DIY Fermentation box

Fresh salami and chorizo that just went into the fermentation chamber


For salami type sausages you need a few days of relatively high heat and high humidity to develop the right flavor profile. This can be done in a simple fermentation box or your oven for that matter. I prefer a dedicated box for it since it is easier to clean.

Most of my dried cured sausages are fermented. The fermentation process makes is safer to cure the sausage and it gives is a special flavor profile.

My fermentation box is made from a cheap storage box from HomeDepot. It has untreated wooden bars that were pushed through holes that I drilled. The holes are of the same diameter as the bars so they fit nice and snug without any gaps.

Fermentation benefits

  1. The fermentation will start to transform the meat into salami

  2. The fermentation will drop the pH into safe areas of 5.3-ish.

  3. If you have an external mold culture then white bloom should show up.

It is important to have the right amount of time for the fermentation.

Too little time and the pH will not drop enough which can be unsafe as well as impact on the flavor. Lower temperature means that it takes a longer time to get the pH drop but that time can also be extended safely.

Too long time and the high temperature will become a problem for unwanted bacterial growth.

Here is a good write-up that you should read and fully understand before you ferment any sausages!

There’s a wealth of information in this area. Pick up a book. Join a salume Facebook group, and look up more details. Do not wing it when it comes to the temperature in charcuterie making.

You want to get great-tasting products for your family and friends without any risk to their health!

white mold bloom

Fermentation chamber with temperature and humidity controller


Now with your curing chamber guidelines ready, you should dive into the art of charcuterie making. There are books to read, and forums to follow.

If you have a facebook account I can highly recommend the group The Salt Cured Pig. They have a rule to only allow charcuterie pictures that are accompanied with recipes. The search function works great and you can find a couple of curing chamber setups similar to the one I have described here.

I would suggest looking up the recommended books in the Salt Cured Pig’s inventory and files. Another noteworthy Facebook group is Cured Meats and Sausage Making with a similar group policy. A member of both groups, Rob, created a great post about setting up his curing chamber that influenced me to a great extent when I created my setup.

For a beginner, I recommend the easy reading and inspirational book Dry-Curing Pork: Make Your Own Salami, Pancetta, Coppa, Prosciutto, and More.

If you are interested but not yet committed enough to setup your own chamber then there are other options available. UMAI and (Europe) make bags that can be used for charcuterie making in a regular fridge.

Spanish chorizo varieties, salchichon and several Italian salamis. In the middle we see coppa and lomo two of my whole muscle favorites that are easy to make.

Lomo and coppa