Those of you who are parents know what a family staple hot dogs can become around the dinner table, but I always cringe at the ingredients in store bought hot dogs. Back in January, I’d visited the booth of Hi Mountain Seasonings while at the ATA Show (Archery Trade Association). They had a kit for venison hot dogs that contains no nitrites and no MSG! I knew I had to try it. So the other night, to beat the last of the cabin fever in me, my youngest, Jordyn (6), and I made some homemade venison hot dogs!
Since this was my first time using the homemade venison hot dog kit from Hi Mountain Seasonings, I decided not to make the entire batch of 23 pounds. I opted to make a 5 pound batch. Ratios of meat can be largely personal preference with most homemade sausage or other charcuterie kits. This night, I went with the recommended 2 pounds of lean venison from a doe I’d shot in late December, along with 3 pounds of pork shoulder from a local favorite, although this is where I usually do my pork shopping.
Here’s a summary of the steps involved in making these homemade venison hot dogs.
- Coarse grind your choice of meat(s).
- Measure out your ratios. Again, I chose to go with 2 pounds of venison and 3 pounds of pork. Combine the meats in a large bowl and mix them together by hand (or you can use a meat mixer).
- Next, measure out your seasonings. Hi Mountain Seasonings kit makes it really easy to reduce ingredients for a partial batch. For a 5 lb. batch, you just measure out 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. and 2.5 oz. of water (1/4 cup).
- I put my spices in a separate bowl at first, and I mixed the water in with it. Stir this and it becomes a thin paste. I find this works better than dumping the spices into the meat mix dry and adding water. I think it distributes the spices more evenly.
- Mix the meat by hand (or your favorite 6 year old meat mixer) for about 10 minutes to thoroughly distribute the seasoning and allow the proteins to start breaking down a bit.
- Now, do a fine grind of your meat. Time to stuff the casings!
- Every key ingredient, except the meat of course, is included in the Hi Mountain kit, so just take out the collagen casings, and transition your meat grinder to stuffing mode, unless you have a separate stuffer. Sidenote, I’ve been using this 3/4 hp commercial grinder from Cabela’s for about 7 years and I lot it!
- Stuff the meat into casings, and twist your hot dogs into desired lengths.
- Vacuum seal and freeze what you won’t use right away, otherwise fire up the grill and enjoy!
Kids will tell you straight up if they don’t like something, and these venison hot dogs got the thumbs up from my crew! I too am very happy with the recipe, which says a lot, because I’ve tried several over the years and I’m quite picky. I’m really happy to finally have a healthier option for hot dogs in the Erdody family!
Until next time, good luck pursuing your next buck!