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Rytek's book-question on meat type

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm getting ready for my maiden voyage into sausage-making this weekend. Casings arrived yesterday. Bought the grinder on ebay and the stuffer from Northern Tool. In Rytek's book, many recipes call for pork or beef "trimmings" along with butt or chuck. What does he mean by trimmings?

I'll be sure to document the trip to italian sausage heaven. Hope I don't hit an iceberg.
post #2 of 17


That could be bits of fat, odd pieces of meat from cutting roasts and steaks, or the bits left on the bone after you debone a piece of meat. Essentially it is all the odds and ends that are to small to be sold retail. Stew meat can also be used in place of trimmings if you don's have any. Just by a pound or so of stew meat and have at it. It fits the bill. Good luck to you and your new hobby....I'm still deciding on my grinder and stuffer. Keep us posted!
post #3 of 17
In making Italian sausage, I wouldn't worry about being exact on "trimmings". Just use enough butt (with fat) to make up for the amount of trimmings. Maybe the reason for the trimmings is to provide a little more fat.
post #4 of 17
If you were to kill and cut up a whole animal, it would be more obvious. It's what Rivet said....scraps and leftovers. I've priced stew meat in the store and it's the same price or higher than a chuck roast. The reason for it being in the recipe is to get the fat content up to about 20%. A lot of butts these days are leaner than that.

Some grocery stores get in large pieces of meat they cut up, and may generate "trimmings". A lot of those in turn, make their own sausages they sell, so they use em themselves. Others don't cut much and might toss what little bone, fat and connective tissue they trim out. Some meat departments don't cut at all and receive pre-packaged cuts from some off site cutting operation.

You can do as well by finding a store that sells butts and fat as stand alone products. The one grocery store I know of that sells fat puts it out in one pound packages (balances with a 5# butt) and sells it for about 50 cents a pound. I had to ask for it at another store and they charged $1 a pound for it.

As Bassman says, use enough butts to get the job done. Sausage from butts will be a higher quality product than something from "trimmings". Them's parts, and "parts is parts".
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
That's great and makes a lot of sense. I'll check with my local Albertson's on the fat. Thanks. Looking forward to the first stuffing session. More to come.
post #6 of 17
2 quick tips for you. since your making Italian ,I will assume you are using pork Butts.
when you debone and cut them up dont throw away any of the fat. too many first timers trim too much fat and their sausage turns out too dry. In sausage making that fat is what give you the flavor.
secondly. dont grind too finely or it will wind up stuffing too tightly and you wont like the texture. good luck! you will be addicted after the fisrt batch!
make sure you show us some pictures as you process.
post #7 of 17
I agree with Unle Lar, Fat rules and an 80/20 ratio is what is needed in sausage. Have a few people that have tried to make them healthier by reducing fat and then not like the outcome.

Good luck and have fun!
post #8 of 17
I don't know much, but I have been deboning then griding the buts whole, It is turning out about right, Not to much fat but juicy..
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Uncle...thanks for the tips. I'll take both and make sure this first batch comes out as your suggesting.
post #10 of 17
Trimmings are the large pieces of fat trimmed from cuts like the chuck and the butt. You can also use pork back fat.

You can usually just use chuck for beef and butt for pork adding fat trimmings if you get an exceptionally lean roast.
post #11 of 17
I don't know about your Albertson's but the one here has a meat market, not a butcher shop. When I asked to buy fat, they told me that they get everything shipped in, either pre-packaged, or ready to package. If you can find a real butcher shop, you can probably get fat and anything you need.

FYI - most packer briskets have somewhere around 35% fat, it varies of course. I've asked about fat content of pork butts and have been told that they run around 30%.

Go to your favorite supermarket and study the packaging of your favorite "store bought" sausages. Most of them have around 30-35% fat content listed.

Have fun making your own sausage. You will really enjoy it, and probably never go back to buying "store bought".

post #12 of 17
He tended ta use a leaner cut a meat thus the trimmings allowed fer some more fat content. I would use a pork but, yer gonna have bout the right amount a fat with it. Trim out that but, set the fat aside, weigh the meat an add in as much fat as yall need ta get yer 20%. I run my sausage at 80/20 with good flavor, texture an moisture. At 30% fat some start gettin greasy er slimy an ya can tell it when ya bite inta it. There is also a product called fat replacer, ain't used it but some folk say works good. Makes fer a healthier sausage they say.

I won't pay fer fat, there throwin it out an yall gonna charge me fer it? Find ya a good meat manager an build up a good relationship with him, he'll do ya more good then anybody else.
post #13 of 17
I pretty good at sausage-70-30 mix best if a mix of beef & pork I grind my own meat also-save all fat for sausage.double & triple grind your fat-and meat. I add season and mix,cure before my last grind.fat makes a good sausage-no more than 30%-30% makes a real good sausage-and a mix of beef pork or bison works well-it donsn't need to be all 1 species.make sure u pop your airpockets so u don't hold the greese in-and don't forget the bath.good luck and if u need anymore pm me.
post #14 of 17
How about the double-pack shoulders from Sam's Club? Visually, they look like about the right amount of fat.
post #15 of 17
Yes, they are; choose wisely for leanness. Bone out the shoulder blade bone, be sure to check the fattier end and around your boning cuts for small pieces of cartilidge and bone (there was a backbone with ribcage boned off it earlier) that could clog your grinder plate.
There's a couple methods of how-to's - cut up your pork into 1-2" chunks, mix your seasoning with it then grind, or chunk up just small enough to fit into the head of the grinder, grind 1st, then mix your seasoning. Both yield the same result as long as you thoroughly mix the seasoning throughout your grind, it's whatever method works for you. I cut mine up into 1 - 2" chunks, mix the seasoning with it then grind it once through the coarse plate. I don't have a mixer so I use the grinder as the mixer. Others grind it coarse once then add the seasonings and mix, either by hand or with a mixer. Either way results in a coarse grind mix with seasonings spread uniformly throughout. Then, put into the stuffer, load up your horn with casing (rinse and soak 1st; I soak mine before starting to cut up my pork. Add a few drops of white vinegar to soften the casings). If you just rinse and stuff your casings can be tough to bite into. Pack medium full; you'll need some wriggle room to twist into links. Pinch every 2 or 3 inches and twist into links, twisting to the left on one, then to the right on the next, then left on the next, etc. so you're not twisting one link tight while untwisting the previous one. IMMEDIATELY after making your sausage give one or two a heat bath.. cook 'em up to try them! Nothing better than frying up your own home made sausages! Immediate gratification!
post #16 of 17
If you go to a good butcher shop, you should be able to get trimmings. Maybe even if you call a good super market that cuts their own meat, you can ask if they have any or if they can save you some.

Typically, trimings are around 50/50 lean/fat ratio.
post #17 of 17
To me trimmings always meant bits and pieces not used elsewhere and and otherwise wasted if not put into sausage.

Fortunately there are several good meat markets in this area with good natured real butchers who are able to provide me with the cuts and pieces I need.

With time at a premium for me I usually bulk pack my sausage into various sized chubs. The ground meat packing bags available through Cabela's make a great chub and are designed for freezer storage.

As usual, this is an excellent and informative thread powered by the best group of friends in cyberspace! Keep up the great attitude and keep the thin blue rolling!

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