What Part of The Pig is Sausage?

Admit it, we all love pork sausages, the texture, flavor, and everything about them. You may even have thought of trying the homemade pork sausage recipes.

Making sausages from pork meat is surprisingly easy, just follow a simple recipe, there is not much to do but the selection of the right pork cuts for sausage.

Specific pork cuts are used in making sausages otherwise you would end up with a failed attempt.

So, What part of the pig is the sausage? Most home cooks do not know much about the specific pork cuts for bacon and sausage.

To them, it is all pork meat, so, they can use any part of the pig for making sausage.

Ground beef and pork are the most commonly used meat for sausage making, so, it is important to know the right type of cut for making this delicious recipe at home.

If you are planning on grinding the meat yourself after buying it straight from the butcher shop, you should know beforehand what cut tastes and works the best.

So, here’s the answer to what kind of pork is used for sausage.

What Part of The Pig is Sausage?

Delicious pork sausages are made from fresh ground pork, seasonings, fat, preservatives, and fillers like breadcrumbs, rice, cereal, soybean flour, and dried milk solids.

It all comes down to math when selecting the right type of pork cut for sausage making.

Aim for a cut that has a ratio of 80% meat and 20% fat. Since it is not easy for people to assess the meat to fat ratio, so, in simplest terms, buy cuts from the pig shoulder. 

Pig’s shoulder is called by many names such as pork butt and Boston butt.

In comparison with the other 7 primal cuts, pork butt has 20%-30% fats which is an ideal fat to meat ratio for making pork sausages.

The ideal cut for sausage comes from right above the front leg into the shoulder.

pig-sausage

Sometimes, the shoulder blade is still attached to the meat that can be removed before grinding or mincing. 

There is a general perception among home cooks that pork cuts coming from the more active areas of the hog are tougher, and ultimately, less desirable.

Since the meat is ground, the process of grinding breaks the connective tissues that make the meat so tough.

Ground meat from pork butt will be more tender and palatable. 

Picnic Shoulder Cut For Making Sausage

If you can not find the boneless pork butt for making sausages, there is one other pork cut you can use for making sausages.

Though always go for the pork butt, however, if you can not find the right cut, picnic shoulder cut should be your next option for sausage making.

This cut comes from beneath the butt and above the pig foot. 

It is possible to make sausages with picnic shoulder cut, only you have to add extra fat.

Pork picnic has skin and hides on the meat cut that should be removed before grinding.

The picnic shoulder is a strong muscle so the meat is lean and tough. You would be requiring a very powerful grinder to mince this pork cut.

For amateur home cooks and beginners, it is recommended to use a picnic shoulder cut when making sausage for the first time.

If you have already tried several times successfully, make some pork if you happen to have extra picnic shoulder meat.

It is relatively cheaper than the shoulder cut. Pork butts are easier to work with and taste good. 

If you have pork butt and picnic shoulder cut, use them all to make sausages. Both cuts will work fine in making this delicious recipe.

Pig Shoulder cut is preferred because it has the right amount of lean meat for texture and fat for flavor and succulence.

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Can Pork Loin Cut Be Used To Make Sausage?

In terms of selecting the right meat cut, it is advised to stay away from cuts that end in “loin”.

These specific pork cuts make the sausage dry and not very flavorful.

Avoid leaner meats as it results in dry sausage that lacks flavor and is tough on the palate.

There are a few drawbacks of using pork loin for sausage making.

Leaner pork cuts are generally more expensive and better suited for other recipes like pork chops and roasts instead of sausages. 

It is not that pork loin can not be used for sausage making, the only difference is leaner and drier sausage.

Do not discard any fat rather trim and set aside the fat when using pork loin for preparing sausage.

Later, it can be decided how much fat are you going to use. Pork loin cut does not have enough fat content to make better sausage.

Sausages are cooked better and more flavorful when the cut has a good ratio of fat to meat.

sausage part

Before grinding and after trimming and dicing up the pork loin cut, assess the amount of fat.

Aim for 20% fat to lean meat and 35% to 40% is even better.

The right amount of fat adds texture and flavor to the sausage to make it even more appealing. 

Sometimes you can get pork loin cut equal to or with more than 20% fat content.

However, if it is less than 20%, add substitutes like potato starch to help with texture and moisture retention.

Potato starch is a great binder as well. The other most effective solution is adding fat trimmings to the pork loin meat.

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Pork Fat Trimming For Sausage Making

Buying fat trimmings separately to achieve the right fat to meat ratio is not uncommon.

If the pork cuts do not have the right amount of fat, it should be compensated by adding fat trimmings.

Lard should not be used for making sausage as the texture is not desirable. 

Ask for trimmings or fatback from the butcher.

As the name implies, fatback comes from the pigs’ back skin.

It is a solid fat and better suited to use in preparing sausages. 

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Interesting Tips To Help With Sausage Making

  • First and foremost, get the right pork cut for the job if you want a tastier sausage.
  • Before grinding, remove the glands and sinew and clean it thoroughly.
  • Either use synthetic or natural casings; synthetic gives a more uniform look whereas natural offers superior flavor.
  • Salt content should be 1.5-2% or 2 g of salt per 100 g meat.
  • The internal temperature should reach 160°F on a meat thermometer. 

In brief, the right pork cut greatly influences the texture and flavor of the sausage. Therefore, opt for shoulder or pork butt cut when preparing sausages owing to the right fat to meat ratio.

  • Usman Aslam has done his degree in Agronomy and Animal breeding from the CAU (China Agriculture University). He is serving as a livestock expert in local farms.

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