from the casing and collect in bowl for use on stuffer.‬

Stuffing sausage is best done with two people. Using your grinder with the stuffing funnel – thread an entire length of casings on the funnel and tie off the end. Lightly pinch it down around the funnel with your fingers, while someone else feeds the meat into grinder. Let the casing slide off the funnel as it fills. Once you’ve reach the desired size give the casing a full twist or two then start a new sausage link on the same length of casing that should still be sliding off the funnel / stuffer. I alternate directions of twisting with each link. When you come to the end tie off the casing and start a new one if you have more meat. You can then pack the connected links into freezer or FoodSaver bags and freeze them – you could also smoke finish them if desired.


Packets of meat

All photos by Stephanie Dayle ©2013


This sausage will keep in your freezer for up to a year. To store it even longer make sausage patties and then pressure can them. Click Here to learn how to can venison breakfast sausage! I would not leave you hanging – stay tuned!

TIP: If you intend on canning the venison sausage leave out the sage as it may become bitter after being canned. I usually  replace it with oregano, I have checked with my local extension office and they confirmed that this substitution would not effect the safety of the recipe. 

 There are many sausage recipes for venison sausage on the internet, this recipe came to us via a friend, any similarities are merely coincidental.


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About the Author:

Stephanie is a writer for the American Preppers Network, a small local paper and for her blog, The Home Front and was featured in Marie Claire UK in the October 2012 issue that featured women preppers. She is also the credited writer of "Emergency Bag Essentials (Swatchbook): Everything You Need to Bug Out" released in August 2014 and available on "I write articles based on my own experience with emergency preparedness, self-sufficiency, homesteading, food preservation and life around the farmstead. I grew up in a very rural area where I learned to garden, the art of canning, to hunt and fish, and to raise my own animals for food. I also spent 6 years volunteering for the local county Search and Rescue group where I learned a variety of survival skills and a little bit about law enforcement protocol. " "As a general rule of principle I do not write articles about information that I have only read - if I am writing about something it's because I have done it myself and gone to great lengths to provide you with the facts meshed with personal experience. My alter egos are as an full time mom, amateur photographer, and backpacker." Stephanie's past APN articles are featured below on several pages. To connect with her --> click on one of the many little square social media buttons below!

4 Comments on "Venison Breakfast Sausage"

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  1. Kal says:

    Like you I have harvested wild game all my life and my family before me as well. We had a hand crank meat grinder of the age mounted on a long board, but my father had a great novel idea to power it. Instead of hand cranking he would tie the handle to the spokes of a model A ford and let the wheel turn the crank. He would use a swivel to prevent knotting as the wheel turned. Just a bit of looking into past memories. Oh, if I wasted any game or if I killed a song bird or any bird, there would be hades to pay on my hindered parts.

    By the way I am on twitter as ole farmer and on facebook as cal janet. I must take the time to fix all these names.

    • LOL Cal Janet – I was wondering if that was all one and the same! Thanks for leaving me a comment and sharing the memories! Your Dad had a great idea for the meat grinder.

  2. djconklin says:

    Do you know of a way to make it without using Pork Fat?

    • An olive oil-in-water emulsion has been shown to be an effective replacement for pork fat. Many people avoid pork, I apologize for not thinking of that when I wrote the article. While I have never tried it myself, I have heard good reports from others who have given it a try.

      I would imagine the resulting patties will be leaner and one would have to be careful not to over cook them as the water in the emulsion would be less forgiving than ground pork fat – but they should still taste good.

      If you give it a try (start with a small batch) you will have to comment back and let us know how it turned out.