My first try at Cappicola

Discussion in 'Curing' started by seadog92, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. seadog92

    seadog92 Smoke Blower

    After overcoming my fear of curing meats, I decided to step out and try Cappicola.  I started on Feb 25th, by rolling the two Cappa's in kosher salt and cure #2, put them in ziplock bags and put them in the fridge.  I re-salted them on 3-10.  Yesterday, 4-6, I took them out, rinsed them good, let them sit in some red wine a few mintues, then rolled them in triple smoked paprika, red pepper and garlic.  The casing is beef bung, and got them in the net.  They hung overnight in the furnace room at 70 degrees, and this morning were transferred to the fridge in the garage.  Tonight I'm setting up a humidifier and temp control that I just received.  They'll hang in there at 55 degrees and 70% humidity for 5 months.

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Those look awesome..... see you in a few months I guess........

  3. Very nice!!  [​IMG]   I'll be following this for sure  [​IMG]
  4. jirod

    jirod Smoke Blower

    Looks awesome. I've been starting to try and slowly get everything bought/ setup to do some salami and Cappicola myself.

    Question for those more knowledgable, is the coppa muscle used for this the same as the "money muscle" you hear more traditionally with BBQ? If I talk to my butcher about the coppa muscle he will just stare at me, where he knows more about BBQ type cuts and may be able to cut it out of a whole shoulder for me. Heck he probably show me how to do it if he knows which muscle I'm talking about.
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm in, this looks very interesting. AND having just thrown away a dozen hog bungs (Ordered by stupidity), thinking nobody could seriously use those I am excited to see something they go with.

    Your hog bungs do not looks as thick skinned nor as fatty has the ones I had. If there a special cleaning process? Really I am seriously interested. I actually thought of laying them out straight and flat and trying to roll a rolling pin down them hoping to release some of the fatty tissue.

    5 months..... OMG the patience of a saint!
  6. He used beef bungs for these ones. Were your hog bungs double walled & sewn perhaps?
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My hog bungs still had hair around the sphincter so I am guessing they were for real. But they were really thick skinned with lots of fat, I was expecting them to ne like large casings and they were definitely not. All 10 were exactly the same too. They also had an aroma that casing don't normally have.  That's is why I swaped back to the 46MM+ casing for my andouille.

    Sorry Seadog, not meaning to derail..........

    Ooooooo......... beef bungs! 

    <in my best Rosanna Danna Danna voice>

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  8. seadog92

    seadog92 Smoke Blower

    My family prefers I use the term "beef casing". :) they say if I continue to use "bung", they won't eat it! I should tell them it's better than "hairy sphincter". Thanks so much Foamheart, for a mental picture that will take years of brain washing to get rid of!!!!!

    It was the first time I've used it. Very strong, and took the abuse of panhandling the cappicola into it. I was surprised to see it was closed on one end as opposed to open ended pig casing.
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry man, I'm from the south, not a lot of fancy cured/smoked meats down here. So I am always interested because when in my travels up north I feel in love with them. Its like country cured ham but in a multitude of flavors. And being a good ol'Country boy, I thought I was doing good not calling it an anal orifice or the more commonly accepted term.

    Sorry about that, and I apologize. But if it keep the family from eating them could just mail it to me? Words never effected my eating habits. If you can eat Menudo or chitlins, hanging cured meat is no biggie.

    Since its going to take years, you might as well go ahead and sent that to me as soon as its completed. I would not want you suffering that trauma.... [​IMG]
  10. seadog92

    seadog92 Smoke Blower

    How thoughtful of you!!!:drool)
  11. seadog92

    seadog92 Smoke Blower

    I'm having trouble keeping the humidity inside the fridge from going to 90%. I've already disconnected the humidifier. I have some salt pork in brine in the fridge, could that be the reason? Or could it be the 88% humidity outside? Is the high humidity going to hurt my capicola?
  12. seadog92

    seadog92 Smoke Blower

    OK, for those of you that know and understand Capicola, I'm attaching a photo of some mold on my curing sausage.  This has been hanging in 50-60 degree room with varying humidity, 45 to 70%+ with it generally around 55%.   I understand that white mold is good, blue and black is bad.  I've got a white spot of mold that's turning green in the center.   Do I have something to worry about?  After 5 weeks in the cure and salt, It's been hanging three weeks, and has dropped 30% of it's weight.  It started at 2 lb 4 oz, and is now 1 lb 9 oz.  I'm concerned about the mold, and of course, being my first time, I'm wondering why it's lost so much weight so quickly.  I'm assuming since most Capicola takes four months or more to cure, that the lower humidity has dried this out quicker than usual.  Should I put it back into the fridge with the higher humidity and just let it go the full four months regardless of the weight loss?
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like you picked up some bad mold from somewhere..... Was you fridge sanitized.... was the netting sanitized..... Was the Cappa supposed to be dipped or sprayed with a mold culture starter before going in the aging chamber .....

    I think you may be able to salvage it by rinsing in a vinegar solution... don't know what % vinegar.... I basically don't know squat... just read several threads....

  14. seadog92

    seadog92 Smoke Blower

    I wiped it off. I'll keep watch to see if it returns.
  15. seadog92

    seadog92 Smoke Blower

    I've got a question for all of you experienced Cappo curers.  I've been drying my two cappocola for 5 weeks.  One still has a little "give" to it when I squeeze it, the other doesn't.  It's firm...not hard...but firm.  It has dropped over 40% of its weight.  How do I know...without cutting into it...if it's ready?  I thought Cappocola was to cure and ferment for at least four months.  From everything I've read, this seems ready.  Any ideas?  Just be patient and let it hang for another three months? 
  16. Weight loss seems on... Are you getting case hardening perhaps? You can always cut it in half to check it & if it needs more drying time put the pieces in a brown paper bag, tie it up & re-hang it - check again in 10 days...
  17. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes Jrod, its that group of small muscles on the pigs neck above the shoulder blade.
  18. seadog92

    seadog92 Smoke Blower

    OK....I'll pray hard and cut it this weekend.
  19. Hopefully it's ok man - if it is case hardened but not bad enough or quick enough that your center molded then you do have a couple options...

    Option #1 - once the center has reached the level of dryness that you want vac seal it & put it in your freezer for 5 days to a week then put it in your fridge for a few days to thaw slowly. This freeze with a slow thaw helps it to redistribute moisture much more evenly & really improves most case hardening.

    Option #2 - I have not tried this method but I've read more than once that Len Poli suggests wrapping in damp towels to help soften case hardening.

    Let me know what you make out when you cut into it.  [​IMG]  
  20. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've seen capicola (done by others) with drying times from 6 weeks to 4 months.

    You didn't have a mold culture applied - which would have slowed down the drying process. Nothing wrong with that - just one explanation for the fast dry.

    Each piece of meat has its own curing/drying time.

    If the target weight is achieved (seems to be) I would say it's done (pending tasting).

    I dried pork loins and eye of rounds in aprox one month.

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