You may wonder that what exactly meat curing is? Yes, for those who are inexperienced, meat curing is a process used to preserve meat by adding salt and other curing agents. It is done both for commercial and domestic purpose. While preserving homemade meat, it is salt and nitrite that are added in the meat whereas for commercial the extra things are few chemicals injected through needles. Before you start doing it you should know well and so is the purpose of reading about meat curing!You may wonder that what exactly meat curing is? Yes, for those who are inexperienced, meat curing is a process used to preserve meat by adding salt and other curing agents. It is done both for commercial and domestic purpose. While preserving homemade meat, it is salt and nitrite that are added in the meat whereas for commercial the extra things are few chemicals injected through needles. Before you start doing it you should know well and so is the purpose of reading about meat curing!
Firstly, are there any differences between the many ways of preserving food?
Well, the answer is yes, thought is may not be as equal as orange or banana. Besides meat curing, there are brining, marinating, sweet pickle, and salting. While all these methods involves adding salt, and some even adding water, with the same motive of preserving and improving the tenderness, taste, and juiciness of the meat, there are differences between these methods. Brining is a way to save meat by soaking it in brine which is a mixture of salt and water to enhance its taste and mouth watering juiciness while marinating is to immerse the meat in marinade that will bring out particular flavor to it. Meanwhile, pickle is just another term for brining as sweet pickle involves immersing the meat in sweetened brine, which is just mixture of sugar, salt and water. Salting is the simplest way to preserve meat, which is just to add salt to the meat, extracting water substances out of it. Moisture in the meat is the breeding ground for microorganisms to turn the meat bad.
Classic method of curing meat, or salt curing, is basically just salting, adding nothing but salt to the meat to bring out the moisture inside the meat. But for better quality of the meat, just by adding salt alone will not be the best option as salt hardens the fibers of the meat, making it dry and salty too. Therefore, most of the times when doing meat curing, besides salt, nitrate or nitrite is added to it.
Second thing you should keep in mind about meat curing is the goodness of nitrite or nitrate.
Ways back in the olden days, before the 19th century, the existence of nitrate in the field of meat curing was not known and they just used nothing but salt. Yet, they were unaware that salt contained impurity which was nitrate, making the meat look pinkish in color. But with time, more and more unclear matters will become clear and the purpose of nitrite and nitrate in the process of meat curing become apparent. While it is universally recognized that both the chemical compounds are capable to prevent food poisoning when used as curing agents, but the main reason when using it is that it preserve the meat and enhance its taste and flavor. It is also an extra precaution for botulism, a kind of food poisoning, when the meat is smoked in low temperatures by preventing the spread of C. botulinum spores and stopping its development into toxins. A lot of customers prefer to have their meats cured with nitrates or nitrites as it brings out a unique flavor to the meat. Another benefit from using nitrates or nitrites is that when used it alongside with sodium nitrite, commonly known as salt, it prevents the growth of meat decaying microorganisms.
What is the need of meat curing? That is the third thing you should know about.
You should know that the moisture inside the meat will become the spreading ground for microorganisms which will spoil the meat. When we add the necessary ingredients for meat curing, we dry up the moisture in it so that it will last longer in a dry and cold environment. Back when the invention of refrigerators was still remained obscure, meat curing is very beneficial as without it, all the meats will decay and it is a waste of food. It still is useful as it will bring out another flavor to the meat. Other than that, back in the old days of refrigerator-less, meat curing is the only way to guarantee that there will be meat all year round, especially those three long months of summer. It is also a defense for countries where its food productions are at low rates. With meat curing, meats do not get wasted and therefore, should there be any poor crops or other misfortune events such as major food poisoning and so on, there is still those preserved meat at hands to save the day. While refrigerators have since been widely used as the way to preserve meat, the art of meat curing should not be neglected and applied, be it for homemade meat or for commercial purposes.
If you were very interested with the business of meat curing, then, you might want to consider applying it for homemade meat. But, how? Well, here is the number four of things to know. read here my second article. click here
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