How To Use Salt And Smoke To Cure Meat And Fish

How To Use Salt And Smoke

To Cure Meat And Fish

H is for Home via Flickr

H is for Home via Flickr

We need salt as a relish to our food, but it is not essential in the preservation of our meats. The Indians used little or no salt, yet they preserved meat and even fish in abundance by drying. This can be accomplished by fire, by smoke or by sunshine! This article provides an introduction to the two most widespread techniques for preserving meat – curing and smoking – which have been practiced since ancient times. They’re often used in conjunction with each other:

Curing methods:

  • Dry curing: A mixture of salt and other ingredients is rubbed over the meat.
  • Wet curing: Also known as brining, this involves submerging meat in a salty solution.

There are generally two types of smoking methods:

  • Hot smoking: Performed at temperatures of at least 150 degrees F. The goal is to cook the food at the same time it is being flavored with smoke.
  • Cold smoking: Smoking at temperatures of less than 100 degrees F. This method generally doesn’t cook the food product; rather, it is used for flavoring. This is an ideal way to add smoke flavor to cured fish without actually cooking it, or impart smoke flavor to salami and other cured meats before they are hung to dry.

Most traditional meat preservation is done by “dry curing” — that is, salting the meat and waiting weeks or months for the flavors to develop. The modern industrial alternative is “wet curing” or brining, which is fast but doesn’t develop the same complex, interesting flavors. Check out the link below for more information on how to use salt and smoke to cure meat and fish.

How To Use Salt And Smoke To Cure Meat And Fish