Umai Spanish Chorizo Troubleshooting

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Dafish13

Fire Starter
Original poster
Oct 25, 2018
56
23
The Woodlands, TX
I made Spanish Chorizo using the 50mm Umai casings and their recipe. I cured the sausage for 2 days before it went into the refrigerator for a targeted 40% weight loss. After 6 1/2 weeks it had only lost 38% and I lost my patience so I pulled it out. I cannot comment on the taste as I was too worried about getting sick but the texture was really hard. Much harder than any Spanish Chorizo I have bought before. It is now in vacuum sealed and back in the refrigerator to rest. I followed the recipe, adjusted for the amount of meat I used, except for substituting some hot paprika for a little of the sweet. I have read somewhere on SMF that the moisture will redistribute and the texture will improve over a few weeks but it is really hard. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I will post some pics.

Okay in the middle of writing this post I got frustrated, pulled the chorizo out of the vacuum bag, sliced it up and boy was I wrong. It’s really good and after a couple of days resting the texture is improving. Cannot wait to try in a few weeks.

I think the Umai recipe came from the Marianski book. Next time I make this I will double or triple the garlic, oregano and black pepper. The hot paprika was barely noticeable so I will increase the proportion of hot to sweet.

Bottom line is the Umai bags worked well and the chorizo is delicious. The process was fairly easy. I can’t wait until my pancettas are ready. Prosciutto next!
 

mneeley490

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jun 23, 2011
3,470
1,876
Everett, WA
Did the instructions say to go to 40% weight loss? I'm thinking 30% may have been enough?
 

Dafish13

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 25, 2018
56
23
The Woodlands, TX
6364C788-C894-41EA-8EEA-7C3C37925FF5.jpeg
6364C788-C894-41EA-8EEA-7C3C37925FF5.jpeg
85C1FA23-6AAE-48A7-9267-B7585C74A791.jpeg
6D24E2AD-5E7D-4157-9001-B2ACBDA1F50A.jpeg
45FE13A9-12BB-4C24-A12E-CECF42A3A641.jpeg
7DFDC8D2-0806-46A6-9F3E-17EEF8ED72BE.jpeg

Tell me what Spanish Chorizo is like. Spicy pepperoni? What do you use it in?
It’s a mildly spicy hard sausage, less spicy than pepperoni. Typically eaten with cheese and crackers. Very different than Mexican chorizo which is typically a fresh sausage.
 

Dafish13

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 25, 2018
56
23
The Woodlands, TX
Did the instructions say to go to 40% weight loss? I'm thinking 30% may have been enough?
The instructions said 35-40% but with Umai instructions seem to vary from video to written recipes. I think it will get better as it rests but next time 30% might be the right target. Then I would not have to wait so long.
 

atomicsmoke

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Apr 3, 2014
4,315
1,234
Toronto, Canada
I never used umai bags but 50mm seems large for a drying in uncontrolled environnement.

Also 40% weight loss yields a dry (hard) product. Fine if you like it...i prefer softer (still safe).
 

chopsaw

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Dec 14, 2013
14,621
12,601
OFallon Mo.
Looks as it should to me . I like it at 40 % . I ferment mine 72 hours . Looks good , nice job .
This was the last I did , 50 mm salami at 40 %
40%.jpg
 

oberst

Meat Mopper
Jan 8, 2015
247
159
St Louis
My Umai at 40% seems just right; a little chewy and not real hard. The start weight I use is the weight after the fermentation period and as they go into the fridge. Wouldn’t be surprised if these is a fair amount of variation between scales.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jun 22, 2009
50,857
11,254
Central Florida (Sebring)
Boy your Chorizo looks fantastic.
I have been drying mine to 35% weight loss & it seems about right for us.
Also congrats on making the carousel!!
Al
 

Dafish13

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 25, 2018
56
23
The Woodlands, TX
I never used umai bags but 50mm seems large for a drying in uncontrolled environnement.

Also 40% weight loss yields a dry (hard) product. Fine if you like it...i prefer softer (still safe).
I think the Umai bags simulate a controlled environment albeit at a price. I have 2 pancettas drying in the bags now and they are much larger. My next try will have more spice and be less dry but the taste was similiar to the Boar’s Head product from the grocery store.
 

Dafish13

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 25, 2018
56
23
The Woodlands, TX
Boy your Chorizo looks fantastic.
I have been drying mine to 35% weight loss & it seems about right for us.
Also congrats on making the carousel!!
Al
Thanks. After I got over the initial fears of botulism I was able to enjoy the flavor. Your past posts using the Umai bags were a big help.

Carousel - sometimes you just have to get creative.
 

Dafish13

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 25, 2018
56
23
The Woodlands, TX
My Umai at 40% seems just right; a little chewy and not real hard. The start weight I use is the weight after the fermentation period and as they go into the fridge. Wouldn’t be surprised if these is a fair amount of variation between scales.

Once I pulled out the slicer and cut it thin everyone really liked it. My scale only goes to one decimal place which made me nervous measuring out the cure and the starter. After making the chorizo I bought another scale with 2 decimal places. Funny enough all the scales on Amazon with that level of accuracy were being marketed to drug dealers. Pictures were all weighing marijuana.
 

Dafish13

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 25, 2018
56
23
The Woodlands, TX
Looks as it should to me . I like it at 40 % . I ferment mine 72 hours . Looks good , nice job .
This was the last I did , 50 mm salami at 40 %
View attachment 379178
Thanks. When I started it was still 100 degrees in Houston and I was nervous about the temperature during the cure. Found the coolest place in my house and lowered the ac a notch so the temperature was 73 degrees. In hindsight I could have gone another day. Still learning.
 

chopsaw

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Dec 14, 2013
14,621
12,601
OFallon Mo.
I've got 4 batches under my belt , and they have all been different . I had the fear of the first batch being safe . 1 batch fail because of to much fat . Some just didn't want to lose weight , so I hot smoked it to 152 , it was good . Came out like Oscar Meyer from the store . This last batch I did was perfect .
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dafish13

Dafish13

Fire Starter
Original poster
Thread starter
Oct 25, 2018
56
23
The Woodlands, TX
Question: What level of dehydration is required to make it shelf stable
By shelf stable I assume you mean it can sit on the pantry shelf an indefinite amount of time. That is an interesting question that I hope someone can answer. From what I have read 40% dry is good in the refrigerator for a year or more but I would not call that shelf stable.
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads