Curing, Smoking & Preserving Meat

Curing and smoking is an excellent way to preserve animal products such as meat, poultry and fish. Smoking and curing affects the texture, color, juiciness and flavor of meat. The quality and safety of the final product depends on how the product is handled before, during and after curing and smoking.

Many people seem to have more trouble with the curing of meats than with the slaughtering. This part of the work is indeed very important as it determines whether one will have good tasting cured meat or meat that is too salty or possibly that is far removed from the original taste of the raw product. So spend some time on this topic as it pays so well in the good tasting meat and tasty meals for you, your family and friends to enjoy all season.

Because all animal products are very susceptible to the growth of microorganisms that can cause foodborne illness, it's very important to handle them carefully. Try not to leave any animal products at room temperature for more than two hours, clean surfaces and utensils used for preparing the products for curing meat products, and take extra care when washing your hands.

For all curing always use pickling salt and not table salt, as the latter contains starch to keep it dry and this starch may cause the meat to spoil. If you carefully follow our directions you will have delicious cured meat.

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Real Cooking

Did You Know?
High pressure food preservation refers to high pressure used for food preservation. "Pressed inside a vessel exerting 70,000 pounds per square inch or more, food can be processed so that it retains its fresh appearance, flavour, texture and nutrients while disabling harmful microorganisms and slowing spoilage." By 2001, adequate commercial equipment was developed so that by 2005 the process was being used for products ranging from orange juice to guacamole to deli meats and widely sold.
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Modified atmosphere is a way to preserve food by operating on the atmosphere around it. Salad crops which are notoriously difficult to preserve are now being packaged in sealed bags with an atmosphere modified to reduce the oxygen (O2) concentration and increase the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration. There is concern that although salad vegetables retain their appearance and texture in such conditions, this method of preservation may not retain nutrients, especially vitamins.
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Grains may be preserved using carbon dioxide. A block of dry ice is placed in the bottom and the can is filled with grain. The can is then "burped" of excess gas. The carbon dioxide from the sublimation of the dry ice prevents insects, mold, and oxidation from damaging the grain. Grain stored in this way can remain edible for five years.
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Nitrogen gas (N2) at concentrations of 98% or higher is also used effectively to kill insects in grain through hypoxia. However, carbon dioxide has an advantage in this respect as it kills organisms through both hypoxia and hypercarbia, requiring concentrations of only 80%, or so. This makes carbon dioxide preferable for fumigation in situations where an hermetic seal cannot be maintained.