Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Fat Ratios When Using Pure Fat

Scott Marsden from Hartsel, CO asked:

I'm planning on making some elk summer sausage and breakfast sausage links, but have a question about fat ratios. In your DVD, you use an 80/20 mix with 50/50 pork for the breakfast sausage and an 80/20 mix of 50/50 beef and bacon ends for the summer sausage. I'm having trouble finding any 50/50 mix at any meat markets so far. Everyone is offering straight beef or pork fat. My question is: if I use straight fat instead of 50/50, would I use a different ration than the 80/20? Thanks in advance.

Hello Scott, Great question!

Yes your blend will be different. If you're going to use 100% fat, I always like to cut the amount back.

Let's start with the first step. Be sure you request back fat and specifically tell your butcher that you don't want "tallow". Back fat comes from steak trimmings on beef and pork chop trimmings on hogs. Tallow comes from the kidney fat inside the animal and under heat will render away to nothing but grease, and you don't want that inside the casing of your sausage product.

When adding pure fat, I will mix 9lbs of good lean game meat with 1lb of pure fat. Always be sure to cut the fat into very small pieces before grinding, this way you can get the fat blended well with the lean meat during grinding. If you grind the fat in large pieces, it takes a lot of mixing to get the fat blended into the lean game meat.

Always use pork if you're making a product that is primarily made of pork and beef if the product is primarily a beef product. For example, if you are making sausage, which is usually made from pork - add pork fat. If you are making hamburgers, which are a beef based product, use beef fat.

I never have trouble finding 50/50 trim. If you ask at a custom butcher shop, you should have no trouble. At a grocery store, they may not do enough actual processing and grinding to have 50/50 available. If you visit a local custom butcher shop they should be able to help you with some trim that has fat and good lean meat mixed together. These trimmings will usually come off the ribs or brisket on beef and from the shoulder and fresh side on hogs.

 Good luck with your products and let us know how it turns out!


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