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Meat grinder question

Gr8bawana

Well-known member
We ate some of my first try at grinding today in the form of hamburgers. the fat to meat ratio was good, and the flavor was exellent.
It was a little chunky so I think it would be a good grind for chili.
I think running it through the 5/16 twice then through a 3/16 twice would give me a texture like store bought.
I also vacum pack all the game I proccess at home and it lasts over a year with no freezer burn or off flavor.
 

bughalli

Well-known member
In my experience when someone references pork fat it's not pure fat, but fatty, marbled pork meat. Usually pork shoulder, roast etc. Similar to what you would put in a smoker for good BBQ. I haven't seen where you can buy pork fat and it's a slab of pure white fat. But what do I know. I don't make sausages, only ground burger. I often don't add anything to my ground meat or as someone mentioned, maybe a little bacon. The first time I used beef fat I was in Idaho. Shot a mule deer, but still had an elk tag so I wanted to do all the processing myself and continue hunting the rest of the week. Figured I would add a little fat to the meat. Butcher in town was like....why buy pork when you can add beef fat for next to nothing. He pulled some out of the freezer, ground it up for me and charged me something like a dollar. So I tried it. Only added a little and it worked great.

Years later I shot an antelope here in CA. I was worried it might have a gamey flavor so I wanted to add some fat to it. I never planned on using beef fat, but I was at the butcher and he didn't have pork fat without having me buy something expensive. He's a high end butcher, has every cut available, makes sausages and smokes meats as well. I said I was making venison burger and asked for a recommendation. He was breaking down half a cow to make steaks, roasts etc. When they do this they end up with a lot of fat they trim off. He gave me two large slabs of pure beef fat. He said it was pure fat, so you don't need to mix nearly as much. I chilled it in the freezer and ground it up. Mixed a few batches with ground up antelope meat. Tasted fantastic. His advice was spot on. I needed to use much less fat because it's pure fat. If I used the same ratio as pork it was way too greasy, which also caused flare-ups on the grilled. You could visually see their was too much fat in the burger (that marbled granite look). Of course you can cook the excess fat out, but I like my burgers medium rare, not well done. So getting the mix right is important. For the beef fat I was going maybe 5-10% fat, which was plenty.
 
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Captjgray

Well-known member
Its actually very easy to find pork back fat

its very firm and dent mush up when ground, using shoulder or belly works as well but the back fat is key

to one of the comments, yes you can by 93/7 ground beef. However just because its ground beef does not necessarily make it hamburger...

if the intention is to make "hamburger" or "sausage" then 80/20 is the best starting point for moistness and flavor. Beef fat is no bueno in my opinion for adding to wild game.

I make a lot of sausage and a lot of ground meat. I do like one of the guys above and grind my cold fat separately from my cold meat. I do a very large batch and then portion in tubs and season accordingly

if its for sausage i add 20% fat by weight and seasoning and stuff or vacuum seal in bulk, if i want ground meat for chili or tacos or... I add about 7-10% by weight, no seasoning and seal and label ground meat. if i want burger i add 20% by weight and label "burger"

You definitely do not want a dry crumbly sausage nor a dry crumbly burger. You can cook the burger to whatever doneness you want, as long as its not a tad over medium and your good!
 

k_rad

Well-known member
For burgers, I've used bacon before also, if I was low on pork fat. Sometimes meat shops will have bacon "ends and pieces" at a good price.
X2 on ends and pieces. I like the five pound bundle at Smart & Final. It is Hickory smoked also and the last time I ground up all of my cuttings for elk they were the best elk burgers ever. We even did a 30% grind and added morjorum and had them as breakfast patty's for weeks. My kids were bummed when we ran out...
 


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