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Oct 30, 2010 08:01 AM

Hanging a Pancetta

Buenos Dias. . .

Ok I am curing a ham for my folks for christmas and need pink salt. Since I have to buy like a half pound of pink salt to just use a few spoons, it would be almost stupid not to cure pancetta.

The problem is the week of drying. I don't think I have a spot that will be protected from animals (my dog) or won't pick up weird off smells (the worlds cheapest carpet my landlord installed in my basement). Can I hang it in a large brewing bucket and just open it up every day to let in some fresh air or am I better off just leaving it at the bottom of the fridge in the high humidity container meant for veggies?

I know there is a few folks who have made stuff from the ruhlman book, how did you hang your pancetta to dry?

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  1. Buenos.
    Not exactly the same thing but...I took a shelf out of my fridge to hang guanciale, which is practically the same thing. My friend hung one in a closet, in a milk crate. The difference was the closet-hung was harder/dryer the fridge one more supple, tho fully dried after a month of hanging. If you put it in a bin, you'd better prop it up on a rack for air flow on all sides.

    I haven't read the Ruhlman. I used Batali's recipe, which involves kosher salt, *not* pink salt.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pitu

      This is sort of what I was thinking, the fridge one probably takes longer to dry because its so cold, since its pancetta which isn't dried as much as say salumi or something I'm thinking i'll be fine just with the fridge. According to the ruhlman book for another similar recipe you don't even have to dry it at all, he just recommends it to intensify the flavors. Yeah I was thinking of using a cooling rack so it hopefully dries evenly

    2. It's been a while, but when I was still living the apartment life I think we dried the pancetta in the refrigerator. I put a baking rack on top of a baking sheet with an edge all the way around, and plopped the pancetta on top. It sat on the bottom shelf of our fridge for a month or so....I think we used a recipe from Chez Panisse.