How to Make Homemade Pepperoni - Recipe
How to Make Pepperoni
Learn how to make Pepperoni with Walton's and Meatgistics. Read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
What Is Pepperoni?
Pepperoni is a cured style of Salami that is traditionally made from Pork and Beef, but it can be made from 100% of either one or other meats like Turkey or Wild Game. If you are going to slow cure it then using 100% pork is recommended. In America you can basically break down Pepperoni into Pizza Pepperoni and Sandwich Pepperoni, the Pizza Pepperoni is usually smaller in diameter and Sandwich Pepperoni is larger in diameter. Both can either be smoked in a similar fashion as a Summer Sausage or cold cured. We will be going over how to make smoked pepperoni with a smaller diameter today but you can follow this same process for making larger diameter, just use a large casing like the Fibrous Summer Sausage Casings.
4 lb of Beef Trim
6 lb of Pork Butt
Since we are making 10 lb of pepperoni we will need to divide out the seasoning, cures water and additives we are going to us. Since this bag of seasoning is enough for 25 lb of meat and we are making 10 lb we need to divide the weight of the seasoning by 2.5, make sure you do the same for the additives as well. That gives us .562 of a lb of seasoning, 1.6 oz of carrot fiber, 1.6 oz of Encapsulated Citric Acid and 0.8 of a quart of water.
With Pepperoni we need to keep our pork and our beef separate until later in the process as we are going to want some particle definition in our product where we can see nice chunks of fat. A major factor in particle definition that is often overlooked is keeping your meat cold, we say it all the time for food safety reasons but keeping your meat cold is even more important here as we need it for particle definition.
Grind your beef twice, first through a 3/16 and then through a 1/8 plate and set aside. Next grind your pork twice through a 3/8th plate. Keep the two meat blocks separate still.
Mix your beef, water, seasoning, cure and any other additives (other Encapsulated Citric Acid) for 3 minutes, until the seasoning is totally mixed in. Then add your pork and mix for 4 more minutes. If you are using Encapsulated Citric Acid add it during the last minute of mixing to prevent the encapsulation from breaking and releasing the acid into the meat too early.
We are using the 1.5" X 12" Fibrous Summer Sausage Casings for our pepperoni today. To make these pliable we need to soak them in hot water for about an hour before they are ready to use. To do this simply remove them from the package and soak as many of them as you will need, the rest can be stored in a cool dry area for future use. If you end up soaking more casings than you needed you can dry them back out and store them for future use.
Load your casings onto your stuffing tube, since these are Fibrous Casings we are not worried about blowouts so simply stuff until the casing is full and smooth. Once you have stuffed all of your sausage you will need to close the open end with a Hog Ring or you can tie them closed as well.
With Pepperoni we will want a longer link than we would with Bratwurst, something around 12-18" each.
Thermal Processing & Smoking
Stage 1 - 125F for 1 hour
Stage 2 - 140F for 1 hour
Stage 3 - 155F for 2 hours
Stage 4 - 175F until internal meat temp of 160F
To help set the casing to the meat and also prevent wrinkling we need to shower the Pepperoni or put them in an ice water bath. It should only take around 10 to 15 minutes to get the temperature to drop down. Then, we’ll let them set out for about 1 hour at room temperature before moving to the refrigerator/freezer. After we are totally done with the cooling process, then we will package in vacuum pouches for longer term storage.
Making Pepperoni is only slightly more difficult than some other cured sausages as particle definition is important and achieving that requires an extra step or two.
- The particle definition only affects the appearance though so if you do not care about that, feel free to mix and grind all meat together.
- Collagen Casings work just as well and are easier to handle and less prone to blow outs.
Watch WaltonsTV: How to Make Pepperoni
PapaSop last edited by
That looks great!! Will definitely go on the to do list.
dtabor last edited by
I tried some pepperoni a friend made using your spices and directions, it tasted great but didnt have the “hard” consistency of pepperoni that you purchase in a store. Was something done wrong or is this normal?
@dtabor This is normal, there are two types of pepperoni dry cured and cooked. The dry fermented pepperoni will be a hard pepperoni where as the cooked will have a consistency closer to summer sausage. We just recently made a batch of Fermented and Dry Cured here and will eventually be releasing a video on the process and the products needed to do it.
Thanks for the help!
@denny I have a recipe for tongue with rice and gravy. Slice the tongue into thick slices about an inch to an inch and a half. Make small incisions in each piece and put a piece of garlic. Season with salt, red pepper and cayenne pepper. In a cast iron pot put a small amount of cooking oil. Brown the tongue on a medium heat stirring often. Occasionally add a little water. Just enough to stop it from sticking. After the meat is browned we’ll remove the tongue and add a couple of large onions. Brown them down will well and add tongue back. Cover the tongue with water and cover. And cook over a Med to high heat. Cook till tinder. You may have to add a few times. Once it’s tender cook it down till the gravy is thick. Serve gravy over white rice. This is how we Cajuns so it. Hope you enjoy.
@renaldo No you are right! For some reason I thought you were doing a 25 lb batch! For 7 lb the correct amount of carrot fiber would be 1.1 oz and for water don’t use more than 16 oz.
4 ounces of carrot fiber for 7 pounds of meat? Seems like too much carrot fiber for that amount of meat. But, I have been, and probably am wrong here.
@Denny There is a guy here who does Lingua occasionally but he is at the AAMP (Association of American Meat Processors) Convention right now. I sent him an email so hopefully he has some time to give me his recipe because it was very tender. If not now then he will be back Monday.
Weekly Blog Post - Linking Sausage, Maintenance for the VP215
Find out what's going on at Walton's and Meatgistics this week. We will have a loose schedule for soon to be released videos, what we are working on long term and maybe a few quick tips and tricks that are on our mind!What Videos are being released soon?
Sausage Linking - In this video we go over a few different ways to link sausages and brats. We try to give step by step instructions while keeping things simple. At the end of the video we showed an advanced technique and you might notice it’s not me who is linking those!
Maintenance on the VP 215 - The VP 215 is a great vacuum machine for both the heavy home user or lighter commercial use. It is a chambered machine which means the entire bag goes into the chamber for vacuuming and sealing. It does need to have its oil changed periodically though, in this video we go over how to do that and how often it should be done.What Projects are we looking ahead at?
We are working on some Dry Cured Salami, Pepperoni and Chorizo. We will be releasing a video on this with instructions and some of the science behind it in the upcoming months, hopefully before hunting season begins in earnest. We are getting closer to having Meatgistics University ready to release. It should be ready by fall, we will release it once we have all of the basic courses filmed and edited.What’s on our Mind?
There are a lot of things to keep in mind when you are purchasing meat from the grocery store and depending on what you are going to do with the product you need to pay attention to different things. If you are buying meat or chicken to marinade then you should look for meat that has not been pumped full of water. Most bargain chicken breast you purchase will be pumped up to as much as 15%, well if it is already pumped then it is not going to pick up much more of the seasoning or solution. I purchased some chicken and pork the other day to try some new marinades and to buy chicken without any water added it was around $6 a lb, it was worth it though as it took up far more of the seasoning than normal chicken and pork would have.
Also keep an eye out for Ali at AAMP and her Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts about the latest in meat processing and what Walton’s employees are doing there!New Products
General Tso Marinade I am almost positive I have found my new favorite Marinade for both Chicken and Especially Pork! We tried a sample of this the other day from Excalibur Seasonings and it was an instant favorite. It has a nice mix of sweetness with a little bit or red pepper flakes to give it a hint of heat. If you are like me and order General Tsos chicken (hold the broccoli) anytime you order Chinese Food then this is a MUST buy! We will have it in stock in a few weeks and it has already been set up on the Website.American BBQ Systems Pit Boss Broil King S 590