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About

My name is Eric Pousson. I grew up in South Louisiana, deep in the heart of Cajun Country. I met my wife Cecelia in 1998 and we’ve been married now for 21 years. Together we have 3 awesome kids. Chandler 20, Keira 12, and Aidan 10.

I’ve always loved food. My mother is from Monterrey, Mexico and as far back as I can remember she would always find herself in the kitchen preparing something amazing. In addition to the Mexican food culture I was exposed to, my father was Cajun so there’s that. Food was everywhere. Gumbo, crawfish, fresh seafood, tamales, homemade tortillas, you name it. Unfortunately I didn’t learn how to cook from my mother (that skill was reserved for my 2 sisters). I had to teach myself how to cook. No training, no technique, just passion. It’s an interesting journey when you are not bound by tradition. It was this passion that’s led me to where I am today.

I spent 20 years in the corporate world of sales and marketing. Worked my way to the top and eventually arrived at that high paying job with all the perks and expense accounts. I wonder if someone ever climbs Mount Everest only to be disappointed at what’s on top. That was me. I had climbed to the top of the career ladder and the view sucked!!

It was one fateful day in Oklahoma City where I had just finished dinner (alone) and I had an epiphany. As I sat in room 207 I knew that my life would never be the same again. A moment of clarity and my path, albeit uncertain made perfect sense.

It was in that moment I had decided to quit my executive position and start my own business doing the very thing I love to do. Cook. Cecelia loved the idea and for the first time in our marriage we would embark on the most exciting and rewarding adventure of our lives. Starting a family business.

The rest of the story hasn’t been told but I can tell you this. If you kindly subscribe to this site you’ll get to experience it with us first hand. Thanks for hanging out with me. Talk soon

62 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hello Eric,
    Greetings from India and Happy Thanksgiving

    I embarked on my sausage making journey about 4-5 years ago, guided by Michael Ruhlman’s book on charcuterie. Many failures, a couple of books and a lot of YouTube(have probably seen most of your videos)videos later feel I have reached a satisfactory level of making fresh and cooked including emulsified sausages.
    I have recently moved onto the next step and attempted curing pancetta which did turn out nice. I used Cure#1 the first time and am curing with Cure#2 the 2nd time around hoping I can eat this uncooked (will watch the weight loss).
    I am currently putting together equipment to build a drying chamber. As I am doing this, one question comes to my mind. Do I need a separate fermentation chamber or can I use the chamber I am building for both fermentation and drying. I do understand that the temp and humidity varies for both and also depending on the starter culture I use. Space and wife’s patience is limited(kidding, she’s been quite supportive of this hobby of mine), so can have only one chamber. Need your input on how I can manage one chamber for both functions. Thank you and have a great weekend with the family.

    1. You can use 1 chamber for both. At least you can for the first time. As soon as your chamber is full of product you then have to wait till it’s empty again to use it as a fermenting chamber. To use your drying chamber as your fermenting chamber you’ll need to increase the temperature (depending on your starter culture) and have your humidity set to 85%. After it’s finished fermenting just lower the temperature to 55F and 80% humidity. That’s it 🙂
      I’ll make a video and post on it so you can see the finer details.

      1. Hello Eric

        Thank you for your response. I am just starting out on cured meats, so unlikely my chamber is going to be full of product very soon. For all practical purposes, I will be adding small batches of different products. I will most likely start with T-SPX which I think requires a temp of 70F for the fermentation with a 85% humidity over 72 hours. So if I already have some meats drying in the chamber at lets say 55F at a 70%-80% humidity, would it affect the meats already inside if I were to, like you have suggested, to increase the temp and the humidity for 3 days to 70F and 85%-90% and then bring it back to where it was before to continue with the drying process?

        Also, do let me know once the video has been posted.

        Thanks again.

        1. Once you begin the drying process you will not want to change the settings in the chamber. This will negatively effect your drying salami. You will have to wait till its finished to ferment a different batch. Let me ask you this what is the room temperature where youlive?

          1. From now up until end of Jan, the temp will range between 70F-80F. Will then hit around 90F-95F in the summer.

          2. OK. For TSPX You can ferment at room temperature if you temp is below 85F. To ferment at room temperature all you have to do is wrap your salami in cling film and set it on the counter. The cling film will keep the humidity high and the room temp will ferment properly. Looks like you can only do this until January though.

  2. Thanks Eric, Working on limited time then!!!
    Also, what about cultures Bactoferm F-LC and F-RM-52. Dont these allow fermentation at higher temperatures??
    So, would it be safe to use cultures that allow fermentation at a higher temp even in warmer weather as long as I maintain the required humidity levels?
    One more question Eric, see a few recipes for Semi Dry sausages(dried under a month)…Does this mean that these are safe to eat uncooked..or do they need some amount of cooking?
    Thanks.

    1. Yes you do!! Those 2 cultures you mentioned do ferment at higher temps. The FLC can go both ways depending on what you are looking for. Typically if you ferment at higher temps with those cultures you are making a semi dried/tangy salami… If you want a salami that’s more traditional European Italian you can use Flavor of Italy (Flora Italia) or BLC007. Both of these can ferment at higher temps very fast and give you a nice salami. Typically semi dried sausages are cooked

      1. Hello Eric,
        Thanks for all the inputs. Hopefully will have my drying chamber ready by end of the week. But don’t think I can get started until I get the ph meter(Milwaukee MW102 for food) for which is going to take at least 3 weeks.
        Until then I shall dry the pancetta and the capocollo. I have cured the pancetta for 2 weeks in my refrigerator using Cure #2(wanting to eat this raw). The temp inside was around 37-40F. Y’day I rinsed and trussed the pancetta and hung it to dry in the pantry where the temp is in the range of 70F-72F with a humidity ranging from 80%-85%. It has been raining so the humidity does hit 90% on occasions. Will hang it for at least a month and then check the weight loss. Since I did not remove the fat cap, per your video a weight loss of 15%-20% should be ok. One thing, I have not covered the pancetta in a casing. Is that ok or should I cover it with a cheese cloth or something similar.
        Capocolo has just gone into the vac bag with the cure, so will leave it in the refrigerator for a week to 10 days.
        Thanks.

        1. 70f is a little warm for hanging meat to dry. It will work but it will most likely begin to ferment as well as dry. You should cover the pancetta with some cheese cloth to help with the drying.. If your pancetta is very fatty (lets say 50-50) then 15% – 20% is perfect. If it’s very meaty then you’ll want to dry it longer..

  3. Ok. I had read a few articles where it said that 70F was ok to dry pancetta. Hope it just works out for me this time. Once I have my drying chamber ready, the temp should not be an issue.
    I did cover the pancetta with cheese cloth on Day 2 itself. As for the fat percentage, I would think it is 35% at best. Nevertheless, I will let it dry for a month and keep checking the weight loss on a weekly basis.
    Eric, is there any way I can upload a few pics?

    1. Hello Eric,

      Greetings for the New Year.
      After 4 1/2 weeks, have lost about 13% weight on the pancetta. Guess I will give it another couple of weeks to see where I end up.
      I am looking to buy a water activity meter. Anything you can suggest that I can get on Amazon. Please do let me know. Thanks.

      Cheers!

        1. Hey Eric, good to hear from you.
          Noted about the water activity meter. Would you say that a dry sausage with weight loss in the range of 35% – 40% would be perfectly safe to eat and “shelf stable” as they call it, without having to check the water activity of the sausage.
          Thanks

  4. Antonio Andreacchi

    Hi Eric. When fermenting I’m my chamber do I need to separate hang each one ? Or can they be stacked on top of each other in a hotel pan ? Just wondering if the the temperature and humidity needs to surround the salami

    1. If your meat is the proper fermenting temperature you can stack them on top of each other without any issues (although some might get flattened in the process). What temp are you fermenting at?

  5. Recently purchased some collagen sheets to cure pork tenderloin in. So now I have these sheets and am wondering why you say NOT to use them in the home refrigerator curing process. Please explain the differences and the why. Don’t currently own a curing chamber.
    Recently discovered you channel and thoroughly enjoy your programing.
    Thank you!!

    Scott

    1. You can technically use them, but you won’t get the best results. The collagen sheets are microperforated so the breath more than the “dry aging” sheets. What will happen is a noticeably thicker dry ring on the meat

  6. Donna and Robear DeHart

    Hi Eric! Just watched Celebrate Sausage SO2E01 – Boudin. Found out about your YouTube channel today and sure glad it showed up in my ‘Recommended’! We appreciate the way you say ‘Boudin’ 😁 We plan on making your Boudin Recipe. They don’t sell that up here in Alaska 😕 Been here since 2008, me and Robear and 7 of our 9 children. So I learned how to make us some Boudin 😋
    God Bless,
    Dem Cajun Alaskans

  7. Eric,
    I recently cured a capicola using your recipe, thought I cured it in my temp/humidity controlled drying chamber and stuffed it into a beef bung instead of using collagen wrap. I pulled this out yesterday right at 35% weight loss and it is fantastic! If anyone is contemplating making this, jump aboard, you’ll be glad and Eric makes it a straightforward process.

    Thanks again for the inspiration and coaching Eric!

    Scott C

      1. Hi Eric, first off thank you for all the hard work! it is much appreciated! my wife and I have been watching your channel for about 2 years now. we live in Idaho and have access to a lot of different types of game meat and your channel has been a huge help in using and processing it so thank you again. I have 2 questions:

        1. to make a brine, the directions on the instacure #1 from sausage maker says to use 3oz per 1 gallon of water. that’s 6 tablespoons on my my scale. this seemed like an awful lot of cure for 1 gallon of water. I’m brining a couple pork loins to smoke at low temps, around 160f, and probably finish in sousvide for lunch meat sliced thin. is that ratio of cure to water correct?

        2. for brines, is there a ratio for cure to salt? in other words if I typically use 1 cup salt to 1 gallon water would I add the same amount of salt if I am using cure in the brine? do I add less salt? no salt?

        thanks again! please know that all your hard work is really appreciated!!
        anthony

        1. ok. brines are an interesting issue. What you need to do is weigh all the meat you plan on curing, then weigh the amount of water that you will be using (make sure it covers the meat by an inch). Record that weight. Let’s say the meat weighs 2270 grams and the water weighs 6000 grams. The combines weight would be 8270 grams. This is the number you will use to calculate your ingredients. If you are adding salt at 2% then you would multiply 8270 by 2% and get 165 grams. If you are adding curing salt and you want 156ppm of nitrites in your meat you would use the 8270 as your base number, add .25% curing salt (8270g x .25% = 20.67grams). Brines use a lot more ingredients as you are trying to create an equilibrium between the water and the meat.

          The amount of cure that you add is completely depends on what you are making. If you are making bacon for instance, you would add .193% cure number 1. That will get you a 120ppm of nitrite. If you are making cured meats like corned beef, pastrami, you would add .25% of Cure #1. That will get you 156ppm of nitrite.

          I personally don’t like that set of instructions on their label because it doesn’t really paint a complete picture. The weight of the meat needs to be taken into consideration when doing a brine. AND don’t get me started on injections…….

  8. Your story is awesome, I am so happy for you that you found your dream job. I am even happier that you have developed a passion for sharing your skills, videos and the convertible recipes. You have swung the a door wide open that I had only cracked open buy purchasing a couple cook books and some basic stuff. Now I have 4 whole muscles curing in my refrigerator and am working on getting my dry aging chamber set up and have a big pending order on the Sausage Makers website.

    Funny my kids understand this hobby but my wifes doesn’t. LOL

    Thank you Eric

    Jordan Olsen from Riverside California

  9. Hi Eric,
    Enjoy your videos and have made many batches of salami using your recipes. I usually use 20″x2.5″ manmade casings, but I would like to try my hog casings because it gets done faster. Will it be ok? I use m600 and would i be able to remove the casings after meat is ready? Thanks

  10. Hi
    So I followed your recipe for pemmican. I did use tallow from Chicago meat company. I did 3 batches, regular, apple banana, and blueberry. Interestingly I found the fruit based bound together better. The regular did not hold form as well and crumbled. This is after sitting in the fridge. It tends to crumble pretty easily.

    Is this the consistency that it is supposed to be? Should tallow be more creamy or harder at room temperature? Think Crisco vs a brie. Did I make a mistake not making my own tallow?

    The portions on the regular were 1:1 weight vs the fruit added 1:1:1.

    I would appreciate your thoughts. I know you are busy.

    Dennis

    1. Funny enough, so did I. The meat and fat version does have a tendency to crumble a bit more. To fix that you could always increase the fat content till you get to the texture you like. It’s not an exact science so you’ll have to play with it a bit.

  11. Hi, Eric. I’m hoping to fuel a 450-mile hike this summer exclusively with pemmican from your recipe. Figure I’ll go through about 45 pounds of it. Which could get rather pricey! Wondering if you’d mind sharing what your per-pound cost is when you make it, and if you have any tips for keeping costs down?

    1. It all comes down to the price of beef. Beef completely dried like I did for this video will lose 75% of its weight. So, if you start off with 4 pounds of beef at 5 bucks a pound (20 bucks), you will end up with 1 pound of powder worth 20 bucks. You will also add 1 pound of rendered tallow to that mix (not sure what that cost is but for me it’s super cheap as I can get it pretty easy). Let’s call it $5 a pound. Finally, as an optional ingredient you can add 1 pound of dried fruit powder. This can literally be anything you want. So the cost of the fruit powder is relative as well. Let’s call it $10. So as a very rough estimate, 3 pounds of pemmican might run you $35 bucks to make, not counting energy cost and time cost for processing. It all comes down to the cost of the ingredients though. I would look for the cheapest on sale cuts of meat that I could find. Leaner the better. Same thing with the fruit. No need to go premium if you are just going to dehydrate everything and turn it into a powder.

  12. Eric I noticed in your videos there’s a considerable amount of pricking the casings. Makes sense on dry aged products, but curious if you could expand on this subject. Reading forums there are so many varying opinions on this subject. This year I’m looking at knockwurst, smoked polish, kabanosy, Italian, breakfast links, and potato sausage. I really enjoy your videos, great content! Thank you!

    1. Funny you should mention that. This weekend I’m posting a video about that very topic on my You Tube channel. Here’s the long and short of it. If the sausage is made correctly you can prick or not prick and the end result is practically going to be the same.

  13. Shaun Edenfield

    Hi Eric, My boss and I enjoy watching you guys, We are new to all this and having fun. We started a proscuitto about 6 mnths ago, hopefully it comes out well.
    My question- we made coppa, hanging in the cooler… we didn’t use any of the 600 and it now is covered in that flowery white and green mold. Is it OK, should we do anything to it?

  14. Hello Eric, love your youtube Channel. it got be started in making charcuterie. I love experimenting so i have been making things out of wild game like venison (Which makes a great Chorizo).

    Quick question, I’ve been mostly using Umai drying bags in a converted beer fridge. Have limited space so this works whith some rock salt on the bottom to keep the moisture from getting too high. My latest batch has produced something i have not seen before. I’m developing a Chinese inspired salami and this batch after 30% moisture loss has this odd internal texture almost like compacted powder. As if it is too dry. The outside ring has more oil and looks normal. It fermented fine. this batch is also drying slower than expected. I make most of my stuff using the 50mm casing but when i am working on a new recipe i use the 32mm casing to save time.

    Ever see this?

    1. Could be a slight case of smeared fat on the outside causing the salami to dry a little slower. As far as the internal texture, tough to say.

  15. Eric, love watching your videos. learn a lot. just wondering, do you have a shop, a storefront or perhaps a restaurant. i was wondering where you are located. my wife and I live in middle Tennessee but we do travel a little. would be great to visit whatever shop or restaurant you might have. being of Irish and Sicilian desnt I love to cook and love to eat, lol.

    God bless and stay well.
    respectfully,
    George

  16. Hi Eric!
    I watched a lot of different videos on how to cook on YouTube, but it was after your videos that I finally decided to try making dried meat myself. It was biltong and the result was excellent) Then there was jerky and carne seca, and what can I say, excellent recipes, well told, excellent result)))
    Many thanks from a guy from Russia for a fascinating journey into the world of dried meat.
    P.S. Special thanks for the exact values in grams. This helps to get the same good result every time)

    Good luck to you and your wife.
    Pavel

  17. Hello Eric,

    I just recently came across your YouTube channel, it’s made me want to go and buy everything to make sausages, salami, to dried cured meats. Thank you for giving me something to look forward to doing.

    Eric do you sale any of the hot sauce you made and if so where can I get it from?

    Thanks for all the great content you put out.
    Billy Ring

  18. Eric,
    That is a great story, thank you. Do you have any detailed information on making Shelf Stable Summer Sausage, the old way & not the easy way? We have always been making ours with a combination of the ECA, air drying, smoking, & finally finishing it with the dehydrator for a bit. Unfortunately, with only a PH Meter & no WA Meter (hard to afford that) we are never sure if our product is shelf stable & afraid to take an unknowing chance, so we refrigerate it. Some folks have claimed they left it out & it was good, even though we told them not to, but I am still not sure. I would just like to be able to have a shelf stable product that we can also mail to folks as a gift, especially this time of the year, but others as well. Thank you, Dave

    1. I do. We have a post (or at least a video on my You Tube channel about making Traditional Summer Sausage. It requires fermentation, smoking, cooking and drying. Comes out amazing!!

  19. Eric,
    I have tried my first meat curing/drying experiment and it seems to have gone poorly. I have seen you say in videos that you expect there to be a small amount of mold on the meats and you have shown small white spots. My meat has got the fuzzier white and a little green mold. I believe the humidity go too high which sparked the mold to grow more than it should. Anyway, my question is whether any of the meat can be salvaged and if it’s safe to try to do so? Can I clean if off when the growth is more rampant? Can I cut away 1/4 inch of the outside of the meat and try to salvage the rest?

    Thanks!

    1. Mold growth is a funny thing. If you know the types of molds that you are growing, then you can identify the healthy molds from the toxic molds. If you don’t then you might want to start over. Did you spray the meat with Mold 600?

  20. Eric, I really love this site and your recipes. You have inspired me to build a salami curing chamber and I can say the results have been outstanding, with many compliments from friends and family here in Australia. I recently made a number of Christmas hampers with some of your recipes featuring as samples. I really love the pork tenderloin salumis but intend to try and make most, if not all, of your recipes eventually. Keep up the good work!

  21. Mark Hansford Sr.

    Greetings Eric,
    I watch all your videos and love what you do. I have recently got my brother to start watching you also.
    I am currently getting ready to make a batch of venison summer sausage and my plan was to use a mix of port shoulder , pork sirloin, (it was on sale $1.75 lb) and some beef brisket fat I trimmed off my last so briskets then my venison. I am not sure if mixing beef fat and pork fat is a good thing to do. I am making 25# so i figured it would be smart to check with you first before messing up 25# of meat. I quick search on the internet gave me mixed results. Any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you and thank you for all you do.
    Mark

    1. Hey Mark, Beef fat and Pork fat have very different flavors and textures as well as different melting points. Beef fat is often a little waxy with a stronger flavor while pork fat is on the creamy side with a milder flavor. With that being said, if you don’t mind the different textures and flavors in your summer sausage then it’s totally 100% fine to mix the fats. If you want to play it safe I would go with 100% pork fat

  22. Mark Hansford Sr.

    Thank sir,
    I took your advice , I will save the brisket fat for another project. I appreciate your response and I really appreciate all you do teaching us.
    Mark.

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