Pork to Venison Ratio for Summer Sausage

Making venison summer sausage can be a challenging yet fulfilling experience. You want to do everything just right, but maybe you’re not sure how much pork to add.

Adding too much or too little can make your sausage too dry or too fatty. That’s why it’s crucial to find a good ratio that will be to everyone’s taste.

If solving this riddle resonates with you, you’re in the right spot. A good place to start is a 2:1 ratio of venison to pork. From there, experiment by adding more pork if you want a fattier sausage or less pork for a leaner sausage.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about the proper venison summer sausage to pork ratio.

two deer summer sausage one sliced in half

Best Pork to Mix With Venison

Let’s first explain why venison alone won’t be enough to make venison summer sausage.

As you probably know, venison is deer meat. This makes the meat extremely lean, with very little fat content.

If you were to make a summer sausage exclusively from venison meat, you’d end up with a surprisingly dry meat product.

Unless this is the type of sausage you prefer, you’ll need to find some fatty meat alternatives to add to the mix.

Some butchers will add beef, while others prefer pork – which might be the best option. Pork is a fatty meat that can help venison sausage obtain that juicy, rich flavor and texture to make it a semi-dry meat delicacy.

The ideal pork cuts to add here are the fatty parts: shoulders or hind. You could even go with pork belly if you’re not too keen on the venison taste.

The more belly content you add, the more it will overpower the venison while complementing it at the same time.

No matter what pork cuts you add, don’t forget to keep the meat cold before grinding it. This goes for the deer meat as well.

Cold meat is much easier to work with when grinding and stuffing it into casings. In fact, many recipes recommend starting with partially frozen venison and pork.

When it comes to the meat origin, you want to use only high-quality pork. Pastured pork would be ideal here. Also, make sure to shop for organic spices and seasonings as well.

Definitely consider doing your venison summer sausage shopping at your local butcher shop rather than in the supermarket.

Besides selling you the meat and spices, the butcher can give some really great additional pointers for making deer summer sausage.

ground meat in steel bowl with spoon

How Much Pork Do You Mix With Venison for Summer Sausage?

If you’ve never made deer summer sausages before, you could start with a 2:1 ratio of venison to pork.

So for 5 pounds of venison, you can add 2 ½ pounds of pork. This will be your safest and most neutral bet.

After trying this option, you can determine whether you prefer a more fatty or leaner taste for your summer sausage.

With the 2:1 ratio, the venison flavor will be the dominant tone, while the pork will nicely complement it.

If you have 5 pounds of venison and 2 ½ pounds of pork, you’d get a spice mix for seven and a half pounds of summer sausage in this case.

However, maybe you’re afraid that the 2:1 ratio won’t be as fatty as you would like.

In that case, you can go for the 1:1 ratio. Do note that this much pork may overwhelm the venison taste. If you’re more of a pork person and don’t mind that, go for it.

There are really no rules here – only following your own personal preference.

If you absolutely love venison’s unique flavor, you might only want to add a small amount of pork. If you’re not a big fan, then toss in some more pork to compensate.

Really, the critical part is getting the right amount of curing ingredients and properly preparing and smoking the meat.

Some smokehouses will go for a 4:1 ratio of pork to venison. I find this to be extra fatty, though, turning a deer summer sausage into a pork summer sausage with a slight touch of venison.

As you can guess by now, there are many options out there. Feel free to experiment until you find the perfect combination for you.

venison summer sausage making kit with casing and clamps

How Much Pork Fat Do You Add to Deer Summer Sausage?

The answer to this question really depends on your personal taste and preferences.

I already mentioned that you could add up to 50% pork content for a juicy yet not overpowering pork taste.

Out of this 50% pork content, half can be leaner portions such as trimmings, and the other half can be pork fat.

Naturally, finding the perfect ratio for your taste will take a few tries.

I suggest starting with five pounds of venison and pork in total, with 60% being venison, 10-20% pork trimmings, and 20-30% pork fat.

Alternatively, you can add 40% pork hind and then one to two pounds of pork fat.

The best pork fat to go with is fatback. You should under no circumstances add lard to your deer summer sausage.

This will result in a mess since lard is rendered – meaning it was melted and strained before becoming solid again. Fatback is solid fat coming from the back of a pig and is highly fibrous, which is precisely what you need here.

In Summary

Making deer summer sausage for the first time is hugely rewarding. However, many questions come to mind when you start working with meat.

What’s the best venison to sausage pork ratio, or how much pork fat is enough? Fortunately, I’ve answered these questions and more. I hope the advice I’ve provided has solved all the mysteries related to mixing pork with venison.

In general, start with a 1:1 ratio if you’re up for fattier sausages and 2:1 for leaner yet juicy links.

Mastering the whole process takes a few tries. If you are a bit off with the fat content, you’ll know how to adjust it the next time. Remember – practice makes perfect!