Sausage puts tasty cap on deer season

Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald on

Published in Outdoors

The secret to good sausage is in the smoking, and that's Duray's specialty, a skill he says he learned from "Little Frank" Ebertowski, an old neighbor who lived down the road back in the day.

"I'm the new Frankie," Duray quips.

There's one smokehouse for baloney, one for sausage and one for the Slim Jim's.

"You've got to get everything right," Duray said. "You've got to get the deer right -- clean them, process them, take care of them -- and then it's get good pork and mixing spices and when you're done with that, smoking.

"And you can ruin it all smoking if you don't know what you're doing."

Never let the meat get too hot during smoking, Duray says.

"You can't undo too hot," he said. "You get it too hot, it's ruined."

Like his mentor, "Little Frank," Duray does everything the old-fashioned way, using cured burr oak and tending the fire to get the perfect temperature in each of the smokehouses.

No propane here.


"I use old smokehouse fire rings and I use oak wood -- that's the traditional way of doing it, and we've stuck to that," Duray said. "Some people use the wood to get the smoke flavor, and then they turn on the propane.

"That's easy, but we don't do it that way."

Duray says he needs to teach the next generation the old ways of smoking. Otherwise, he says, the tradition and the history will be lost.

"But you know what they'll do, they'll get the old propane burner," he said. "It's much easier. But this is the old way of doing it.

"It's what we know -- it's what we do."

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