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Pork Shoulder for making sausage??? Decided on Butts help needed?

dnovotny

Smoke Blower
95
10
Joined Nov 21, 2005
I AGREE WITH EVERYONE COMMENT .. BUTTS AND SHOULDER..YOU GOT TO LOOK AT BEFORE BUYING AND SEE AMOUNT OF FAT IT HAS.. ANOTHER TRICK I FOUND IS ADD BACON TO GIVE A BETTER TASTE TO BREASKFAST SAUSAGE, SUMMER SAUSAGE ECT.. WITH VENSON MOST PEOPLE GO WITH A 80-20 MIX BUT SOMETIME 75-25 WORKS AND TASTE BETTER - REMEMBER THE FAT IS WHERE  THE FLAVOR IS..GOOD  JOB .. THE MORE YOU DO THE BETTER  YOU WILL GET ..BEST PART ABOUT MAKING SAUSAGE IS ADD DIFFERENT SEASONINGS ,  EATING AND SHARING  WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY...
 

smokinhusker

Legendary Pitmaster
8,188
75
Joined Oct 20, 2010
Great looking sausage! I made a couple pounds of elk/pork breakfast sausage and the fact that elk is quite lean, the sausage came out with a denser texture, but definitely had the breakfast sausage taste. I am definitely going to be making it again. We expected a leaner/denser sausage and that's what we got...no surprises!
 

jimmyh

Fire Starter
49
11
Joined Feb 4, 2011
I think that everything said here is bang on. I usually shoot for an 80/20 mix but that can be a little lean for some people. I would not shy away from using those complete shoulders, especially if you are getting them at a good price. If you are careful when you skin them there shouldn't be a whole lot of fat loss and you should be able to keep it somewhat close to 20% fat.

I suspect that the whole shoulders you are getting might be from "cull" hogs, ie pigs that are at the tail end of a batch and need to leave the barn to make room for the new batch coming in. Maple Leaf in Brandon doesn't want to see anything that isn't in a very specific weight range. These pigs end up going to small butchers who aren't as picky about the size parameters. They also tend to be a little leaner than a fully finished market hog and thus you get less fat on them. About ten years ago I worked at a medium sized hog plant and did nothing but bone hog shoulders for two weeks. I might have quit the job after two weeks but I think the motions are still locked in my head. Maybe I should come out and show you how to get the bones out of those shoulders!

By the way, are you willing/able to share where you sourced those shoulders and how good the deal was? I am looking to make some farmer's sausage over spring break and still ahven't found any meat. Pork shoulders are ideal.
 

bluebombersfan

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,729
75
Joined Mar 4, 2011
I think that everything said here is bang on. I usually shoot for an 80/20 mix but that can be a little lean for some people. I would not shy away from using those complete shoulders, especially if you are getting them at a good price. If you are careful when you skin them there shouldn't be a whole lot of fat loss and you should be able to keep it somewhat close to 20% fat.

I suspect that the whole shoulders you are getting might be from "cull" hogs, ie pigs that are at the tail end of a batch and need to leave the barn to make room for the new batch coming in. Maple Leaf in Brandon doesn't want to see anything that isn't in a very specific weight range. These pigs end up going to small butchers who aren't as picky about the size parameters. They also tend to be a little leaner than a fully finished market hog and thus you get less fat on them. About ten years ago I worked at a medium sized hog plant and did nothing but bone hog shoulders for two weeks. I might have quit the job after two weeks but I think the motions are still locked in my head. Maybe I should come out and show you how to get the bones out of those shoulders!

By the way, are you willing/able to share where you sourced those shoulders and how good the deal was? I am looking to make some farmer's sausage over spring break and still ahven't found any meat. Pork shoulders are ideal.
PM sent!
 
 

atcnick

Smoking Fanatic
376
39
Joined Jan 1, 2010
Butt and shoulder is really the same thing. Pork butt is the top end of the shoulder, picnic is the lower portion


-Nick
 

atcnick

Smoking Fanatic
376
39
Joined Jan 1, 2010
The rear of the pig is not the butt. That's the ham, shank and hock. Or hind quarter


-Nick
 

saltysteele

Newbie
2
10
Joined Apr 19, 2012
we pretty much use a 70/30 mix for all sausages, and it comes out great.  you can get a pretty good idea of the fat content of a butt by looking at the outside.  pork has less intermuscular fat, and more intramuscular.  most of the fat is going to be visible.

if you're not using a binder or a method of bringing out the proteins to bind it, you need a decent amount of fat to hold the sausage together for free forms.

also, my theory on fat- before you pull out of the flavor, moisture and all the goodness from your meat, you'd do better for yourself to cut out all the simple carbs, processed foods.  your simple sugars/carbs dump into your blood at a rate of 30 units per minute, whereas in addition to satiating you (something carbs don't do), fats and proteins can only be transferred to your blood at a rate of 2 units per minute.  what does that mean?  your cells and liver get slammed full of sugar immediately, the rest gets turned to fat, your sugar drops and you still have a high level of insulin in your blood, and guess what?  you're hungry again.  you eat less carbs and more fats and proteins, your body can only process it into the sugar your blood can take so quickly, trickling in, giving you a steady, constant sugar level, not overfilling your cells and then your liver, thusly not putting 75% of the food into your fat stores  :)  this has been over simplified and drama added to emphasize my points, but my main point - before you take out all the good stuff out of your meat, cut down on the pastas, potatoes (chips, fries, mashed, baked, whatever), processed rices, breads, etc. don't cut them all out, but make the main portion of your meal meat/proteins/fats, and you'll get full quicker, stay full longer and feel better!  :)  (took me 40 years to figure this out, but i've lost 60 pounds in the last 6 months, because of it)  :)
 

hdflame

Meat Mopper
247
24
Joined May 27, 2009
we pretty much use a 70/30 mix for all sausages, and it comes out great.  you can get a pretty good idea of the fat content of a butt by looking at the outside.  pork has less intermuscular fat, and more intramuscular.  most of the fat is going to be visible.

if you're not using a binder or a method of bringing out the proteins to bind it, you need a decent amount of fat to hold the sausage together for free forms.

also, my theory on fat- before you pull out of the flavor, moisture and all the goodness from your meat, you'd do better for yourself to cut out all the simple carbs, processed foods.  your simple sugars/carbs dump into your blood at a rate of 30 units per minute, whereas in addition to satiating you (something carbs don't do), fats and proteins can only be transferred to your blood at a rate of 2 units per minute.  what does that mean?  your cells and liver get slammed full of sugar immediately, the rest gets turned to fat, your sugar drops and you still have a high level of insulin in your blood, and guess what?  you're hungry again.  you eat less carbs and more fats and proteins, your body can only process it into the sugar your blood can take so quickly, trickling in, giving you a steady, constant sugar level, not overfilling your cells and then your liver, thusly not putting 75% of the food into your fat stores  :)  this has been over simplified and drama added to emphasize my points, but my main point - before you take out all the good stuff out of your meat, cut down on the pastas, potatoes (chips, fries, mashed, baked, whatever), processed rices, breads, etc. don't cut them all out, but make the main portion of your meal meat/proteins/fats, and you'll get full quicker, stay full longer and feel better!  :)  (took me 40 years to figure this out, but i've lost 60 pounds in the last 6 months, because of it)  :)
Sounds like you're doing a low carb diet.  I lost about 30 pounds doing low carb a few years back.  I felt better and had a lower blood pressure and lower bad cholesteral.  I also enjoyed my meat!  I am a carnivore afterall.  Would you share your diet?  I really need to go back on it.
 

weisswurst

Smoke Blower
108
12
Joined Feb 12, 2011
I agree with the 80/20 ratio when it is possble to figure. many times its not.Also what you are making is a consideration.Smoking or not smoking? I am with those that said be sure to remove " tough fat " / tendons etc.If you prefer a little more fat it will help if you cut the meat , fat and lean into app. 1 inch chunks and freeze it until it is stiff but not solid. smoked kielbasa and lightly smoked  knockwurst made with coarse ground butts are 2 of my favorite sausages. Happy smoking  weisswurst
 

johnnyjulip

Newbie
1
10
Joined Jun 8, 2013
I agree with using the bigger plates for clean cuts and smallest for fat and less desirable cuts. I've tried it grinding all coarse and all fine, and was unhappy with both. I run the fat and tougher cut through the coarse first, then again through the fine. Another thing I do that I haven't seen commented on before is making a broth from the bones and connective tissue that makes a gelatinous goo I call liquid bone. I add this back to the meat after it cools instead of adding water. I add bay leaf to the bones while they're cooking and when it's done but before I cool it I add all of my seasonings. This makes it easier to mix the next day.
 

reinhard

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,194
286
Joined Feb 6, 2013
We all have a personal preferance not only in fat/lean content but also in the type of sausage we make. Reading Pop's post, is the reason i make my own sausage. I know what i'm eating, and health concerns play a part in this as he states very well.  Pork butts are good enough for most of my sausage. Not all butts are created equal LOL. When you buy them you can see how much of a fat cap they have and take a good look at the rest of the butt for the "marbeling" and fat in the meat that you can see. When i buy butts i mark some for pulled and some for sausage before i freeze them [when buying larger amounts on sale].

Around here i can buy leaner types of pork cuts for a good price should i need them. The two i generaly get are boneless sirloin and cushion meat. If extra fat is needed try asking your butcher for boneless picnic trim. It usualy is in a 50/50 lean/fat ratio. Used to use it a lot when i proccessed venison sausage. One thing i have done over the years when trying a new sausage is starting off with smaller batches before making bigger versions. Just keep notes of what you put in. You can always tweak it later with more or less spices and of course lean/fat content. Reinhard
 

benizenson

Newbie
1
10
Joined Dec 7, 2015
i know this is gonna be a shocker, but use a scale.  by weight it's between 7:3 and 3:1 meat:fat
 

Stewdo

Newbie
6
0
Joined Jan 4, 2020
What is the perfect meat/fat ratio for a pork butt for sausage making? I have found a butcher that sells whole pork shoulders for a really good price and was wondering if they could be used in place of pork butts for sausage making? they are full skin on shoulders so I thought they should have a good fat ratio in them. I have always used butts but always just took a guess from what they looked like for fat content.
 

Stewdo

Newbie
6
0
Joined Jan 4, 2020
It’s the same cut of meat. Boston butt is a cut from the shoulder. Trim the outer skin and trim as you like.If you find any of the small grayish looking glands,discard.
 

piker

Smoke Blower
126
23
Joined Feb 11, 2009
I have only used pork shoulders for sausage making in the last fifteen years with no problems and great sausage. I am talking about 200 pork picnics. The only waste is the skin and bone.
 

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