Did you know that the Meat, Beef, and Poultry processing industry has a $295.9 billion market size as of 2023?
Keeping your meat consumption in check may be a necessity. Buying all meat can get pricey, not to mention all the packaging you must throw away. Why not, then, learn how to make your own cured meat?
Keep reading for all the information you need on cured meat.
Understand the Science Behind Curing Meat
Curing meat at home can be a great way to enjoy its flavours with the added convenience and ease of making it yourself. It’s essential to understand the science behind curing meat.
This process involves adding salt, which helps draw out moisture, allowing beneficial bacteria to take hold. The bacteria act on the meat, creating a protective layer to help preserve it. In addition to salt, deciding what other ingredients you’d like to use to enhance the flavor is also essential.
Depending on the recipe, this may involve rubbing the curing mix into the meat and leaving it to sit for 12-48 hours. Making your own cured meat at home gives you the satisfaction of homemade flavors.
Gather Your Necessary Ingredients and Supplies
The first step is gathering the necessary ingredients and supplies to make your own cured meat at home. You’ll need about 1 pound of pork shoulder, one teaspoon of coarse sea salt, one teaspoon of garlic powder, one teaspoon of pink salt, and one teaspoon of black peppercorns.
You’ll need zip-top plastic bags or a large glass dish to hold all the ingredients, a dehydrator or oven, a meat thermometer, and a sharp knife. Correctly measuring, combining, and packing all the ingredients is essential, as they all play a crucial role in the curing process.
Determine the Type of Cure to Use
Making your own cured meats at home is a fun and exciting way to savor the flavors of some of your favorite foods. Depending on the types of meat you plan to cure, there are types of cured meats available.
You may want to use a wet brine cure, a dry cure, or a combination of both. The type of cure you use, like Italian cured meat, will also depend on whether you plan to smoke the heart and the flavors you want to achieve.
For instance, wet brine cures are generally preferred for smoking meats, while dry medicines are better for meats that will not be smoked. Before curing, research which cures to use like prosciutto cotto, for your desired outcome.
Monitoring and Testing to Ensure Quality Product
Monitoring and testing to ensure a quality product is a crucial step. Start with adequately handled and inspected cuts of meat purchased from a reliable and trustworthy butcher or approved for good home-used animal sources.
It’s essential to conduct pH measurements and color assessments every 24 hours and keep temperature readings to ensure the curing environment is maintained correctly. With proper monitoring and testing, a quality cured meat product can be produced safely and reliably at home.
Making a Cured Meat
Making cured meat at home can be a fun and delicious hobby. With the right ingredients and equipment, you can have salami and other cured meats ready in as little as two weeks! So grab your favorite seasonings and get curing.
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