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Chicken fat vs. pork fat


ojisan
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I'm about to make a batch of sausages using boneless/skinless chicken thighs, and need to add 25% fat. Instead of trying to find chicken (or turkey) skin and fat, I'm more inclined to use pork fat, as I presume the flavor might be better and it would be easier to procure.

I'm wondering whether chicken fat+skin is really any healthier than pork fat.

And what the flavor difference is.

Anyone have experience or thoughts on this?

Are there other fat alternatives?

My priority is: 1. Flavor; 2. Health

Phil

Monterey Bay area

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I'm about to make a batch of sausages using boneless/skinless chicken thighs, and need to add 25% fat. Instead of trying to find chicken (or turkey) skin and fat, I'm more inclined to use pork fat, as I presume the flavor might be better and it would be easier to procure.

I'm wondering whether chicken fat+skin is really any healthier than pork fat.

And what the flavor difference is.

Anyone have experience or thoughts on this?

Are there other fat alternatives?

My priority is: 1. Flavor; 2. Health

Phil

Chicken fat is pretty flavorful, too; but I wouldn't hazard to offer an opinion as to which would taste better, not having made sausage.

As for health, the nutritional components aren't terribly different, according to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory web site. Per 100 grams, chicken fat has some water (0.2g) vs. none for lard. Zinc is present in lard (0.6 mg vs. 0 for chicken), vitamin E more prevalent in schmaltz (2.7 mg vs. 0.6). The fatty acid distribution is a tad different: saturated 29.8g for chicken, 39.2 for lard; monounsatured 44.7g for chicken vs. 45.1g for pork; polyunsaturated 20.9g for chicken, 11.2g for pork. Cholesterol: 85 mg for chicken 95 mg for lard.

As for the relative health, it all depends on what theories you subscribe to. The only significant difference I see in these numbers is that 100 grams of schmaltz has 10 fewer grams of saturated fat, but I have no idea how significant that is in the big scheme of things. And since I doubt you'll consume three ounces of fat (100 grams is just a little under three ounces) per serving, the difference per portion is even less significant.

Go with your tastebuds, not any health concerns.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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The taste difference to me is amazing and I would certainly recommend using the pork fat over the chicken fat. Think of it like your grand mother cooking fried chicken. Most did not use chicken fat they used lard or a variation of it.

The second thing to consider is the density of the two fats. In all fairness duck fat would be even better than the first two choices but it is to fragile to be used in sausage, meaning it would not help hold the meats together. That would be my main concern if using chicken fat where as pork fat is typically quite dense and of course full of flavor.

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In all fairness duck fat would be even better than the first two choices but it is to fragile to be used in sausage, meaning it would not help hold the meats together. 

I am sorry to disagree but no fats that are included in sausage will actually hold them together, this will only happen in a 100% meat sausage (no binders added), by the action of the proteins in the meat, these will be solubilised by the action of salt and when stirred vigorously whilst being kept cold by the addition of shaved or crushed ice, will form a protein matrix around the fats and in effect trap them. The protein matrix will also trap any liquids, making the sausages both flavourful, moist and well textured. I make all my sausages without the benefit of pork fat.

I find nothing better than chicken cooked in its own fat, and go out of my way to buy broiling fowl for their added fat and flavour to make my chicken sausages.

Regards,

Richard

"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Proteins 'solubilised' by salt? I'm sorry but you lost me.

Fat, any kind of fat, weakens protein fibers attempting to bond. It's the reason why a well marbled steak is so tender. It's the chemistry between flaky pastry. Where there is fat, there is no adhesion.

A salted sausage containing meat and fat will have the same 'protein matrix surrounding fat' as an unsalted one.

Edited by scott123 (log)
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Proteins 'solubilised' by salt? I'm sorry but you lost me.

Fat, any kind of fat, weakens protein fibers attempting to bond. It's the reason why a well marbled steak is so tender. It's the chemistry between flaky pastry. Where there is fat, there is no adhesion.

A salted sausage containing meat and fat will have the same 'protein matrix surrounding fat' as an unsalted one.

Salt is an essential ingredient in sausage. Salt is necessary for flavor, aids in preserving the sausage, and extracts the “soluble” meat protein at the surface of the meat particles. This film of protein is responsible for binding the sausage together when the sausage is heated and the protein coagulates. Most sausages contain two to three percent salt. Salt levels can be adjusted to your taste.

From The University of Georgia

"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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This could be the first time I have ever disagreed with a university extension service.

Sure, salt, when applied to the surface of meat, extracts liquid. This liquid, much like broth, contains a mixture of substances including proteins. Up to that point I'm hunky dory. But crediting this liquid for binding together the sausage?! What?!?!

When raw meat cooks it coagulates and bonds with itself. A sausage is nothing but a seasoned fatty coarsely ground hamburger shoved in a casing. Do hamburgers require salt to bind? Of course not.

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Without you having posted the ingredients in your sausages it is difficult to say, but there are a number of other substances which will bind meat proteins, the most commonly found in home produced sausages are; dried milk solids, starches, soy protein concentrates, egg albumin. In commercial products, all of the previously mentioned plus, carrageenan, sodium caseinate, whey, hydrocolloid gums etc.

It is possible that there is sufficient naturally occuring water soluble protein in the meat that you are using and that you are sufficiently working the meat to extract this and that is what is holding your sausages together.

"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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