Fat Cap w/ Kielbasa or Sausage

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by old smokey nj, May 6, 2016.

  1. old smokey nj

    old smokey nj Newbie

    Hello all,

    I'm going to make some Polish Kielbasa, and I'm figuring this question would pertain to sausage making in general. On some pork butts, there's a thick fat cap (at least 1" thick), while on others it's 1/4" or less, Should I cut that excess fat off when making kielbasa or other sausages, or leave it on? It just seems like too much fat if I leave it on, and if I cut it off, I figure I can get more consistent results regardless of what the pork butt looks like when purchased. Any thoughts?
  2. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    I tend to remove the cap and save it for another purpose. Pork butts in general have the ideal balance/ratio of lean to fat and I find removing that thick slab of fat doesn't negatively impact the flavor of the finished product. End result is still juicy and flavorful.

    You can 'eyeball' your trimmed pork and decide if you need to add additional fat to get to that 80/20 ratio if desired. 
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I may be in the minority, but I look for butts with a thick fat cap for sausage.

    I grind it all together, no trimming.

    That's the way we like it.

  4. couger78

    couger78 Smoking Fanatic

    Al ,I suspect you're probably in the MAJORITY of those who incorporate the fat cap into their grind.
  5. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    I'm by no means a pro.  I've only made sausage once before, but when I did I just cut up the butts with the fat cap and all and ground it all up. 

    The sausage turned out much better than I expected.  I think if you remove too much it may be drier.  

    Like I said, I'm no expert, but I had great results leaving it on. 
  6. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I usually include it when I am going all out with the fat. But recently I used cushion which is even leaner and cheaper with great results!
  7. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Everything but the Bone from the Butt goes in my sausage. Old time sausage guys consider the fat cap as an integral component of the 80/20 mix. Fat Cap off is really closer to 85/15, still good. I only eat sausage once a week so, what the heck, fat is flavor and I like my sausage really flavorful! My cardiologist be damned...JJ
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    That's almost grounds for banishment!
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It really depends on what I am making. For linguica I remove the cap, but add it back in cubed into 1/4" chunks. Other recipes I do the same. For lighter sausage I remove the cap and leave it out completely. All depends on what I'm making.
  11. jeffinn

    jeffinn Fire Starter

    Definitely grind that fat cap into the sausage meat. It'll give you the right balance of meat to fat (right around 80/20).:sausage:

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