Home Curing 101: Create Delicious Cured Meats at Home
Create delicious cured meats at home with these easy steps! You’ll learn how to create succulent, juicy steaks, chops and roasts from fresh cuts of meat. You’ll also discover how to cure your own sausages and bacon.
Learn all about it here!
Step 1: Choose Your Meat
Choose the best cut of meat you want to use for curing. For example, if you’re making a steak, choose the leanest piece of meat you have. If you’re making pork shoulder or ham hocks, go for the fattiest pieces.
These are good choices because they provide maximum flavor when cured.
If you don’t have any meat on hand, there’s always frozen chicken thighs and turkey legs available at most supermarkets. Just thaw them out first before using them in your curing process!
Step 2: Buy Equipment
You need a few things to get started. First, you’ll need some jars and lids. I recommend glass jars for their superior durability and ease of cleaning.
You can buy them in various sizes at most grocery stores. Glass jars will prevent bacteria growth during the curing process, which is essential for creating tender, flavorful meats that won’t fall apart after cooking. It’s a good idea to have at least several one-quart, one-pint and one-half-pint jars ready.
You’ll also need some canning lids and rings for sealing the jars after filling them. Alternatively, you can use pliers to tighten metal bands around the tops of the jars to prevent leaks.
Step 3: Prepare Your Curing Area
You’ll need a dry, dark place to prepare your meats and jar them. A cool, dry basement would be perfect. If you don’t have a basement, choose the highest shelf in your garage.
Just make sure you’re away from any potential sources of contamination like animals or dirty floors.
You’ll need to thoroughly clean the area before use, so wipe down all the surfaces with disinfecting wipes or clean them with bleach water (1 tablespoon bleach per 1 quart water). Let everything dry before using.
Step 4: Prepare Your Meats
Wash your hands and get everything prepared before you start handling the meat. This is especially important if more than one person will be preparing the meats because of the risk of cross-contamination.
Trim off any excess fat or surface slime from the meat, but leave some on to protect the meat – especially if it’s chicken or another poultry product.
Poultry can be prepared in the same way as red meat, but may require a shorter curing time (3 to 5 days) and a higher cooking temperature (165 degrees Fahrenheit).
Game meats like venison and elk must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees before eating. Failure to do so could result in illness or even death, so make sure you follow this closely.
Sources & references used in this article:
Home production of quality meats and sausages by S Marianski, A Marianski – 2012 – books.google.com
Dry-cured ham by F Toldrá – FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY-NEW YORK …, 2004 – books.google.com
The prepper’s pocket guide: 101 easy things you can do to ready your home for a disaster by B Carr – 2011 – books.google.com
The Smoked-foods Cookbook: How to Flavor, Cure, and Prepare Savory Meats, Game, Fish, Nuts, and Cheese by L Park, E Park – 1992 – books.google.com