The process of curing meats is often performed by a gourmet butcher to ensure that quality meats can be preserved and served in a variety of situations. It is also done to add a distinctive flavor that makes certain meats more appealing as appetizers or other special treats. Various procedures can be used to create the best possible cured meats.
Salt is often used to keep bacteria from growing on the meat. This works as salt draws the water out of the meat. As the bacteria are killed off, it becomes easier for the meat to retain its quality. Salt is typically mixed with water to allow it to spread around the entire body of the meat.
Distilled Water Can Be Added
Distilled water is a necessity for the curing process. Distilled water is pure and is not at risk of having any kind of bacteria. The water is typically boiled before the meat is applied into it to ensure that the water is clear and safe to use.
Nitrates Are Often Added
Nitrates can also be added onto a number of cured meats. Nitrates are often a little stronger than more traditional forms of salt. These are often added to meats to keep them dry and less likely to develop bacteria.
Can Injections Work?
While dousing the water in a proper mix of salt or nitrates and water always works, some butchers will prepare their cured meats by using a series of small needles. These will stab the meat bodies and inject them with a series of curing solutions. This is done quickly and effortlessly to cover large masses of meat but at the same time they might also cause more water to get into the meat if handled improperly. A talented butcher must watch for what one can do when getting meats cured with such a process as this.
If used right, the process of curing meats should be very simple and easy to follow. A quality gourmet butcher will ensure that all plans for curing meats are organized right and that every meat being taken care of is prepared to perfection.
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