Old World Meat Crafting with Umai Dry

Show Notes

On this episode of Huntavore we sink our teeth into next level meat crafting.  Nick digitally sits down with Thea Lopatka, owner of Umai Dry.  Together they discuss old world meat crafting from the home kitchen.  Creating salamis, dry sausage, and dry aged large cuts of meats in a safe, easy to produce method of sealing ground meat or whole muscle into a synthetic bag or casing that allows air and moisture to pass through.  After talking about how beneficial bacteria, lowering pH, cure, and salt work as layers of safety, the discussion opens up to seasonings, rates of drying, and being able to enjoy and share a very unique treat that will certainly turn some heads, and get mouths watering.  Dig out those old chemistry notes, and make space in your fridge for this episode of Huntavore.

Umai Dry is a family owned business located in Minnesota, They were given the opportunity to work with a synthetic material that allows air and moisture to pass through and apply it to a use with food.  Thea, someone who is very educated on the subject of meat crafting, explains that by vacuum sealing a whole muscle cut in a bag, the meat can be dry aged.  A process that used to be reserved for curing chambers that needed to be cleaned and humidity regulated to prevent hard casing.  While it can be a good investment for a hobbyist meat crafter, most of us have a refrigerator in our kitchens.  The fine pores in the bag regulate moisture loss and oxidation, so by using a frost free refrigerator that conditions the air with a fan and compressor the aging can happen in your kitchen.  For charcuterie, salami, and dry sausage they process is much the same, with some added steps in the mixing process.  For salami and dry sausage, mixing in a bacterium culture and dextrose slurry works on the meat much like yeast works (yeast raising the dough with CO2, bacterium culture lowering the pH).

Note:  When I was making a batch of sujuk dry sausage I started in the garage fridge in an uninsulated shop.  Thea recommended bringing the sujuk into the house fridge. Merely for the reason that the fan and compressor would be working more than the garage fridge.  After making the switch I had my first sausage get to target weight (10 weeks).  Nick, is waiting 10 weeks to eat dry sausage worth it?  Honest opinion, ABSOLUTELY!

Need some resources: DrybagSteak.com

Dry Aging & Charcuterie with UMAi Dry

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Show Transcript