Secrets of a Homemade Pepperoni Recipe

Anything homemade will always taste 100% better than anything store-bought. And that’s enough to convince you to start making more homemade foods. One of the things that you have to try to make is pepperoni sausage. Making it at home, you control the ingredients, spices, and overall flavor. Once it’s done, you can put it on a pizza, make sandwiches, or even eat it alone; it’s that good.   

Of course, making sausages isn’t easy, and you need to be careful about a few things. However, when you taste the final result, you’ll know that all the hard work was worth it.   

We will share the best recipe for homemade pepperoni and our tips and tricks that can help you if you decide to make a batch of your own.   

The Guide to Homemade Italian-Inspired Sausages

Making pepperoni is a complex process, and it can seem overwhelming, especially if you have never made sausages at home. It requires a few unusual ingredients, as well as some special equipment. But once you make it the first time, every next one will be much easier.   

The Meat and the Spices 

The essential part of a pepperoni recipe is the top-quality meat. This sausage is made with a combination of pork and beef. The ratios of both types of meat vary depending on the individual taste. Some recipes feature only pork or beef, and we will share a 100% pork recipe with you.   

The meat should be fresh and of good quality as it will affect the overall quality of the homemade sausage. When making pepperoni, the best option is to grind it by yourself, extra-fine, or ask your butcher to do it for you if you don’t have a grinder.   

The spices are also a crucial part of a pepperoni recipe, and they can make or break the outcome. Different recipes use a variety of seasonings, like allspice, anise, fennel, cinnamon, nutmeg, mustard seeds, black pepper, and cloves. It’s common to add cayenne pepper if you like it spicy. One of the irreplaceable additions is the smoked paprika, and you can’t skip it.   

When it comes to seasoning, you can be creative and experiment with making a sausage that best suits your taste buds. The whole point of making pepperoni is to end up with something tasty and precisely what you wish to eat.  

The Cultures and Curing Salt  

When making a homemade pepperoni, you want to ferment it and smoke it to give it its unique taste. The whole process gives an excellent final result; however, it also allows unwanted bacterial growth. You’ll have to use particular cultures and curing salts to promote fermentation and prevent undesirable bacterial occurrence.   

Typically, you’ll use Bactoferm F-LC alongside pink salt to promote fermentation to prevent unwanted bacterial growth and make the final product safe to eat.   

The Best Casings

The best sausage casings are the collagen ones, as they are the easiest to use, and you can buy them in every supply store that sells equipment for making cured meats or even online. The best size of casings for making pepperoni is 1 ½ inches.   

Special Equipment   

You’ll have to use a lot of special equipment for this process, and sometimes it can seem a bit overwhelming, as it’s quite an investment to acquire everything. However, if you plan to commit to making pepperoni, and you know you’ll do it in the future, then this venture is worth it. Also, you can use many of these pieces of equipment to make other types of sausages and cure meats.   

The Meat Grinder  

You’ll want to use a grinder because you can adjust how finely you want the meat ground. We think this is an excellent investment, especially if you like making burger patties by yourself and other ground meat dishes. However, you don’t have to buy it. You can always ask your butcher to grind the meat for you. One crucial thing we have to mention is never to buy already ground pork or beef; it’s not good enough for the homemade pepperoni.   

Sausage Stuffer  

If you plan to make homemade sausages often, we recommend you get a stuffer because it’s inefficient to stuff the casings without it. Several options are available, like the vertical stuffer or a manual one. The first option is the best and most efficient solution, while the second is also good but difficult to use. 

An alternative can be a stuffer attachment from the meat grinder if you have one. But they are not very precise.

The Smoking Equipment  

The final step in this adventure is to smoke everything to acquire the unique aroma and taste. And for that, you’ll have to use a smoker.  

You can get an electric smoker or a propane one. Or, if you genuinely want to experience the true art of making pepperoni, you can use a smokehouse.  

A smokehouse is an ideal solution; however, it’s also the most significant commitment. It will give the meat the best aroma and flavor and the ultimate taste. If you decide to make a smokehouse, you can use it for other sausages and curing meat.  

How To Make Pepperoni Flawlessly 

Making something like this is a labor of love, and the way to perfect it is by trial and error. But one of the best pieces of advice we can give you that will take you a step closer to making a perfect product is to stuff the meat in the casings as firmly as possible. You have to ensure that there are no air pockets inside it.  

The Pepperoni Recipe 

This is the ultimate recipe, and if you follow it carefully, you’ll end up with a delicious homemade pepperoni.  


  • 2 lbs of pork butt 
  • 4 tsp of salt 
  • ½ tsp of pink salt 
  • 2 tsp of dextrose 
  • 1 tsp of sugar 
  • 1 ½ tsp of ground black pepper 
  • 4 tsp of sweet paprika powder 
  • 1 tsp of allspice powder 
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper powder 
  • 0.24g of F-LC culture 
  • 1/3 cup of distilled water 


  • Grind the pork butt and mix it with all spices and other ingredients.  
  • Stuff the mixture into the casings.  
  • Ferment it at 85 °F and 85% humidity for 24 hours.  
  • Put the pepperoni into the smoker and smoke them for 6 hours at 110 °F at 70% humidity.  
  • You’ll need to gradually increase the smoke temperature up to 190 °F during the 6 hours until the internal temperature of the meat is 140 °F. 
  • Store it at 55 °F at 75% humidity. 

And that’s the simple recipe that you can make if you want to experience something new and enjoy a taste of homemade goods.   

And those that are not accustomed to experimenting in the kitchen or don’t feel the need to buy new equipment just to make a few sausages, you can visit us at Mi’talia restaurant. Here you’ll be able to try the best stone oven pizza in Miami topped with our small-batch artisanal pepperoni. Don’t hesitate to call us today and book your reservation if you wish to enjoy the best Italian dishes with a modern twist.