Salumi Drying Chamber Project



I found this picture on the internet.  While I wish I could do this at home, I had to limit my meat curing to a little smaller space.  When we moved into the house, we pulled out the over-the-refrigerator cabinet and replaced it with a wider one that fit our fridge.  The old one has been out in the garage ever since.  Until now… it has been repurposed as a salami drying chamber.

The cabinet just barely fit under the duct work in the basement.

IMG_0148I installed foil sandwiched bubble wrap insulation to help keep the temperature steady and to provide a moisture barrier.

IMG_0149The foil insulation is stapled in place and taped at the seams to cover the sides back and top of the cabinet.

IMG_0151Grandpa gave me his staple gun during one of the garage clean out visits.  I got to use it for the first time since then to hang the insulation.  Still going strong!

IMG_0153 The actual meat hanging will be supported by dowel rods.  The left side closed rod holders:

IMG_0154The right side open rod holders:

IMG_0155The rods cut to length and in place with 6 rods in all with room to hang 2-foot salamis from each level:

IMG_0156The hygrostat and ultrasonic humidifier setup and ready for action:

IMG_0157A couple views of the whole cabinet, ready for the clear plastic sheet that will serve as the “door” of the cabinet:

IMG_0158IMG_0160The first thing in should be some salami sticks.  Stay tuned!










Pork – Farm to Table

It’s time to start making plans for this year’s pigs.  Last year I raised 3 durocs – 2 gilts and a barrow.  This year, I’m paying a local farmer to raise 4 hampshire-duroc crosses – all 4 are gilts.  The general plan is to cure one, freeze one, give one to my butchering partner and sell and/or share one.  I’m guessing each pig will weigh in around 225 pounds live.  At that weight, I should end up with about 145 pounds of meat plus extras like heart, tongue, liver, and femurs to roast for the dogs from each pig.  What to do with all that meat?

This post is my reading list for all things pork to get them from the farm to the table.

Killing, cleaning and butchering: United States Department of Agriculture, Farmers’ Bulletin Number 2265.

Sugar cured ham: University of Missouri Extension, G2526.  The second recipe matches my mother-in-law’s recipe and is the one I use.

Curing and smoking:

Ideas I’ll pull from this book include bacon, Canadian bacon, breakfast sausage and italian sausage.

Italian curing:

Ideas I’ll pull from this book include guanciale (cured jowl – great for carbonara) coppa (cured neck muscle above the loin), lonza (cured loin), and salami cotto (cooked salami similar to what we know as genoa salami from the deli counter).

I was inspired by Salt&Time in Austin (see Bon Appetit article) to create a coffee lomo (lomo is Spanish for loin so is another name for lonza or cured loin) using Cerulean coffee, New Mexico chills, and cumin.  I also used the seasoning mix for this cure to season a fresh tenderloin for our butchering day meal last year… Tasty!

Fermented sausages:

Ideas I’ll pull from this book include kielbasa wedzona (soooo much better than Hillshire Farms kielbasa), fennel and picante salami, and pepperoni.

Schwarzwälder Schinken aka Black Forest Ham: Wedliny Domowe website… translated from Polish to English, this means “domestic meats.” The article I found is no longer available, so I am very thankful I saved a full copy when I found it.

Ingredients: Sausage Maker

Good reading, great eating.