Meat to fat ratio when grinding Sausage.

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by bobbydsbbq, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. bobbydsbbq

    bobbydsbbq Newbie

    Hi everybody,

    I'm going to try grinding up some homemade bulk sausage using a pork butt along with back fat trimmings from another butt and maybe a brisket. What ratio of lean to fat mixture do you prefer to use when grinding sausage? I was thinking 60/40

    Thanks for the help!
  2. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    80/20   dont add fat to the butt. its already 80/20

    Welcome to SMF Bobby.How about swinging over to roll call and introducing yourself so we can give you a proper welcome and dont forget to fill out your profile

    Good luck and happy smoking

  3. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What Joe said.
  4. Sorry to break into the thread but I'm new around here and I want to make sure I understand what was said.

    Are you saying that I can count on a pork butt having an 80% lean to 20% fat ratio (after removing any tough tissue I assume) and that I can make bulk breakfast sausage out of that by grinding it up and adding my spices?

  5. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    yes, you can use pork butts to make your sausage with out adding any extra fat.

    you do have to buy untrimmed whole pork butts. ask your butcher to sell them to you the way he gets them in.  the ones that are re wrapped in the meat case may have a little of the fat trimmed off.

    the ones I usually get come 2 butts per  cyrovac package.

    I make all my sausage with them without adding any extra fat.

    very little goes to waste.most of the time I fillet out the bone , trim a little of the vein out and into the grinder!
  6. Wow, that would make things quite convenient.  Does the 80:20 ratio apply to the whole shoulder too?
  7. We get Smithfield butts here that are grown real fast and trimmed a bunch. Not a lot of fat on them. I will usually add 1/2 to 1 lb. of fat with these.
  8. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The picnic is a leaner cut of meat but if you want to use a whole shoulder I wouldnt worry about adding fat. I made sausage out of picnics before and they were ok....

  9. I was wondering about this because I don't have a kitchen scale.  It would be nice to make up some breakfast sausage before I get a scale but maybe I should wait unless I can locate untrimmed pork butt.

    Edit:  Can any of you recommend a good kitchen scale?
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  10. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Like some say, 80-20 is good, maybe 30% fat for some things. Go with a butt or a shoulder, it will be in the range you're looking for. Just trim out the bone, connective tissue and soft fat between the muscles.

    I can almost guarantee they will be leaner or about the same as what you buy in the store. but will taste better.
  11. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    see what model and what r the min max

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  12. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here's a great visual of what you want for a grind. I got this from Len Poli's site which is one of the best out there for sausage info.

    Ok I spent a half hour of my life trying to post a pic off his web site, way to long . (I'm not real puter smart.0 so here's the page and it's only down a little from the top/

    look for 4 pipctures of different grinds. that will show ya what ya want ....then read the rest of the site and you'll more then ya need to about sausage making

    Holy moly I felt like I was sharing the pipe with Chef JJ for a while there... I need a drink
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  13. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nearly all the butts we get are fine as they come for the sausages we normally make.  Rarely one might be a little fat or lean.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  14. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the link Dan That site is a wealth of knowledge got it book marked for future rference
    twobuckchuck likes this.
  15. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I thought untrimmed pork buts were closer to 30% fat
  16. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Probably so Jerry but around here they trim them real tight, so I'd guess between 20%-30%. I mostly go by looks after its ground and add more back fat if it looks lean.
  17. snifferbens

    snifferbens Newbie

    i took a 4 1/2 lb pork roast and 1 lb of fat too make my sweet italian sausage.
  18. shortend

    shortend Meat Mopper


    I'm from Iowa too. I usually get my prok butts from Walmart ot Sam's Club. Walmart's come individually KryoVac packed and Sam's come 2 to a KryoVac pack. The 80/20 ratio is usually pretty close. I've had good luck with them. I tried Hy Vee's pork butt, but I found them to be over trimmed and I had to add some fat to it, so I try to avoid theirs if I can. Not sure about Fareway's as I haven't gotten any pork butts there.

    I've got a Salter digital scale that I got from Bed Bath & Beyond. It works very well for me and is reasonably priced.

  19. Pork butts available here vary a lot in fat content, both intermuscular and cap.
    Many are well below 20%, which is why I got of the phone with a butcher no more than 30 minutes ago in a search for some back fat.


    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012

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