The Best Dry Curing Bags to Make Charcuterie At Home
**Dry aging bags for steak and other beef products are available for purchase on umaidry.com**
When it comes to crafting delicious charcuterie, you only need 5 things:
Dry curing bags
Some spices and curing salts
Your kitchen fridge
Time (and patience)
Most people start out with one of our Easy Kits which come with everything you need to make 5lbs of your favorite charcuterie:
3 UMAi Dry Curing Bags, size Large (8×18 in / 200×450 mm)
5 VacMouse Adapter Strips
A spice blend specially formulated for 5lbs of meat
Premixed curing salts
One UMAi Dry Easy Kit helps you make up to five pounds of your chosen charcuterie type. With the Kit, you skip the math, do not need a scale, and do not need to buy or blend the half-dozen spices needed for a traditional capicola recipe. Our Easy Kits include three UMAi Dry Charcuterie Large bags and one packet each of the Premixed Curing Salts Blend and Spice Blend–each perfectly formulated for five pounds of meat. Times might not be as simple today as they were in the “old days” but these charcuterie making kits offer a simple way recreate old world flavors in the comfort of your own home.
Of course, you don’t have to purchase an Easy Charcuterie Making Kit to make charcuterie at home. You can buy all your dry curing components separately. Find everything from the dry curing bags in 2 sizes (small dry curing bags for 2-4 lbs of meat and large dry curing bags for 6-8 lbs of meat), to the curing salts and even spice blends for purchase.
Easy Capicola Making Kit
Who doesn’t love capicola? You don’t have to be Italian to enjoy a few slices of melt-in-your-mouth “gabagool.” If you are Italian, you might remember an uncle or grandfather curing the meat in the spring and hanging the homemade capicola in the cellar to dry. Spring was often the only season to cure capicola as the temperature and humidity of root cellars and caves in the Old Country was. They would make enough capicola to enjoy year round.
Easy Bresaola Making Kit
Everything you need to make 5 lbs of world-class Bresaola (also called Viande de Grisson) right in the comfort of your home refrigerator.
Easy Lonzino Making Kit
Everything you need to make 5 lbs of world-class Lonzino right in the comfort of your home refrigerator. Roll it in smoked paprika and it’s Lomo.
Sure, there are other dry cure bags on the market, but UMAi Dry makes the original dry curing bags. Founded in 2007, UMAi Dry offers product support directly through umaidry.com/help, and access to an exclusive Facebook group so you can crowd-source anything from tips and tricks, to recipes and recommendations. Help and support for any of your dry aging or dry curing projects is never more than a click away.
DrybagSteak has been in the dry age meat business for over 15 years, and our dry curing bags for making charcuterie at home are the best on the market. Whether you want to explore the finer flavors of traditional meat preparation or are looking to impress guests at your next holiday gathering, it’s easy to get great results dry curing your own meats at home.
The process of dry curing meat is very simple, but understanding the science and logistics of the process will improve your experience. Let’s talk about the four things you need to dry age meat in more detail:
Untrimmed meat. Untrimmed, untouched meat produces optimal dry curing results. Start by selecting an appropriate cut of meat for your project. For example, if you want to make Pancetta, you need pork belly. If you want to make a pork Capicola, also knows as “gabagool,” you need to buy pork shoulder or pork butt. Making Lonzino requires a pork tenderloin (and rolling your Lonzino in paprika is how you get Lomo).
Your meat should be in the original processor packaging (the thicker plastic often stamped with USDA, not meat that has been wrapped in thin plastic wrap on a styrofoam tray) whenever possible. Why? Because the untrimmed, processor-packaged beef is covered in a gooey, moist “meat glue” which is essential for the UMAi Dry membrane to bond with the surface of the UMAi Dry bag.
Dry curing bags. UMAi Dry age bags for meat are essentially a breathable membrane that creates the perfect dry-aging environment for your charcuterie. The bags are designed to age entire cuts of meat in your fridge for 28, 35, 45 days or more. During the aging period, the meat is protected from mold, bacteria, and odors. The charcuterie making process has two parts:
– 1 –
Curing: Coat the meat with cure and spices and leave it in a ziplock bag for two weeks to cure.
– 2 –
Aging: Seal the cured piece of meat into UMAi Dry, and place on an open wire rack in your fridge for 6-8 weeks.
Your kitchen fridge. Once sealed in the UMAi Dry bag, your meat should be placed in a modern, full size refrigerator, one that effectively controls the humidity to draw the moisture out of the inner environment of the refrigerator. What does that mean? It means that the beer fridge in the garage, or the wine fridge in the basement are not optimal environments for your meat project. This is because the compressor on the fridge doesn’t run on those fridges like it does on your kitchen fridge. Basically, you should be using your best fridge for your this project. Also, you will need to place the meat on a metal rack to facilitate air flow into the UMAi Dry age bag. Check out this Copper-plated Grid Rack, a best seller and customer favorite!
Time (and patience). Fun Fact: the moisture evaporation stage lasts for about 7-10 days. The tenderization and flavor development stage lasts as long as the meat is being dry aged. Dry cured meats are ready when they have lost 30-40% of their original weight. Within 6-8 weeks (or longer for larger pieces of meat) that pork belly or pork shoulder will transform into delectable meat candy. It’s worth the wait!
How to use dry curing bags
Do I need a vacuum sealer to dry cure meat?
UMAi Dry does not require a vacuum seal to make charcuterie at home. There is an important differentiation between vacuum sealing and sealing UMAi Dry with a vacuum sealer — the purpose of sealing UMAi Dry with a vacuum sealer is not to keep bacteria out; it’s simply to bring the bag in contact with the meat surface. With traditional vacuum sealing, users need to be concerned with contamination and bacteria which is why “air pockets” can be dangerous. With UMAi Dry, air pockets pose no problem. When sealing your steak in the UMAi Dry bag, you only need to adhere 70-80% of the meat surface to the bag.