farmsoft
Charcuterie manufacturing app
Charcuterie manufacturing app for curing and preserving meats in sausage, salami, bacon, cured meats, ham, prosciutto, guided manufacturing process to maintain quality and food safety.

Charcuterie manufacturing app

FREE TRIAL

[PACKING / FOOD MANUFACTURE]   [RFID]   [FARM MANAGEMENT]

Charcuterie manufacturing: the Art of Curing and Preserving Meats

Charcuterie (pronounced "shar-KYOO-ter-ee") is the art of making sausages and other cured smoked and preserved meats. In addition to sausages, classic charcuterie items include pâtés, terrines, galantines, ballotines, confit, and crèpinettes.

Classical Techniques for Preserving Foods

Charcuterie is one of the principal categories of garde manger, which encompasses various classical techniques for preserving foods that date from an era before refrigeration. Originally, the word charcuterie was used to refer only to products made from pork. But today, the word charcuterie is used to describe any product prepared using these traditional methods, even ones made from poultry, fish, seafood or other meats.

One of the characteristics of charcuterie recipes is its use of forcemeat. But familiar smoked or cured meats such as ham and bacon are technically within the purview of charcuterie.

Principles of Charcuterie

Food spoilage is caused by bacteria, and charcuterie is all about preserving food. Thus, charcuterie is essentially a collection of techniques that in one way or another seek to limit the growth of the bacteria that cause food spoilage.

In most cases, this involves depriving the bacteria of moisture and in some cases, oxygen. If the bacteria can't survive, they can't make the food go bad.

Salt, the world's oldest preservative, is, therefore, one of the main tools in charcuterie. Salt draws moisture out of foods, which makes it more difficult for bacteria to thrive, and it also draws water out of the bacteria themselves, which kills them.

Confit is another charcuterie technique that involves preserving meats in their own fat. The layer of fat seals off the oxygen from the food, and without oxygen, bacteria can't survive.

The 6 Best Charcuterie Cookbooks of 2021

Make your own salami, pâté, pancetta, and more

Written by Christine Clark

Updated 04/20/20

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing at Amazon

"If you want to learn the art of making charcuterie from the best-reviewed book by professionals and home cooks alike, this is the one."

Best for Beginners: Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages at Amazon

"Consider this the textbook for sausage making 101."

Best for Experienced Charcutiers: Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery at Amazon

"For the adventurous home cook and book lover, you can’t get better than this 1967 ode to pork products by Jane Grigson."

Best for Traditional Spanish Curing: Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain at Amazon

"Spain’s tradition of cured meats, from smoky chorizo to delicate jamon iberico de bellota, is brought to life by chef and author Jeffrey Weiss."

Best Writing: Pure Charcuterie: The Craft and Poetry of Curing Meats at Home at Amazon

"Looking for a side of poetry with your charcuterie manual? Pick up 'Pure Charcuterie.'"

Best for Charcuterie Spreads: Pâté, Confit, Rillette: Recipes from the Craft of Charcuterie at Amazon

"If you don’t want to brave the process of fermenting salami, but do want to whip up an impressive pâté, here’s the book for you."

Best Overall: Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing

If you want to learn the art of making charcuterie from the best-reviewed book by professionals and home cooks alike, this is the one. Written by best-selling food writer Michael Ruhlman and chef/charcuterie expert Brian Polcyn, it’s an enjoyable read and includes 125 recipes of various levels of difficulty.

Here, you’ll learn how to make duck prosciutto, mortadella, bacon (!), confit, cured salami, hot dogs, and more. One reviewer raves that it’s “Easily my favorite culinary book purchase ever!” The late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain called it “an important and definitive work.” Consider it the charcuterie bible.

A Guide to Italian Salami, Charcuterie, and Cold Cuts

Best for Beginners: Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages

Charcuterie manufacturing app
Charcuterie manufacturing app

Some cookbooks we love because they give us our new favorite recipe. Others we love because they give us the techniques to forge ahead on our own. Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages will do both.

It’s a bit drier than some of the others and clocks in at over 700 pages, but this book will give you the technical know-how to make salami without needing to look up a recipe first. Stanley Marianski and Adam Marianski, the brothers who coauthored this book say of their hope for the reader: "We want him to understand the sausage-making process and we want him to create his own recipes. We want him to be the sausage maker." Consider this the textbook for sausage making 101.

The Best Places to Order Meat Online in 2021

Best for Experienced Charcutiers: Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery

Charcuterie manufacturing app
Charcuterie manufacturing app

Famed British food writer Jane Grigson’s first book was this lyrical, practical ode to practicality by way of pork products from 1967. She doesn’t cover cured salami, but if you want traditional, under-the-radar recipes for sausage (including one made of tripe), terrine, pâté, boudin noir, or petit salé (a sort of unsmoked bacon), this book is the perfect place to start.

Grigson assumes the reader is someone with a solid footing around the kitchen, so if you’ve never picked up a chef’s knife, this is not the place to start. But, for readers who want to understand the ins and outs of using up a whole animal and would like to try (or are interested in reading about) recipes for the “lesser cuts” like pork feet, you can’t get better than this.

The 8 Best Charcuterie Boards of 2021

Best for Traditional Spanish Curing: Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain

Buy on Amazon

Often, when we’re talking about charcuterie, the first foods that come to mind are prosciutto or saucisson sec. But Spain’s tradition of cured meats, from smoky chorizo to delicate jamon iberico de bellota, is vast, historic, and too often left out of the spotlight.

Charcutería: The Soul of Spain by chef Jeffrey Weiss brings those traditions, stories, and techniques to life with illustrations, beautiful photographs, and more than 100 traditional Spanish recipes. You’ll learn how to make salami, fresh sausages, Spanish-style ham, pickles, salt cod, and more. Michael Ruhlman calls it “a lovely, loving, fascinating, and, most all, useful book all lovers of the craft should be grateful for."

Best Writing: Pure Charcuterie: The Craft and Poetry of Curing Meats at Home

Charcuterie manufacturing app
Charcuterie manufacturing app

Over the past fifteen years, author Meredith Leigh has worked as a farmer, butcher, chef, teacher, and non-profit executive director. It’s no wonder, then, that her guide to making charcuterie is chock-full of meditations on frugality, respect for animals, the parts of the animal we think of as “lesser,” and the joy of creating by way of food.

Leigh shares tips on sourcing meat, necessary gear, techniques, and recipes. Other subjects include how to cure meat with koji (the fungus used to ferment miso), tips for working with wild game, and how to create a more equitable food system that generates less waste and more flavor. A mix of memoir, how-to, and a collection of recipes.

Learn How to Cook With Caul Fat

Best for Charcuterie Spreads: Pâté, Confit, Rillette: Recipes from the Craft of Charcuterie

Charcuterie manufacturing app
Charcuterie manufacturing app

Maybe you don’t want to brave the nail-biting process of fermenting salami in your basement, but you do want to whip up an impressive pâté. Here’s the book for you. Polcyn and Ruhlman team up again in Pâté, Confit, Rillette to share techniques, tips, and traditional recipes to make your own impressive charcuterie spread without worrying about the curing process. Learn how to make duck pâté en terrine, Asian-spiced pâté, foie gras en torchon, pig “butter,” crispy stuffed duck necks, rabbit rillettes, butternut squash confit, and more.

How to Make an Epic Charcuterie Board

Final Verdict

“Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing” is the best starter guide to making charcuterie at home, but lovers of literature shouldn’t miss “Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery,” and if you really want to become a charcuterie master, “Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages” is indispensable.

Charcuterie manufacturing app:

Smoked Maple Bacon

Charcuterie manufacturing app
Charcuterie manufacturing app

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)630Calories60gFat11gCarbs11gProtein See Full Nutritional Guidelines

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Homemade smoked maple bacon is easy to prepare. Just remember that bacon is always cured with a sweet and savory mixture of sugar, salt, and pepper. You can use a smoker for the finishing touch. If you want to take your bacon from good to great, use real maple syrup instead of sugar.

Why make bacon at home? You get to decide what goes into it (meat from pastured organically-fed animals) and what does not go into it (nitrites, which are added to most commercial bacon).

Nitrites are sold to the home cook in blends called "curing salt" or "Prague powder." They preserve the bright pink color of the layers of meat in bacon and similar meats. They also help to eliminate bacteria. In very small amounts they are considered safe to consume, but they are a potential health hazard.

If you opt to use nitrates, remember that the finished bacon will not keep as long in the refrigerator as bacon made with curing salt. Freeze any that you plan to keep for longer than a week.

Here is the basic method for curing maple-flavored bacon. The instructions include tips for getting the smoked flavor just right.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds pork belly
  • 1/2 cup grade A or B maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt (or other coarse, non-iodized salt)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • Liquid smoke for basting
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon curing salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Rinse the pork belly under cold water.
  3. Pat it dry with paper towels or a clean dishcloth.
  4. Combine the maple syrup, salt, pepper, and curing salt (if using) in a small bowl.
  5. Rub the seasoning mixture into all sides of the pork belly, using your scrupulously cleaned hands. Spend a couple of minutes massaging the seasoning/curing mixture into the meat.
  6. Place the pork belly, along with any leftover curing mixture, into a plastic bag and seal it shut. Store it lengthwise in the refrigerator for 10 to 14 days, turning the bag over occasionally. The bacon should be fully cured at this point, with a firm texture and no soft spots.
  7. Preheat oven to 200 F. Rinse the bacon.
  8. Again pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels or a clean, dry dishtowel.
  9. Place the bacon on a rack over a pan and roast the cured bacon in a 200 F oven until the internal temperature reaches 150 F. This should take about two hours.
  10. Remove from oven and baste the cured and roasted bacon with the liquid smoke. Use a pastry brush to evenly coat all sides an allow to set on counter to air dry for 30 minutes.
  11. Store the bacon in a tightly sealed container or bag in the refrigerator for up to a month or in the freezer for up to a year.

Curing Meat Warning

Curing meat requires specific expertise and failure to cure meat properly may result in sickness or death. If you have no experience in this area, we advise you to consult an expert to teach you proper techniques and applications.

Variation with Real Smoke

  • If you have a smoker or want to make a simple smoker, you can use it to smoke your bacon. Use hickory or apple wood shavings for the best flavor.
  • Skip the oven roasting described above and smoke the cured bacon until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 F, which should take one to two hours. No liquid smoke is needed with this method.

Great Resources on Curing Meat

Since curing meat requires such a specific skill set, otherwise, it can lead to illness or worse, we highly recommend consulting with an expert to teach you proper techniques. We found that the following four publications are super helpful guides and go in-depth about just such processes, procedures, and techniques:

Saucisson Sec

This classic French sausage is a great entry point for the novice to charcuterie. The technique is straightforward, the seasonings simple, and the curing can be done in a relatively forgiving environment, like a basement or garage, not requiring specialized equipment.

As with all cured meats, though, some specialized ingredients are involved, like dextrose, curing salt (also known as Insta Cure or Prague powder), and casings. Curing salt contains sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate, which stave off the development of the bacteria that cause botulism, and is therefore essential to the safety of this recipe.

A stand mixer with a meat grinding attachment will work fine for this recipe. Remember to keep everything very cold at all times. The meat should always be cold enough that it hurts your hands to handle too long. If it begins to warm, get everything in the coldest part of the refrigerator or even the freezer for a few minutes, repeating as necessary.

As the sausage hangs, the meat ferments. White mold will form on the outside of the casing. This is normal and desirable. After about three weeks, you'll have a firm salami-like sausage with balanced flavor and a sour tang from fermentation. Simply slice and enjoy with some crisp French bread and cornichon pickles. The French also enjoy it with very sharp Dijon mustard.

The recipe comes from The New Charcuterie Cookbook, by chef Jamie Bissonnette.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 pounds/2 kg pork meat
  • 1/2 pound/225 g fatback
  • 1 1/2 ounces/40 g kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 ounce/10 g black pepper (coarsely ground)
  • 1/2 ounce/15 g ​dextrose
  • 1/4 ounce/6 g curing salt no. 2
  • 2/3 ounce/18 g garlic (minced to a paste)
  • 1/4 cup/59 ml white wine (dry)
  • 8 feet hog casing (or sheep casing, soaked in tepid water for 2 hours before use)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Chill the metal parts of your meat grinder in the freezer.
  2. Set up the meat grinder. Grind the pork meat and fatback using a large plate (3/4 inch/1.9 cm) into a mixing bowl.
  3. Use a paddle or spoon to mix in all of the other ingredients.
  4. Keep the casing wet in a bowl of water while you work with it. Slide the casing onto the funnel but don’t make a knot. Put the mixture in the stuffer and pack it down.
  5. Begin extruding. As the mixture comes out, pull the casing back over the nozzle and tie a knot.
  6. Extrude one full coil, about 48 inches (1.3 m) long, and tie it off.
  7. Crimp with fingers to separate sausages into 12-inch (30-cm) lengths. Twist the casing once one way, then the other between each sausage link. Repeat this along the entire coil.
  8. Once the sausage is cased, use a sterile needle to prick any air pockets. Prick each sausage 4 or 5 times. Repeat the casing process to use the remaining sausage.
  9. Hang the sausages to cure 18 to 20 days at 60 F to 75 F / 18 C to 21 C.
  10. Once cured, the sausages can be refrigerated, wrapped, for up to 6 months.

Curing Meat Warning

Curing meat requires specific expertise and failure to cure meat properly may result in sickness or death. If you have no experience in this area, we advise you to consult an expert to teach you proper techniques and applications.

Book free demo

farmsoft traceability

Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more