Breakfast Sausage Fat Content.
Can a too high fat content overpower the seasonings?
We have done 350 pounds of Holly breakfast sausage for several years now and all of them have turned out great, except our last batch. It has a very strong fresh pork taste to it. Everything has been done the same:
Ground and mixed in 25 pound batches
Stuffed in 1 pound meat bags and froze.
The only difference this year was our hogs had more fat on them. Could that be our issue with the strong “pork” taste?
Usually, adding fat to sausage will add to the overall flavor and help the seasoning flavor come through more, but at some point, more and more fat can overpower in a way. Too much fat can start to make the meat just taste fattier and the texture can be slightly different which can slightly affect flavor. However, with a breakfast sausage, it is typical to see fat ratios between 20 and 30% and even up to 40% at times. I wouldn’t expect to notice the fat ratio affecting things adversely until it was pushing that 40% mark.
Do you have any idea on what your fat ratio would have been?
Do you have a way of comparing the taste between the different 25 lb batches to see if it was just a few select batches and the mixing not being perfect, or did the meat bags get mixed up together afterwards?
@Austin We do not have any way to accurately measure the fat content.As the mixing is done in bulk and the different tubes of sausage have had a consistent flavor.The hams,roasts, chops and bacon all turned out great. So it wasn’t “bad” hogs.
@Bruce56BB Was the seasoning recently bought, or was it leftover from an older purchase?
Seasoning doesn’t go bad, but we recommend to use it within 1 year because potency can dissipate over time.
If the seasoning was newer, I’ll see what else I can find for possible causes, but there is a chance it could be older seasoning.
@Austin No, the seasoning was purchased just prior to processing.
@Bruce56BB I’m running out of ideas. Probably is just the fact that the hogs had a bit more fat, and they have just a slightly different/stronger flavor. There’s nothing else I can really associate to it other than that.
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@Bruce56BB one thing to look at is if any of the hogs were boars or possibly cut late. They can give off a strong taste in fact old boars are sometimes condemned for it at slaughter.
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: