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Updated: Mar 7

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This Smoked Venison Salami (salami cotto) is a perfect entry-level sausage recipe that doesn't require too much work. Entry level, meaning there are no long curing times or special curing chambers needed. This venison sausage is first ground without the pork fat. You do this so that when you grind the venison a second time with the pork fat included, you're left with larger white chunks of fat scattered throughout your sausage. These visible pieces of fat make for a great presentation on a charcuterie platter. This particular version of venison salami is great simply served with some good mustard, cheese, crackers, or sandwiches.

Venison Salami Recipe

Cooks Tips: 

  • Smoking Temperature Options: This recipe calls for cold smoking, which is a temperature less than 90 degrees F. Cold smoking is used in order to achieve a deeper smoke flavor in your sausages without melting the fat. If you're unable to reach temperatures below 90 degrees F, you have another option (see below). Smoke the meat at around 145 to 150 degrees F for one hour and then increase the temperature of your smoker to 200 degrees F. Now smoke at 200 degrees F until you reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees F in the sausages. You'll have a little less smoke on your sausages with this method, but it's still delicious.

  • Keep Things Cold for Grinding:  Keeping your meat grinder attachments ice cold is just as important as for the meat and fat. It plays a part in achieving superior flavor and texture with this sausage. Grinder attachments can warm up fast and when metal warms up, fat starts to melt. I also like to place the container that the ground venison will be falling into in the freezer before starting as well.

  • Prevent Making a Grainy Venison Salami:  Keep a close watch over your smoker's temperature and the internal temperature of the sausage. Overcooking your sausage or cooking at too high of a temperature will produce a grainy sausage.

  • Chilling the Cooked Sausage in Ice Cold Water?:  You have the option of soaking the cooked sausages in ice water for a couple of minutes to quickly end the cooking process. I prefer to hang them at room temperature or in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to "bloom". Blooming is where the sausages change from dull brown to a rich mahogany color.

  • How Long Does Fresh Venison Salami Last in the Refrigerator?  I have no problem leaving this sausage in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks if they are well-wrapped before it starts to lose flavor and color. Wrapping and storing them properly in an airtight container or plastic wrap will greatly help with attaining a quality shelf life. Keep in mind that this is a fresh (not dry-cured) sausage, so refrigeration is a must.

  • Can You Freeze Fresh Salami?  Absolutely. Like most fatty sausages, if they are stored properly, they will freeze well for around 3 months. I like to wrap them first in a layer of plastic food wrap, followed by either freezer paper or freezer bags. 

Equipment and Specialty Items Needed:

Yield: 3.5 pounds of Salami



  1. In a large bowl add the venison, salt, pink salt, pepper, caraway, black pepper, juniper, and garlic. Grind through a 1/4" die into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl if mixing by hand). Mix on medium-low speed with a paddle attachment for about 2 minutes or until all of the ingredients are combined.

  2. Place a piece of plastic directly on top of the meat, tucking in the edges so that no meat is exposed. Place in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

  3. Add the diced pork fat to the bowl and mix with the meat until well combined.

  4. Prep your casings according to the manufacturer's directions. Tie off one end of the casing with butcher's twine. Stuff the casings and secure the other end with butcher's twine. Place in the refrigerator, uncovered for 8 to 12 hours.

  5. Cold smoke the sausages for 1 to 2 hours.

  6. Hot smoke the sausages at around 200 degrees F to an internal temperature of 150 degrees F.

  7. Place into an ice bath and chill thoroughly. Store in the refrigerator until needed.


Looking for other Venison Sausage Recipes? These are some of my favorites:

Lastly, if you make this simple Homemade Smoked Venison Salami Recipe, be sure to leave a comment or tag me on Instagram! I thoroughly enjoy hearing feedback and checking out the photos of recipes that you've made.


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Meet Larry White

Chef Larry White

Hey folks, I'm Larry. The recipes you'll find here are inspired by my years as a chef, travels as a hunter, and being a father. I cook from these experiences, so my food ranges anywhere from fun and creative to traditional and to what somewhat family style comfort food.     

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