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DRY CURING A COOKED SAUSAGE

Dry curing cooked sausage is a process widely practiced by the small sausage makers throughout the country. What exactly does this mean? For instance, we could simply make a smoked kielbasa that is ready to eat.We can, however, take this sausage one step further and prolong its keeping qualities by drying it out,much the same way as we would a pepperoni.These sausages would be kept about 45-50ºF. at 70-80% humidity.What we have here is a sausage that is ready to eat at all times. But we are removing moisture equal to about 30-35% of its original weight.This can take up to two months at the  above mentioned temperatures without spoilage. During this time the sausage may be eaten at any time, as it already has been cooked to destroy tichinae and cured to prevent botulism.

If the sausage does get some mold on it, it is simply washed off with a vinegar solutiln, or the mold may simply be left on and the casing with the mold peeled off before the sausage is eaten.

The 40-50ºF. temperatures and high humidity are excellent conditions for mold to form. Be sure that during the dry-curing process, sausages are spread from 3-4” apart to allow moisture to escape. It is doubtful that this cooked dry-cured sausage would last the two-month period, as you would most likely eat it by then.

Remember, your attic is not the place to dry-cure a sausage.The humitity and coolness of a cellar is much better.