Well, on the butts, I used about 8 pounders, I trimmed and separated as much as the fat from the pork as possible , cut everything into small cubes, froze the fat and chilled the pork.
On the first batch (following an Italian sausage recipe) I ground both through the 3/8 plate ( separately) and then re-ground the fat after freezing it again before mixing the two together.and stuffing. It was very dry and texture was bad.
On the 2nd batch,( same recipe but left out fennel and added crushed red pepper) I froze the fat and chilled the pork, ground them once through 3/8 plate before mixing and stuffing. Texture was a little better, was not as dry as first batch, but still fairly dry.
On the 3rd batch, I bought a 7lb picnic, I trimmed the skin off leaving as much fat as possible, then diced it all up into small cubes ( did not separate the fat this time) then stuck it in freezer until almost frozen and ground it all through 3/8 plate. I decided at the last minute to try a German hot dog recipe, so I mixed in the ingredients, stuck it in freezer until almost frozen and ran it through the medium sized plate before stuffing.
The recipe used the same amount of salt.
The batch with the picnic, even though ground finer, gave what seems like a chunkier texture ( more like store bought kielbasa) and even though the picnic appeared to have much less fat when cutting it, this batch is juicier. You bite into it and it drips.
Everyone says that the first two batches were so so, ( they don't want to say they sucked) but everyone really like the last batch a lot, saying exactly that, better texture and juicier.
I'm just trying to figure out was it the meat, or he grind, before I go shopping this afternoon.