How to Make Salami in a Smoker

I’ve enjoyed smoking salami in various smokers for decades, here is a breakdown of the different methods.

Out of all the cured meats I make, salami and smoked salami are probably the least known. Often when you say ‘smoker’, it means cooking and smoking – otherwise known as Slow and Low Smoking, hot Smoking, or indirect cooking/smoking. There are many types of salami you can make in a smoker.

This weekend I made 50lb of salamis like Italian Soppressata, Spanish Chorizo, and Hungarian Cold Smoked. All of these were fermented and dried types. I only used a smoker to Cold Smoke the Hungarian paprika-rich style.

What I want to write about is: which smoker for which salami to demystify this topic.

Hot Smoking salami needs a cooking internal temperature, Cold Smoking is a form of flavor, preservation, and drying of salami to achieve preservation & flavor.

A fast version is a Hot Smoked cooked salami in a Hot Smoker. A beer stick salami is a type of cooked/smoked salami or a fermented and Cold Smoked salami that takes 1-6 months to dry out to completion.

I will explain both types because a ‘smoker’ can basically do smoking and cooking until an internal temperature is hit.

A Cold Smoker’s temperature surrounding the salami is below 30°C or 86°F. In effect, it is drying the salami with cold smoke around it.

  • Hot Smoked Salami in a smoker
  • Fermented and Dry Cured Salami with a Cold Smoker
Hot Smoker Salami Left / Fermented Dry Cured Cold Smoked Right

I’ll go over 3 variations of the cold smoked salami as well:

  • Fermenting & Cold Smoking at the Same Time as Drying
  • Fermenting First, Then Cold Smoking, Then Drying
  • No Fermenting, Cold Smoking Then Drying

Many dry-cured salamis are not smoked at all, depending on recipes such as Picante, Soppressata, Genoa, Felino, Chorizo Cantimpalos (dry-cured type), and many more.

I haven’t done a video on smoked salami in a smoker, so I will link to several types mentioned above and make a few comments about each.

How to Make Salami in a Smoker in Detail

Firstly a summary – Secondly an explanation in detail:

How To Make Salami in a Hot Smoker

Minced or ground meat is bonded with salt, spices, and flavors, then stuffed into casings, either natural or synthetic. Once stuffed, the salami is placed in an indirect heat Hot Smoker and the salami is cooked and smoked at a low temperature until the meat’s internal temperature has been reached.

To Make Salami in a Cold Smoker

Minced or ground meat is bonded with salt, spices, and flavors, then stuffed into casings either natural or synthetic. Once stuffed, the salami can be fermented with a starter culture at a certain humidity/temperature, this may take 1-3 days. Then, the salami is hung in a drying chamber or conducive environment with relatively high humidity of 65-80% and a temperature of 50-60°F/10-15°C.

No Heat, Just a pellet tube smoker at the bottom of the gas grill with wooden skewers!

Hot Smokers to make Salami (indirect heat cooking essential)

  • Pellet Grill Smoker
  • Any Charcoal Smoker – Kettle, Drum etc.
  • Electric or Gas Vertical Smoker (ie. Masterbuilt)
  • Gas Grill set on Indirect Heat with a Smoke Generator or Pellet Tube or Maze Cold Smoker

Basically, anything that can do the low cooking temperature whilst smoking at the same time.

Hot Smoked Salami in a Smoker

  1. Mince/Grind Meat
  2. Mix Salt, Spices, and any other ingredients
  3. Mix and bind together to release myosin and tackiness
  4. Stuff into Casing – Natural or Synthetic
  5. Prick to release air captured in between casing and meat
  6. Low-Temperature Cooking either with Indirect Hot Smoke, Oven, or Simmering Water
  7. Cool, once the internal temperature has been met, 65°C / 149°F for pork

Using an indirect Hot Smoker at low temperature to cook a salami, is in a way, similar to making fresh sausages and then putting them on the gas grill or in the frying pan.

The main difference, I found is, that you are smoking and cooking the sausage salami at a low temperature to ideally not render the chunks of pork fat inside.

You can get some delicious flavored hot smoked sausages this way. Anything that you hot or cold smoke, if placed in a container in the fridge overnight the smoke flavor will become more pronounced.

And Smokier!

Fermenting & Cold Smoking at the Same Time Then Drying

  1. Mince/Grind Meat
  2. Mix Salt, Spices, and any other ingredients
  3. Potentially add a Fermentation Starter Culture to Acidify Meat /lower pH
  4. Mix and bind together to release myosin and tackiness
  5. Stuff into Casing – Natural or Synthetic
  6. Prick to release air captured in between casing and meat
  7. Brush Mold 600 for exterior white protection, potentially mold
  8. Ferment to preferred conditions of fermentation culture – 12-72 hours (combining cold smoking into this, is possible) – often 90% Humidity – 68-86°F /20-30°C
  9. Hang Salami in environmental conditions to suit drying – 75-80% humidity / 53-59°F /12-14°C with airflow exchange
  10. Of course, the meat has to be kept very chilled until the fermentation stage.

Fermenting First, Then Cold Smoking, Then Drying

  1. Mince/Grind Meat
  2. Mix Salt, Spices, and any other ingredients
  3. Potentially add a Fermentation Starter Culture to Acidify Meat /lower pH
  4. Mix and bind together to release myosin and tackiness
  5. Stuff into Casing – Natural or Synthetic
  6. Prick to release air captured in between casing and meat
  7. Brush Mold 600 for exterior white protection, potentially mold
  8. Ferment to preferred conditions of fermentation culture – 12-72 hours- often 90% Humidity – 68-86°F /20-30°C
  9. Cold smoke salami for 4 hours to 30 hours drying at the same time. Approx. 59°F / 15°C or and 75% humidity ideally.
  10. Hang Salami in environmental conditions to suit drying – 75-80% humidity / 53-59°F /12-14°C with airflow exchange

Important: Keep the meat very chilled until the fermentation stage.

Fermenting Spanish and Italian Dry Cured Salami – Soppressata and Chorizo

Read this: if you want to get into making salami, but struggle to find how to make salami in a smoker.

There seems to be confusion between a dry fermented- or a hot smoked/cooked salami. This was evident when I did some analysis of the salami kits available in the United States.

To start with, it is best to check out cold smoking here .

My best advice would be, to first check out ‘whole muscle meat curing’ first before stepping into fermented salami.

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