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Buying ground meat vs. grinding whole meat

 
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kfdf715



Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13 12 11:01 am    Post subject: Buying ground meat vs. grinding whole meat Reply with quote

I am new to this website but I am intrigued by the art of sausage making. I have been doing this for a while now with some success and some failure. I have always wondered why I should buy whole meat (i.e. pork shoulder) when I can already buy the pork, beef, turkey, etc. already ground with varying degrees of fat? I have always ground the meat myself but why wouldn't I save that step and hassle if it's the same thing. I am curious what other sausage makers are doing and their opinions on this? Is it just because grinding myself is fresher? Please let me know.
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Beertooth
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Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Location: Central Washington

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14 12 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I like the idea of knowing exactly what is going into my sausage.
No lips & eyeballs or other strange parts I don't know about.

Also I can grind it to what size I need that day.
I have three sizes on my grinder.
Plus I can re-grind it if need be.

A while back I made some potato sausage that said
to grind diced potato & onion into the meat.

I ordered ground pork from the store at first, but was
paying like $2.50 - $2.98 per pound.

If I buy it on sale, I can get it as cheap as $1.49 - $1.62 per pound.
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suckaass
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Joined: 06 Apr 2011
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Location: The Pacific Northwest

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14 12 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beertooth wrote:
Personally I like the idea of knowing exactly what is going into my sausage.
No lips & eyeballs or other strange parts I don't know about.

Also I can grind it to what size I need that day.
I have three sizes on my grinder.
Plus I can re-grind it if need be.


+1
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kfdf715



Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15 12 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent point. I guess it is kind of nice to know whats in your meat. Thanks.
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Kevin P
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Joined: 09 Apr 2011
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Location: Sunny Northern California

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15 12 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using pre-ground meat can simply be a matter of convenience. I've used 'pre-ground' 80/20 beef for use in certain sausages as it can be a real time saver, plus I already had some in stock.


Given a choice, however, between fresh ground (done by me & my grinder) or store-bought ground, I prefer to do it myself for some of the reasons Beertooth outlined above. Aside from knowing exactly WHAT is going into the sausages, I know how fresh it is and I can control the fat/lean ratio.


For beginners, using pre-ground meats is a no-brainer as many haven't yet acquired a good grinder and wish to take the sausage-makin' plunge.

Kevin
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TonyMo
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Joined: 03 Jun 2011
Posts: 53
Location: Southwest ONTARIO

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18 12 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of other considerations:
If you are buying and then freezing to be used later you will find that freezing large pieces of whole muscle will not lose as much moisture as frozen ground meat and therefore whole muscle will be juicier.
Some guys will use whole muscle meat, cut it into 1 inch cubes, add spice mix and then grind.
When grinding your own you can choose different size plates giving you a course or fine grind depending on what type of sausage you are making.
Buying already ground meat is convient and faster to use in sausage as you have eliminated one step
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18 12 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and one other important item is when you grind your own, you can keep the fat and the meat separate and mix them at the very last step to avoid smearing the fat and having dry, mealy textured sausage.

Here's what I prefer to do, separate the fat, grind it, set aside under refrigeration until needed, grind all the meat, season, mix heavily until it gets shiny and sticky/tacky, then I add the fat and gently fold it in to evenly distribute it.

This keeps my fat pieces whole, and contributes to a more desirable look and texture of the sausage.

Plus for some of my sausages, I grind the beef and the pork in different sizes, and buying meat already ground you cannot do this.

and as others have already stated, knowing exactly what is in your sausage is always a big plus, have you ever seen what goes into meat ground at a large packing operation? I doubt you'd ever use it again if this is something you would have seen.
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Seminole
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Joined: 26 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05 12 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There a few reasons:

1. Whole meat is cheaper
2. You can use different grinder plates to control texture.
Some sausages, for example Polish Krakowska which goes by the name Cracovska sausage in many other languages has whole chunks of meat inside. The recipe calls for ground pork plus the whole chunks of whole meat. This is the show meat that must stand out. It must have a strong color so the chunks of meat (about 1-2") are cured first with salt and cure #1 for 3 days in a refrigerator.
4. If you decide to make a traditionally fermented salami, you need as fresh meat as possible. A whole piece of fresh meat may have some bacteria on the surface but it free of them inside. They will eventually go there as well, but that takes time. There is no air inside of the whole cut of meat and many bacteria need air to grow. Grinding increases the surface area of the meat, introduces bacteria from the surface and provides plenty of air for them to grow. Once the meat is ground it should be processed for fermented sausages without a delay at as low temperatures as possible. This cannot be accomplished when buying ground meat in a store.

However, there is nothing wrong with using store ground meat for making fresh sausages as long as it is not exposed to high temperatures for too long.
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