Beef Tallow instead of Pork Shoulder in Venison Smoked Sausage?

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Original poster
Dec 30, 2013
I'm looking at grinding the last of this season's deer and making some venison smoked sausage.  Rather than going out and buying pork shoulder to grind into it, I was thinking about using some beef tallow I had left over from professionally processing one of our grassfed beef cows earlier this year.  

Has anyone ever tried this sort of thing to see how it works?  Can you replace the fat+muscle of adding in pork shoulder/butt with just fat from either beef tallow or pork lard?  If so, how did that change your recipe?  When I've had sausage made in the past, the proportion of venison to pork shoulder was 60/40.  How would that change if you were just adding straight fat?  More like 80/20?

Thanks in advance
Last edited:
Just asking a question for clarification.....beef tallow typically refers to rendered beef fat, just as lard typically refers to rendered pork fat. Do you want to mix in tallow into your sausage, or unrendered beef fat?
In this case, the tallow in question is NOT rendered.  My wife wanted it for soap making but never got around to using it.  If I wanted to use rendered pork or beef fat, how would that change things?
Hi Perdu,

I'm going to take a stab at answering your question, and also give your post a little bump so that others have a chance to see your post and respond to it.

BTW, noticed you were new. Welcome to SMF!

So, most sources recommend using pork fat rather than beef fat in sausage for a couple of reasons. One is that the pork fat has a lower melting point that beef fat, so it has a nicer mouth feel and does a better job of helping the sausage stay moist. Second is that the pork fat has a milder taste than beef fat....supposedly beef fat is strong enough in taste that it might overwhelm the venison taste. I haven't tried it myself to be able to comment to that. However, when I make venison breakfast sausage I use 80% venison and 20% pure pork back fat and this works great for us if the venison is mild in flavor. So it seems like 80% venison and 20% straight fat (be it beef fat or pork fat) would be fine for bulk sausage, barring any flavor change from the beef fat.

In regards to the rendered fats vs. the unrendered fat....I have never seen a sausage recipe that uses rendered fat (tallow, lard). Always the fresh unrendered fat. The rendering process separates the pure fat from the cell walls, connective tissue, etc. So it would definitely change the mouth feel, and I'm guessing that the rendered fat would melt and leak out of the sausage when you cook it leaving nothing but a crumbly texture.

Any, FWIW, hope this was helpful.
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