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Charcuterie: Dry-Cured Salami / Salumi

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  • 4 years later...
On 2/13/2010 at 7:04 PM, Chris Hennes said:

Of late I've become much more interested in dry-curing my own salami. I make a lot of fresh sausage already, but dry curing is a great and unique challenge, and well-made salami is one of my favorite foods. I think I got hooked for good after making the peperone out of the Ruhlman and Polcyn book (I wrote about that over here). I had made the Sopresatta first, and it was good, but that peperone was AMAZING.

I have quite a few books on charcuterie, including the Marianski book dedicated to dry-curing. I do my curing in a wine fridge, I've got a smoker set up, I use the Northern Tool grinder, and a cylinder stuffer with a 5lb capacity. Hell, I've even got an old slicer I got off eBay. I should be totally good to go. But sometimes, you just have one of those days...


This morning I threw away twelve pounds of salami that I started curing last weekend. The problem? I killed the starter. Somehow. Dunno what I did, but when my new pH test strips arrived (thanks for the recommendation, Dougal, they worked great), to my surprise the pH had not dropped one bit. But, it turns out the three-year-old bottle of distilled water I was using to make the meat slurry had a pH of 5.5!!!

So, this topic is for advice, assistance, and general commiseration about how everything woulda been just fine if only...

Advice point 1: when that package of starter culture says "use no less than 1/4 of this package," they have a reason. Because instead, I foolishly followed the Marianski recipe to the letter and included only 0.6 grams of starter. The results speak for themselves. Hey, maybe that's not what did it, maybe there was something else wrong. But $45 in trashed meat later and I'm seriously regretting my decision to skimp on the starter.


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Throwing out $45.00 in meat not to mention the invested time and effort is a real bummer... I'm in the early stages of dry curing salami myself... Still finding my way... I found that my local supermarket butcher will happily grind  any meat at no charge... This is a time and mess saver to say the least... I do have a Kitchenaide grinder/stuffer and also a 5lb. barrel stuffer... I use a wine cooler to cure the batches...

One of my biggest concerns is the cost of things like starter,  Mold 600,  casings, etc... Does anyone out there have an alternate supplier that is more reasonable? $28.00 for 1 oz. of this stuff is quite an investment ... Does anyone know of another source of Penicillium nalgiovense that doesn't break the bank? Thanks and all thebest to all of y ou... Joe

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I like the idea of Curing Meats.


I hobby of Love.


but its a bit like owning a Boat :   a financial Black Hole 


just a smaller one than A Boat 


you aren't gong to save any money vs  artisanal purchases.


but  the personal satisfaction  ?      priceless.


like that one salmon you have yet to catch off your Boat :


a Bazillion Dollars a pound , once you catch it.

  • Haha 1
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  • 1 month later...
On 4/26/2010 at 7:56 PM, CureCraftKing said:

You better dig those things out of the trash and hang them back up because I think they would have been fine. I have been dry curing meat for almost four years with much success and have never used a PH meter. People are much to paranoid about food born illness especially when it comes to salumi. Just hang'em up in the right environment (55 degrees-65/75%humidity) and let them do their thing. Judge your success when they're done drying.

Well this topic is ten yrs. old. But I have to agree with CureCraftKing... I pretty much do the same thing ... No ph testing but being careful tp follow rules about sanitation...

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