How to Make Homemade Salami
How to Make Salami
Learn how to make Homemade Salami with Walton's and Meatgistics. Read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
What Is Salami?
Salami is a type of cured sausage that can be made from pork, beef a combination of the two and can also be made from wild game. It can be fermented and dry cured or cooked and smoked. We are going to use 100% beef so we are going to use our regular Salami Unit, if we were making this out of deer or wild game then the Cotto Salami might be a better choice. We are also going to be using Encapsulated Citric acid to give the meat that nice tang and carrot fiber to help with the bind. If you are making this out of Wild Game I would suggest you also use cold phosphate to increase the water holding capacity of the meat.
25 lb of Eye of the Round
Since this is salami we want to see particle definition in our finished product. That means we want to get our meat cold and keep it cold through the mixing process, once the meat heats up the fat will start to smear and we will lose our chance at a nice looking finished product. This step would be even more important if we were doing a fermented product to allow everything to dry properly but I still want a nice looking product so I put my meat and my head assembly to my grinder in the freezer to get everything cold. I am also going to separate my fat from my lean and grind them separately, I’m just going to cut off the fat cap and then put that back in the freezer until it is time to grind it.
Before I start grinding I am going to soak my Fibrous Salami Casings in warm water to make them nice and pliable to make stuffing easier, they need to soak for about 30 minutes in warm water.
I will grind my lean twice, once through a 3/8" plate and then through a 1/8 plate with our Weston #12 Butcher Series Grinder. Always remember to oil your plates and knives to keep friction and heat down. The fat I am just going to grind once through a 3/8 plate. I ground my fat last so I can go right from the grinding to the mixing without the fat warming up. If I wasn’t able to do this quickly I would put my fat back in the freezer.
Now we need to mix the seasoning, cure, carrot fiber and water with our lean meat and mix until we have protein extraction. As soon as the meat starts to get sticky I am going to add my fat and then mix that in for a minute. Then I’ll mix in my Encapsulated Citric Acid and mix it for another 60 seconds.
Next just stuff them into fibrous salami casings until they are full and smooth. Make sure you leave enough room at the end of each casing to clip them with a Hog Ring. The easiest way to do this at home is to use the Weston Auto Load Hog Ring Pliers
With Salami we will want a longer link than we would with Bratwurst, something around 12-18" each. Either hang your casings on smoke sticks or lay on racks in your smokehouse or oven. Just be sure to leave a slight gap between each salami.
Thermal Processing & Smoking
Stage 1 - 125° F for 1 hour
Stage 2 - 140° F for 1 hour
Stage 3 - 155° F for 2 hours
Stage 4 - 175° F until internal meat temp of 160° F
To help set the casing to the meat and also prevent wrinkling we need to shower the Salami 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 this type of salami is a simple process, anyone who has made summer sausage before can easily do this, it is very similar and if you don’t care about particle definition it is even simpler.
- If I was doing this again I would have ground my fat through a 3/16 inch plate instead of 3/8 inch plate to make the fat particles a little smaller. Not because I disliked the size of the fat particles but because of some of the fat rendered out of the meat during the cooking process.
- 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.
- You can use collagen casings if you want but it will be a non-edible version which means you will have to soak it for 15 minutes in water that is 15°C and it has to be a 15% salt solution.
Watch WaltonsTV: How to Make Salami
Not so good on my first try! I used 8lbs venison and 2lb pork loin. Everything was good for the prep. Cured overnight. Followed smoking directions and it took 36 HOURS to reach temp of 160F. Smoker is electric, salamis were 1 lb each, plenty of room in the electric smoker and all temps were verified. I did not use phosphate. Product is dry and over done. What went wrong?
jsteeter First, pork loin is pretty lean so it isn’t ideal to use when making sausage, especially with low-fat wild game like venison. In fact, it has less intramuscular fat than skinless chicken breast so if you were using venison and loin your fat content very well could have been in the single digits. This is going to make your product very dry almost no matter what, if you are wanting to make a lower fat product then I suggest using phosphate and carrot fiber, this helps keep moisture in the meat.
36 hours is definitely too long, my guess would be something was wrong with your thermometer in the smokehouse and it wasn’t actually as hot as it said it was, was it verified with another ambient thermometer. You probably want to find a way to increase the humidity in your smoker (https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/1099/cured-sausage-205-advanced-thermal-processing), this will decrease your cook time and help keep your meat juicier.
If your product was super low in fat then you could have easily had some case hardening which is when the outside of your product cooks too quickly and then doesn’t efficiently pass heat into the center of the sausage. This almost had to be part of the issue with a 36 hour smoke time on a 1 lb salami.
Next time we would suggest using straight pork fat to get somewhere around 20-30% fat and if you can’t find straight pork fat then go 50/50 with venison and pork butt.
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