80/20 beef??

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Mar 6, 2009
Looking to grind up some 80/20 beef to make Dan's snack sticks.  What cut would get me close to 80/20 after its ground?  I guess most chuck is closer to 70/30 or 60/40 and round is more 90/10.  Just guessing,  anyone able to recommend what to use to get to 80/20?

I thought chuck was pretty much 80/20. If it looks a little fatty then couldn't you just trim some fat off. Pops should probably be answering this.
According to "ehow", it looks like you could go with a mix of Ground Round & Chuck---How about 50/50?

Or 70% Round/30%Chuck?

  • Ground beef has different grades of fat content. Ground round is relatively lean. Ground round contains a minimum of 80 percent lean meat and maximum of 20 percent fat, according to Texas Agricultural Extension Service. However, customers can purchase leaner ground round, which has about 10 to 15 percent fat. Compared to chuck meat, ground round has considerably less fat as chuck ground can contain up to 30 percent fat. Sirloin has similar fat content to ground round.


Thanks guys,  I guess you confirmed my intuitive answer   Grind equal amounts of round and chuck roasts will get me pretty close.  Plus the meat will probably taste better having a combination of the two.  It'll be close enough for what I'm doing
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I have not done this yet but a friend of mine seperates the meat and fat and weighs both until he gets what he wants
Alblancher,when I want to do my own burger grinding,I ask the Butcher for Beef suet(usually free) and add 20% suet to the meat.I like good sirloin,good taste and easily available.
Ground meat is not whole muscle finished cuts ground up; it is the trimmings from those cuts.  The fat/lean ratio is determined some by the trimmings and some by adding lean or fat to adjust the ratio.  Western steer beef is raised for its tenderness and has considerable fat, but that's what makes it tender.  You mix those trimmings with extra lean beef garnered from local cow and bull meat (or imported, such as from Argentina or New Zealand) and derive the fat/lean ratio desired.  In most packing plants, the trimmings are put in pallet sized buckets, then core samples are drilled through them in various spots and the samples go through a fat analyzer; that machine will tell the operator how much fat and/or lean to add to achieve the correct fat/lean ratio desired.  Trimmings can be from all parts of the carcass, ergo the standardization of terminology that the ground meat does not come from a specific part of the carcass; rather, it is it's fat/lean ratio that matters; i.e. 73/27, 80/20, 90/10, 93/07.  The best burger comes from the worst cuts, not the best cuts.  Grinding up shank meat, neck meat, trimmings from the spinal column, plate and brisket trim, that's the stuff great ground meat comes from, lol!  But, you don't have access to those cuts unless you butcher your own.  You can add some shank slices from the meatcase if available and once in a while some retailers still offer sliced neck roasts or plate beef, especially in Jewish ethnic areas.  The 'tube beef' many of you see in the meatcase (1lb, 3lb, and 5lb chubs of 73/27, 80/20, 90/10 and 93/07) is what comes from directly from packing plants and has the greatest flavor with the least waste possible; it is processed in 99.99% bacteria-free environment making a 45 day shelf life possible, and can be re-ground in your own grinder into sausages or meat mixes easily, plus great sliced up and pattied on the grill or in the pan.  This is the only ground meat we use ourselves, buying the 5 lb. chubs exclusively, usually the 80/20.  The meat ground in-store has a 1 day shelf life; the tube beef has a 45 day shelf life (from date of processing, usually 30-35 days in-store).  The burger is usually a little coarser-ground than what you find in-store (you should see the size of the grinders they use, about 8 ft. tall and as big as a pingpong table, one cascading into the other to do a two-grind mix!); and you can always regrind it if you wish.  I use it in all the snack sticks, summer sausages, etc. that I make, it's so much better, quicker, easier to use than to grind my own and comes from tougher cuts that have far more flavor than pot roasts (waaayyy too expensive to grind!).  Cook the pot roasts as intended, they make much better pot roasts than they do burger!  
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Thanks for the advice Pops

I bought equal amounts of round and chuck, cut into 2 inch cubes, added some Ribeye fat I had in the freezer and then added cure and salt.  The mix will be in the fridge for a couple of days before I grind, add rest of seasonings and stuff.

If you suggest using the tube meat I'll have to give it a try next time.  I paid 3.50 a lb for the round and 3.68 for the chuck at Sams.  I know I could of saved a buck a pound with the 80/20 tube meat.  The price of meat down here is going through the roof and I've just about cleaned out the freezers.
for burgers or any minced meat i use the neck meat it is more or less  80/20 and it is very  soft and it handles heat good.

but you know i use african cows

Thanks Pops--interesting info!

I used to, but haven't seen any tube meat around here lately.

So for me it's regular 80/20 ground beef, or what Al just did.

I think I missed something here... Tube beef would be considered superior to a custom grind from your local butcher or are we just talking the local MegaMart?...JJ

Time for a PM.
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I've always been afraid to buy the tube beef, thinking it was inferior. I'm gonna have to try a tube.
Well I just can`t bring myself to buy any of that tube meat to eat....I have bought it before and made protien meatballs for my dogs....
Very informative Pops, especially about the tube beef. I use it on occasion but always considered it inferior to the store ground stuff for some reason. Now I know better....Would that be the same for ground pork products?? Truthfully, Jimmy Deans stuff scares me...looks like wayyyyyyyy to much fat mixed in.

Now Al in my snack sticks I like to used Sirloin tip and use a pork shoulder for the fat content and some flavor too. You just can't beat the flavor combo of the two meats.
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