What is the best way to add pork fat?

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by nickelmore, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    The last time I made sausage they cam out way too lean. I will be making brats, polish, and Italian.

    So what is the best way to add pork and pork fat to venison?

    Should I cube up all the meat and mix it by hand and then run it through the grinder with 1/4 or 3/8 plate.

    Or should I run the pork, pork fat, and venison through 1/4 or 3/8 plate separately and them combine them with the other ingredients?

    Then run them them through 3/16 or 1/4 plate again prior to stuffing.

    I may try putting the stuffing horn on the grinder an shoot it into the casings on the second grind.
  2. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cube your meat and fat and mix it together and place in the freezer to firm up, then run it through the grinder...
  3. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    Do you grind twice? I have various size plates and was wondering about using a large plate to mix the meats, then add ingredients, then run it through a 1/4 plate with a stuffer tube attached.

    What are your thoughts?

  4. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    what is the best size plate to use for brats?

    I see some reference to "course" plate.

    Im just trying make sure I dont waste any meat.

  5. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would start with a 3/8" plate on the first grind and then use the finest plate you have around a 3/16th" on the 2nd grind...
  6. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think the course one is 3/8. Depends on the texture you want, I personally use course for my brats, polish, and italian, but haven't made any in years. If you want the old world type, course is the way to go, that is because they didn't have grinders in the old days, just chopped with knives.

    Whatever you choose, good luck!
  7. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    i personally like course ground for kielbasa's and brats. But that decision is up to you. I think it has more texture with a course grind. As for mixing the fat I cube my fat up and mix in with the meat. then grind it. add spices and mix for about 5 minutes and grind again. I haven't figured out why a lot of recipes say grind once. I think grinding twice makes a better product. May be it has to do with their production rate if the recipe is from a butcher shop. And like said above keep your meat COLD my grinder neck gets frost on the outside because my meat is 1/2 frozen. the colder the better.
  8. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    What about putting the stuffing tube on the grinder and stuff at the same time as the second grind?

    I ran across a butcher who said that is always an option.

    Looking for everyones opinion.

    I had to trim off some freezer burn on some of the meat, but should be ready to cube and grind tomorrow night, and stuff a little every night.
  9. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Personally, I would only grind once, with a coarse plate, say no smaller than 1/4". Grinding once saves the integrity of the meat. Like mentioned here, cube your meat and fat, no larger than 3/4", add all your spices and cure if your using it, add some ice cold water and mix well. Place that in the fridge for a day so all the spices and if using a cure, can penetrate the meat a bit. When your ready to stuff casings, put the meat in the freezer maybe an hour before you actually get down to stuffing so the meat is in a semi solid form. More frozen than thawed. You want your grinder to "grind" the meat, not tear it or mash it as often happens when the temps of the meat are too high. The last batch of Kielbasy I made was the best the wife has ever had, she said, and shes Polish and would have her Kielbasy flown in to us here in Minnesota. I made mine from venison and pork at a ratio of 25% pork shoulder and 75% venison. It was very good and very moist. Do you have a copy of Ryteks book? If not, I suggest you treat yourself to an early Christmas present and get it, the 4th edition. Post your recipe for us to see and maybe we can make some suggestions to see why your last batch came out too lean.

    Hey GOT14U, love the new avatar!!!
  10. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    I was trying to make a "healthy" (low fat) sausage and probably only used 5 to 10 percent pork added to the venison.

    This time around, I figure I would revisit the whole process to make sure I don't waste the meat.

    Thanks for all the advice, this forum is first rate.
  11. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Well a certain amount of fat does help to bind everything together, but you can replace the fat with soy protein concentrate and water and totally eliminate the pork fat. This is used for fat free sausages. If interested, check the sausage maker for it. According to Ryteks book, for a 10# batch, you would approx 1 pint of water, and 1# 5oz of protein. You can use that on either fresh or smoked sausages. Hope that helps you a bit.
  12. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    Yes, I have a copy of the Ryteks book aka "the bible" to the guys I know.

    Lots of good stuff, But I like to talk to others that have tinkered a bit.

    The last batch of stuff I made were so dry they tasted like saw dust and had the same consistency.

    I think this batch will turn out much better. And all the stuff I trimmed the freezer burn off of, I will fine grind and make jerky.
  13. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    I have narrowed down the first sausage for me to smoke, looks good.
  14. zopi

    zopi Smoke Blower

    I've never liked stuffing right out of the grinder...I prefer being able to control the flow a little more precisely..s well as packing the stuffer for no air pockets..

    Another good book is Michael Ruhlman's "Charcuterie"..
  15. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    Most sausage of the type you mention should have 15% to 20% fat to avoid that "too lean" perception.

    Remember that pork and pork fat are not the same thing. Assuming you are using a pork butt, that is only 20% or so fat by itself, so if using pork butt alone, the ratio should go up. One local locker mixes venison and pork 1:1 in it's venison sausages. Pork fat is probably a better choice. And use it in about a 20% ratio, depending on taste and what you are trying to accomplish.

    Are your grinding the venison or is it already ground? For the products you mention, I don't see why you can't grind just once through the 3/16" plate, then mix and stuff. More so if you cube up the meat and fat pretty fine before grinding, and mix water with the spices prior to mixing with the already ground meat. Otherwise, with large hunks of meat, grind first with a 1/2" plate or larger, then mix in your spices and grind again through the 3/16" plate. About the only reason I've ever heard to justify grinding after you mix in the spices is to better mix in the spices. So setting that aside, grinding once or twice.....a lot of that depends on your grinder. A big'n with lots of power or a small one that is struggling.

    If you can swing it, you will be happier with the process and outcome if you can get a small stuffer. Northern Tool, Grizzley, etc. sell some nice 5 pounder's that will make this a much easier job.

    And mix and stuff PDQ. Once you mix in the salt, the whole mix starts setting up and getting stiff on you. Makes the stuffer have to work harder. Add the water to get it to move easier and get it moving faster before it starts setting up. Makes the whole thing easier and doesn't hurt the end product at all.
  16. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    see now I know why to grind once. That's why I luv this place. I just always thought it really mixed everything well on the second grind. Maybe I will give this a shot also. You (meat hunter) have more knowledge on this then me.

    Original poster:great advice here and you can't go wrong. If you don't have a stuffer then you can do the grinder/stuffer attachment. I know most don't like to do this but if that is what you have there is no reason not to.

    Meat Hunter I thought this avatar was pretty good also. Now I just need to order one for the house.
  17. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    The grinder has enough power, its Blakeslee 20 quart mixer (Hobart knockoff) with a grinder attachment.

    I have been contemplating a hand stuffer, have used them in the past and did like them. I have a foot control on the grinder that helps a lot when stuffing as well.

    Thanks for the advice, I think I will mix the fat and venision in 5 pound batches tonight, course grind them, put some back in freezer for a few days, some I will mix seasonings and add tonight or tommorow and stuff the next day.
  18. jerrykr

    jerrykr Meat Mopper

    The way I like to do it is:

    Cube up all of the meat/fat.

    Seperate the fats from the lean meat, make 2 piles of cubes.

    Weigh the lean meat and add in fat by weight to achieve the % of fat you want. I personally like about 30% fat.

    Sprinkle your spices over the lean/fat cubes all the while mixing the cubes up. A large spoon works well and is safer than using your bare hands.

    Grind once into the casings.

    If you want to grind twice, I'd suggest using a stuffer to stuff the casings after the second grind. Getting the ground meat thru the grinder a second time is usually difficult, and I personally think is the reason a lot of people are turned off to using the grinder to stuff.

  19. nickelmore

    nickelmore Smoking Fanatic

    Using the Grind once method what size plate do you use? I have all sizes.

    What I have been doing is cube, corse grind with 1/2 inch plate. Mix in ingredents, let it rest, grind through 1/4, remove blade and stuff through an open plate.

    The stuff I did last week is a lot better than last time but still not perfect

    I may try to add some pork to the venison/pork fat combination. This last batch I used 4 lbs venison to 1 lb pure pork fat.
  20. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I would go with 3/16th-1/4" holes, no larger than that. Grinding once really keeps the integrity of the meat intact. But make sure that the meat is close freezing. Not froze solid, but close to it. It should grind when going thru, not tear. If doing larger batches of sausage, do it in increments of maybe 5 pounds or so and let the rest sit in the freezer or fridge so it does not start to thaw.

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