Homemade Schinken or Prosciutto

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I pride myself to have mastered the art of smoking a German Schinken, similar as the Italian Prosciutto.

The difference is that Schinken is cold smoked and dried and ready in about eight weeks, versus Italian Prosciutto is hung/dried for about a year

You will have to follow many steps, also buy equipment to make Schinken. First, you will need a smoker. They can be bought at Costco, Sams, Lowes or Home Depot. If you don’t have any of these stores, smokers can also be found on Amazon.

I have a Masterbuilt smoker and a cold smoking attachment. Also see Masterbuilt store online. Cold Smoker attachment and can be bought here on Amazon

Temperature and humidity play an important role in curing meats and involves the preservation of meat through the use of sugar, salt, herbs and spices to draw out moisture.

The temperature for curing meat should be between 50 to 60 degrees, if you have a basement, that would be ideal. It allows the enzymes in the meat to break down proteins and fats, creating the flavors we love in the Schinken and Prosciutto. Temperature is not the only important factor when curing meat.

Drawing out moisture changes the flavor of the meat and extends the shelf life dramatically.

To prevent the meat from drying out too quickly, humidity levels while drying should be between 60% to 70%!. That allows the good texture and growth of good bacteria.

The Smoking process:

The meat goes through this process to extract moisture and inhibit bacterial growth. The cured meat is exposed to smoke, which imparts the distinctive smoky flavor. If you are smoking the meat, it will take time, depending on the product hours to days. There is a trick is to expose the food to smoke. The meat internal temperature needs to be kept lower than 100 F. This is usually accomplished by keeping the food in an unheated chamber while smoke from the “Cold Smoking” attachment (see on Amazon below)

You need curing salt. Buy it right here on Amazon!

The cold smoking technique goes back a long way, and was often used to preserve meat through the winter when food was otherwise scarce. In Germany, farms and homes in villages often included a Smokehouse, a separate building for the purpose of smoking and storing meats.

Since I usually start smoking Schinken or Speck, and fish like Salmon or Mackerel early November, I had a lot of smoked goods as gifts for Christmas. I vacuum pack, so it will last least 6 month in the refrigerator. It taste great with my Bauernbrot

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