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Dry Salt Cures for Meat

 
gardener
Posts: 6494
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Wes, the biggest thing you need to monitor is the temperature of the room, next most important is the humidity. I like your setup. Those duck breasts look super.

Redhawk
 
pollinator
Posts: 522
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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Monitoring is one thing; controlling, however...

That particular room if fine for late fall through early spring.  On the east side of the house, it stays relatively cool all year, being mostly shaded in summer and the furthest from the wood stove in the winter.  But we have no A/C, so it gets warm in the summer.  Up to 85F in the main part of the house when it's really hot outside; maybe 5 to 10 degrees cooler in that room.  For short-duration curing (like the duck ham, or the venison bresaola I made last year) it's fine, but for something long-term like a whole pig leg it's going to be a little iffy.

But I figure all such curing used to be done sans temperature and humidity control (at least, without the degree of control and monitoring we have available now), so this isn't exactly unprecedented.  Of course, there would have been a certain level of folk wisdom to accompany such work that has probably been largely lost, but I feel fairly confident in my ability to mostly figure things out--and in the fact that these sorts of things seem to more or less just work.

I may not make the finest jamon iberico, but if it's edible it'll be sufficient.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Once you have the salt through out, I think temps can vary more as long as the humidity goes down, heat should be less of a problem.

Redhawk
 
pollinator
Posts: 685
Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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I realize the thread is pretty old, but I know there are many who are wondering how to cure meat. I'll share this because I'm pleased with the source I've turned to on this topic.

Because of all the needless hysteria, there is unneeded fear about food-borne pathogens. Most of this originates from governments who seem to think they are more wise than thousands of years of successful practice. Besides, most of the guidelines and American books out there are based on principles for mass processing, not home-scale preservation.

I will refer everyone to Farmstead Meatsmith which is where I've gained my personal knowledge. Like Bryant, Brandon Sheard has extensive knowledge and experience in preservation of various meats for the household. In fact, they have a new podcast that deals much with home-scale meatsmithery. Here is the link to their website: https://farmsteadmeatsmith.com/  Many of you are familiar with the three-video series titled The Anatomy of Thrift. Not only do I recommend these videos to everyone, but for those who want to begin preserving their own harvest, I highly recommend diving into their website. Besides, there's the added bonus that Brandon can string words together in an artful manner.

Other resources I would put to you are books that Farmstead Meatsmith suggests:

Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery, by Jane Grigson. London: Grub Street, 2001.
The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2008.
The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2004.
River Cottage Handbook No. 13: Curing & Smoking by Steve Lamb. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014.
Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages by Adam and Stanley Marianski. Seminole: Bookmagic, 2010.
Cottage Economy by William Cobbett. New York: John Doyle, 1833. Open Source.

Yeah, I wish I was getting paid for this endorsement, but that's not happening. This endorsement for learning through Farmstead Meatsmith is strictly based on my personal experience.

Cheers!
 
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