This Is The Best Percentage Of Fat For Sausages

The fact that sausages are essentially ground meat stuffed inside a casing might lead you to assume they're easy to make at home. The truth is, if you don't have the ratio of meat to fat down, or even just the right type of fat, the taste and texture will be off.

Without fat, as noted by Your Meat Guide, sausage isn't able to hold its shape properly. The fat is what binds the ingredients together, so whether you're adding chiles to chorizo or herbs to Italian sausage, you still need to include it. Fat also adds flavor and allows the sausage to retain moisture as it cooks so it doesn't turn out crumbly and bland.

According to New Zealand Casings Co., the best type of fat to use is pork fat. The neutral flavor lets the natural taste of the meat shine, and because it has a high melting point, it's solid at room temperature. This creates the perfect grind that melts into the meat gradually as it cooks, making for the juiciest possible sausages.

You need more fat than you think

If you're aiming for sausage that resembles the quality of the store bought kind, you'll definitely want to go heavy on the fat. These sausages contain 50% fat, explains New Zealand Casings Co. This amount, however, is on the high side, and 25 to 30% fat, or 250 to 300 grams of fat per kilogram, of ground meat is more than enough.

Sausages can still be made lean, but you shouldn't go any lower than 15% fat, Your Meat Guide advises. If you do decide to use less, you'll need to add an additional binding ingredient. Since fat is what keeps the sausage intact, gelatin powder is the next best option, Home Talk Kitchen shares. Gelatin will allow the residual meat juice to solidify so the sausage doesn't fall apart after you cook and cut into it. Otherwise, the publication states, the best option is to simply use pork fat, either in the form of ground bacon or fatback.