Making Salami Without Starter Culture : An A-Z Insights

Before making the salami you need to research different methods you can use to produce the meat.  That is for individuals who love making their own salami at home. With the different methods that work well in making the salami, have you ever tried to make it without the starter culture?

Well, if you have tried or thought of something like this before then the important steps are picking the right meat, curing, grinding, stuffing, fermenting, drying and storing. If you follow the steps above you will make the right salami without the starter culture.    

The article below shows the process of making salami without starter culture by explaining the steps and other key contents within the article. There are the frequently asked questions and lastly the conclusion.          

How does the starter culture work?

How does the starter culture work

Before trying to make the salami without starter culture, let’s consider checking how the starter culture works in the salami. Starter culture represents a single strain or combination of different strains of bacteria more so when you mix with meat where they have multiple beneficial effects.

The major functions of the starter culture are as follows: Starter culture speeds up the process of fermentation since the process normally takes several months that you can fix within a few weeks or days. The starter culture therefore saves much time for the user and then the output is safe for use.

Starter culture helps to bind the meat where it creates a firm structure in the salami and binds the salami mixture. After binding the meat, it shows that there will be no air pockets or air bubbles in the meat.

Starter culture helps kill the undesirable bacteria that make the salami safe for use. The safety is a result of natural ingredients that you use in making the salami and it is good for people with allergies.

It saves money since it helps you make your own salami as it is cheaper than buying manufactured starter culture.

Even though the starter culture has some of the benefits when making the salami, you can still make the salami without it. We can refer to the traditional methods that were there before of preparing meat that existed before the starter cultures were made.

With the method without the starter culture, you will have to follow some steps so that you make quality salami that will also be safe for use.

How to Make Salami without Starter Culture

How to Make Salami without Starter Culture

Since we are making salami without the starter culture, we have to rely on the bacteria that already exist in the salami. Below are the steps you can follow when making salami without starter culture:

i. Select the right meat to use

The first step here is to choose the right meat for use since it is an important factor that you need to have fresh meat since it reduces the chances of meat being infected with bacteria.  Ensure the meat is from an animal that is healthy such that they do not contain any bacteria.

Ensure you handle the fresh meat properly to avoid bacteria from invading it. Process the meat as soon as you get it to reduce the rate and risks of contamination even if you can easily remove bacteria from it.

ii. Curing


In this stage you need to add sugar and salt to the meat. Ensure you add curing salt which is salt that contains sodium nitrate which is a preservative that will destroy the harmful bacteria in the salami and keeps the meat safe for use.

Curing helps to increase the flavor of the salami, increases the smell and the color of the meat. The process helps give good bacteria in the meat time to develop and work well. At some point there will exist harmful bacteria that will also develop. Therefore, you need to add more salt and nitrate so that the bad bacteria will be slow when growing.

iii. Grinding

Grinding is the third step but it is not that necessary, however, if you grind the meat the probability that the mix from the previous step will penetrate the meat is very high. Therefore, ensure you use low temperatures that are not higher than 12 degrees Celsius.

iv. Stuffing ( Putting the Meat in Casings)

Stuffing ( Putting the Meat in Casings)

The fourth step here is stuffing which refers to the process of putting meat in casings. The process then has multiple choices that you can either choose to use natural or synthetic fibrous with different diameters. 

Natural fibrous are from the animals such that they can infect the intestinal tract that at some point can have infection from contamination with bacteria. However much you wash the tract there will be some remains of the bacteria with it that you need to use a different method of the casings that are safe as the tracts can contaminate meat. Below are the steps to follow when stuffing:

a. Perform a visual inspection of the casings such that they should be white and that you can see any dirty particle with it easily.

b. Add salt to the casings and keep them in the fridge.

c. After an hour of stuffing, ensure you desalt them in cold water and then use a vinegar solution to wash the casings that helps maintain the safety and ensure they are clean.

v. Fermentation


The fermentation process is the most important step since you need to increase the temperature of the salami for the bacteria in the meat to grow.  It is good to use lower temperatures when you are making salami without the starter culture.  The time for the fermentation depends on the temperature such that higher temperatures will take fewer days while lower temperatures will take more days.

Consider checking the PH of the salami to know the acidity level since it helps you to know if the fermentation process is over. Check the humidity too since it is crucial with the fermentation process.

vi. Drying


Drying is the longest process of all since it takes about two to three months to accomplish it.  When the temperatures are high then the time for drying can be less. In the drying process check on the humidity too since it is an essential factor.

Factors affecting the drying time;

  • The size of the casing such that a bigger casing will take long to dry than a small casing
  • Level of fat in the meat. More amount of fat causes the salami to dry faster than meat will less fat.
  • Humidity and temperature such that lower humidity and higher temperature increases the speed of drying.
  • Airspeed such that more air draft  causes faster drying)

vii. Storing

After drying the salami you need now to store it at cool temperatures. To know if the salami is ready for storage check the water activity that if it reaches a certain level or lower than that you are ready to store it.

Ensure you keep the salami cold, dark and in an area with good ventilation. The humidity also should be moderate since high humidity levels can cause the growth of mold in the salami.


At this point you clearly have the idea of what it takes to make the salami without starter culture. By following the steps above you make quality salami whereby you only need to add ingredients that you prefer.

The article has all the steps for a successful process that you need to follow carefully taking note of the tips you have to know. The process is cheap and also gives the user space to try different techniques.