How Long Do You Cook Deer Sausage?

When it comes to cooking deer sausage to perfection, a balance of time and technique are required due to the leanness of the meat and unique flavor.

Not wanting to compromise taste or texture, a key question to ask is, how long do you cook deer sausage?

If you’re smoking deer sausage, it requires at least two hours, while pan frying, baking, boiling, and grilling deer sausage can take between 10 and 20 minutes.

Cooking MethodTime
Pan Frying5-10 minutes
Smoking2-2.5 hours
Boiling7-20 minutes
Baking in Oven15-20 minutes
Grilling10-20 minutes

In this article, I’ll cover all the cooking methods in detail. I’ll also talk about cooking temperatures and include the most essential tips and tricks on preparing deer sausage perfectly every time.

people hanging deer sausage in smoker

How Long Should I Cook Venison Sausage?

If you’ve made deer sausage links at home, the last thing you want is to ruin them by cooking them wrong.

The first consideration, therefore, is the cooking equipment you want to use. Will you fry or smoke the sausage, bake it, boil it, or grill it, perhaps?

These are all viable choices, and I’ll elaborate on each. However, the most convenient way to cook deer sausage is to fry it in a skillet or saucepan.

All you need is a bit of oil or butter, a hot stove, and 6-10 minutes.

The key is to ensure that the sausage’s skin doesn’t get burnt and the insides don’t get undercooked (you want it to reach an internal temperature of 155-165°F).

Regularly tossing the sausages in the pan will ensure that doesn’t happen. But if pan frying deer sausage is not your preferred cooking method, let’s outline a few others.

How Long to Smoke Venison Sausage

Smoking deer sausage can be a bit tricky. 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, and that can only be done if you do it slowly at a low temperature. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Preheat, the smoker to a medium-high temperature.
  2. Place the links in the smoker and let them cook for around five minutes. Turn them over once during that time.
  3. 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.

If you’re not sure when the deer sausage is done, use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the sausage should be between 155-165°F to be safe for consumption.

deer sausage on plate with bread mustard and pickles

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 so scrumptious. But what’s the best way to boil the deer sausage?

  1. Place the sausages in the pot.
  2. Cover them with water. Poke small holes in the sausage with a knife.
  3. 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 gives you the chance 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:

  1. Take out the sausages from the fridge and preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Place aluminum foil in the baking tray or use some cooking spray instead. Optionally, brush the sausages with oil or butter.
  3. Place the deer sausages on the pan, giving each as much space as possible.
  4. Roast the sausages for about 15 to 20 minutes.

However, keep in mind that not all ovens are the same, and if yours runs a bit hot, you’ll need even less baking time.

deer sausage on wooden background

How Long Do You Grill Venison Sausage?

Are you planning to fire up your grill and cook venison sausages? If so, you’re probably wondering how long you should cook deer sausage on the grill.

The grill’s heat will determine the cooking duration, usually between 10 and 20 minutes. Your grill should be preheated to 350°F.

It’s crucial to turn the sausages every two or three minutes while they’re on the grill itself.

What Temperature to Cook Venison Sausage To

Deer sausage should be cooked to an internal temperature of 155-165°F. I definitely recommend having a good meat thermometer on hand to check this.

As I described in the above sections, the time it takes to get to this internal temperature will vary based on the cooking method you use.

How Do You Know When Deer Sausage Is Cooked?

This is, very understandably, one of the most critical questions for cooking any type of meat. You don’t want to risk consuming undercooked deer sausage.

The only way you can be absolutely sure is to use a meat thermometer during the cooking process.

Once the venison sausage’s internal temperature reaches 155-165°F (ideally 160°F), your links are thoroughly cooked.


Can I use deer sausage as a substitute for pork or beef sausage in recipes?

Yes, deer sausage can be a healthier alternative, but expect a gamey, distinct flavor. Adjust spices as needed.

How do I store leftover cooked deer sausage?

Cool the sausages completely and store in an airtight container. They’ll last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Can I reheat deer sausage?

Absolutely. Reheat using a skillet over medium heat or in an oven at 325°F until warmed through.

Is venison sausage leaner than other sausages?

Yes, generally, venison is a leaner meat, which is why it’s essential to ensure it doesn’t dry out during cooking.

What side dishes go well with deer sausage?

Mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables, and salads are great accompaniments. Consider a berry-based sauce for a touch of sweetness to complement the gamey flavor.

In Summary

Answering the question of how long do you cook deer sausage is more complex than simply saying a number.

The cooking method dictates the time, but it’s not the only factor. The size of the links matters, as does the type of fat and the fat percentage in the sausages.

Finally, what kind of oven, grill, or smoker you have will impact the cooking time.

A meat thermometer is a tool that can tell you when the sausages are entirely done, so you should rely on that more than looking at the clock.

Remember that the internal temperature you want to reach with deer sausage is 160°F; then it will be ready to serve.

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