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Old 05-31-2017, 12:01 PM   #1
Quicksilver
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I've been a soapmaker for about 15 years now; this is my first year making wine; I've experimented with cheese making, but it's not really my thing. Now I want to try my hand at charcuterie. What is/are the best resource(s) for a beginner in this craft?

I know from my long years as a soaper that the wrong books can be filled with not only misinformation, but dangerous misinformation. Therefore, any direction y'all could give would be most welcome.

Also, I live in Central Texas, so heat will be a big factor in curing any meats. There's no such thing as a cold room here, at least not until about the end of October.

 
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:38 PM   #2
Boatboy24
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Get Ruhlman's book.

https://www.amazon.com/Charcuterie-S...ds=charcuterie
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:29 PM   #3
montanaWineGuy
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I read most of Ruhlman's book. Valuable reading for the beginner. It is a good library checkout. Afterwards, recipes can be pulled off various sites.

If you don't have or can't create a cold room, then you're going to be out of luck. I have a room, off the garage, that works well, but only April till late May. I've some Salami finishing up, and that's it till April 2018.


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Old 06-01-2017, 09:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quicksilver View Post

Also, I live in Central Texas, so heat will be a big factor in curing any meats. There's no such thing as a cold room here, at least not until about the end of October.

you'll need temp control for processing and curing. I bought a chest type freezer, an InkBird controller, and a small cube heater....add humidity control and it'll be perfect in Central Texas.

I used it to thaw out pork and venison for 40# batch of sausage. Ground, seasoned, mixed, and then chilled out at 35 degrees overnight. Stuffed, vac-bagged, and froze it. It is real nice to control both hot and cold.

We are planning a big sausage year and drying about 50# sausage. Yes, you can dry it by hanging...but, I hate drying in the barn or shed and the wife gets all " the whole houses smells like hickory smoke, get it out of here"!! The "Temp Box" will be perfect...correct temp and critter proof.

I love this thing....you can even brew beer and make wine in them!

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Old 06-01-2017, 09:56 PM   #5
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Best Buy has a 5.0 ft^3 freezer on sale for $100. 4.7/5 stars out of 1,022 reviews.

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Old 06-02-2017, 07:43 AM   #6
montanaWineGuy
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There are lots of things to buy in starting Charcuterie at home. 1st is a quality Meat Grinder. Expect at minimum $200. 2nd is a stand alone sausage stuffer. Grinders can act as stuffer, but in my experience is a PITA. Go ahead and try it, but on the second batch you'll be looking to purchasing a good stuffer. Mine was a little over $100 and holds 5lbs. Larger would be nice but this gets it done.

I ground up 15lbs of pork shoulder and loins yesterday. I'm getting ready to stuff all in to hog casings and make Sweet Italian Sausages. I found that if I 1/2 grind the meat coarse and 1/2 fine, it makes for an interesting (better) sausage.

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Old 06-02-2017, 09:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbird1 View Post
Best Buy has a 5.0 ft^3 freezer on sale for $100. 4.7/5 stars out of 1,022 reviews.
Great price!

I strongly recommend getting one twice that size....really. The only thing better than temp control fermenting one batch of beer is fermenting two at the same time! I just can't quite get that second bucket to fit.

Ask about scratch and dented freezers too....deeply discounted.

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Old 06-05-2017, 01:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montanaWineGuy View Post
There are lots of things to buy in starting Charcuterie at home. 1st is a quality Meat Grinder. Expect at minimum $200. 2nd is a stand alone sausage stuffer. Grinders can act as stuffer, but in my experience is a PITA. Go ahead and try it, but on the second batch you'll be looking to purchasing a good stuffer. Mine was a little over $100 and holds 5lbs. Larger would be nice but this gets it done.

I ground up 15lbs of pork shoulder and loins yesterday. I'm getting ready to stuff all in to hog casings and make Sweet Italian Sausages. I found that if I 1/2 grind the meat coarse and 1/2 fine, it makes for an interesting (better) sausage.
Gander Mountain here in my town is going out of business. I'm going to head over there tomorrow and see if I can snag the grinder and stuffer at a steep discount. I think everything is 40% off right now.

Thanks so much all! I will get Ruhlman's book and also look into the chest freezer etc.

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Old 06-05-2017, 06:37 PM   #9
montanaWineGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quicksilver View Post
Gander Mountain here in my town is going out of business. I'm going to head over there tomorrow and see if I can snag the grinder and stuffer at a steep discount. I think everything is 40% off right now.

Thanks so much all! I will get Ruhlman's book and also look into the chest freezer etc.
You are about to enter a world where there is no return. Grocery store sausages become barely edible, Salami can only be eaten economically when homemade, and Slim Jims are redefined and become damn near free.

And it's fun, makes for great gifts and very much appreciated thank you's.
SlimJimsHanging 001 (600x800).jpg   SweetItalianSausages 015 (800x600).jpg  

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Old 06-06-2017, 09:40 AM   #10
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MONTANAWINEGUY...I have yet to make Slim Jims....well, I have ground and seasoned and then had the meat market in town stuff them for me. I stuff off my grinder and it does a great job on anything brat size or bigger.....flat doesn't work for the small stuff.

I have an old Enterprise press, but not a stuffing horn small enough. Do you use the collagen casings? My only experience with collagen was a disaster that left me scrambling around trying find casings on a late Sunday night! But to do Slim Jims you about gotta use them don't you?

 
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