Fat back vs. pork shoulders

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by dwaytkus, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. dwaytkus

    dwaytkus Smoke Blower

    some sausage recipes call for pork shoulder and some fat. Does it matter? I have access to free fat backs but shoulders are pricey.
  2. Edit- Just remeber that pork shoulder is a fatty piece of meat, while fat back is pretty much pure fat(if we are talking about the same cut). As long as you keep your meat/fat ratios in the right range(~80/20 - 70/30 for the most part) you will end up with a good sausage.

    If you are using fatbacks, you will need to add some lean meat.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
  3. dwaytkus

    dwaytkus Smoke Blower

    So if i am looking to use venison and straight fat back the recipe would come out very similar to venison with pork shoulder as long as the ratio of fat were the same?
  4. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yes It matters. Fat back is 100% fat and is added to lean meat to get a required lean to fat ratio and also adds good flavor to meat. So you shouldnt make sausage with just fatback only. A shoulder has about the right amount of lean to fat ratio as long as the fat cap hasnt been trimmed off. If it has then you would add some fat back to compensate. 70/30 lean to fat ratio is a good starting point
  5. mark66

    mark66 Fire Starter

    You answered your own question!  Pork shoulder AND some fat back. Pork shoulder is same as pork butt. I use pork shoulder like 5 lbs and add 1 lbs back fat.
  6. dwaytkus

    dwaytkus Smoke Blower

    I want to use venison as my primary meat. Looking to make slim jims, Kabanosy. Just seeing if i can add just fat back to the venison and be sucessful or do I have to add some pork butt too? Also what are your thoughts on using pre ground pork from the store?
  7. You'd be fine just adding the pork fat and the Venison for your sausages. Personally, I grind my own meat whenever possible. It takes no time to grind 5 lbs of meat, and with just a little clean up, I have complete control over the size of my grind. Also, I cube and season the meat prior the grinding. This helps with thorough distribution of the seasonings before I mix the ground meat by hand.
  8. It depends on how much, if at all, you want to remove any gamey flavor. If you want full venison flavor, then the back fat will be fine(3.5 lbs venison/1.5 lbs fat). If you want to cut the flavor, then go with pork shoulder and back fat, or as you mentioned get some ground pork, just find out what the ratio of lean/fat is and adjust your recipe. 20% fat will usually be a fairly dry sausage. As Boykjo mentioned, 30% is a good ratio.
  9. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not an expert here but I'm wondering just how much venison you have to deal with. Venison, as I recall is very lean so if you're going to use say, 15-20 pounds for sausage & stix, you must have the proper amount of fat/lean ratio. If you have say, 12 pounds, you could easily add 3 pounds of butt to make the poundage correct and enough fat back to hit the correct ratio. IMO, pre-ground  store pork is mostly fat (from looking at the color) because they are in the biz of making $$. Fat's cheaper than pork and they usually will add some water in the mix to get even more yield. In my area shoulders (picnics) have the skin still on which would have to be removed but they are slightly cheaper than butts. HTH, Willie
  10. dwaytkus

    dwaytkus Smoke Blower

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  11. Yep, they look good to me. Nice find.

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