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Dry cured sausages dripping liquid fat - normal?


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After a few years making fresh sausages and occasional dry-cured whole cuts (e.g. pancetta, guanciale), I finally have the space to do some dry-cured sausages, so I hung my first ones up in my basement on Monday. I did a split batch of two recipes from Ruhlman/Polcyn's Charcuterie, the tuscan salami and a variation on the spanish chorizo.

The sausages looked good, I pricked them with a needle to get rid of air bubbles, and I placed them into a warm spot overnight to incubate the lactic acid starter. Unfortunately, it got a bit warmer than I expected in there - about 95 degrees F - but that still seemed to be within the starter culture's acceptable range (up to 100). The sausages looked fine, but had wept a small amount of liquid fat, which surprised and slightly concerned me.

Since then I've had them hanging in a basement at about 60-65 F and 60% RH. They continue to drip fat consistently, the chorizo a bit more than the salumi. Any thoughts? I'm obviously going to let them dry and see how it goes, but I'm curious what's going on here, and whether it's normal or not. I haven't really found any references to this in any text or on the internet.

Many thanks in advance.

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I will take a WAG at it, the time at high temps got something going thatwas not good, I would consider tossing them,(but its just a WAG on my part, better safe than sorry....never had that kind of a situation with my stuff...maybe Jay molanari will check in and give a more reliable opinion...

Bud

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It's not normal, but it's not necessarily dangerous. Pork fat starts to melt around 30c/85f, so most likely you liquefied some fat during the incubation. The fat pooled just inside the casing and is now leaking out through the holes you made to get rid of air bubbles.

As long as you followed the usual safety practices, things still smell good, and you're not getting coloured mold or anything else nasty, the salami will probably be usable. But it may end up drier than usual, and if you're using weight loss to estimate when it's lost enough moisture to finish hanging, remember you've also lost some weight from the fat loss.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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Awesome, thanks so much, Dave. That was sort of the conclusion that I had come to as well, because the fat dripping pretty much stopped after a day or two, so I realized that it must have been simply draining out of the casings. Everything does seem to be proceeding as planned - no off smells, mold or anything - and I will take the weight loss into account, though I think that the actual quantity lost was probably quite small. I didn't realize that pork fat would liquify at those temps, so definitely something to be careful of in the future.

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  • 8 years later...

I just had the same experience with fat dripping... Red in color and oily... Please see photos.

First photo shows bowl of water for humidity...

Second photo shows the reddish melted fat drip... These have lost 43% of green weight at 3.5 weeks.... I'm thinking of moving them to a conventional refrigerator... Does anyone have an opinion on  this move?....... Thanks, Joe Wood

 

250785295_fatdrip1.thumb.jpg.c6326e10b664c9f21428c064cd189ce3.jpg1644826526_fatdrip2.thumb.jpg.f323dbec390c7f1585819d302084bb0a.jpg

Edited by Joe Wood (log)
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There are two things I need help with in making dry salami... If anyone can shed light on them I'd be most grateful...

1... When curing dry meat is a DARK area better than a well lighted area?

2. .. If a dried salami is Vac-Sealed will it continue to age beneficially?

Thanks again, Joe

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Joe, did you see my post (from 2011!) above? If you're getting liquid fat, it probably means things got too warm at some point.

 

Re moving it to the fridge, what weight loss were you aiming for? For most dry salami, I'd probably bag and fridge at around 33% weight loss. Over 40% will usually give you pretty hard salami.

Re dark vs light, most people (and I) cure in the dark. Not sure about the science.

Re vac-bagging, obviously moisture loss stops as soon as you bag it. I don't think you need to worry about further aging in this case. One thing I've noticed with vac-bagging is that if you've got a "case hardened" salami, where the outside is hard from moisture loss but the inside is still a bit soft, vac-bagged for a time lets things even out.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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Thanks guys I appreciate the responses and the information... Gonna try to make some BILTONG pretty soon... I stumbled on this when looking up salami curing tips on YouTube... It looks like fun & you get a quick result... Ready to eat in 4 or 5 days... Stay tuned... P.S. there's a pretty funny video on YouTube of a man with an Australian accent making biltong in what he calls his (tongue in cheek) "BILTONGANATOR 3000" which is basically a plastic storage box you buy at Walmart for about $3.95... Pretty funny but effective...

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HK Dave.. thank you for the quick responses and the information... so nice to have other folks interested in the same thing as we are.... always looking in to save money I found that buying vacuum bags on a site called webstaurantstore. Com is the least expensive way... 50 foot rolls foe about $7.29... Do you know of any other source of penicillium nalgiovense other than Mold 600? Can the mold be transferred from an earlier batch to a new batch?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/9/2020 at 2:46 AM, HKDave said:

Joe, did you see my post (from 2011!) above? If you're getting liquid fat, it probably means things got too warm at some point.

 

Re moving it to the fridge, what weight loss were you aiming for? For most dry salami, I'd probably bag and fridge at around 33% weight loss. Over 40% will usually give you pretty hard salami.

Re dark vs light, most people (and I) cure in the dark. Not sure about the science.

Re vac-bagging, obviously moisture loss stops as soon as you bag it. I don't think you need to worry about further aging in this case. One thing I've noticed with vac-bagging is that if you've got a "case hardened" salami, where the outside is hard from moisture loss but the inside is still a bit soft, vac-bagged for a time lets things even out.

Hi ... Yes I got your post ...thanks a lot... I'm new to this site so I'm still figuring out how to maneuver ... I'm going to make another post today about salami stuffing... Thanks again, Joe

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