Go Back
+ servings
Hungarian paprika salami
Print Recipe
3 from 2 votes

Hungarian Paprika Salami

This is traditionally a pork sausage, or a mixture of pork and beef. But to my mind, the important thing is the seasoning and the smoke. I used duck in the batch we took pictures of, and venison, bear or some other meat would work fine. I prefer to use pork fatback for the fat here, as it is firm and white. Keep in mind this is a full-on smoked and dried salami. You must pay attention to detail here or you will fail. Be extra careful about cleanliness and measurements. Watch your humidity every day, because even 24 hours at humidities below 50 percent in the early stages of a salami's hang time can cause case hardening, which can ruin the batch. This is why I use the narrower hog casings instead of the normal beef casings: It's easier to succeed using the narrow casing because the hanging time is shorter.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time5 hrs
Course: Cured Meat
Cuisine: Hungarian
Servings: 4 pounds
Author: Hank Shaw


  • 3 1/2 pounds pork, , duck, venison, etc
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork belly or fatty pork shoulder
  • 51 grams (about 3 tablespoons) kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or dextrose
  • 6 grams (about a teaspoon) Instacure No. 2
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian hot paprika
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper, coarsely cracked
  • 5 grams (about 1 tablespoon) starter culture T-SPX
  • 1/3 cup distilled water


  • Chill the meat and fat in the freezer for at least 1 hour. You want it close to frozen, even a little crispy cold. Chop the meat and fat into chunks that will fit into your grinder, but leave about 1/3 pound of the fat aside. Cut this into small dice the size of a typical frozen carrot.
  • Put about 10 feet of hog casings into some warm water and set aside.
  • Mix all the spices, salt, curing salt and sugar with the meat and fat -- except for the diced fat. Put the meat mixture and the diced fat into the freezer until it's between 27°F and 36°F.
  • Grind everything but the diced fat through the fine die on your grinder. If you are using trim from a deer or other animal — meaning there’s a lot of silverskin, etc — grind first through the coarse die, then again through the fine die. If you need to double-grind, chill the meat in the freezer between grindings for 15 to 20 minutes. Put the meat and the diced fat into the fridge and clean up the grinder.
  • Meanwhile, run warm water through your hog casings. This flushes them, and will show you any leaks in the casings. Set them aside when you’re done.
  • Take the temperature of the meat: If it is warmer than 38°F, put it back in the fridge for 30 minutes and check again. When the meat is good and cold, get your starter culture ready. Gently mix the starter culture with the distilled water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Take out the meat and put it in a mixer bowl with the heavy paddle attachment. Add the starter culture and the diced fat, then mix everything on the lowest setting for 1 to 2 minutes. You will see the meat change texture. You are looking for a good bind, where the meat is beginning to stick to itself.
  • Put the meat into your sausage stuffer and stuff it into the hog casings. You want individual sausage links of about 12 to 14 inches. Leave a lot of casing on each end, because you will tie the ends of each link together to for a long loop, like a Polish kielbasa. Hang the links on a drying rack — a wooden clothes drying rack is excellent for this — and find a needle. Heat the tip of the needle over a flame until it glows; this sterilizes it. Prick the casing anywhere you see air pockets. The casing should shrink back against the meat.
  • Now you need to ferment the sausage. You will want to tent the hanging sausages with black plastic from some garbage bags, or some other plastic sheeting. If you have one, put a humidifier under the sausages. You really want them to stay moist. Let the sausages hang for at least 24 hours, and up to 48 hours. Every 6 to 12 hours, spritz them with a spray mister to keep them moist. This is the fermentation stage, the stage where the starter culture you are using defeats any bad bacteria in the sausage.
  • When the sausages are ready, fire up the smoker. Put ice cubes in the water tray to keep the temperature as cool as possible. You are not cooking the links here, you are giving them a good smoking. Use cherry, apple, or oak if you can. Avoid mesquite, as it is too distinctive. And no pine — too much resin. Smoke the links for at least 3 hours, making sure the temperature stays below 85°F. You can smoke the salami up to 8 hours if you like a really smoky link.
  • Now you need to hang the links in your drying chamber. I use an old fridge with a temperature regulator and a humidifier in it. Hang the links at about 75 to 80 percent humidity for at least a month before eating. You can let them go as long as 3 months. Store in the fridge, or vacuum sealed in the freezer.


Once the salami has dried, which typically takes a month to two months, you can cut it down and eat it. It stores well in the fridge, but since it's smoked it will make your fridge smoky unless you keep it in a tightly closed container. It also freezes well if you vacuum seal it.