Does anyone make their own Salami!
- Chef_Instructor Jun 17, 2010 09:33 AM
I am curious about going forward with this and was curious about other peoples experiences?
Yep, I've made salami maybe 4 times counting the batch that is hanging right now, and the most important advice I have is -- don't be discouraged if your first and second attempts are total failures. After that, the most critical factor is the temperature and humidity during the dry cure phase. I live in San Francisco, where much of the year the climate is just right for drying salami without a fancy drying chamber, but if you live in the desert or deep south you will need to time your curing with the seasons or buy that fancy chamber.
A few other tips. Don't use a large diameter casing. Something in the 60-90 mm range will do, and collagen casings are just fine (much less hassle than animal guts, and you don't eat the casing anyway). The larger the diameter the more time it takes to dry and the greater the risk of case hardening (where the outside dries too fast and prevents the inside from drying sufficiently), which is what ruined my first batch. Inoculating the meat with lactic acid producing bacteria is optional, since it only effects the taste, so you can skip it until you have made at least one edible batch. Growing mold on the exterior also is optional, although I think if you live in a high humidity climate it would good to include it so as to prevent the growth of nasty molds.
And butcherpacker.com is good one-stop shopping site for casings and other sausage making supplies.