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Fat Smearing Problem

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 18:09
by checkerfred
I am having a problem with my fat in sausages and I can't figure it out. I am making sausage with venison and mixing fat in. I get my fat from a local grocery and it is trimmings off of pork butts.

Anyway, the first problem is when I grind it, it comes out through the plate in long strings....I grind it almost frozen. This keeps it from mixing well with my meat. Should I only grind it with the deer so it mixes better?

Second, when I finally get it into my casings, natural or collagen, it's rendering out at low temps. I fermented some last night using bactoferm, in the oven with just the light on. The temperature got up to 109. There was fat coming out of the casings on it was in the bottom of the oven. When I smoke the sausages, of course it comes out worse and makes the sausage dry.

I don't know if its the type of fat or how I'm handling it or what. I don't see specs of fat like I's just mixing and smearing with the meat.

Any help would be appreciated.

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 18:23
by ssorllih
All rendered fat is a complex mix of many fatty acids. Some of them are liquid at room temperature. So I am not surprized that you are getting rendered fat at 109 F.

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 18:27
by checkerfred
so what would I need to do? Is it coming from the grinding/mixing or what? Or is this just normal? I'm afraid when I start smoking here soon, the fat is going to render out more and make the sausage dry.

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 18:33
by Devo
I can only offer some tips. I find using the largest plate helps. Do not freeze your fat, you make fat icicles. Make sure your blade is in the right way on your grinder. Put some lard on the plate. You only need to keep the fat cold not frozen. If both meat and fat are cold to the touch it should mix up with no problem.
Good luck

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 18:38
by checkerfred
hmmmm, maybe freezing the fat is the problem....seems like last time when I didn't it still came through the plate in long noodles instead of breaking up into pieces like the meat does

Do you grind your meat and fat up separate or together? Maybe that's the problem?

OH, thanks to both of you guys for responding so fast!

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 18:50
by Devo
I will do it separately. It really sounds like your blade is in backwards and is not cutting to me. All your doing is forcing it out through your plate

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 20:43
by checkerfred
Devo wrote:I will do it separately. It really sounds like your blade is in backwards and is not cutting to me. All your doing is forcing it out through your plate
I'm 100% sure the blade is correct...I have the flat cutting side against the plate...i'm not that much of a newb lol

the fat just doesn't seem firm and seems overly greasy.....I ground my fat and deer meat separately and packaged in the bags for ground meat....the fat just won't particulate for lack of better just comes out like noodles.....the grinder isn't the problem either.....because meat grinds fine and the fat doesn't bog it down....I have a 1hp Cabelas grinder and it spits out the fat....I really think it may be the fat

another thing, I'm having to regrind the fat that I already ground and stored in bags with the meat because the fat won't maybe it's the combination of grinding twice?

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 21:53
by Devo
I really wish I could help you out. I have never had the problems you are experiencing. I would suggest talking to your butcher if you know him enough, and if you don't, this might be the time to get to know him better and ask your question to him. Tell him whats happening and maybe he can give you something to try.

Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 01:32
by uwanna61

Hello all, maybe I can add my 2 cents here. Right off the bat I will say, definitely freeze the fat, keep it cold! Try and dice the fat into small tiny cubes or pieces, and then put back into the freezer keeping the fat seperate while grinding the game meat. Then you fold the fat into the meat and again, keep it cold.
Now on to the grind of the frozen fat, generally it`s not a good idea to grind the fat during a separate grind, especially when the fat is frozen, the cold fat combined with the meat grinder and moving parts, this will create heat buildup and more or less, turn the fat into Crisco worms. Not to mention, you will not get a good even mix with the meat and fat when they are mixed together. Next time try cutting the frozen fat into small pieces without grinding. Think of it as adding cubed cheese to the mix, if you grind the cubed cheese,
even frozen, it will break down and likely fail to mix into the meat properly.

Another note, when using game meat such as venison or moose and so on, the meat is so lean that I will generally mix a minimum of 30% diced fat to the game meat.
Hope this helps and good luck...


Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 01:50
by Big Guy
I cut my venison chunks into 1-2 inch pieces and freeze. I do the same with my pork fat trimings. When ready to make sausage I semi thaw the meat and fat, I mix the semi frozen chunks of meat and fat 75% meat 25% fat then grind, add spices and mix stuff and smoke. I use a seperate temp probe in my smoker, don't rely on the dial thermometer on the door and watch your temp closely.

Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 01:51
by ssorllih
I was grinding some very lean pork this week and adding fat pork trimming. The lean was cut into one inch cubes as was the fat all of it was soft frozen (about 29 degrees over night after a couple of days at -6).I was adding a cube of fat for every three or four cubes of lean . The mix ground very nicely and mixed uniformly.

Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 02:00
by uwanna61
It will work if adding a small amount of frozen fat to the meat as you grind, but grinding all the fat together in a continues grind, will make the fat smear sure as heck. I have done it both ways and prefer to add the small diced fat to the ground meat. :razz:


Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 02:29
by checkerfred
Thanks Wally, Big Guy, and ssorllih! I think that is my problem, I ground the fat separately first and did like Wally said and made crisco worm! Love the description lol...that explains perfectly what is happening. I tried re-grinding some of the already ground (but frozen) fat with the ground deer and it did a little better but still smeared some....the deer was thawed though so I'm going to try it again with partially frozen deer. Once I get this fat used up, I'm going to just leave the fat in chunks and add it in like mentioned.

Thanks again to everyone for helping out!

Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 02:52
by Bubba
Hi Checkerfred,

Interesting discussion of your problem and you got some good advice from the other experienced members. I'm on a learning curve with this hobby and read every topic!

One question, purely as a point of interest:- what size plate do you grind your fat through? I always use a course plate with frozen / semi frozen fat.

Then I have a plate / plate set for every size plate (3 of them). After grinding I check the blade closely to see if any residual meat / fat has wrapped around the blade during grinding. If it does I know my blade needs sharpening. :)

Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 22:25
by checkerfred
Hey Bubba! I have been using the coarse plate...I figured the smaller plate would restrict it too much....I figure if I need to I can double grind....I have two plates and I have a blade for each one so I'm good there

I'm the same way as you...I'm on a learning far I've got down fermenting with LHP pretty well....I have been having some problems with cooking but I think it's due to the fat.

Last night I mixed up some landjager...I used partially frozen deer and the frozen fat...cut it up into cubes (it was previously ground so not sure if thats what's causing the problem) and ground it all mixed much better and didn't smear...I could see the fat chunks now......however, during fermenting, I'm still losing some fat through the holes where I pricked the air bubbles.....I think it's the fat....I may have to just do a 60/40 mix of deer/pork or beef.