Using the Best Fat to Lean Ratio In Making Sausage
WaltonsTV: Correct Fat to Lean Ratios
Meat Hacks: Using the Best Fat to Lean Ratio In Making Sausage
How much fat should you use when making sausage? Watch the full video below, read the highlights here, and then post your comments or questions below.
What Is The Best Fat To Lean Ratio In Making Sausage?
Using the correct lean to fat ratio when making sausage is going to help in several different aspects towards making a better meat product. The first thing it is going to do is help with flavor. Simply put, fat equals flavor. So, the more fat you use the more flavorful the final meat product is going to be. You don’t want to use too much fat though because too much fat will have a different flavor and consistency in the final product that people are not familiar with or prefer. Too lean of meat can cause the final product to be dry and crumbly with a low amount of flavor. Then, it also helps out with the appearance of your meat products and having a good looking particle definition in the final product. Fat is also cheaper than lean meat, so using more fat will make your products less expensive as well. Sausage is also easier to make, process, and stuff into casings when the fat content is correct. If the meat is too lean, stuffing smaller diameter meat snacks will be a lot more work for you and your sausage stuffer (especially hand crank sausage stuffers).
What Lean to Fat Ratio Does Walton’s Recommend?
It does depend on the meat product you are making, but as a general rule of thumb, we recommend using a ratio of 70% lean to 30% fat (or 70/30). You can go up to a 60/40 ratio for many meat products, but that would be the maximum we’d recommend. An 80/20 lean to fat ratio can be used in some instances and can still work out well, but if you get up towards a 90/10 lean to fat ratio, problems with the meat being dry, crumbly, and keeping an outstanding flavor will become difficult to manage.
So as a general rule of thumb, start out with a 70% lean to 30% fat ratio when making sausage for what would be considered best practice for most types of sausage.
Just an FYI, everybody that received snack sticks for Christmas last year loved them… I just ordered another batch of Willie’s Snack Stick spice blend to do it again this year!
Jonathon, I have to agree that 275 is too hot… If you have the time I’d shoot for 225, but if it needs to be “done”, then 250 would be the max I would do…
I have always filled the water pan for everything I smoke… 2 reasons, first it does tend to add moisture during the long cook thus keeping the bark from turning to shoe leather… and second because the water pan acts as a heat sink and helps maintain the temperature (in my vertical propane smoker) a bit more accurately… I’ve heard folks tout using apple juice in the water pan to impart a sweeter flavor, but I’ve never tried it…
On the other hand, my dad smoked for years, mostly in a converted fridge with an electric hotplate in the bottom… he never used a water pan and never had an issue with dry meat…
As for the type of wood to use, that’s just a trial and error, personal preference thing… I happen to like steaks cooked with oak… that may be too strong a flavor for your taste (my GF hates it)… Recently I have been using a lot of maple for NC bbq, chicken and even cheese… I like the maple for the meats, but next batch of cheese will go back to the hickory / cherry mix that I was using…
I followed the instructions on the video. It may have something to do with the sausage not getting as firm as it should. I used the cotto salami on duck breast with pork fat. It sure tastes good. But it’s a little soft.
I’ve done a lot both ways. I would highly recommend a stuffer and I have the Weston grinder with the auger stuffing attachment. It’s slow, but if you’re doing 5# or 10# batches, it’s not that bad. I’ve had small 5# stuffer, old school cast iron Enterprise, 11# vertical and now a 35# hydraulic. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade the hydraulic but the 11# vertical I got on amazon had a lot of versatility. I think your bigger decision should be what type of stuffer should I buy. I would recommend the taller, smaller diameter instead of the large shorter one. The smaller diameter allow for a higher pressure for doing sticks with cure in them. The large short ones would be great for doing pork sausage or larger diameter casings, not 19-22mm sticks with cure. It would be fine as long as you’re doing fresh like breakfast or something like that. If you go the stuffer route I’d get it from Waltons and get the Weston-they stock parts, other no name from amazon is a one shot deal, once ours broke couldn’t find parts. Plus they have so many tube sizes now and Walton’s does a great job helping with casing and stuffing horn sizes, they carry them all.
I purchased a stuffer off Amazon for under $100 and would never go back to using the grinder. With the grinder, it was always a two man job and took forever. The stuffer is much faster and have no problems doing it all by myself. Plus with a hand crank stuffer, no electricity usage and wear and tear on your grinder.
Thank You Sir: