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BullsEye

Duck Prosciutto

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I decided to make the prosciutto I was talking about in an earlier post and it came out amazing! All you need is a duck breast, cheese cloth, cotton string, 2 cups kosher salt per breast and 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper. I put each breast on top of a cup of salt then covered with an additional cup and let it cure for 24 hours in the fridge.DSCN0655.jpgAfter that I rinsed the breasts and made sure there wasn't any leftover salt on them. They where firm and they had deepened in color a little.DSCN0656.jpgI then sprinkled a 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper on each side and rolled them up in the cheese cloth and tied them up to hang in the kitchen.DSCN0657.jpgI weighed each breast as they would be done when they lost 30% of their weight after the salt cure and marked the weight that they would be finished at.DSCN0659.jpgI hung them to dry in my window for 7 days like this.DSCN0658.jpgOn the 7th day I opened them up and threw out the cloth and sliced a few pieces up. DSCN0790.jpgIt tasted great! You don't get a large slice of meat but the flavor was intense. The fat tasted great and the meat had a great consistency. My only problem was I couldn't slice the meat thin enough. I guess if I had a meat slicer that would have been different but it really wasn't necessary.

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You did it! I could hang it in a refrigerator but out in the open air scares me. The final product looks good. A nice slicer is a thing of beauty to work with. I have a Hobart that is great. But my father-in-law has a slicer they bought at Costco for under $50 and it works great. I'm all about the toys I guess.

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I'm all about the toys I guess.
John, we all know that. :lol:

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You did it! I could hang it in a refrigerator but out in the open air scares me. The final product looks good. A nice slicer is a thing of beauty to work with. I have a Hobart that is great. But my father-in-law has a slicer they bought at Costco for under $50 and it works great. I'm all about the toys I guess.
You could use a curing box but the idea is that the temperature stays with 60-70 degrees and the humidity is supposed to be a certain percent. I forgot how much since I don't have a curing box for my meats.

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I'm going to have to try this. As John said, is there a risk hanging in the open air like this?

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Jeff, Google it and read a few different ways some with temps and all of the steps. I will try it in an old refrigerator I have that can keep it cool. But open air worries me unless it was smoked in cool smoke. But I still eat hamburger and according to everything you read anyone that does should be dead from e coli. :good:

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They say smoking is actually worse because your bringing the meat to a warm temperature that isnt hot enough to kill the bacteria but rather help it incubate. I read the book pictured above Charcuterie and it explains a lot in regards to curing meats. I believe that the salt really is the key to not having problems with the meat air drying. I have a fridge that I would like to set up for curing meats but when I made Salami a few months ago I tried the fridge and there isnt enough air circulation so the sausage actually was too dry on the outside and too moist on the inside which can cause spoiling and or make bad salami. I used DC cure to make sure the meat didnt develop botulism which is necessary for ground porks but aparently no so for duck. I also made some duck confite with some of the breasts that I had(not pictured above) that came out great too! Get the book its totally worth it the author actually has a website showing how to make the Duck Prosciutto so you can look him up too.

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Okay, but I meant cold smoking. I have a smoker that can do heat or outside air temp smoking. Have you ever tried smoked duck? It is something else. As for the fridge idea I would have a very small fan inside to move air. My wife wants me to dig a root cellar so maybe that will turn into my hanging meat locker.

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Okay, but I meant cold smoking. I have a smoker that can do heat or outside air temp smoking. Have you ever tried smoked duck? It is something else. As for the fridge idea I would have a very small fan inside to move air. My wife wants me to dig a root cellar so maybe that will turn into my hanging meat locker.
I actually smoked the last ducks I had from last season, a few weeks ago. Man, was it tasty. Regular hot smoking though.

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You need to hot smoke duck normally because you aren't packing it in salt like you would before cold smoking. The salt helps with the bacteria but you get that wonderful smoke flavor too.

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A root cellar is a great idea I am in an apartment so I will have to wait for the time being. I love smoked duck. I use to be a cook at a restaurant and we would have smoked duck and we would deep fry the duck skin like pork rinds. OH so good! Do you know what most fridge temperatures are? Do you think you can get a fridge up to 65 degrees? If I turn my fridge into a meat curing box I would put a fan in it too. I just haven't figured how I really want to do it. But since temps are cooling to curing temperatures outside I am not to worried for the time being as long as the meat stays out of the sun. Cold smoking is another idea. I need a smoker too. Let me know how the root cellar project unfolds I would be curious to see how you build it.

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A fridge will easily go to 65 degrees but like you say temps outside are cooling now too. And the likelihood of flies and insect isn't as prevalent as the temps drop. Amateur chef here too, but once you are bitten by the cooking bug it can be a tasty experience. I started out as a kid with Luhr-Jensen Big Chief and Little Chief smokers mainly doing fish and some small game. Then moved on to old refrigerator conversion smokers. They are very cheap to make and work better than some commercially made smokers. I got a used BBQ smoker from fishwrestler here on the forum a couple of years back and repaired and modified it. It made the best brisket.Since we grow every sort of vegetable and fruit a root cellar would be handy. I'm thinking of putting in a basement sort of structure under one of my horse stalls. Since the stall structure is built from cinder block I'll probably have to pour concrete foundation walls to hold it up. I've already stored some of our produce under the house as it stays in the low 70's max even in the heat of the summer and down to around 60 in the winter. I used my weather station remote temp probe to keep a daily temperature charting on the under house temps. Sends it to my computer and I was surprised how stable the temps were.

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