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Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing (Revised and Updated) Hardcover – September 3, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 291 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"125 accessible, flavourful recipes for cured meats, pickles and preserves." Sunday Express "...celebrates real food and offers lots of recipes that are worth following... those who read it will learn enough basic principles to gain the confidence to experiment." The Field

About the Author

Michael Ruhlman has written and coauthored many bestsellers, among them The French Laundry Cookbook and Ratio. He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Brian Polcyn is the chef/owner of Forest Grill in Birmingham, Michigan, and a professor of charcuterie at SchoolCraft College in Livonia, Michigan.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Revised and Updated edition (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393240053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393240054
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.2 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Update 1/13: Per comments below, the author has confirmed that guanciale is the one and only recipe which was removed from this edition.

****

You've probably already read several reviews of this book and know how good it is. It is one of my favorite cookbooks - I like it so much that I often end up giving away my copy as a gift to friends and buying a new one. Recently I replaced mine with the new revised edition, and I was excited to see how the recipes would be revised and tweaked.

Much to my disappointment, the revised edition has recipes actually completely absent, when they were some of the stars of the original copy. Apparently some of the recipes were moved into the "new" Salumi book.

This book is so heavily referenced elsewhere, removing content from it is certainly going to make cross-referencing hard. I feel a bit cheated to have 3 pork jowls thawed in the fridge only to discover that my favorite cookbook's recipe for guanciale is now absent from the book that I've already bought countless copies of.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want a beautifully written, lyrical account of one man's journey into sodium nitrite, this book is for you. If you want clear, consistent instructions that you can actually use to cure meat, this book is seriously deficient.

I've cured and smoked bacon twice in the past couple of months. The first time, I followed a recipe that I found by Googling and it came out great. Everywhere I looked, though, I saw references to this book, and how great it is, and I figured I should probably break down and spend the money to get "real" instructions for bacon -- along with everything else contained herein.

Ruhlman makes a point of providing weights (in grams) for everything, which is great. Hey, precision! So, I got out my scale and mixed up his basic dry cure. I read the instructions that say how much dry cure per how much pork belly, then weighed my two pieces of belly and measured out, to the gram, exactly how much cure I needed for each piece. I applied the cure, put the meat into bags, and put it in the refrigerator to let the salts, kosher and pink, do their thing.

The first time I cured bacon, the belly produced a lot of liquid. This time, not so much -- even after a few days. Even though I was aware that every piece of meat is different, and what was happening could be totally normal, I started to worry that I had messed something up. I went back to the recipe, read it carefully, and realized the extent to which Michael Ruhlman is all over the place.

It's almost as if he's engaging in providing inconsistent curing instructions as performance art, and fancies himself Marina Abramovic. The first thing that I noticed is that he gives two recipes for dry cure.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I paid USD 16.99 for the electronic version of this book. While it is a respected text that deserves the plaudits it receives, the price is larcenous for what one gets in the Kindle edition. It is a very poorly formatted e-book. Using it in the Kindle reader (Mac and iPhone), it is impossible to navigate easily. Though the TOC is formatted as for hyperlinks, the hyperlinks don't seem to work. Refer to the index and it give you a page number - not hyper-linked. But the only option in search is to go to a particular "location" (1-7591.... How useless is that?) Perhaps I need to learn how to configure Kindle settings better -- and will be gladly accept helpful correction. But this is the first time I've encountered this problem in an e-book that costs more than 1-2 dollars.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Michael Ruhlman's writing. I am a restaurant manager in Brooklyn, and we use this, in the business, as well as for my personal use. From a beginner's standpoint, this gives you all the information you need to know to get started.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book to learn more about preserving meat. I am sorely disappointed in its content. More disappointed with the reviews that claim this to be an excellent exhaustive instructional manual. To the Authors' credit they do not make any such claim. However, I discovered the book is not about preserving meat or vegetables, but about using old and sometimes ancient food preservation techniques to flavor food. The authors are chefs in fancy expensive restaurants. The recipes are written for the home cook, yet have far more information on the manufacture of expensive emulsified cured meat products (terrine, pate) than what us lower class poor Americans eat (bologna, hot dogs).

Having said that the book is easy to read and the recipes are easy to follow. The writers did an excellent job of breaking down the recipes from chef-speak or industrial recipes to the normal kitchen. Some of the chef-speak and professional kitchen terminology did make it into the book. A good kitchen scale that reads in grams is essential. I found a few of the recipes questionable. For example, a dry cured aged ham that has no nitrite to cure or preserve it, too dangerous for me to consider. Really!?! A whole ham to cure at room temperature for months without protection from botulism? Salt percentages ranged from 2%-16% with no explanation why. Curing salt percentages ranged above and below USDA required values (for commercial producers of preserved foods) with no explanation.

What leads me to the conclusion that this is a book to be renamed "Flavoring Using Charcuterie Techniques" rather than its present title is that only a few recipes are indicated to store outside the refrigerator even after the food is technically preserved.
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