Boston Butt % of fat

sfisher
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Boston Butt % of fat

Post by sfisher » Sat Aug 30, 2014 07:18

I want to make some Italian and breakfast sausage. I would like to get my fat to the 25% range. I am using regular trim store bought Boston Butts. I know that no 2 are the same as far as fat goes. But I am trying to guess what their fat content is. I am guessing around 80 to 85%, would that be safe to say? I have some good hard white pork fat fresh the butcher shop. How much fat would you add to your meat to get to 75% lean to fat. I am guessing around a 1/4 to a 1/2 lb. of fat to 3 lbs. of Butt. What does your experience tell you?

Thanks Steve
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Post by crustyo44 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:49

Steve,
I never add extra fat if I bone out butts. The fat ratio usually turns out OK.
I also like to take care of my arteries.
Don't add extra fat, you will live longer. Guaranteed!!!!!!
Regards,
Jan.
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Post by el Ducko » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:22

It's not exact, of course, but... what IS, these days? Try "taking apart" the butt as you prep, separating meat from fat. Then weigh. It will give you an idea of how much fat you have, and you can add or (usually not) subtract fat as you see fit.

Look around the website or the parent website for discussions on what type of fat to add. Various locations have different properties.

Let us know how it comes out- - good, or great!
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Aug 30, 2014 13:53

I usually cut a slab from the skin side of a butt for making bacon and the rest of the butt is nicely marbled but quite lean. My guess is in the 15% range for fat content and then the slab is a nice balance for bacon. You could try taking it apart that way and add a portion of the slab as you see the need. Generally the butts are almost a perfect balance for sausage making.
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Post by Shuswap » Sat Aug 30, 2014 14:12

Once again the timing of a thread is on spot. A couple of weeks ago I trimmed a deboned butt from Costco and realized I was over zealous in the task. Pretty much did what Duk has suggested except I didn't weigh the waste which included fat. Today I am making breakfast sausage with it and adding 15% back fat to the mix - it's purely a guess but if I'm wrong I will be on the lean side and that can't be all bad. I'm making patties so will be adding 2% soy protein to the mix. Oh, and I get to use my new Lem #8 grinder for the first time :grin:
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Post by redzed » Sat Aug 30, 2014 16:44

Most of the time pork butts have just the right meat and fat ratio for sausage and that is why that cut is a favourite with hobbyists. The fat ratio on a butt from a market size hog (140 -180 llbs dressed weight) can be in the 20 - 30% range. And even if you cut it up separating and weighing the meat and fat you have to also take into account an amount of fat that is in the muscle itself. Fresh Italian and breakfast sausages sold in supermarkets will usually have 50% fat, the amount permitted in the regulations. What I would do in your case, is to make the sausage without adding any fat this time. See how you like it and if find it too lean, add fat next time. There is no right or wrong amount of fat in sausage. Use what you and your family like. Once you start making different styles of sausage you will learn that some call for as much as 40% fat and some for as little as 10%. Personally I prefer using the lower part of the shoulder, usually called the picnic. It has more red muscle meat and I think it's tastier. It is also leaner than the butt portion so I occasionally add back.
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Post by Baconologist » Sun Aug 31, 2014 01:07

Butts vary wildly in their fat content in this area (generally 15% to 30%) you'll just have to experiment and see what works best for you.
Godspeed!

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Post by redzed » Sun Aug 31, 2014 01:42

Baconologist wrote:Butts vary wildly in their fat content in this area (generally 15% to 30%) you'll just have to experiment and see what works best for you.
Was than an echo? :lol:
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Post by Tasso » Tue Sep 16, 2014 02:17

I'm still a little unsure on this subject, so I am going to ask a couple of follow-on questions.

I usually buy fully deboned and skinless pork shoulder from Costco. They are quite large, two large pieces in the cryovac bag. I believe they are in the 12 to 15 pound range, usually. They are completely trimmed of exterior fat, but they have plenty of fat throughout the meat. When I smoke them, they always come out quite tender, and quite a lot of fat cooks out of them. I estimate at least 20% fat. I think this cut is the upper shoulder, also known as Boston Butt. Does that sound right?

When I buy from Sam's Club, it is usually the picnic portion, with bone, plenty of exterior fat and a large portion of skin. They are always quite a bit smaller than the huge hunks of boneless shoulder from Costco, rarely going over 12 pounds, usually less.

When making sausage with the picnic portion, after removing the skin (and frying it for cracklins) does one remove or use the remaining exterior fat that was under the skin? I'm sure if the exterior fat on the picnic portion is used for making sausage, the resulting fat percentage is going to be over 20%.
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Post by Darwin » Tue Sep 16, 2014 02:50

I just de-boned and ground up a butt and shoulder, no skin and not sure of the brand. I would say combined the mix is about 70/30+. I keep and use the hard outer fat, but I do remove the soft lacy fat that is between the muscles, not sure what to call that. I miss using commercial equipment and a real kitchen...
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Post by Carpster » Tue Sep 16, 2014 03:05

Pork Butts....skin on or skin off.....bone in or bone out? All this depends on the supplier. Schnucks, Wal-mart or Aldi's seems to be the choice in Mo. for the money. You learn to use the supplier more than the content of fat. Sausage is Good, Too much worry is not.
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Post by redzed » Tue Sep 16, 2014 04:25

Tasso wrote:I'm still a little unsure on this subject, so I am going to ask a couple of follow-on questions.

I usually buy fully deboned and skinless pork shoulder from Costco. They are quite large, two large pieces in the cryovac bag. I believe they are in the 12 to 15 pound range, usually. They are completely trimmed of exterior fat, but they have plenty of fat throughout the meat. When I smoke them, they always come out quite tender, and quite a lot of fat cooks out of them. I estimate at least 20% fat. I think this cut is the upper shoulder, also known as Boston Butt. Does that sound right?

When I buy from Sam's Club, it is usually the picnic portion, with bone, plenty of exterior fat and a large portion of skin. They are always quite a bit smaller than the huge hunks of boneless shoulder from Costco, rarely going over 12 pounds, usually less.

When making sausage with the picnic portion, after removing the skin (and frying it for cracklins) does one remove or use the remaining exterior fat that was under the skin? I'm sure if the exterior fat on the picnic portion is used for making sausage, the resulting fat percentage is going to be over 20%.
Tasso, what Costco sells is two boneless and skinless pork butts in a bag. For some reason many think that it is one butt cut in half. :shock: The average weight of such a butt is between six and seven pounds, if they are from a market size hog (140-180lbs dressed weight with head on). The butt forms the upper part of the neck and shoulder. The picnic is the lower part and usually once deboned and skinned weighs about the same as the butt. Whether you use the fat under the skin is really your decision and you have to judge whether you have enough or too little fat for the sausage you are making. Remember, different types of sausages require different amounts of fat. The fat that is under the skin is the best for sausage. It is harder and has a higher melting point. You could, as Darwin does, remove the softer and stringy fat from the inside and replace it with the harder fat. When I bone out picnics for sausage I always leave a bit of extra meat on them, cure and smoke them and use in bean soups. The soups are delicious and nothing is wasted. Ask the butchers at Costco whether they sell boxed boneless, skinless picnics. Small commercial sausagemakers get them there as the prices are better than from other suppliers. This boxed meat is not display, if they have it, they will bring it out for you. A box will weigh around 45lbs.

Hope this answers your questions. :grin:
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Post by Tasso » Tue Sep 16, 2014 23:20

redzed, thank you for that explanation. I'm one of those who thought the packaged shoulder from Costco was one big shoulder that had been cut in half when it was deboned. I'm happy to know better now.

Thanks also for the confirmation on the subcutaneous picnic fat. I now understand when I should choose a picnic with the skin and fat versus the skinless trimmed butts from Costco. And the boxed boneless skinless picnics for making massive quantities at a time. :)

I always save the bone for beans when I bone out a picnic, but it never occurred to me to smoke it first. That's a great idea.
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Post by crustyo44 » Wed Sep 17, 2014 20:32

I also cure the bones with a reasonable amount of meat on them overnight and when cooked in a pot I reduce the liquid left over after I have taken all the meat off the bones.
The de-fatted skins make a good addition to a head cheese when cooked properly.
I usually make a head cheese style of loaf with gherkin, red chillie pieces, some garlic and sweet paprika powder.
A great way to have no waste at all.
The short curing produces a better meat colour.
Good luck,
Jan.
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Post by Shuswap » Wed Sep 17, 2014 21:11

Redzed does the Costco Butt include the coppa :?: Are you curing the bones in a brine :?:
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