Salami making is what I consider “next level” charcuterie. It’s challenging, rewarding, and will require the use of special equipment (especially if you want it to come out amazing). What I’m about to tell you may seem a little overwhelming but if you really want to take your charcuterie to it’s highest art form, I want you to know that you are not alone. There are many forums dedicated to the art of salami making and of course if you have any questions or need any help trouble shooting you can always count on me!! I have helped countless of aspiring salumist produce high quality charcuterie. With that being said here we go……
The first thing you’ll need in order to make salami is a way to test the pH of your meat. The process of making salami requires fermentation. This is one of the safety hurdles that you have to achieve in salami making. During the fermentation step, lactic acid producing bacteria are acidifying your meat and lowering the pH. This lowered pH provides an environment that bad bacteria do not like. Being able to know exactly what the pH of your meat is during the fermentation step will help you understand when it’s ready to start drying. For salami we are targeting anything under 5.2pH. The lower you go the “tangier” your salami will be, so monitoring the pH is not only about safety it’s also about flavor.. I use a pH meter from Apera Instruments called PH60S-Z. This meter is easy to use, reliable, and offers incredible peace of mind when making high end charcuterie.
The next thing you need in order to make salami is a place for it to dry. The absolute best option for most people is to have a drying chamber. This chamber provides a controlled environment so that your salami can dry evenly. Building a drying chamber is relatively easy but if you don’t want to build one and have some rainy day money laying around buying a drying/curing chamber is even easier.
The reason I like drying chambers so much is because I can produce excellent charcuterie all year long and I am able to maintain a 55F and 80% humidity environment with little to no effort. Alternatively if you have a basement or cellar and it’s 55F with 80% humidity you can hang your salami there as well.
If you decide to go the chamber route you will need 2 controllers. One will control the temperature and the other will control the humidity. Both of these controllers are very easy to use and absolutely essential when it comes to maintaining the proper conditions. Inkbird makes an affordable unit that’s reliable and easy to use
A small humidifier and dehumidifier in your chamber will keep the humidity in balance. These 2 units are plugged into the humidity controller and the controller turns them on and off based off of the parameters that you set. This elevated humidity will allow your salami to dry evenly. If your humidity is too low the outside of your sausage will dry faster than the inside causing a dry ring to form around your salami. If the ring gets too dry it will keep the inside from drying causing food spoilage.
The other thing I would recommend getting is a good sausage stuffer. The art of salami making requires that your meat and fat stay cold at all times. If your fat begins to smear during any of the steps it will effect the end result of your salami. Trying to stuff salami meat into a casing using a kitchen aid attachment or a grinder stuffing attachment will not yield the best results as these 2 methods tend to heat the salami mince meat too much.
The technique for making this salami
For this experiment we are taking two flavors of salami (Italian Genoa and Spanish Chorizo) and layering the two on a collagen sheet (much like a sheet cake). If you plan on making this recipe I would start with a kilo of each flavor as the total weight of your salami once finished will be around 5 pounds. Start by laying out your silpat mat, then placing a collagen sheet on top of it (this will help you roll it easier later). Next, evenly and thinly spread out the genoa salami meat mixture onto your collagen sheet, in a rectangular form. Then, add the Spanish chorizo meat mixture on top and evenly and thinly spread it out so that the two salami are directly on top of each other.
It’s now time to roll your salami to form the log and this can be a little tricky. I use a silpat mat to make this process a little easier. Tightly roll the salami ensuring that there are no air pockets that form between the layers. Once you have the entire salami rolled you can press the collagen sheet over the salami and place a netting around it. At this point you can proceed like normal. Let the salami ferment till you get to a pH of 4.9-5.2. Dry your salami at 55f (13c) and 80% humidity till you have lost 35% – 40% weight. Enjoy
Follow basic salami preparation practices when making this sausage.
- Clean and Sanitize all of your equipment.
- Keep your meat and grinder parts super cold (below 34F) during the grinding process
- Rehydrate your starter culture (in non-chlorinated water) for 30 minutes prior to use.
- Mix your very chilled mince meat, seasonings, and starter culture till the mince becomes very tacky
- Spread the mince meat in layers on a collagen sheet and roll tightly, then secure with a netting
- Record the starting weight and the target of each salami link
- Brush with protective mold culture
- Hang the salami to ferment for 24-72 hours (depending on the starter culture)
- After the pH target has been hit, hang the salami in a drying chamber till the weight loss target has been achieved.
- Remove from the drying chamber, slice thinly, and enjoy
Here are a few things you might find useful when making sausage
- Kotai Chef Knife (for 15% off use discount code – 2guys )
- MK4 Thermapen (Accurate Thermometer)
- Small accurate Scale for spices
- Collagen Sheets
- Extra Large Silpat Mat
- Netting #12
- Iodophor Sanitizer
- MK4 Thermapen (Accurate Thermometer)
- Sausage Pricker
- Mold 600
- Flavor of Italy
- Apera pH Meter with Bluetooth
- Insta Cure #2
- Non Fat Dry Milk Powder
- Meat Grinders
- Meat Mixers
- Sausage Stuffers
- InkBird Controllers temp & Humidity
- Dehumidifier Eva Dry 1100
- Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask away. If you make this at home I’d love to hear about how it came out!!
If you want to see the different things that we use in operation our be sure to check out our new Amazon Store.
- 700 g lean pork
- 300 g pork back fat
- 25 g kosher salt
- 2.5 g insta cure #2
- 7.5 g spicy paprika
- 17.5 g sweet/smoked paprika
- 4 g garlic powder
- 2.5 g oregano
- 2 g dextrose
- 20 g nonfat dry powder milk optional
- hog casings
- Flavor of Italy Starter Culture 1/4 tsp of starter culture dissolved in 1/4 cup of distilled water. Let rehydrate for 30 minutes prior to using (this is for every kilo pounds of meat that you have)
- Clean your meat of any silver skin, sinew, arteries and cut into small strips or cubes. Place meat and fat in the freezer for an hour or until the temp reaches 32f – 34F.
- Grind your very chilled meat on a 10mm plate.
- add all of the spices (except the non fat milk powder or the starter culture). Toss to combine then cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The following day rechill your meat. Once it's chilled add the starter culture and the nonfat dry powder milk then mix till it becomes very tacky. If you grab a small handful it will stick to your hand if you hold your hand upside down.
- Stuff your mince meat into the casings, link, and prick out any air pockets. Weigh your chorizo and record the weight.
Fermenting and drying instructions
- To ferment your sausage hang at room temperature (75F-85F) for 24 hours (if you have a way to test the pH you are aiming for anything between 4.9 and 5.2)
- after fermentation place the meat in a drying chamber where the temperature is 55F and the humidity is 80%. Here it will stay till it looses 40% of its weight.
- After you hit your weight loss target your chorizo is ready to enjoy.
Italian Genoa Salami
- 908 grams lean pork
- 908 grams lean beef
- 454 grams pork back fat
- 56.75 grams kosher salt
- 5.68 grams insta cure #2
- 4.54 grams dextrose
- 4.54 grams table sugar
- 4.54 grams black pepper
- 2.27 grams garlic powder
- 13.62 grams whole peppercorns
- 34.05 grams nonfat dry milk powder this is optional but really helps with the binding properties of your mince
- Flavor of Italy Starter Culture re-hydrate 1/2 tsp of starter in 1/4 cup of distilled water for every 5 pounds of meat/fat. Let this rest for 30 minutes
- mold-600 re-hydrate 1/2 tsp of mold in 1/2 cup of non-chlorinated water. This will do about 5-10 pounds of salami. Let sit at room temp for at least 5 hours before use
- If you plan on making this salami into a skinny salamini (under 28mm diameter), which generally takes less than 4 weeks to make. All you have to do is replace cure #2 for cure #1 in the exact same quantity. Use the sheep casing of your choice and enjoy
- Clean meat from any silver skin or arteries, cut into small chunks and chill till the temperature of the meat gets below 34f.
- Grind chilled pork and fat through the 10mm plate and grind chilled beef through the 3mm plate. Let chill before mixing. You want the temp of the meat to be around or below 34F.
- Prepare all the seasonings and prepare the starter culture and set to the side. You starter culture needs about 30 minutes to "wake-up" before use.
- Mix the meat, seasonings, and re-hydrated culture together. You mince meat will be very sticky when finished
- Stuff your mince tightly into a salami casing, making sure there are no air pockets. Tie the end well to ensure that it doesn't come open. Weigh your salami and record the weight
- Prick your salami to get rid of any air pockets and brush your salami with The mold 600 (if you are using this)
- Ferment your salami at 75F with 90% humidity for 12-24 hours (these parameters are for this culture, other culture require different parameters).
- Test the pH at 18 hours to see where you are at. You are aiming for a ph between 4.9 and 5.2.
- Once you have reached your target pH place your salami in your drying chamber at 55F with 80% Humidity. Let it dry in this chamber until you have reached a 38%-40% weight loss.
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