The Ranting Reviewer does not get paid or receive any revenue from manufacturers or retailers of products reviewed. I occasionally receive products that I am asked to use and see what I think. I take a look, try them out and tell you all about them.
UMAi Dry. What can that be?
Drybag Steak? I am interested!
Inside was a kit from UMAi Dry which allows you to dry cure any number of meats from artisan Italian hams and salami to aging steaks to bring out their top flavor.
When I purchased my house, I found that the original owner had a smoker in the garage and in one of the rooms in the basement there were dozens of nails in the beams overhead for hanging smoked meats. While I no longer had the space for curing meats, I had the desire to try it out.
One of the things you will need is a vacuum sealer. Lucky for me UMAi sent one along.
I decided to try it out making some of my favorite cured Italian meats. The first is capicola. This is made from the coppa (neck) muscle of a pork shoulder.
I also wanted to make some prosciutto. Start with an uncured ham and trim off the skin.
The neck muscle is trimmed and ready for seasoning.
Same with the ham.
I purchased a coffee grinder many years ago and when I replaced my coffee maker with a Keurig, I repurposed the grinder for spices.
The UMAi Dry charcuterie kit comes with curing spice that you will need for the process. Liberally rub both the curing and other spices over the meat.
Bag it up in a resealable bag and let it sit in the fridge for a week.
After the week is up, rinse off the curing and spices.
Here my neighbor Bill is applying paprika on the outside of the coppa.
You want to tie the meat up so it retains a good shape, but don’t tie it too tight or it will be difficult to remove the string after curing.
Put the meat in a vacuum seal bag and use your sealer on the wet setting.
All of the air is removed.
A double seal on the bag is a good idea to ensure the seal remains tight. The meat goes back in the refrigerator. It is important for air to circulate around the meat, so it is a good idea to put it on a small rack.
The pieces of the ham also follow a similar path.
It is also tied.
Once out of the fridge the first time (after two weeks), it is also rinsed.
And vacuum sealed.
Six weeks later, the capicola looks like this.
The prosciutto like this after two months.
For many of these meats you want to get a very thin slice. Lucky for me, I had temporary access to a professional slicer.
Isn’t that a beautiful piece of prosciutto? The marbling of fat throughout is perfect. See how translucent it is on the left from the thin slicing?
A cut of the capicola for you. Gorgeous!
Look at how it just glistens. The paprika delivers that great taste.
Both cuts of meat were really inexpensive (under $2 a pound each). To purchase the cured meats you are well over $10 a pound (and in many cases approaching $13 or $14).
MY TAKE: The UMAi system is designed to take a variety of meats (like the charcuterie or salami) and cure them. They also have a process for dry aging steaks (that is next up for me). You have to buy the meat, a very few spices and the kit. The rest is time and a little space in your fridge. As the meats age they will lose 30% of their weight, but you will have a high quality result. I loved it. It was interesting and I had the “old world” pride in curing my own meat. If you have someone in your family that loves to experiment in the kitchen, this is a great gift. Because it opens itself up to trying so many different things, it will be the gift that keeps giving for a very long time (plus you hopefully will get to eat the results)! Check out all the great options here.