I cured my Mangalitsa pancetta for 7 days and it was stiff. Then I rolled it and it got very soft. I double covered it with cheesecloth and now it is leaking into the cheesecloth. Is this good, bad or indifferent. Right now it is in my basement which is very dry, 40%. I am upping the humidity to 65% (all I did was turn the dehumidifier up to 65% and the basement is doing the rest) and the temp is between 65F and 70F. (Right now I'm double checking the top temp because it was reading 75F as the top temp.) BTW, the Mangalitsa belly was very thick and I used prague #1 and prague #2. (I thought I might age the pancetta for longer but it looks like that's not a good idea.) What should I do? BTW, by accident I put 10X the amount of prague #2 and caught it 4 hours later. I washed off the cure and completely redo it with Prague #2 at the appropriate strength.


This is difficult to assess and provide a definitive solution for because you've got several conditions that are not ideal. As you point out, your temp is too high and your humidity is too low, for starters. Given the 7 day cure, I would normally say you are ok from a safety perspective, however, I am concerned by the "leaking", but that may just be the nature of your product. Given that you say this belly was rather "thick", 7 days may not have been enough, but hard to tell from here. Firmness after the cure is what you are going for.

I guess, for starters, I would suggest unrolling and hanging as a flat piece (called tesa). I find that I get more consistent results, faster, making pancetta tesa. In your case, this might also help with excess moisture. You really just want to hang until it loses about 30% of it's pre-hanging weight. For me at about 55F and 70% humidity, that that usually takes in the neighborhood of 2 to 3 weeks.

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