Lean to Fat Ratio

Beginners FAQ on sausage making, meat curing etc may often be found at the head of each relevant section, but here is the place to ask experienced users for advice if you are still stuck or need more information...we're here to help!

Lean to Fat Ratio

Postby spudie » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:20 am

Hi All
I have recently retired and have been active in my passion of all types of Charcuterie.
Have made many types of fresh sausages in the past with what I considered at that time to be pretty good.
Recently I have been full on with fresh sausage experiments with published recipes from various sites including quite a few from the experts recipes within this fantastic forum.
My examples have been with 1000 g meats & using software found here as well.
Records and spreadsheets are kept with the idea to be able to monitor results.
I'm finding the results are way to varied, one issue I having trouble with is fat to lean ratio.
I'm only using recognised "great" recipes from whom we beginners look up to as experts and its producing some very disappointing results.
Tastes are all fantastic but juiciness or lack of is driving me around the twist. I am following all of the production recommendation with cold grinding, temperature control, mixing until sticky etc
but I'm still not nailing the production.
I would appreciate some experts comments please from my questions below.

What do you experienced Sausage Makers do when a receipt has fat weight shown or not?
• Meat listed only ie 1000g
Do you assume the total meat weight of into 80% lean meat & 20% fat?
Do you butcher the meat into hard fat & lean meat, weigh lean & fat then make up lean /fat to the
80% /20%?
Just use the meat as supplied if visible fat is showing, mince up and assume that the ratio is approx.
80-70%, 20-30%?

• Where receipt lists Pork or Beef meat / fat by individual weights.
Do you assume that the meat is lean & add 20-30% fat?
Do you butcher meat into lean & fat, adding until desired ratio is obtained.

• Chicken - where recipe says “including fat & skin” where available chicken doesn’t have or has
minimum fat or skin.
Do you add fat to obtain % ratio?

Happen to further explain my issue if required.

rgds Graham - Oz
Registered Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:19 pm
Location: Perth, Australia

Re: Lean to Fat Ratio

Postby NCPaul » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:15 pm

I had trouble with this when I started as well. A lot of recipes will say that pork butt will give you an 80/20 ratio as is, not with the ones I can get! Because I use a low powered grinder (Kitchen-Aid) it is imperative that I trim out all of the ligaments and connective tissue. I end up with something closer to 5-10 % fat. To increase the fat level I'll add fat back, belly trim or jowl. Depending on your location (and sometimes on the time of year) these can be easy or hard to obtain. When a recipe calls for beef, I use chuck roast which I take to be about 15 % fat (makes a great hamburger). For chicken sausage I almost never add the skin. You can search chicken sausage in the recipe section to see how I work with chicken. The one thing that I do to improve fresh pork sausage with regards to juiciness, is to pre-salt the meat a day before grinding. Good extraction of the myosin helps with bind and the water holding capacity. Finally, what's "great" to one person is not "great" to all. As far as texture goes, I like the wide variety sausages give. If you like the flavor profile of a particular recipe but not the texture, you can always adjust it with grind or additives.
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
Global Moderator
Posts: 2814
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:58 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Lean to Fat Ratio

Postby spudie » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:58 am

Thanks for your reply.
Looking at the potential fat ratio due cuts of meat I have decided to do a few more experiments with & without fat addition. Hoping to put this behind me and continuing gaining more confidence with the "Sausage Process"....
Plan to do more with the texture variations from grind, additives etc.
Thanks for the info on Chicken Sausages... have this fixation with them as more than a few in the family are only interested in anything chicken.
Again thanks for your response.
Have a couple of questions on other matters but wont hind them in this topic.
rgds Graham Oz
Registered Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:19 pm
Location: Perth, Australia

Return to Beginners

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests