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Author Topic: Anyone do any dry-curing of meats?  (Read 250 times)

Offline Brian Halbleib

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Anyone do any dry-curing of meats?
« on: June 10, 2007, 04:27:00 PM »
Been smoking meat and making smoked sausage for years. Being of German and Italian descent, I was exposed to dry curing somewhat as a youngster. Well all the old timers are gone and their recipes went with them unfortunately.

Recently I've been gathering all the info I could on dry curing. Picked up a small wine fridge and set it up for curing. Wine fridges maintain a higher temperature than regular fridges and with the addition of a pan of salt in the bottom covered with water, it's easy to maintain the 60-70% humidity needed for dry curing. Plus the wine fridge can be adjusted into the 40-70 degree ranges which are also necessary for dry curing.

Just wanted to find out if anyone has any experience with dry curing. I have a freezer full of feral hogs from a recent hunt and I plan to start with some salami, sopresatta and landjager in smaller diameter hog casings just to get some experience.

-Brian
 www.bowyersjournal.com

Offline Brian Halbleib

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Re: Anyone do any dry-curing of meats?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2007, 04:35:00 PM »
Here's some smoked summer sausage I did recently:

 

 

100% feral pork with pepperoni type seasonings stuffed into 1 1/2 inch X 12 inch fibrous casings. Cold smoked for 8 hours and increased temp until an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Cold water bath brought the internal temp down to around 100 degrees then hung to bloom for an hour before refrigeration.

-Brian
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Offline Al Dente

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Re: Anyone do any dry-curing of meats?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2007, 06:38:00 PM »
Brian, DK books (Doreen Kinnersly) has book all about preserving, and there's a chapter on curing meats in there.  It's a great book, as are all of them in my opinion.  I've only done hot smoking and I've cured a salmon side or two for gravlax.
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Offline Brian Halbleib

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Re: Anyone do any dry-curing of meats?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2007, 11:55:00 AM »
Thanks for the tip Al. I have "Charcuterie" by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn, which is excellent. I also have the smoking and curing bible "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing" by Rytek Kutas. I have plenty of references but little experience with the dry curing. I'm in the process of changing that I think.

-Brian
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Offline Al Dente

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Re: Anyone do any dry-curing of meats?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2007, 06:00:00 PM »
The book by Rytek Kutas is universally considered the bible for curing meats.  Good stuff in there.

Mario Batali's father runs a salumeria in Washington state, where he makes and cures his own proscuitto, salami, salume, sopresatta, etc...  The name escapes me at the moment.  But there are other artisnal curers out there, who I'm sure would be willing to give you a few hints.

I'll check some old cooking magazines to see what I can round up for you.
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Offline Brian Halbleib

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Re: Anyone do any dry-curing of meats?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2007, 01:45:00 PM »
Here's the first attempt. I wanted to use a salami recipe and make traditional salami but everything I've read and been told is to start with smaller casings until you get a feel for how your drying set up is going to work. This is straight feral pork with domestic back fat added.
 
This is still salami, but in natural hog casings for quicker drying times. Here the salami is in the electric smokehouse at 85 degrees with no smoke for 12 hours. This allows the freeze dried fermenting culture we added to incubate and begin producing lactic acid.The acid provides that salami "tartness" and keeps the harmful bacteria at bay.

 

The next photo shows the salami in my dry cure fridge (modified wine cooler) holding pretty much perfect temp and humidity. They'll dry-cure for 12-18 days and will be ready to eat once they lost 30% of their moisture.

 

-Brian
 www.bowyersjournal.com

Offline Brian Halbleib

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Re: Anyone do any dry-curing of meats?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2007, 01:49:00 PM »
I've heard wonderful things about Armandino Batali's Salumi Artisan Cured Meats but I've never had anything from there.

-Brian
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Offline oldgriz

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Re: Anyone do any dry-curing of meats?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2007, 03:38:00 PM »
Quote
Originally posted by Brian Halbleib:
Been smoking meat and making smoked sausage for years. Being of German and Italian descent, I was exposed to dry curing somewhat as a youngster. Well all the old timers are gone and their recipes went with them unfortunately.

Recently I've been gathering all the info I could on dry curing. Picked up a small wine fridge and set it up for curing. Wine fridges maintain a higher temperature than regular fridges and with the addition of a pan of salt in the bottom covered with water, it's easy to maintain the 60-70% humidity needed for dry curing. Plus the wine fridge can be adjusted into the 40-70 degree ranges which are also necessary for dry curing.

Just wanted to find out if anyone has any experience with dry curing. I have a freezer full of feral hogs from a recent hunt and I plan to start with some salami, sopresatta and landjager in smaller diameter hog casings just to get some experience.

-Brian
 www.bowyersjournal.com  
Brian,
I know nothing about dry curing other than I love the results being of Swiss descent myself.
But since I probably don't live all that far from you in Western MD (Washington Co), I would be glad to be your guinea pig if you need someone to sample the products    :thumbsup:
Tom Mullane
Bear Grayling Mag TD 60" 50#
Bear Grayling Mag TD 64" 37#
Wing Chaparell 60" 48#
Tom Cole Old Timer LB 68# 54#

Offline Brian Halbleib

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Re: Anyone do any dry-curing of meats?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2007, 10:30:00 PM »
Hagerstown, MD...almost took a job there when I got out of the military. Yep, you're only a few hours away. I'm west of Pittsburgh south of the airport. Let me know when you are passing through and I'll try to have something ready for you   :D  

-Brian
 www.bowyersjournal.com

Offline MikeP in WV

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Re: Anyone do any dry-curing of meats?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2008, 09:07:00 AM »
Brian,
Here in WV we've been dry curing deer hams for years, just like you would a pork ham...and it's deeelish.  I make one up every Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners for my whole family to enjoy.  It's a bit salty but if you like country ham, you'll like this stuff.  It's a good way to preserve alot of meat quickly and make it last for quite a while too.  You can either smoke it after it's cured or use a non-smoke method.  I've attached some links for you to check out.  Experiment some and see what you like.
MP

 http://www.culinary-yours.com/ham.html

 http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Home-Building/1975-11-01/You-Can-Cure-Your-Own-Porkless-Hams.aspx

 http://waltonfeed.com/old/ham.html

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