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62 responses to “Lonzino, Air Cured Pork Loin”

  1. Miles

    Great to see write up’s like these. I’ve managed to get hold of a copy of Ruhlman & Polcyn’s ‘Charcuterie’ over here and it’s a great read. If our two countries are supposed to be great allies how come we can’t get more of your books?!
    Happy curing.

  2. Kevin

    You had me at ‘cured pork’.
    My interest in cured items is at an all-time high. We’re moving in April and plans are underway for the construction of both a wine cellar, and a cellar appropriate for dry-curing meats. I cannot wait. I will likely be digging through your posts later this year to give this a shot.

  3. Charcuterista

    Mmm…air-cured wild boar. This sounds lovely and intense. And makes my experiments with bacon (and currently pancetta) seem tame…

  4. Charcuteire

    I’m still happily experimenting with Ruhlman and Polcyn, but have some trouble finding decent meat. I do plan on checking out a butcher I just found about 50 miles north of me.

  5. Kindred spirit

    When you say pork “loin” do you mean the tender loins or the backstraps? It just so happens I am in possession of some Flordia wild piggy that fell to the spear back in January. I think this would be a noble application.

  6. Flounder

    How important is the humidity for making lonzino? Here in MN, my basement gets nice and cool in the winter (& summer for that matter), but the humidity drops to around 40 to 50%. Any ideas????

  7. Michael Massimino

    Great blog, thanks for the info! I have one now in the fridge with the cure on it going on a week now. I’m planning on curing it in a cooler in my basement. That way I can control the humidity because it is bone dry down there naturally.

  8. Ted

    Hi Hank, I’m dry curing Lonzino, I’m at day 20 of 30, I read above that white mold is good to see on the meat, I’m starting to see some on mine, I didn’t use a casing, I followed the advice of someone who said that they brushed olive oil at day 1 of dry-curing. My question is 1. Should I let the white mold build up until day 30 or should I rub it off with a vinegar/water mix? 2. At the end of the dry-curing time, should the white mold be taken off before eating?


  9. kevin

    Love the blog.
    Just got done building a little cold room in a corner of my basement for my lonzino. Keeping a steady 52F. Had to add a humidifier to get it up to 85%. Outa of the cure today and ready to hang. I forgot to order casings. I want to try the olive oil rub down ,or do you think larding would be better?


    Ted, how is yours coming along?

  10. Marilyn

    Stumbled across this site while looking for ways to cure pork. Living in N’Awlins, there ain’t no such thang as a basement, unless you fancy an indoor swimming pool. (I’m on HIGH ground, FIVE FEET above sea level!) Been trying to figure out where I could put a refrigerator-cure box, but I don’t have a garage (Hurricane Katrina took it), never had a porch, and the house is too small for another fridge.

    I make a bunch of things for myself because I cannot, for medical reasons, have any sugar, starch, natural or artificial flavorings, etc. etc. etc.

    Every recipe I see for a ham-like recipe uses sugar, scorch it. Which means, assuming I can create a cure box, I could make the above recipe, but could not eat it myself, which is the whole point of do-it-yourself.

    Is there a recipe around using honey? And no !@#$#@! corn syrup?

  11. Paul

    I have a large bag of pork loin chunks, anywhere from 1-3 inch thick. Can this be
    made from pieces or does it have to be whole muscle?
    Enjoy your site a lot.

  12. David

    I was wondering how important temperature is? Is it ok if it hits mid 70’s for a couple hours a day as long as it is cool at night?

  13. David

    Thanks Hank

    Two more quick questions. I found a place that is cooler, but it is also somewhat dusty, and has a lower humidity (that I could not really control). Would trussing it in some cheese cloth or muslin help solve the humidity problem as it would create somewhat of a microclimate inside the cloth?

    Also, is it ok to use instacure #1 instead of #2?

    Thanks in advance, and I am really stoked for this

  14. A Passion for Charcuterie | Lady Muffett

    […] Recipe: Lonzino from Hank Shaw […]

  15. Paul

    Hello Hank,
    I was wondering generally there is a fat cap over the top part of the loin,is it necessary to trim it off or would it actually help in the flavor dept?


  16. Tim

    I have a very basic question: Do I need to cook the lonzino before I eat it?
    We enjoyed some ‘cold smoked’ ham in northern Germany several years ago – right at the place where they cured it. Quite an interesting operation, and delicious. So, I’m wondering if the Lonzino could be in the same family?
    Love your site!!! I’ve got a 3-lb loin started and in the cure right now. Anxious to taste the results.

  17. Drew

    I am new to your web site. As an avid hunter and fisherman as well as being deeply interested in cooking it seems tailor made for me. I have been fortunate enough to bag plenty of ducks and several wild boar and deer each of the past few years. I usually wind up giving a lot of the meat away for fear of letting it freezer burn before my family can consume it all. Your recipes will help keep a good variety of dishes in rotation at my house. I have recently built a couple of curing chambers and have only cured pork belly in a few different styles. I am very interested in trying a lonzino venison back strap. Will it really work well? My fear is that there is not enough fat for flavor. Would you change anything in your recipe specifically for venison? I have one thawing in the fridge right now. Also do you think dry curing wild duck breast is a waste of time? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks and regards.

  18. MrG

    Love it Hank
    just did my first peice of pork out of the rump – prop not correct cut of meat but nice – just a bit salty – have to check measurement where correct
    Thanks mate

  19. Jacob V

    Is there a formula that one can use to calculate weight or thickness of the meat vs time to cure?
    Many thanks,

    Jacob V.

  20. Nick

    Can the lonzino be cured for the duration in a refrigerator? As in a drawer with adustable humidity.

  21. Rick Blechta

    You are so right about buying quality pork for making lonzino. But it does make me wonder why all the seasonings you add to the cure are also not fresh. Sorry, but garlic powder doesn’t cut it against minced fresh garlic. Ditto for the onions. Dried thyme can’t hold a candle to fresh. I think you’ll notice a huge difference if you go to the real thing. I made some guanciale last year. It was late Friday night and I didn’t have any fresh thyme. I used dried, rather than wait until morning and picking up some fresh from an herb grower at our local farmer’s market. Big mistake! It just was not the same aroma and flavor.

    For Jacob V up above: your lonzino should lose between 30% to 35% of its weight during the drying process. The key, though, to great lonzino is the correct humidity while it’s drying. As Hank has already said, if it dries too quickly because the humidity is not sufficient, the outside will be hard long before the inside has dried sufficiently. My basement where my cured meats hang can drop below 70% in the dead of winter, and that’s when I have to get out the humidifier to bump it back up. Didn’t bother once, and it was a huge mistake that I won’t be repeating!

  22. Phil McCormack


    Great site. I want to make Lonzino but want to use Pork Tenderloins and no casing.

    Ever done this or should I just go with regular Pork Loin?

    Best regards,

    Phil McCormack
    Freeport, Maine

  23. Phil McCormack

    Thanks so much, Hank! I’ll give it a shot using some great local loin.

    Best, Phil

  24. Todd

    Just curious why you rinse the loin off after that first 12 days, hence getting rid of all those great spices/flavoring. Is their impact done as of that point?

  25. Tony

    Wondering if anyone has tried the Umai charcuterie system/bags.

    I know it’s cheating a bit but seams like it would cut down on errors a lot with novices like me.

  26. garhof

    I’m not going to be able to take the loin that I’ve got out at the 12-day mark. It’s going to be more like 15-16 days when I get home from a work trip. How will this affect the meat? Will it just be saltier?


  27. serg

    Thank you so much for recipe and process! do you have any idea what the Teaspoon/tablespoon equivalent would be?

  28. another tony

    “Wondering if anyone has tried the Umai charcuterie system/bags.”

    I’ve got a lonzino drying right now with that stuff. just started drying some salami with it too. will know in a few weeks how it will work but from just looking at it week and a few days in seems to be drying nice . the material is kinda expensive but it seems to regulate humidity better than a casing does.

  29. farmgirl

    When using raw pork, do you worry about Trichinosis? I know freezing the meat takes care of that, but I don’t want to ruin the meat either. Any suggestions? This is my first time curing meat and I want to be safe.

  30. joe m

    I dry cured some pieces of pork butt (about 2 lbs apiece and 3 in thick) in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Rinsed off the cure and added spices. wrapped them in cheescloth and hung in basement. temp was always between 55-60 but humidity would stay between 50-60 also. After 2 weeks decided to close in area and use pan of water and small humidifier. Got humidity up to 70-75 yesterday. today it was up to 99! shut off humidifier and opened front off chamber to let humidity out. will further try to regulate today. do you think I may have caused harm that i cannot rectify? Meat is damp now . should I dry them off or pull them out of chamber? any suggestions. some people have said to freeze for a week and let thaw in fridge then rehang. thanks joe

  31. Ernie Munger

    I just love making and eating Lonzino loin or tenderloin. your recipe is by far the best. I’m on my 3rd batch. Thanks
    to Joe the comment above, it’s better to be on the less humidity side. If its to dry just wrap the meat in a cheesecloth soaked in red wine for 3 to 5 days than hang it up for a week.

  32. mike

    Do I need to trim the fat off?

  33. John

    Love your site. Great compilation of work. Was wondering when you dry cure wild hog cuts since not technically cooking, how do you address the trich & brucella that suppose to be in the wild hog running around these days? Had some wild hog backstrap medallions visiting relatives in Louisiana last year…..I daydream about it at redlights….


  34. Guy

    Got a recipe from a person whose family make it near Umbria. After trussed and the 12-14 day cure in just salt they wash off the salt with red wine and let it sit for about 5mins. They pat it dry or air dry it and then roll it in chopped garlic and roll it in black pepper. They they wrap it tight in a paper bag then tie it off again around and length wise and hang it for about 6 weeks or until it is firm. Any thought on that? This has been done forever in that town.

  35. Ed

    Is it possible/safe to simply do a quick cure/dry (using only kosher salt) as described for duck breast in Ruhlman’s book, but using a pork loin? Thanks.

  36. Nancy

    I want to try a small piece to start with; can I use a 1 pound loin chop? It’s from our own pastured heritage pig (AGH/Berk cross; 20 months old). We are setting up a curing chamber (Matt Wright) but not sure how such a small piece will work as an experiment.

  37. Dinna

    Is it possible to make this without the Instacure — it’s really hard to find? If so would I need to add more kosher salt?

  38. Ed muhl

    60 grams salt to 3lbs (1361gms) meat is 4.5%. Does that sound right. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately but it all came together after listening to your podcasts.
    They are a must especially for newbies like myself!

  39. lemonjelly

    Hi Hank, eight years later this recipe still ranks well in search results. I used it for half a wild boar backstrap with great results. Benchmarked it alongside different dry cures for a coppa and a leg cut from the same boar, too. The combination of cloves, garlic and onion powder stood out, making a deep flavor that kept changing (in good ways) as the loin aged. The boar was a decent size, a male about 100 pounds hang weight, and I was expecting it to be more on the tough and gamey side. Dry curing and slicing thin was a win-win. Thanks so much for posting it.

  40. Josh

    Have you ever tried it without Curing salt. In other words, have you ever just used kosher salt like you would a procuitto?

  41. Pete

    I’ve got two tenderloins curing in the fridge. They’re from a boar I took with a knife and two dogs. I was looking for a way to treat them when I found your site! Thanks so much.

    P.S. I’ve still got a ham left…

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