Drying Methods

Foods can be dried in a food dehydrator, in an oven, in the air or in the sun (if the air is hot and dry enough) by using the right combination of warm temperatures, low humidity and air current. If the surrounding air is humid, then drying process will be slowed down.

You have to decide for methods of drying, for temperatures and length of drying time, and for conditioning prior to storage. You have to find out which drying technique works best for your situation.

Drying Techniques:

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
Our ancestors cured meat for a couple of reasons. One of the most important was safety. There are many curing techniques that were developed in the days before refrigeration that are continued today for traditional reasons. A good example is corned beef. Old-time butcher shops closed every weekend.  Ice, the only refrigerant available, could not dependably hold fresh meat for two days.  To keep unsold meat from going to waste, the butcher soaked the meat in a strong brine or covered it with coarse salt to trigger osmosis. The grains of salt were called "corn" in England, and the name "corned beef" stuck with the product.

When meat is cold smoked its temperature often stays in the danger zone for several hours or days. Many environmental factors of this treatment are such that the growth of dangerous bacteria is greatly accelerated. The curing of the meat inhibits this growth.

Meat is also cured for one other reason, color. Using Prague powder is what gives meat its pink color.