How to Soften Hard Salami

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup wine (red or white)

  • 1 cup meat stock

  • Medium saucepan with lid

  • Tongs

  • Steamer

  • Paper towels

  • Water

  • Microwave oven

  • Sharp knife or mandolin slicer

  • Cutting board

Soften tough salami with a few tried and true kitchen tricks.

As salami ages it slowly dries out and hardens. Extremely hard salami can prove to be impossible for you to cut even with your sharpest knife. If you don't have a professional slicer available (either at home or the local grocer) or if your local butcher shop is unwilling to slice it for you, there are methods you can employ to soften the salami and make it more manageable to use. Most of the softening methods will alter the flavor and texture of the salami, but this is preferable to throwing an expensive delicacy away.

Simmering Method

Step 1

Pour 1 cup of red or white wine and 1 cup meat stock into a medium saucepan.

Step 2

Bring the stock and wine mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and add your salami. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the salami to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3

Remove the salami from the liquid and test the firmness by attempting to slice it. If the salami proves to still be too hard, return it to the cooking liquid and simmer in 5 minute increments until it is able to be sliced.

Step 4

Chill the softened salami in the fridge or slice it while it is still warm and serve.

Steaming Method

Step 1

Fit a steamer inside a medium saucepan.

Step 2

Pour enough water into the bottom of the saucepan to fill it a few inches without touching the bottom of the steamer.

Step 3

Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and place the salami inside the steamer. Process the salami for 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 4

Test the firmness of the salami by removing it from the steamer and attempting to slice it. If the salami is still to hard to cut return it to the steamer and process for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Chill the salami or slice it while it is still warm.

Microwave Method

Step 1

Soak 3 paper towels in water and wrap them around the salami. Ensure that the salami is completely covered.

Step 2

Place the wrapped salami in a microwave oven and cook over medium power for three minutes.

Step 3

Test the softness of the salami by attempting to cut into it. If it is still too hard cook in two minute increments at medium power until you are able to cut through it. Slice the salami immediately or it return to its hardened state.


Microwaving the salami makes it temporarily soft enough to slice as the fat inside the salami is rendered. If allowed to cool the salami will reharden. Wrapping it in paper towels helps prevent moisture loss.