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Controlling air movement in curing chamber

Mmmm Meat

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Yes - it only took two days to get delivered. My wife made a nasty face at me when she saw it. She makes it very clear she has no passion for Salami.
 

SmokinEdge

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Yes - it only took two days to get delivered. My wife made a nasty face at me when she saw it. She makes it very clear she has no passion for Salami.
do you see a difference in the grind? What is your over all opinion of the machine?
 

Mmmm Meat

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I love the machine. I can do a five pound grind in about 25 % of the time compared to my old dog grinder. It's hard to compare the grinds, though I'm positive that the LEM is much, much better. I did a double grind on my last mix, 10 mm then 4.5 on the lean and 80% of the fat. It was still way faster than a single grind on my old grinder, which had plates that were pitted with corrosion and the knife was surely not anywhere near sharp.

My wife really likes my new hobbies. She helps me stuff the sausages and cleans up after me. I just like poking fun at her. It makes me feel like I'm in charge. :emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing:
 

indaswamp

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FYI, I don't recommend more than one grind when making salami UNLESS you are making a soft spreadable salami like Ventricina, Nduja, or Ciauscolo. Too much of a risk of over working the fat, and if you've trimmed the meat right and removed all the tough connective tissue there is really no reason to double grind for most salamis.
 

Mmmm Meat

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FYI, I don't recommend more than one grind when making salami UNLESS you are making a soft spreadable salami like Ventricina, Nduja, or Ciauscolo. Too much of a risk of over working the fat, and if you've trimmed the meat right and removed all the tough connective tissue there is really no reason to double grind for most salamis.
After vac. sealing the diced up Fuet Salami for a week, it was still just a bit more moist than I prefer when I check it. I resealed most of it but gave just a few pieces 3 more days in the curing chamber. It appears that batch looks like it will actually work out pretty well (outside cutting them into little pieces - not much for presentation). It has wonderful flavor that lingers in the mouth for quite awhile after consumption.
 

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indaswamp

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When you vac. seal, you do not need to cut them into small pieces, just clean the mold off (or remove the casing) with vinegar or wine and a stiff brush, then vac seal the entire salami. you can slice it when you take it out to serve.
 

Mmmm Meat

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I cut them well prior (a week or more) to vac. sealing in an attempt to create more surface area, which exposes the moist centers for more efficient and complete drying.

The Curry Salami is also coming along nicely. It's got some nice heat but is missing something that I just can't put my finger on yet. More tasting is in order.
 

Mmmm Meat

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Well, to finish the story of my first few batches, I finally gave up on them today. Fat smear was definitely the culprit responsible for the non-uniform drying. That old grinder and dull knife and plates weren't up to the task. I kept testing them as they dried longer and longer - they're more dry but still don't have a pleasant texture or mouth feel - sticky and stringy come to mind. They're dog food now. They never complain about meat.

I did retro-fit my chamber with plastic shielding (above, below, and in front of the shelves) that protects the meats from almost all air movement. My re-make of the Cacciatorini using the new grinder made a huge difference in the texture of the salami and it is drying well without case hardening (maybe just a touch). They are firm to the feel vs. the squishy feel of my first tries. This batch, stuffed in hog 28 - 30mm casings is at 37% weight loss after 20 days. A few more days should do it.

cacciatorini.jpg
 

Robert H

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Well, you got the experience out of it and that will power you through. I have been wanting to get my first salami going for awhile....too many hobbies. Congrats on the new batch.
 

Mmmm Meat

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Agreed. Thanks guys. I feel like I'm gaining some traction in producing quality cured meats.
 

SmokinEdge

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I did retro-fit my chamber with plastic shielding (above, below, and in front of the shelves) that protects the meats from almost all air movement.
Just remember that you do need some air movement in the first week or so maybe 10 days. Otherwise the chubs could get wet. This will lead to yeast and slime with RH around 85% which is where it should be at the beginning. After that a whisper of air movement is sufficient to the finish line.
 

Mmmm Meat

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Good point. I'm not 100% sure how to accomplish that with several other batches in the chamber at the same time, presumably all needing slightly different micro-environments for where they are in the drying process. Maybe just hanging the new batches lower down in the fridge, just under the enclosed/protected zone is the best answer. They will certainly be more exposed to air movement.
 

indaswamp

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Good point. I'm not 100% sure how to accomplish that with several other batches in the chamber at the same time, presumably all needing slightly different micro-environments for where they are in the drying process. Maybe just hanging the new batches lower down in the fridge, just under the enclosed/protected zone is the best answer. They will certainly be more exposed to air movement.
I had the same chamber as you... You need to rotate your salami around. Did you take the return vent cover off? If not I highly suggest that you do.

I also inverted the salamis as the air flow dries the tops more than the bottoms. This will even out the air flow. I do not think you need an enclosure.....
 

Mmmm Meat

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I didn't take the cover off. I felt like yours was a bit different than mine when I looked at it. I gave the cover a couple of tugs but wasn't interested in breaking it by trying to remove it. It is a vertical plastic plate raised about 3/4 inch above the air input that diverts airflow both upward and downward. I taped off the lower opening so that it only blows upward and presumably then forward, then downward across the inside of the door, then across the floor to the lower vent. In my mind, this way might direct airflow even better than removing the plate and having it push air directly at the door where it reflect backwards towards the hanging product. Time will tell. Little tweaks/baby steps - it will work itself out in time.

Your idea of moving the salumi around makes good sense. I've moved them some but have not made a regular process of it.
taped vent.jpg
 

indaswamp

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Should have two 6-8" long oval holes like mine....and there should be two sets of ear clips holding the cover on each of the holes. just squeeze top and bottom over the center of each hole and it should pop off...
 

indaswamp

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tape may work, but if you can remove the cover, that was the best solution for me....
 

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