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.
How do you know how much sure cure to put on your mix if it’s less than 25 lb ?
@peculiarb You can have an issue with pickled jalapenos and getting the meat to properly bind to them.
You can blanch fruits and veggies before adding them to sausage and that will help. Some people add them straight in, but blanching will help the meat bind together with the jalapenos. Not a requirement though. If the jalapenos don’t bind perfectly into the meat, when you slice the summer sausage, the jalapenos may not fully stick to the meat and just fall off the slices. It won’t hurt the sausage, but it may not be 100% perfect. I would at least dry the jalapenos thoroughly, but blanching would provide the best results.
Has anyone ever used pickled jalapeños in their summer sausage? I have a buddy who gave me a jar of picked jalapeños to add to his summer sausage I am going to make for him. Is this a bad idea? I’ve always used dried jalapeños in the past. Please advise! Thanks.
I have only made about three batches of snack sticks so far but, I have found that adding an extra ounce of water ( per 5lb batch) over what is called for in the recipe, makes the meat “flow just a little easier when stuffing into casings.
So far, the texture of the finished product has been great and I have had no problem with casings breaking etc. from the excess moisture.
I recently had a 26 lb batch of summer sausage end up with brown spots here and there? Could this be from cure not evenly mixed ??? Or from encapsulated citric acid not fully mixed in??? I’m thinking eca wasn’t mixed in good enough because cure was put in initially with spices and binder and I mixed by hand till I got good protein extraction because it was very sticky ???
I am going to be making a 10 pound batch of pepper stick snack sticks how much water do I add for easier stuffing. or is the water that I mix the sure gel in enough for the batch is there a ratio for sure jell to water?