Swojska Polska Kielbasa

Swojska Polska Kielbasa is Polish for homemade sausage, and this recipe guides you through how to use wild game such as elk or deer for making the world’s best sausage that can be eaten alone or incorporated in an endless number of other recipes. While I smoke my kielbasa after stuffing the hog-casings, you don’t have to. Keep in mind that this is cured meat, so will contain nitrates (pink salt or Prague salt #1). In addition to needing a smoker, you also need a good grinder and stuffer, but what self respecting outdoors man doesn’t have those. I usually use elk meat for my kielbasa but the recipe works equally well on deer. I generally mix pork fat at a ratio of 2:1 but have gone down to 3:1. You can adjust up or down based on your dietary preference. Keep in mind that game is very lean and the less fat makes a more dry sausage. Even though I usually scale this up for 24 pounds of sausage, I provide the recipe for 3 pounds to be more modest.


  • 2 lbs Elk or deer meat – see note for pork based sausage
  • 1 lb Pork fat
  • 4 oz Ice cold water
  • 2 Garlic cloves – large, pressed
  • 1 tsp Marjoram – dried
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar – optional
  • 0.33 tsp Prague salt #1 – curing salt
  • Hog casings 28-32 mm


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting.
  2. Mix the dry spices with pressed garlic and seep with just enough boiling water to cover. Place film over your bowl and set aside.
  3. Prepare you casings – thaw out complete if frozen or thoroughly re-hydrate if dry.
  4. Cut meat and fat into cubes and mix. Grind the mixture using a medium plate 4.5 – 6 mm. You want the mixture to be coarse.
  5. Add ice cold water to your spice mixture to reach 4 oz. and pour over meat. Using your hands, work the spices into the meat trying to get an even distribution. Try not to squeeze or smush the sausage.
  6. Stuff the meat into the casings using a grinder or stuffer. If using your grinder with a stuffing attachments, don’t use a cutting blade and keep the plate at large as possible.
  7. Hang sausages for at least two hours to dry, room temperature is okay.
  8. Preheat smoker to 140F – 160F.
  9. Hang sausages in smoker to dry for ~30 mins.
  10. Add wood chips – I usually use hickory or mesquite chips, but you should explore with other kinds
  11. Smoke for 3 – 4 hours or until the internal temp is 160 F.
  12. At this point the sausage is fully cooked and can be eaten.
  13. Cool completely and then seal in vacuum bags for long term storage.

Note: If you want to make this just from store bought meat, change the ratios to: 2 lb pork butt + 0.5 lb chuck + 0.5 lb pork fat

Note 2: Make sure your Prague salt is #1 and not #2. Number 2 curing salt is for dry cured meats like salami and it has more nitrates in it. The sugar is a option based on taste, like for a dry rub, sugar can smooth out the taste and provides so added structure. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t.