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Ping: Stike

Vincent ChaseVincent Chase Posts: 149
edited 11:04AM in EggHead Forum
Have you ever made guanciale (hog jowl bacon)? I'm looking at Batali's recipe from Babbo ( as a reference. I know you have hung cured meats in the basement and was wondering how concerned I should be with the temperatures. Batali says it shouldn't be above 60 degrees where the meat is hung and the temp down there now is 57, although it's still cool here in April. It stays pretty cool down there in general although I've never actually taken the temperature in the summer months.

Look forward to any insight and advice you can give, if you find a free moment. Thanks!


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    You don't want it hot and humid, but honestly, all that talk about humidity and temperature (whether aging or curing) is about quality, not safety.

    You don't want it so dry that it dries too quickly, nor do you want it to get moldy (though most mold is safe too).

    The more I look into it, the more I realize that these differences in humidity and temp are what are responsible for style, or terroir.

    Many warnings about prosciutto, for example. It 'must' be a certain temp, it 'must' be a certain humidity. And yet there's the family who has been making prosciutto for centuries and who keeps them in an open-air unconditioned barn, arguing that the changes from season to season are what give their prosciutto its character

    In short (too late for that, right?), 'room temp' is forgiving. If it is warmer and more humid, watch for mold. If drier, make sure it doesn't get too dry

    Guanciale is next on the list. I have a farm-fresh source. After Easter, we'll be doing them, along with a let of prosciutto and country ham

    If you had a wine cellar, that'd be great, but some swings in temp are no biggie. The guanciale will not need to hang very long anyway
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Thanks Stike! I called a hog farmer a little while ago and will be picking up the cheeks and some leaf lard on Monday, after they finish breaking down the pig. I'll make it a point to document my experiment. Hope you have some time down the road to post any feedback on your guanciale as well. While I have you here, will you be attending the New Eggland Fest?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i don't think i'm going to be going to the NH eggfest.
    but i will keep you posted if i do the guanciale. looking forward to doing the prosciutto and ham and letting it go a year. starting next year's easter ham next week ;)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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