Using Beef Fat: Sausage Making Tips


Making sausages and using beef fat instead of pork. I find it can be done with venison or pork sausages. Here are some direct tips on substituting pork fat with beef.

The type of fat you use can come down to personal taste. One reason folks may want to try using beef fat. Is because the price vs pork fat is a lot cheaper.

A local butcher can have a abundance of beef fat trimmings. That beef fat might be tossed out anyways, so you may find they are willing to give you some for next to nothing.

Can you use beef fat for sausage? Beef fat can be used for making pork or venison sausage. Pork fat has more favorable qualities which is why it is more common. Beef fat has a higher melting point temperature and a stronger flavor.

The differences can be subtle, depending on who you ask. Pork fat is overall more popular than beef.

Adding fat to sausage is an important part of the process, since it helps with not only flavor. But texture, binding and appearance.

A lot of cuts of meat used for sausage making do not have enough fat in them. Leaving them too dry or lean to make a good sausage.

So deciding on the type of fat to use can change the outcome of your sausage. There are so many varieties of sausage, hot dog and beef sticks. It depends on what you are going for.

Beef fat has its place in making sausages. Certain styles or recipes are better suited for beef fat compared to pork. I can go into more detail about the differences between beef fat and pork fat.

This may help you decide if using beef fat is a good idea.

Related read: Best Binders for Making Homemade Sausage

Beef vs Pork Fat

There is slight differences in the types of fat. Obviously each one comes from a different animal.

Both fats are not to be rendered when using for making sausage. The fats should be chilled before grinding. This along with the meat, making them pass through a meat grinder much easier.

Beef suet is the fat that is found around the kidneys and loins of the cow. This along with rendered fats are not typically used in sausage making.

Rendered pork fat is called lard, beef is called tallow. Both are equally not suitable for making sausage.

Beef fat tends to be slightly tougher than pork. It is also has a higher melting temperature than pork. Pork fat has the lowest melting temperature out of all red meat fats.

Beef fat has a yellow tint to it, where pork fat is more white. The white looks better overall. Think of a summer sausage, with the white spots of fat scattered along each slice.

The appearance doesn’t matter so much for fresh sausages. Slices of dry sausage will look better using pork fat.

Now one of the biggest differences in the two fats. Beef fat retains a beefy flavor, that can overwhelm other meat tastes.

Deer sausage with beef fat will have a beefy taste to it. This leads to the number one reason pork fat is so popular.

Pork fat on the other hand, has a neutral flavor profile. The pork fat will do its job in providing juiciness to the sausage. But will not be noticeable in the taste.

Where The Fat Comes From

Beef and pork fat come from whats cut off the main cuts of meat. The fat is removed (trimmed) and then can be used for making sausages.

Fatback is the pork fat that comes from the back of a pig. Pork fat can come from other cuts as well. Most cuts will have some fat to them, but some more than others.

It is important to note that trimmings can be different, depending on the butcher.

When making deer sausage, and you want to add fat. The trimmings you use should not contain extra meat.

That is if you are going to make a pure venison sausage. Pork and deer meat can be used together to make breakfast sausage.

The fat is all you want, and the butcher should know that you are going to use it to make deer sausage specifically.

You can also ask them for untrimmed cuts (like shoulder or butt). That will have enough extra fat on it you can use with venison.

Extra pork or beef meat will alter the flavor of the venison. When all you want is the taste of the deer meat.

How Much Beef Fat Do You Mix With Venison?

If you wanted to mix beef fat into venison meat. Which can be done for making venison burgers.

Any cuts of deer meat that are less desirable, or won’t work for steaks can be ground. This is a good way to use up the meat and not waste any.

A venison burger is going to be very lean. So if you want a more fatty burger. You can add in already ground hamburger, or beef fat.

A good average ratio to go for would be a 80/20. That is 80% venison and 20% beef fat.

Eric M Wilkens

Content writer and recreational cook. I also enjoy craft beer, comedy and the outdoors.

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