Our meat crafting experts have mastered an easy, step-by-step process that teaches you how to make traditional fermented, slow dried sausage at home. Proper grind is the most important aspect of fresh, dry sausage making. Meat should be kept extremely cold to ensure a crisp, large grind with good particle definition. This will guarantee good distribution of starter culture and salts for successful fermentation and food safety.  Large clear meat particles will also give the finished product a truly beautiful texture. To accomplish the perfect grind, a large grinding plate and a sharp blade are also required to make dry sausage at home. Follow along as our experts outline how to make traditional salumi that will have your friends and family begging for more dinner parties at your home!  

Step 1: Choosing Your Grinder

We’ve narrowed down a couple of the best brands of grinders for quality dry sausage making. When comparing a Chef’s Choice Grinder vs an LEM Big Bite Grinder, we found that the Chef’s Choice had a bit more trouble with large chunks of par-frozen pork shoulder and pork fat. Comparatively, grinding through these is a relatively easy task for the larger and more powerful LEM grinder. Both can be successful in grinding pork shoulder and fat, however it will just be more of a challenge for Chef’s Choice. We recommend the Chef’s Choice as an excellent, powerful starter grinder, while the LEM Big Bite is ideal for big sausage jobs. 

Once you have selected a grinder for your dry sausage making, the next step is making your sausage!

Step 2: Prepping the Meat

Start with selecting the type of dry sausage you would like to make. For Mettwurst sausage,  start with our UMAi Dry 50mm casing kit that comes with everything you need including the Bactoferm T-SPX Starter Culture, 50mm casing, and zip ties to seal casings. 

Next, source your meat and fat (usually 5 lbs worth), wooden paddles, meat grinder with a large plate, and a 5-7 lb manual sausage stuffer to preserve the texture of the sausage. You’ll also need a digital scale if you will be weighing your own salt and Instacure #2. To make curing flavorful sausage easier for our customers at home we crafted our UMAi Dry Sausage Spice Blend and the failsafe UMAi Dry Curing Salt Blend that has just the right proportions of ingredients for curing. 

Start by par-freezing the meat to get a clear, crisp grind. Put the crispy, cold meat through a large grinding plate for well-defined particles of meat to ensure the highest quality fermented dry sausage experience. 

Step 3: Spice it Up

Now let’s create the flavor of traditional salumi! These instructions assume 5 pounds of well-marbled pork shoulder, with or without back fat for “show meat.”

  1. Activate about ½ tsp of T-SPX Starter Culture by dissolving in 2 tbsp de-chlorinated water (distilled or boiled-then-cooled). Stir in 2 tsp or more of Powdered Dextrose. NOTE: As frozen culture ages, use incrementally more culture and more dextrose to ensure robust fermentation.ix starter culture solution into cold large grind  by using wooden paddles. This allows the meat to keep good particle definition as you’re blending. 
  2. Weigh out the required 3% kosher salt and 0.25% #2 curing salt to weight of meat. Use a digital scale.
  3. Combine the spice blend or spice recipe together with kosher salt and #2 curing salt. Mix, and knead into the ground meat until thoroughly blended. 

Step 4: Stuffing the Sausage Casings

Now that the meat is prepped and seasoned, let’s talk dry sausage stuffing. It is absolutely essential that you use a dedicated stuffer for dry sausage. As sausage attachment on a kitchen mixture will destroy your carefully created particle definition. Safe, successful fermentation and drying will be impaired. You will not have that beautiful stained glass appearance to the finished product. We cannot emphasize this enough--never stuff with a mixer attachment.

Fill the barrel stuffer with care, making sure to prevent air pockets within the barrel.

Casing Prep Pro tip: Measure the height of your intended fermentation zone, then make a guide to stuff the casings to the right length to hang for fermentation. 

Line up the UMAi Dry casings on the horn of your stuffer and thread on as much casing as will fit tight on the stuffer horn. Press up to release all air from the casing, then use one of the zip ties to secure the end.. 

Once you have the casing prepared, stuff the sausage mixture to the length of your measured guide. At the end of each sausage, use two zip ties to secure the casing with two zip ties, spaced about an inch apart. Tie one tightly at the end of your sausage casing and the other adjacent to have a good start for the next stuffed casing. You can leave stuffed casings in pairs or hang individually. Pairs are easier to hang for fermentation. Once stuffed, select a couple chubs to weigh and mark for your START weight. Calculate and record the -35-40% weight loss for each of these chubs. This is critical to help you validate the fermented, dry sausage has lost the correct amount of weight for safe consumption after fermentation. 

Step 5: Fermentation Timeline

Upon stuffing, the ausage will start out as a greyish color. Hang in a protected room temperature area for 24-72 hours. You should notice the color change, or “blush,” from a slight pinke to a bright red. Once you notice the color change, but no longer than 72 hours, you can presume that fermentation has lowered the pH into the range of 5. This is the target. 

Store the starter culture sealed tight in the freezer. It should remain viable for 18 months from the date of manufacture you will see on the label. As the starter culture ages, don’t be afraid to be more generous with the amount of both starter culture and powdered dextrose, to feed the culture. You want to ensure robust fermentation. You really can’t add too much, but you can add too little.

Once you see evidence of fermentation, or 72 hours has passed, place the chubs on an open wire rack or hang with excellent air flow in a modern frost-free fridge to dry. Important:  Weigh casings again to be sure they’ve lost 35-40% weight. The 50mm casing should take about 3-4 weeks to result in the perfect fermented dry sausage. 

UMAi Dry offers a wide range of traditional fermented dry sausage Spice Blends for 5 pounds, as well as Pre-mixed Curing Salts Blend. You will also find a wide range of recipes on our recipe page andon our YouTube channel. Soon enough you will be expertly drying sausage at home and impressing your friends with its high-quality taste!

UMAi Dry® Aging Salumi Process Illustration: How to Make Dry Fermented Sausage - Step One How to Make Dry Fermented Sausage - Step Two How to Make Dry Fermented Sausage - Step Three How to Make Dry Fermented Sausage - Step Four How to Make Dry Fermented Sausage - Step Five How to Make Dry Fermented Sausage - Step Six How to Make Dry Fermented Sausage - Step Seven How to Make Dry Fermented Sausage - Step Eight How to Make Dry Fermented Sausage - Step Nine How to Make Dry Fermented Sausage - Step Ten