Curing meat is an accidental preserving technique for meat discovered by our ancestors. The discovery was very beneficial in the times when there were no refrigerators. Ancient Egyptians and Chinese mostly used curing techniques for keeping the meat fresh and which can be used later. Potassium nitrate or saltpetre was used for the curing process around the middle ages. Saltpetre does not preserve meat but also maintains a pink colour of meat.
What Is Curing Salt?
Curing salt, also known as Prague powder, is an essential element used in preserving food. Curing salt is generally a blend of salts that have special preservation qualities. Generally, regular salt is blended with sodium nitrite to curing salt.
Which Salt For Curing?
The primary benefit of curing is that it prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria, preserves meat, and improves its flavour. Sodium Nitrate is generally used for curing purposes and smoked meat.
Types Of Curing
1. Dry Curing
Dry curing is the process best used for hams, bacon, and small meat cuts. This process involves applying the salt directly to the meat and storing them in plastic bags with a tight seal. After sealing, the meat is kept in the refrigerator for the curing process to take place. Before cooking, the meat is taken and rinsed with water to remove the excess salt.
2. Brine Curing
In brine curing, water and salt are mixed to form a meat-preserving pickle solution. In this process, the brine solution is kept in a non-corrosive metal bowl, and meat is soaked in the solution. The bowl is covered with a lid to see that the meat is fully submerged in a brine solution.
3. Sausage Curing
Sausage curing is when salt is combined with spices for curing of meat. The process is done in the refrigerator, and the meat is just taken out before cooking.
What Is In Curing Salt?
Curing salts are a blend of different salts, and here are some of the essential salts used for curing.
- Salt (NaCl) or Common Salt
- Sodium Nitrite which is the main ingredient used in the curing process
- Sodium Nitrate is also included in salt for longer cures, and even bacteria convert Sodium Nitrate into Sodium Nitrite.
Types Of Curing Salts
Types of salt that are specific to a certain country or region.
- Prague Powder # 1 or Pink Salt: Contains 6.25% Sodium Nitrite, and the rest is a common salt
- Saltpetre: This is another name for Potassium Nitrate and is being used for many centuries.
Where To Buy Curing Salt?
Salt is an essential ingredient used in curing. Proper salt is to be used for preserving meat that can be used for cooking. Canada salt Group Ltd is a reliable supplier of food-grade salts. Contact us for a free estimate.