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Is it safe to dry homemade sausages that have been cured with Cure #1 in a dehydrator instead of hanging them out to slowly dry? The dehydrator I have goes from 90F to 190F.

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    #2 powder would normally be used for sausages that are to be air dried. You should edit your post to include the exact recipe, including its source.
    – Sneftel
    Nov 22, 2020 at 12:05

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Safety concerns aside (although this is related), the issue with this approach is case hardening. That is, the sausage, salumi, or whole muscle dries too quickly and unevenly. The exterior becomes too dry, while the interior is not dry enough. The hardening of the exterior, then further limits the drying of the interior. Hanging meat to dry, in the appropriate environmental conditions, leads to an evenly and appropriately dried final product. I would not recommend a dehydrator in this situation. With a constant warm airflow, case hardening is inevitable.

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  • I wonder also if the dehydrator is not going to partially cook the sausage.
    – Neil Meyer
    Nov 25, 2020 at 17:16
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    @NeilMeyer it's really a moot point. A dehydrator is a bad idea for this.
    – moscafj
    Nov 25, 2020 at 20:02
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Typically, the hanging of meat is done to promote certain microorganisms, so that they can ferment certain sugars in the meat. This leads to the production of lactic acid by the various strains of Lactobacillus microbes. This can only be done when the meat is correctly cured.

A dehydrator is not typically meant for meat, but as a way to preserve certain veggies and spices. The temperature you mention would just partially cook the sausage, but probably leave it under-cooked. If this is a pork sausage then it could be quite dangerous. It would also kill off the Lactobacillus, ruining any chance of a ferment.

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    Dehydrators can be used for meat - but generally only if the meat is thinly sliced. Things like jerky and biltong work well in a dehydrator.
    – bob1
    Nov 25, 2020 at 19:30
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    ...not entirely...two things are happening. Drying is for a reduction of water activity, which is a safety hurdle. Fermentation is a result of introducing a desirable culture and maintaining the salumi at a specific temperature, this increases acidity...a second safety hurdle.
    – moscafj
    Nov 25, 2020 at 20:01
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The comment about dehydraters not being intended for meat is not quite correct. I have made copious amounts of Jerky, as well as dehydrated king prawns for a delicious prawn powder. I suspect that the sausage skin will cause problems, however, but I wonder if judicious pricking would allow the centre to dry out. Next week I shall give it a go and report back.

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    This works for jerky because it is sliced thinly so it can dry appropriately all the way through. I would advice against trying this with a sausage or salumi. It is too thick. Even with pricking, you risk the case hardening effect and creating an internal environment that is hospitable to pathogen growth.
    – moscafj
    Nov 12, 2023 at 12:58

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