How to use Dry Curing Wraps

Dry curing whole muscle is an incredible facet in the world of charcuterie. It’s easy to do, delicious, and very rewarding. If you are into sausage making and are looking for your next challenge this is a great place to start.

The difference between good charcuterie and great charcuterie comes down to drying.

Being able to dry your meat products evenly is the name of the game. First and foremost you’ll need a drying area. This can be a modified refrigerator or a basement. Regardless of where you have your drying meat you’ll want to keep the temperature around 55F, the humidity around 80%, and the air flow to a minimum. This is the first hurdle when it comes to making great charcuterie. The second hurdle is the type of material that you wrap your meat in. If your meat dries too fast it could lead to case hardening and if your meat dries too slow it could lead to spoilage. Neither of which we want.

My biggest issue when it comes to whole muscle curing comes down to the casing. Casings are generally a predetermined size where as the size of the muscles that we are curing may vary. Being able to have the exact right casing fit the muscle you are curing is a rarity. If you try to stuff your whole muscle into a casing that’s too big, the air pockets that are created between the muscle and the casing will surely grow unwanted mold. Not what I’m looking for!!

The Sausage Maker has come out with a product called Premium Dry Curing Wraps (Collagen Sheets). These sheets of collagen are designed to “wrap” around your meat and create a “skin like membrane” which will protect your meat and regulate its drying. The moisture loss from your cured meat is evenly distributed through a series of tiny perforations in the wrap.

These collagen sheets are not only sturdy but are also extra large and quite often I find myself cutting the sheets into halves and even quarters to wrap my cured meat. After many years of using these wraps I thought I would share some tips on how to get the most out of the so that you can also produce high quality charcuterie.

How to use Dry Curing Wraps

  • After you muscle has finished curing rinse it off with fresh water
  • Wrap the collagen sheet around the meat.
  • As you wrap the meat try to remove any air pockets
  • Either truss your muscle with butchers twine or use the elastic netting to secure the wrap to the muscle
  • Prick your muscle with a sterilized sausage pricker to remove any remaining air pockets
  • Weigh your muscle. Record the starting weight as well as your target weight
  • Hang your meat in an area that is between 53F – 58F and 75% – 80% humidity
  • To remove the casing simply peel it off. You can also soak your muscle in warm water for 60 – 90 seconds to soften the collagen casing up.

The Finer Details about Dry Curing Wraps

You’ll want to store these casings in a cool dry place. I like to keep mine in a zip lock bag in a cabinet. This storage method will preserve the freshness of these casings allowing them to remain soft for a very long time.

If you need to cut your sheet you can do so by placing the Premium Dry Curing Wrap on a dry cutting board and with a sharp knife slice your sheet to the size you need. This method will give you the cleanest lines and allow you to save any unused portion of the wrap for later use.

These sheets should be applied to meat that is moist and tacky. This will give the wraps the perfect surface to cling to and eventually create a skin like membrane. If the meat is dripping wet after it’s been rinsed off simply blot the meat with a paper towel then apply the wrap.

One last thing. When wrapping these sheets around your meat it’s important to remember that these sheets are designed to regulate moisture loss. With this in mind it’s not necessary to wrap your meat like a mummy. One layer of collage sheet with a little overlap is sufficient to do the job. I have seen many people wrap this sheet around their meat several times and although this may look cool it’s a waste of a good sheet and completely unnecessary.

These sheets are the perfect solution for dry curing meat. You can wrap any piece of cured meat (regardless of it’s shape) and in just a short time start enjoying some high quality charcuterie. Here are a few examples of the types of charcuterie you can make with these wraps: culatello, pancetta, bresaola, guanciale, duck prosciutto, lonzino, speck, country ham, prosciutto, coppa, and more….

In addition to using collagen sheets these for dry curing whole muscles you can also use these wraps as a “patch” for other charcuterie. I will often “patch” my salami if I want a little taste test during the drying process.

Enjoy the videos demonstration of these Premium Dry Curing Wraps and if you have any questions about how to use these wrap be sure to let me know in the comment section below.

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22 thoughts on “How to use Dry Curing Wraps

  1. MatthewG

    Iā€™ve been wanting to dry age some rib eye. Is this the product I would use for that purpose?

    1. Eric

      Hey Matthew. For that project you would use the Dry Aging Steak Wraps (

  2. Diana Cortez
    Diana Cortez

    Can the cured pork be cured in a regular home refrigerator?

    1. Eric

      Yes. Just cure it with your cure#2, salt, and spices. Once it’s finished rinse it off and wrap it in the collagen sheet, place it in your fridge and when it loses 35% – 40% it’s finished…

  3. shane

    I want to know if the wrap works for curing meats like lamb or wild game like deer. Would it? Also, for the equilibrium method does the method translate to other animals?

    1. Eric

      Hey Shane. Yes. You can use these wraps for anything you want to dry cure. Same for the equilibrium method. Deer, duck, alligator, goose, rabbit, you name it šŸ˜‰

  4. Robert

    Just to clarify. Can these or can they not be used in a regular fridge as a less expensive alternative to the Umai brand name material?

    Love the videos.

    1. Eric

      NO. These do not work for refrigerator charcuterie. They dry too fast causing dry ring. If you want to use a wrap for refrigerator charcuterie you’ll need the “Dry Aging Steak Wraps” from the sausage maker. Those work beautifully..

  5. matthew wood
    matthew wood

    hi so how long do you cure it in the refrigerator and what do put the meat in after you put the salt and spices on it

    1. Eric

      so it really depends on the size of the meat. I use a cure calculator that helps me determine how long the meat needs to cure. Once I rub the meat down with spices I’ll place it in a vac sealed bag but a zip lock bag works as well. Here is a link to the cure calculator:

  6. Douglas McMasters
    Douglas McMasters

    I’ve used Umai bags for whole-muscle charcuterie in a regular fridge (bresaola, loma, lonzino, pancetta and capicola) at normal fridge temps. Can these dry-curing wraps be used the same way under the same conditions?

    1. Eric

      These wraps do not work for that application. The wraps that can be used to make charcuterie are the ones called “Dry Aging Steak Wraps”

  7. Alan

    I got some of these dry curing wraps from the sausage maker, and since I don’t have a proper chamber set up yet, I would try using them in a fridge same as Robert. did it work? would dryaging bags work the same?
    As I understand, I would use stuff labeled for aging in a fridge, and stuff labeled curing at proper curing temp and humidity..?


    1. Eric

      No. These wraps won’t work for refrigerator charcuterie. The micro perforations dry the meat too fast leaving you with dry ring. You are correct. The “Dry Aging Steak Wraps” can be used for refrigerator charcuterie. The do a much better job in the low humid environment. The dry curing wraps are better designed for a curing chamber with controlled humidity and temperature.

  8. GregnEwban

    I have been making smoked sausages for years and wanted to try dry curing. I was intrigued when the packaging stated no equipment required. Apparently a dry chamber is required or is their a method to dry age without it?

    1. Eric

      Do you have Dry Curing Wraps or Dry Aging Wraps? What does your package say?

  9. Juan Jaramillo
    Juan Jaramillo

    Hi Eric,

    Probably this is the correct place to ask this.

    I’ve been messing around a lot with your recipes and have got great results. I have a question about the Wraps that has got me confused. I have used the Sausage Maker’s “DRYSTEAK WRAPS FOR DRY AGING STEAKS” for all my charcuterie made in my home fridge (around 3Ā°C and low Humidity).
    I have also built a Curing chamber, as you showed us, and I can now hold 12-13Ā°C and 80% Relative Humidity. So I went off to buy the Warps and found two versions, and can’t find the difference and is both will work in the curing chamber. On one hand, I have the ones included in the PREMIUM DRY CURING WRAPS kit, and on the other hand, I have the Dry Aging Collagen Sheets. Are these the same? If not…for what purpose should I use each? They look pretty much the same. On the contrary to the ones for the fridge which are smooth, these have a texture.

    Thanks so much for the help Eric!

    1. Eric

      Hey Juan. Sorry for the delayed response. The collagen sheets are for projects that will go into your drying chamber (13c/80%). The dry aging sheets (although technically will work in a chamber are more designed for the cold/low humidity refrigerator)

  10. Wulf

    How long wrapped in fridge for a 2.01lb coppa?

    1. Eric

      hard to say. You’ll just have to check the weight every week or so. My quess is that it will take around 5 weeks

  11. John M Belvedere
    John M Belvedere

    After you wrap your meat project with the wrap do you need to use a sausage picker to poke holes in the wrap before putting it into your curing chamber?

    1. Eric

      yes. Just prick it as if it were a regular casing.

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