I am very much into doing things the hard way. I don't mind taking the extra time and effort to make food if it means I am going to get a superior product. That said, I make a few exceptions here and there. One of those exceptions is when I make summer sausage. I have made it from scratch and I have bought kits and I can honestly say that there is no difference. The kits are less expensive and you don't end up with a giant pile of pink salt laying around the house. If you are going to be making a lot of meat that needs pink salt that's one thing but if you are just buying curing salts to make summer sausage or trail bologna then I would suggest buying the kits. Everything you need is in there and you end up with a consistent product every time.
There are dozens of kits out there to purchase and most of the hunting stores sell them. Most kits come with the seasonings, the cure and the casings for about 13 dollars and will make you about 10 pounds of summer sausage. I have been using the LEM summer sausage
kit and the LEM trail Bologna
kit for the last 5-6 years and have never had a problem with them. When I make them I like to use a 60/40 blend of wild game to pork and I use a good fatty pork shoulder for the pork. I have used venison, antelope, wild boar and ducks and geese for the wild game and have been very pleased with all of it. The kits are designed to make a total of ten pounds of sausage total but is split to make two five pound batches.
The process is amazingly simple but does require some specialty equipment. You will need a grinder and a sausage stuffer. You could get around the sausage stuffer but it really is a pain in the ass to hand stuff the casings. If you don't have a smoker you can make this in the oven just as easily and still get a great product. You can also customize your sausage very easily. If you want to add cheese to your summer sausage you will need to but high temp cheese which is readily available on Amazon. It is a special cheese that has a high melting point so that it won't melt in the cooking process. Adding pepper jack or cheddar cheese to you sausage is awesome. I also like to add chopped jalapenos or a six ounce can or chipotles in adobo. The summer sausage you see in the pictures has chipotles and cheddar mixed in. This is a hit everywhere I bring it and makes a great gift to give out after the hunting season. It is also a great way to use up all that left over game meat that has been sitting in the freezer for a little to long.