Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Tuscan Salami

The next step was to set up a curing area. I had a 12 foot length of poly and decided to with something close to a 3 foot square shape. Instead of the original plan to use staples, i bought small hooks that I screwed into the floor joists. Using a punch I put holes in the poly and hung it like a curtain. This way, the chamber can come down a lot easier. I have a humidifier with a humidistat set at 70%. I also added a shark fin I had in the basement (it is a throwback to my younger parrothead tailgating days). The fin acts as a wall between the humidifier and the salami. I thought the humidifier fan moved to much air and the fin keeps the salami out of the breeze. Using the uotdoor part of an indoor/outdoor temperature/humidity weather gadget, I found that the relative humidity closer to the floor was pretty constant at about 70%. Here is a shot of the chamber, ironically located next to a home made dehumidifier (the duct work in the lower right of the picture).

Now it was time to grind the salami. I Use the Kitchen Aid attachment. Fat was ground through the larger plate, meat through the smaller plate. Someday, I think I will upgrade to a dedicated grinder, but this attachment has been working for the amount of sausage I make.

Toasted fennel seeds were added and every was mixed well. Then, it was into the sausage stuffer to get pushed into casings.

The hardest part of the prpject was tying the salami for hanging. I usually make a fresh sausage and twist it into links. Here, I had to tie them in a way where the know could support the weight of the salami. Then I used more string so the salami would hang low enough in the chamber. I ended up using what I would describe as a "bizarro" surgeon's knot. So far they have all held up. Here's a shot of the salami starting to age.


  1. Looking good Jon! Don't worry overmuch about keeping the humidity perfect and if they sprout green mold (which is very likely in a basement) scrub it off with luke warm water and hand them up again.

  2. Thanks. Like I said in my note...I learned it from watching you!

  3. I tried an experiment very like this about a year ago. I attempted a Sopressata, but used beef bung (a much bigger casing). I tried the "hand in a cool place method" with no attention to humidity and this resulted in an ossified outer ring around a center that was surprisingly sopressata-esque. I am moving to a bigger place imminently and am thinking of making an salume aging rig out of an old fridge.

    By the way, I recently upgraded from the kitchen aid grinder/stuffer to a dedicated machine. It makes life so much easier if you make sausage on even a semi regular basis.

    Cheers and good luck with this experiment.

  4. I just took them down. The salami had about a 45% loss in weight. I feared it might be too much when looking at the scale, but I ate some and liked the flavor. Victory!

    I was about to set up a post, but I have no idea where my wife put the camera and she's asleep. Part of me wants to wake her up and get the camera, however, I've been married long enough to know better. The follow-up will have to wait.

    Mr. Dave - I was thinking about converting a fridge too. There are a handful of plans out there. I think I am going to stick with this set up for awhile. I like that it isn't permanent, it's cheap, and it is easy to maintain. The humidifier could go for almost 3 days without needing a refill. And you are very right about the grinder. It is on the wish list. One of these days....