Smoked Venison Pepperoni

The first time I made a batch of smoked venison pepperoni my hunting buddies were so impressed that I decided to make the recipe a permanent part of my venison sausage making arsenal.

Pepperoni comes in many varieties and sizes, but I find that this smoked version seems to be at its best (for my tastes, at least) when I stuff it into 1 1/4 inch collagen casings.

Most of the red color in commercial pepperoni is produced by paprika, so that is what I use to give mine a familiar look.

The heat is generated by a combination of red and black pepper.


  • 4 lbs very well trimmed venison

  • 1 lb pork fat or fatty pork trimmings

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon fine ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon crushed anise seed

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 cup non-fat dry milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon #1 cure (prague powder or Instacure)

  • 1/4 cup ice water

  1. Cut the venison and pork into cubes, then grind it through the medium plate of your sausage grinder.
  2. Make a paste of the milk powder and ice water and mix it with the cure and all the spices in a small container.
  3. Add the cure/dried milk/spice combination to the ground meat and mix it thoroughly, kneading it by hand until it is very well distributed.
  4. Stuff the sausage immediately into casings (either collagen or natural sheep or pork), and refrigerate the links for 12-24 hours to let the flavors combine well.
  5. After the aging, prepare your deer sausage pepperoni for the smoker, and smoke it until the internal temperature reaches 152 degrees F.

Click Here for instructions on Smoking, Showering and Blooming.

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