Making Deer Sausage: Jalapeno and Cheddar Smokies

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Hunting and harvesting our own food is a humbling, rewarding and primitive endeavor. Making Jalapeno and Cheddar Smokies with the deer we shot, however, is pure artistry.

Check out the hot and cheesy video here:

Thanks to Sarah, we had 125 pounds of deer meat to process this fall (check out the picture of her and the handsome buck in the picture gallery). We put aside twenty pounds, plus a pork belly from our Burkafest pig, in the freezer to make smokies this winter.

Grinding it up is always a family affair. Until this year we had the classic “Porkert” hand grinder, which was always good for a workout. It wasn’t that I minded the exercise, it’s just the sweat that dripped in, made the meat a bit salty.

Check out this short video of Sarah helping me to grind fat (for making soap) when she was 3:

Besides the 13 jalapenos and 10 cups of cubed extra aged cheddar, there are really only a few other ingredients to gather. We followed the awesome instructions and recipe from Carolyn Parker at ificandoitmyself. She does a great job explaining the whole process, which we followed to a tee (with the exception of the Morton Tender Quick, we used a combination of Prague Powder #1 and regular salt instead).

The hog casings are great; easy to stuff and easy to eat. The collagen casings on some of the sausage you buy in the store can be tough and kind of papery.

Alder is our go-to smoke wood as it’s prolific around our place. This summer, I plan to build a brick smoker to improve control over the temperature. Currently it’s a full time job babysitting our repurposed outhouse and deep fryer combo.

As with other types of artwork, smokies don’t always turn into masterpieces, but these ones did. The perfect mix of spicy, cheesy and meaty. The kind of smokies that Rose dreams of.

Let us know what you think of making jalapeno and cheddar smokies.  Feel free to try out the fancy like or share buttons below.  Leave us a comment and subscribe, you’ll get the next off grid adventure video emailed right to your doorstep.

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8 thoughts on “Making Deer Sausage: Jalapeno and Cheddar Smokies

  1. Well firstly…I’m not really sure why I did not fly up for this amazing event? I do think that having a second Jeff on site would have added to the fun. Well, I have secured our website for the next event… We could have a banner made up…do a little marketing. So much potential…so much. Because lets be honest…who doesn’t like a nice fat, juicy sausage?

  2. Great video!! Love the intentional/not intentional play on words regarding paying a couple “bucks” for a good smokey made out of deer?!?!?

    Also people watching your videos may wonder as I did how you powered that grinding machine without electricity. Perhaps a video showing your setup and how you manage to have power and what you can and can’t do. Seems boring to you but to us outsiders who try to get a grasp on what true gridlessness means would be so informative. Thanks and keep up the videos.

  3. Hi Fellow offgriders
    We are a family of 10 living off grid in the southern US. I have a few questions. What ratio of prague powder to salt do you use for the smokies recipe. The smokies look great bye the way. I’m looking forward to making them. I’m interested in more info on that battery that you showed on the Exploring Alternatives video. I run a hybrid system of 12v lighting and 24v inverter to 110ac for other household appliances. Love the videos and the info from the Maui trip. Good luck with your future plans.

    • Ed, I’m so sorry it has taken us so long to get back to you! We just made a fresh batch of smokies. Here was the recipe that we used:

      19.5lbs deer,
      7lbs of pork trim
      4 tsp prauge powder (~25lbs or ~11.5 kg of meat)
      I cup of salt
      4 tsp of garlic powder 
8 tsp freshly ground pepper 
16 tsp of whole yellow mustard seeds
      13 jalapenos
      10c super old cheddar
      5c water (added some as we went to make stuffing easier)

      Hope that helps!

      If your interested in more information on the batteries, check out

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