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Italian Genoa Salami – Step by Step instructions

Are you ready for one of the most popular salami in America. The Genoa Salami. This salami is incredible. Delicately seasoned, fermented, and dried to form a charcuterie that is a work of art.

The process of making Salami is straight forward. It’s a series of processes that generally don’t change. If you follow my v-blog (video blog) you’ll see this process repeat itself in almost every salami. Here is the process:

  • Chill and grind your meat (keep below 35F)
  • prepare seasonings, mold, and starter cultures
  • mix the meat with the seasonings and the starter culture
  • stuff into a natural or synthetic casing
  • ferment till the pH reaches it’s target
  • dry in a controlled area till you lose 40% moisture

I know it can seem overwhelming to think about cultures, raw pork, fermenting meat, curing salts, bacteria, and all that other stuff that keeps us up at night, but trust me when I tell you that I am here to help. We are going to take each step and break it down into easy to understand bite size pieces. I’m going to demystify this process for you and after it’s all said and done you’ll be on your way to making your very own salami masterpiece!!

As a bonus in every one of my post I also add a video tutorial so you can see it in action for yourself. Personally this is how I learn the best so I thought it would be cool to have it both ways. If you still have any questions there’s a comment box at the bottom and you get to ask me anything you want.

Don’t forget to check out the printable recipe at the very bottom of this post. I added a cool option so that you can adjust the quantity of how much you might want to make.

So lets talk about the meat. In this recipe I use lean pork and lean beef. I do that so I can control the fat content better. A good piece of lean pork is the ham, the picnic, the loin, or whatever you might have on sale. You can use the shoulder but that’s going to change the fat ratio as the shoulder (Boston Butt) has about a 30% fat content in it already, the belly (where bacon comes from) has roughly 50% fat in it. So for now let’s just stick to lean pork. The same goes for lean beef. If you get a roast just be sure to trim off as much fat as you can. I like to use eye of round (generally because it’s on sale!). Finally we can talk about fat. The best type of fat to use for salami is back fat. This is the fat that can be found on the…. back.. It’s a hard fat with a higher melting point that leaf fat (lard). If you have a butcher in your town (and I’m almost positive that you do) I think it’s about time that you walk into their shop and introduce yourself. You guys are about to become very good friends!!

Once you have the meat and the fat weighed out all you have to do is dice it into small chucks. This makes it easier to grind and places less wear and tear on your machine (did I mention that you might want to buy a grinder if you want to start making salami?). Don’t grind the meat and the fat just yet because the heat generated from your grinder will cause the fat to smear. This is a bad thing. You want the fat and the meat as cold as possible (partially frozen) to keep the integrity of your salami in tact. In addition to chilling you meat chill your equipment as well. Once your meat and fat is around 33-35F you can grind (see recipe below). As soon as it’s ground stick it back in the freezer and move on to the next step. So far so good?

This step is straight forward. Prepare the seasonings. I do want to add that if you plan on applying a layer of mold (penicillium nalgiovense), and I highly suggest that you do. You’ll want to prepare that the night before so it can rehydrate and wake up. Other than that you can proceed to get your seasonings put together. I like to weigh the seasonings and add them to a larger bowl or cup. It all gets added at the same time anyway. After you prepare your seasonings you can get your starter culture ready. Just add the culture to some distilled water and let it rehydrate for 30 minutes. This gives the bacteria time to wake up as well. Your starter culture and mold spores should be stored in the freezer at all times until you are ready to use them. After you finish place them back in the freezer. While you are at it you might as well get your salami casings rehydrated as well. To do this just place your casings in some luke warm water for 15-20 minutes.

Now that all that is finished, it’s time to mix your meat with your seasonings. This part can be tricky and a bit laborious if you do it by hand. If you happen to have a kitchen aid stand mixer and it’s big enough you can usually fit 4-5 pounds in it. With a paddle attachment you’ll want to begin mixing your chilled meat on low and slowly start to incorporate the seasonings and the starter culture. Gently start to increase the speed to about a medium and mix till the entire meat mass gets incredibly sticky and tacky. Sometimes this takes 7-8 minutes and most certainly longer if you do it by hand. This is one of the most critical steps in forming proper texture of your salami so be sure to mix it well. Once your mince is well mixed, it’s time to stuff it into your casings. At this point you are almost finished!!

Stuffing the meat into your casings is another critical step. All of your hard work can be undone here if you try to shortcut this step. A sausage stuffer is highly recommended as this stuffs your salami meat with little to no friction. Using a kitchen aid to stuff your salami isn’t necessarily recommended as it takes too long and generates too much heat. There are some small well built stuffers that will get you going without costing you an arm and a leg. To stuff your salami mince into the casing you’ll want to stuff the hopper full of the mince ensuring that with each addition you don’t create any air pockets. One cool trick is to ball the meat up like a softball and throw it in the hopper with force. This presses all the air out!! Once your hopper is full place the appropriate tube on the end, add the hydrated casing, and begin stuffing. Nice and easy is the name of the game as you want the meat to really be in there tight. Don’t worry, your synthetic casing will handle the force. If you are using natural casings you’ll have to be more delicate. Tie the end off once it’s full and continue till you are finished. Be sure to save a little mince meat for later (you don’t need more than 1/4 – 1/2 cup). We will be using this “sample” to test the ph of our salami.

Now that your salami is stuffed you can take your sausage pricker and prick that salami all over. You want to pay special attention to areas that look like they might have air pockets. Once it’s pricked brush the entire salami with your mold solution. Finally you will want to weigh your salami. This is called your green weight. Record that weight. Once your salami has lost 38-40% of its weight it’s finished and ready to eat. Technically you can eat it at 30% but I don’t recommend that because it’s WAYYYY to soft, but don’t let me stop you, eat away if you want to try..

OK. The hard work is behind you and now we are going to let nature take over. Take your salami and place it in an area that is between 75F and 85F and 90% humidity. This can be an ice chest with a tray of hot water, a stove with the light on and a tray of water in it, a dedicated fermentation chamber like I have, or heck if your garage is warm enough you can hang it there or in your office. See it doesn’t matter where you hang your salami as long as it’s between 75F-85F and high humidity. I like this gadget from ThermoWorks as its a cheap way to monitor the area I’m fermenting in. Once you hang it, take a selfie, post it on twitter (be sure to give me a shout out), and walk away. Let the fermentation begin. This starter culture that I recommend in the recipe is very fast, delivers consistent results, and tastes amazing. So I figured for someone getting started this would be a no brainer. In 12-24 hours you salami will be ready to begin the drying phase. What you are looking for is a radical change in color, aroma, and texture. It will feel much firmer than when you started. It will smell like amazingness and you’ll want to taste it but resist the urge… I like to check the pH at around the 12 or 15 hour mark. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that you’ll probably want to invest in a pH meter if you want to start making salami.. Hey don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger!! Besides you’ll be glad that you did. You can sleep well at night knowing that you have a scientifically tested product that will be totally safe to eat. When you test your pH anything below 5.3 is in the safe zone. What you will be targeting is 4.9-5.2. Once you hit that or lower you can transfer your fermented salami into it’s drying state. This will stop the fermentation cycle and start the drying cycle.

The drying chamber is generally a old fridge that is controlled by a temperature probe and a humidity probe. These controllers regulate the inside conditions of your fridge to the perfect 55F and 80% humidity. Place your salami in this environment for 6-8 weeks (depending on the size of your salami). During this time white mold will begin to grow on the outside of your salami. This is the mold that you applied earlier. If you get blue, red, black, green, yellow, or any weird fuzzy looking stuff with hair and arms on it then be sure to wipe down the infected spots with some vinegar. Check your salami periodically to see how it’s drying (as if I had to remind you) and once you hit the target weight loss (I like a more firm salami so I shoot for 38-40%) take the salami out, remove the casing and slice thinly. If you want to store your salami for longer, wash the ourside of the salami with white wine or vinegar to kill off any mold and then place it in a vacuum sealed bag. Refrigerate for up to 6 months or freeze. Enjoy!!.

Here are a few things I find useful when making salami

If you want to see the different things that we use in operation our be sure to check out our new Amazon Store.

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This recipe is an adaptation to the original found here:

Print Recipe
4.70 from 20 votes

Italian Genoa Salami

A traditional and flavorful salami originating from Genoa Italy
Prep Time2 hours
Drying Time60 days
Total Time60 days 2 hours
How much do you want to make? 2270 grams


  • 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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53 thoughts on “Italian Genoa Salami – Step by Step instructions”

    1. How do you keep the humidity levels that high and consistent? We are in a very dry climate. 90 percent humidity is considered rain.

      1. Eric…I currently have 2 Genoas completing their fermentation period (T-SPX, 86*F for 72 hours) and ready to go into the drying chamber….I would have liked to have used Mold 600 but when I went digging in the freezer I found that it had been entirely used…I am currently waiting for a shipment from The Sausage Maker…is it OK to use during the drying period? If so, what humidity level should I maintain? Thanks in advance….

        1. Hey Charles. You can add mold at any time during the fermenting or drying process. You don’t have to change the parameters either. keep the humidity (while drying) at 75% – 80%. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out.

  1. Dudley NIghtingale

    Great channel great information great presentation thank you!
    I am still waiting on some needed supplies for my first try at Salumi. I chose this Genoa recipe but don’t see a reference to smoke if one were so inclined. I would like to apply smoke to half of my batch so if utilized would you simply eliminate the mold 600 or would you could you should you do both?



    1. Either way is fine. If you smoke you don’t have to apply mold 600. Any mold growth on the salami will be greatly retarded because of the smoke.

  2. Hi Eric – I noticed you added table sugar in this. I was under the impression that flavour of Italy can only process dextrose?

    1. Hey Mike. That is correct. The table sugar in this case is added for a touch of sweetness rather than food for the starter culture.

      1. 5 stars
        The table sugar raises the pH slightly and gives it a neutral taste while bringing out all the wonderful flavors.

  3. Can I raise the temperature & humidity in my drying chamber in order to ferment my salami without adversely affecting the coppa and bresaola which is already drying in the same chamber,Terry

    1. Hello Terry. Once you have your chamber set (it should be at 55F and 80% humidity) you don’t want to mess with the conditions. You should ferment the salami in a different area. What starter culture are you using and I can help you with some ideas on where to ferment..

  4. 5 stars
    I’m loving how user friendly this page is and how helpful you are. If you write a book, I think it would be a great success.
    I’m looking to make this recipe but to use Tspx instead of the taste of Italy because it’s what I have in stock. Is that ok to do ? Also you mentioned ideas for fermenting with out a special box or room in a previous post . What suggestions do you have for that.
    I bought some crushed Calabrian chili peppers in seed oil. Is it ok to add wet ingredients to the mix or should seasoning always be dry. And one final question. With your recipes is it ok to use any smaller casings like a snack stick size and slightly bigger or do you always have to use a larger casing diameter. It would be nice to make some salami or soppressata snack sticks for example.
    Thanks again, I couldn’t be more grateful for this page. My chamber is up and going using your plans with a few mods. I just put in my first copa and bresaola. I’m super excited and scared at the same time.

  5. This was my first attempt at Salami, and I was very pleased with the results, Very tasty. Pulled the first salami out a week ago at 38% weight loss. My son commented on how it was the softest salami he has ever had, and while he liked it a lot, we both agreed that it needed a little time in the fridge for moisture equalization.
    I’m pulling some more salami out of the chamber today at 40% weight loss.
    Thanks for your work Eric!

  6. 5 stars
    Your instructions say to take out 1/4 – 1/2 cup of ground meat to test the ph. I assume you put it in the fermentation chamber and test that after 12-24 hours? Is there a cheaper recommended ph tester?

    1. That is correct. Generally, I’ll just take what’s left over in the stuffing horn and use that to test. That little bit of meat will ferment along side of the salami for 12-24 hours. When your sample hits it’s ph target the larger salami is ready.. As far as ph meters go I’ve used all types. I use the bluetooth ph meter. The same company makes one without Bluetooth that’s about 100 bucks cheaper:

  7. Greetings from Canada, I have been making sausage for a few years now and I’m getting into making salami for the first time. I have all the above ingredients except for the flavour of Italy, I have T-SPX instead. My question is, can I smoke a couple of them after they have reached the PH level and put them into my curing station after smoking? And if I can smoke them, do you have a recommended temperature and smoke time?

    1. TSPX would work fine. Adjust the temperature to accommodate the tspx for fermentation. If you plan on smoking I would cold smoke them for 4-8 hours (depending on how smoky you want them). Try to keep the temp while smoking under 85f (29c)

  8. 5 stars
    Thank you for all the excellent information. I made my first batch of salami using Wagu trim and pork butt. It has taken considerably longer than the recommended dry time to finish at 80% humidity. My biggest problem is that some of my casings did not adhere in spots and when I opened up my first one there were some brown areas where the casing did not adhere. I was just curious if that is safe or if it needs to be removed? If it is not ok to eat do I have to toss the entire salami? I must say this recipe is incredible! Thank you.

    1. The brown area most likely is just oxidation and can be removed. If it’s soft to the touch or sticky, or smells wrong then I wouldn’t eat it but if it’s just discolored then it should be fine

  9. Hi! Am working my way through your recipes:) Very grateful for you sharing your knowledge. So, a question: In the description for Genoa Salami you mention Calabrian chili and chili paste, both extremely hard to get a hold of in Norway. And then I continue reading, and neither are ingredients in your recipe! Care to elaborate?

    Thanx a bunch for all your work. Truly a great source of inspiration.

  10. I am using Bactoferm® T-SPX, the recipe is calling for dextrose (for fermentation) and table sugar (sucrose) for Staphylococcus xylosus.
    Can I use lactose (non-fat dry milk) in place of table sugar (sucrose)?

    1. 5 stars
      I use all recipes. I havent had any problems yet… I really believe that you should write a book Your instructions are above all very simple and easy to follow.
      I do have a question regarding Mold and the dried sausage. Can the sausage be vacuum with the mold still on or would it be best to take the mold off prior to freezing?
      Mahalo for great recipes and teaching skills.

  11. Hey, Eric. If a person wasn’t prepared to ferment and dry, but wanted to kinda-sorta match the flavor profile, Do you think something similar could be done by using this recipe and ECA? The issue I see is that since there won’t be moisture loss, the pepper, garlic, and salt might need to be bumped up to keep it from being too bland.

    I realize it wouldn’t taste the same, but do you think it’s worth a try?

    1. You mean turn a salami recipe into a fresh sausage recipe? Sure. I would reduce the salt to 1.5%, omit the cure #2 and dextrose, use cure #1, and you technically don’t need the ECA as most salami are not tangy. ECA brings a realy Tangy element..

  12. 5 stars
    Is it fine to use fibrous casing with salami recipes?

    is a hog casing of 32MM fine to use?

    thanks for all the help

    1. Yes. You can use fibrous or collagen and both work great!! Also all natural casings are ok to use for salami. hog, sheep, or beef (any size)

  13. 5 stars
    Made this with venison and my first project using flavor of Italy. I stuffed into beef middles and after a month I had one of the smallest ones at 35% so I decided to give it a sample.
    Oh. My. God. This is sooooo good! I can definitely tell the difference flavor of italy makes over other cultures. I am a fan.
    Thanks for all the educational videos!

  14. 5 stars
    If I want to add wine to the recipe, do I substitute some of the water or just add wine. If just adding wine. How much can I add. TY

  15. can i ferment in my dry age cabinet, then just change the temp/humidity to start dry aging?

    i am using a ps reserve 50 dry ager

  16. I just did a batch of salami and accidentally used t-spx instead of the taste of Italy bacteria. Obviously ratios are the same. Am I still good as long as the ph drops to around 5

  17. 5 stars
    I have one more quick question. I was an idiot last night and turned my oven on that the salami was fermenting in. When I realized it the oven was at 225. My oven heats up quickly so it was probably only a few minutes. I took them out and put the baking sheet they were on in the snow for a few minutes to cool them down quickly. This morning I checked the ph and it’s at 5.1 and they look fine. For my peace of mind is there anything to worry about or watch for. Thanks for the help and I love your website. Made lots of your recipes.

    1. It should be fine. The fact that the salami continued to ferment showed that your bacteria was still alive. Begin drying and let me know how it turns out

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