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air drying kielbasa

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  • dock Oct 5, 2009 08:16 AM
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i was given a 3 foot piece of polish kielbasa, or some sort of polish sausage about 3 weeks ago. it was freshly made in bloomfield nj and it was very tasty. garlicy and porky but also very moist and fatty. i was told i could let it air dry and it would harden and change texture. i used to do that with hebrew national salami when i was a kid. the outside became green but when you peeled the outside it was hard and delicious. the kielbasa has been hanging now for 3 weeks and sure enough it is green and moldy. now that i am an adult, i'm a little scared to eat it. is it safe? obviously if it smells rancid i would toss it but if it smells like garlic and looks ok when i peel it, what's your opinion?

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  1. Was the sausage kept at a constant level of temperature and humidity, and if so, what were they?

    1. I see kielbasa drying at Polish grocery stores and they don't have green color or mold.
      3 weeks seems like a long time, I sometimes buy kabanosy (thin, long type of a Polish sausage) and hang them for a few days in the kitchen, so they get dry (sort of a Polish jerky).
      After drying for 4-5 days I put them in the fridge.But I never did it with a regular, thick kielbasa. I think you may want to go a Polish deli and ask, they should know if it is still edible.

      1. Is this a smoked or fresh kielbasa? Fresh kielbasa should be allowed to hang in a cold environment for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight) before cooking or smoking. This allows the flavors to blend and firms up the casing. If it is already smoked, it can be further dried for a few days by hanging in a cool, ventilated area. The process can be speeded along by using a fan.

        Either way, if it's green, I'd toss it. Too many chances for nasty creatures to proliferate. This comes from someone who routinely ignores expiration dates.

        1. thanks for the replies. i thought it was green because my wife told me it was green. i checked yesterday and it is not green. it is very slimy from all the fat exuding from it but it smells fine and it is hardening. it is a smoked kielbasa and the piece we put in the fridge 2 weeks ago has also hardened somewhat from the cold. it is in my wine cellar and is at a temperature of 60-65. i'll use my common sense but i think it's good to go.

          2 Replies
          1. re: dock

            The rule of thumb is white mold is ok, but green or black are not. Slimy is not good, but if your sausages are really just greasy, that's ok. In my limited experience, sausages do not extrude a lot of grease when drying out. Fortunately, a thorough cooking will take care of just about anything. I wouldn't try it raw, though.

            1. re: Zeldog

              i decided not to eat it without cooking it. it didn't harden as much as i hoped and it was very fatty. the mold and fat peeled off very easily with the skin and it seemed fine but botulism is very bad and can't be detected. btw, it was delicious in the chili and great with the pasta. it was such a strong flavor, it made a great flavoring agent.