Air pockets/binding? What went wrong with my salami?

Discussion in 'Curing' started by aram, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. hey folks,

    these went in on the 22nd of Feb so they've been drying for a little over a month. Took one out yesterday cut into it and this is what i saw! What is happening here?

    The flavor is good and it lost about 35% in weight. the outside is a little dryer (having issues with case hardening) but what i don't understand are these air pockets. these are collagen casings so i stuffed them really tight. its like the meat shrunk and pulled away from itself. can anyone figure out why this happened?
  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm thinking you didn't have a good initial bind and maybe drying to fast. As the out side dried the center pulled away? That's my guess anyways.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Are you using a temp and humidity controlled Curing Cabinet? If you are just hanging it a room in the house, Beirut humidity currently is 56% which is low. If that RH is typical, that's the reason for the case hardening. I am not sure what you are showing is an air pocket. Keeping out air is easy with a well and solid packed dedicated Sausage Stuffer. It can be done stuffing with a ginder but that requires the grinder is constantly and consistently filled so there is a steady air free flow of meat. This is somewhat difficult but made easier with a second person feeding the meat steadily...JJ
  4. That could be a reason. some of the meat was frozen when i took it out of the freezer so maybe it didn't all come together. i waited till it thawed but some chunks must have been frozen. i didnt notice anything getting stuck in the stuffer so i assumed it was ok.
    i use a controlled curing cabinet with a humidifier AND a dehumidifier so it doesn't overshoot in either direction. when the cold air fan turns on the humidity immediately drops down by 10 percent for a couple of minutes but then it shoots right back up as the air is redistributed in the chamber and the humidifier turns on. i knew case hardening might be an issue especially that it's my first time doing a wide diameter salami so i kept the humidity high for quite a while longer than i thought is required. 

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