1. 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.

Umai Spanish Chorizo Troubleshooting

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by Dafish13, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. 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!
  2. Scott Eisenbraun

    Scott Eisenbraun Smoking Fanatic

    Tell me what Spanish Chorizo is like. Spicy pepperoni? What do you use it in?
  3. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Did the instructions say to go to 40% weight loss? I'm thinking 30% may have been enough?
  4. 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
    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.
    crazymoon, meatallica and SmokinAl like this.
  5. 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.
  6. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    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).
  7. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    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 %
  8. oberst

    oberst Meat Mopper

    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.
  9. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    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!!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. BTW the salami looks good.
  15. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    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 .
    Dafish13 likes this.
  16. crazymoon

    crazymoon Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    DF13, I took my spanish chorizo out last week at 33% weight loss and it was excellent. Yours looks delicious!
  17. Thanks Crazy. I’m happy with the first attempt. Now I have a better idea how to make it better. Certainly 33% would have improved it.
  18. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Question: What level of dehydration is required to make it shelf stable
  19. 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.
  20. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    yup, that is what I mean!

    I am pretty sure I have read the number, but just can't remember.