My first Coppa...

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MeatCharter

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Original poster
Jan 31, 2019
46
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I'm trying my hand at some charcuterie. I've had some experience with bacon (currently have a maple espresso batch going), pastrami, corned beef, ect... even some cheesemaking, but this is my first go at dried meats for charcuterie.

First on my to-do list is a Coppa, then I'll move on to some salami. Expensive hobby as it sounds like I'll need some cultures, molds, PH meter, sausage stuffer, casings, ect...

For the Coppa, I had a butcher cut it out of the shoulder of Duroc pork breed. A little pricey at $8.99/lb but I figure if I have to wait ~3 months for something, I rather know it's quality meat. Maybe hoping to find a cheaper way moving forward.

My curing fridge setup is a PRO 40 Steakager. I also put a pan of Potassium Chloride slurry to help keep humidity up, and so far it has helped going on the readings this past week. I chose Potassium Chloride because it's obviously food safe, and some on those list weren't, and also it seems to be in the 80% range which is where I'd like to be.

Screen Shot 2024-06-10 at 10.28.05 AM.png


I'm following pretty much the recipe here:

I included some ground fennel. Also, instead of the Calabrian powder, I'm using a Aleppo Ground powder which I really like. Not as spicy, and a bit fruity.

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I'm flipping every day. It's been in there for a couple days, and I'll probably go another 8 days (?), then wrap in a Dry Aging Sheet, net, and then hang. Hopefully I don't poison anyone with my new hobby, and hope I can learn from all of you!
 
I'm trying my hand at some charcuterie. I've had some experience with bacon (currently have a maple espresso batch going), pastrami, corned beef, ect... even some cheesemaking, but this is my first go at dried meats for charcuterie.

First on my to-do list is a Coppa, then I'll move on to some salami. Expensive hobby as it sounds like I'll need some cultures, molds, PH meter, sausage stuffer, casings, ect...

For the Coppa, I had a butcher cut it out of the shoulder of Duroc pork breed. A little pricey at $8.99/lb but I figure if I have to wait ~3 months for something, I rather know it's quality meat. Maybe hoping to find a cheaper way moving forward.

My curing fridge setup is a PRO 40 Steakager. I also put a pan of Potassium Chloride slurry to help keep humidity up, and so far it has helped going on the readings this past week. I chose Potassium Chloride because it's obviously food safe, and some on those list weren't, and also it seems to be in the 80% range which is where I'd like to be.

View attachment 698670

I'm following pretty much the recipe here:

I included some ground fennel. Also, instead of the Calabrian powder, I'm using a Aleppo Ground powder which I really like. Not as spicy, and a bit fruity.

View attachment 698671

I'm flipping every day. It's been in there for a couple days, and I'll probably go another 8 days (?), then wrap in a Dry Aging Sheet, net, and then hang. Hopefully I don't poison anyone with my new hobby, and hope I can learn from all of you!
Great item to start with, I did the exact same recipe, bless that Eric!
I also did his calabrian pepper tenderloin, love that one.

I do like the dried coppa. But I will admit... on like my 3rd one, I got tired of waiting, and just tossed it into smoker for 15 hrs at 160 or such to 145 IT. Cherrywood smoke for 7 hrs or so. Mmmmmm... so good. We decided we like the results about as much as we liked the long dried coppa, and it makes a great bacon too. So I stopped doing the looong dry cure on coppa. But I do still do it for tenderloins. Here is some smoked coppa from 2 weeks ago.
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M MeatCharter
P.s., I didn't mention, but your chart for humidity over saturated solutions is very interesting. I hadn't seen this method before, only over sodium acetate or something. The KCl looks good at 80%.
What's funny there though, is the "Natrium Chloride" silliness, otherwise known as SALT, sodium chloride. At 75% RH, it also seems optimal and cheap. Wonder why they didn't run salt up to 60f like others? Clearly salt is the easiest and cheapest logistically, and 75% RH is solidly in correct region...

My chamber was built per Eric at 2guysandaCooler specs also. But originally a side by side, and the freezer cooling mech of a freezer fridge, with fridge only cooled via high flow air fan from freezer, doesn't play well with on/off single parameter temperature controllers. Currently apart, looking for a beverage fridge to replace.
 
M MeatCharter
P.s., I didn't mention, but your chart for humidity over saturated solutions is very interesting. I hadn't seen this method before, only over sodium acetate or something. The KCl looks good at 80%.
What's funny there though, is the "Natrium Chloride" silliness, otherwise known as SALT, sodium chloride. At 75% RH, it also seems optimal and cheap. Wonder why they didn't run salt up to 60f like others? Clearly salt is the easiest and cheapest logistically, and 75% RH is solidly in correct region...

My chamber was built per Eric at 2guysandaCooler specs also. But originally a side by side, and the freezer cooling mech of a freezer fridge, with fridge only cooled via high flow air fan from freezer, doesn't play well with on/off single parameter temperature controllers. Currently apart, looking for a beverage fridge to replace.
Yeah, I went with the KCI because it was a bit higher humidity. At ~55 degrees it should be about 86 degrees humidity which ~10 degrees higher than normal sodium chloride, and KCI is also food safe as it's used in a product called Nu-Salt which is a salt substitute. I wasn't sure how well any of the salt slurries would help, but I figure at like $10 bucks it was worth the shot, and based on my graphs for the last week, it's been useful.
 
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I've done that recipe three times, it's my favorite whole muscle cure. Good luck!
 
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Well she's in the curing fridge now after wrapping with collagen sheets and then netted.

Problems:
1. The netting was a bit of a struggle. I think I need a plastic bottle that I can pass the Coppa through. Not sure what size bottle I'd need.
2. The scale I had maxed out. So I couldn't do a pre-weight. Have a new scale coming tomorrow, and will do it then. Hope it doesn't lose a lot of weight in a day.
3. When wrapping I noticed a bit of a divot in the meat. Slightly worried that's going to create a problem as it ages with the collagen sheet, creating a bit of an air pocket. Tried to get it as flat as possible but that's a concern. I can't really trim out the divot without removing a lot of meat.
 

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3. When wrapping I noticed a bit of a divot in the meat. Slightly worried that's going to create a problem as it ages with the collagen sheet, creating a bit of an air pocket. Tried to get it as flat as possible but that's a concern. I can't really trim out the divot without removing a lot of meat.

Do you have a vacuum sealer? If so, poke a few holes in the casing where there's a bubble, stick it in a bag and vac seal it. Leave in fridge overnight, remove from bag, it should be nicely adhered.
 
Do you have a vacuum sealer? If so, poke a few holes in the casing where there's a bubble, stick it in a bag and vac seal it. Leave in fridge overnight, remove from bag, it should be nicely adhered.
I do. I'll give that a try when I take it out to weigh today. Thanks for the tip! Would have never thought of that.
 
No prob. I generally do that with all whole that I'm collagen wrapping, particularly if I'm using collagen sheets.
 
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When I first took it out of the curing fridge, it smelled amazing. So I guess nothing has gone bad yet!

I poked holes which was definitely necessary because there were some bubbles, vacuum sealed overnight, took it out this morning, weighed it (1172g), and then back in the curing fridge.


vacuum_sealed.jpeg
 
I weighed today, and it was 941 grams. It was 1172 grams 13 days ago. That's close to 20% loss in about 2 weeks. Is that fast?

I think I got my humidity closer to where I want it to be with a new DIY humidity setup, but had a couple problems with temperature drops I'm working with manufacturer on.
 
Another Coppa going in. I trimmed this out of a Boston butt. Curious to see how it is compared to the more expensive Duroc pork from butcher. I also added 1% of MSG.

I have mold 600 now. I wrapped with the collagen wraps. Poked any holes with a toothpick (don't know where I put the damn sausage pricker I just bought lol), and then vacuum sealed to make sure it adheres well (thanks LoydB LoydB ), and then put in fridge. Plan on taking it out in a few hours., brushing with mold, netting, and then hanging in my curing fridge.
 

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She's in now. I netted but forgot to brush with mold 600! So I brushed pretty liberally over the netting. Hope all goes OK there.
 

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I weighed today, and it was 941 grams. It was 1172 grams 13 days ago. That's close to 20% loss in about 2 weeks. Is that fast?

I think I got my humidity closer to where I want it to be with a new DIY humidity setup, but had a couple problems with temperature drops I'm working with manufacturer on.
It's been 25 days now. Weighed today. It's 862g. So I've lost 26%. That doesn't seem too bad. As I get closer to my 40% target I'm guessing the loss will slow down.

I think I've got this fridge dialed in more. It was dipping into the upper 40s/lower 50s, and now I'm definitely closer to 55f average with 75-80% humidity. I had to set the fridge to 60f, so it's off by quite a bit.
 
How's that mold 600 coming along?
Good question. It doesn't appear to have taken all that well. Maybe there's a little white mold there. Not sure. Definitely not covered. It's been about 8 days since that one went in.

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