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
- MK4 Thermapen (Accurate Thermometer)
- Sausage Pricker
- Dry Curing Cabinet
- Kotai Chef Knife (for 15% off use discount code – 2guys )
- Sausage Stuffers
- Meat Grinder
- Meat Mixers
- Stuffing Horn Cleaner
- Butcher Twine & Dispenser
- Small accurate Scale for spices
- Large Capacity Scale (33 pounds)
- Drying rack and tray
- Custom Cutting Board
- Apera pH Meter with Bluetooth
- InkBird Controllers temp & Humidity
- Dehumidifier Eva Dry 1100
- Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
- Heavy Duty Kitchen Vacuum Sealer
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.