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Homemade sausage with picnic shoulder?

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Hi everyone, so as I mentionned in the title, can I make homemade sausages with a picnic shoulder? I read it's better to use pork butt, but can't find out exactly why. Thanks!

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  1. Lats batch I made was with picnic and it turned out great. Can't think of any reason why butt would be better. The only argument I can make for one over the other is the meat/pound (picnic having bone) and whether or not you're going to use the skin (yummy).

    1 Reply
    1. re: ediblover

      Thanks, ediblover, I'll give it a try today!

    2. The only issue would be your lean to fat ratio. Most agree the butt has a perfect 80/20 lean to fat ratio but the picnic end of the shoulder might run leaner. If it seems pretty lean you might want to add some fatback to your mix.

      4 Replies
      1. re: dalewest

        For Hamburgers 80% lean to 20% fat is the common ratio.
        Most sausages have a higher fat to lean ratio, more like 30% to Fat 70% lean. There is variation depending on what kind of Sausage and other adjuncts.

        1. re: chefj

          Maybe :"perfect" is not the right word for 80/20 fat lean ratio for sausage. Maybe "minimum" would more accurate?

          1. re: dalewest

            Agreed.
            There are definitely "lower fat" sausage recipes out there and that may be some peoples motivation for making their own. But for taste and texture, especially in a fresh sausage you need a good amount of fat.

        2. re: dalewest

          I was not happy with my one try using the picnic cut. I added fatback, as dalewest suggests, but the end product was crumbly and dry, which has never happened using butt. It may have something to do with the fact that a lot of the fat in the butt is marbled into the meat while the picnic is quite lean, comparatively. Also, there's a lot of sinew and silver skin in the picnic, so you either leave it in and hope it doesn't clog your grinder or spend a lot of time trimming.

          Come to think of it, I've read at least a hundred sausage recipes, and I can't recall a single one that suggested using picnic.