How to Store Deer Summer Sausage to Enjoy Them Longer?

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Do you love deer summer sausage? Well, who doesn’t? But have you ever thought about how long you could enjoy the precious and delicious deer sausage?

While making deer summer sausage has changed over time, the basic procedure remains the same. However, their storage has changed, thanks to technology, which allows you to enjoy them for longer. But do you know how to store deer summer sausage?

You must store deer summer sausage in the refrigerator or freezer, covering it completely with freezer paper or plastic wrap. The uncut sausage lasts around 3 to 6 months in the refrigerator; you can enjoy it for around 10 months by freezing them. But be extra cautious while thawing frozen sausage.

Deer summer sausage is a rare delicacy, so perfect storing is crucial to relish them for longer. So, let’s explore how you can properly freeze, refrigerate, thaw, and refreeze them.

How To Store Deer Summer Sausage?

How To Store Deer Summer Sausage

Deer summer sausage – the name is enough to make your mouth fills with water.

The age-old traditional summer sausage is cured meat that was made in such a way to be edible throughout the whole summer. However, with technological advances, you can now store them more safely.

Nevertheless, you need to know the correct way of keeping them. As deer meat is precious, proper storing is extra essential.

1. Storing Deer Summer Sausage In Freezer

Should I freeze summer sausage?

Freezing is the safest way to store your deer summer sausage. However, just putting your meat in the freeze is not everything. You need to know how to keep them in the freezer to keep them longer.

With proper storage, you can enjoy them from2 months to 10 months. All you need is an air-tight container, foil paper, plastic wrap, or freezer paper.

  1. Wrap your sausage with foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper. Make sure there is no gap or space for air circulation.
  2. For extra precaution, keep them in an air-tight container.
  3. To be precisely correct with the date, using a marker, write the date of freezing.
  4. Now, keep them in the coolest corner of your freezer when no warmth goes while opening the freezer.
  5. For store-bought sausage, keep it covered with foil or plastic warps if it’s unopened.

2. Storing Deer Summer Sausage In Refrigerator

How do you store summer sausage?

Though freezing is the best way to store your deer summer sausage, you can refrigerate them also. However, they will last a little shorter than freezing, for around 3 to 6 months.

  1. Cover the sausage tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  2. Ensure there’s no air inside the package.
  3. Keep it inside the coolest corner of the fridge, ensuring the temperature is below 40 degrees.

This way, you can store the sausage for 3 months.

If the package is intact for store-bought sausage, it can stay in your pantry. However, if you open the pack, you must refrigerate it and try to finish it within 3 weeks.

How Long Does Deer Summer Sausage Stay In The Fridge?

How Long Does Deer Summer Sausage Stay In The Fridge

As for storage, deer meat will last about a week after it is made. However, if you plan to make a large batch, it must be refrigerated for at least two weeks. Otherwise, the meat will go bad if left out for too long.

While storing deer sausage, remember to cook it thoroughly to kill any bacteria. If you don’t want to cook it, you can refrigerate it for up to six months. It can also be frozen and kept for up to 10 months if it is unopened. 

Regardless of how you store your deer sausage, you must remember that the meat should be refrigerated until you eat it.

Best Deer Summer Sausages For Refrigeration

Summer Sausage


  1. Johnsonville Original Summer Sausage 
  • A great source of protein
  • Crisp, delicious, and healthy sausage
  • Gluten-free with a rich taste.
  1. Old Wisconsin Premium Summer Sausage 
  • Perfect for barbecues and grills
  • Delicious and affordable sausage made from fresh, protein-rich hog casing
  • Packed with flavor and goodness
  1. Hickory Farms Farmhouse Summer Sausage 
  • The sausage is natural, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free
  • made with fresh hickory smoke
  • Curated of grass-fed pork smoking in a natural smoker.

How To Thaw Deer Summer Sausage Safely?

How To Thaw Deer Summer Sausage Safely

While making deer summer sausage, we usually make plenty to cover us throughout the season. Now, you are not likely to eat or use it all in one day. You bring the stored package from the freezer or fridge, thaw the meat, and take a portion from it to eat.

We all know that!

However, the crucial thing to know is how to thaw your meat correctly to keep the rest safe.

Well, you can thaw it in 2 ways – microwave and refrigerator. Remember, never thaw deer summer sausage or any sausage at room temperature. It will deteriorate the meat pretty quickly.

Thaw with Refrigerator

Using a refrigerator to thaw your venison summer sausage is the easiest yet the longest process. In addition, it’s the safest method too.

  1. To thaw your sausage, prepare your fridge first – ensure the temperature is below 40℉ to prevent bacterial growth.
  2. Put the frozen sausage on a tray and place them on your fridge’s lower shelf.
  3. Make sure you place the sausage tray away from the food.
  4. Show some patience and wait until your sausage is soft and ice-free. Depending on the size, you may have to wait 12 to 24 hours to thaw the deer summer sausage.
  5. When they are thawed, bring them out from the fridge to relish, and keep the left in the freezer wrapped in foil or freezer paper.

Thaw With Microwave

Microwave defrosting is the indeed quickest method; however, using a fridge is the suitable choice. But when you are in a hurry, it’s your only choice, right?

So let’s check how you can thaw deer summer sausage with a microwave.

  1. Take a microwave-safe tray or bowl, and place the sausage in it.
  2. Now, put the bowl inside the microwave and set the button on “defrost.”
  3. After 3-4 minutes, or until defrost, bring the sausage out to check the progress.
  4. To do that, take a fork and separate them. If you can’t separate them, defrost them again.
  5. When they are separable, microwave them for 2 minutes to thaw them completely.
  6. Eat or cook the sausage ASAP, as microwaved-thawed sausages are prone to spoilage.

Can You Refreeze Deer Summer Sausage?

Can You Refreeze Deer Summer Sausage

You can refreeze deer summer sausage after thawing them. However, make sure you are doing it within two hours. Your meat should not be left at room temperature for more than 24 hours. After that, it’s a high chance your sausage will spoil. If thawed in a microwave, eat the meat as soon as possible.

You may notice slight changes in the taste and quality of your sausage. It’s due to the thawing process.

In addition, every time you thaw and refreeze deer summer sausage, check if there’s any sign of spillage. Remember, thawing and refreezing make your sausage vulnerable to spoilage.

Sign Of Spoiled Sausage

How to tell if deer sausage is bad after thawing or refreezing? Here are some sure signs.

  • The lovely polish color will turn to green or gray.
  • You will have a strange sour and fermented smell from the sausage.
  • The texture will become slimy.
  • You will notice mold growth.

If you notice any spoilage signs, throw them in the bin without a second thought. Bad sausage may cause severe health issues – stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, botulism, etc.

Does Deer Summer Sausage Need To Be Refrigerated?

Most summer sausages can withstand room temperature and don’t require refrigeration. However, always check the package for instructions.

If you see the instruction in the package says to refrigerate, that means they can’t stay at room temperature for longer. So, refrigerate them as soon as you bring them.

In addition, a few packages you may find say “refrigerate after opening.” These sausages may stay at room temperature for a month if you don’t open the pack. However, once you open the package, you must refrigerate them without delay.

How long will summer sausage keep unrefrigerated?

Well, if the temperature is cool, you can keep the unopened sausage package unrefrigerated for around one month. However, they can stay for around 24 hours in cool weather if you open the box. But if the temperature is hot and humid, better not to keep them outside for more than 12 hours.

If the package is intact, you can store deer summer sausage in the refrigerator for 3 months. However, once the box is opened, try to finish it as soon as possible, within 3 to 5 days.

How To Store Stuffed Summer Sausage

The shelf life of summer sausage depends on the type of meat and its processing methods. Fortunately, store-bought venison summer sausages are stored with a high-quality cure. Sodium nitrate helps prevent the growth of botulism bacteria. 

While deer summer sausage is not advisable to sit out of the refrigerator for more than a month, it is fine to store it in the refrigerator. It will not harm the meat.

  • Before storing the sausage, make sure to wash it well.
  • Before stuffing the meat, soak it in water for 30 minutes. 
  • Then, grind the meat with pork trimmings. 
  • After stuffing, rinse it thoroughly to remove any excess salt. 
  • Once stuffed, cook it using a smoking machine or grill. 
  • In either case, you must cook the sausage until it reaches 160 degrees. 
  • When finished, you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer.


  • Does Summer Sausage Need to be Refrigerated after opening?

Fresh sausage will last for about a week if you keep it in the refrigerator. But if you open it, you must refrigerate or freeze it to keep them fresh for longer.

But, you should be careful when buying summer sausage because it can become fishy if not stored properly. Healthy summer sausage is pink and smells exactly like cooked sausage. So, it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator if you want to keep it for longer.

  • Can You Refreeze Deer Summer Saag?

If you’d like to refreeze your sausages, cut them into 1-inch cubes. You’ll need about 30 minutes to freeze them. 

Once frozen, you can use them as ground sausage or patties. You can freeze the rest and reheat it later. It is a convenient way to store leftover deer sausage for another time. 

There are even alternatives to freezing your sausage. Wrap the sausage in freezer paper, but seal the edges with freezer tape. 

If the sausage has been wrapped in original packaging, wrap it well. Wrapping will prevent air from escaping. When you’re ready to use the sausage, defrost it. Then, enjoy the sausage!


If you buy uncooked summer sausages, you can use them for up to ten months. If you buy them frozen, keep them in the freezer for a few months. But remember that they lose their flavor over time.

But how to store deer summer sausage?

The best way to extend the shelf life of summer sausage is to freeze it. If you buy frozen summer sausages, make sure you label them well. Use freezer paper or freezer tape to keep the meat fresh. You can also store them in refrigerators or freezers for up to two weeks.