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Guide to Smoking Meat When we go to the sausage and deli meat sections of our supermarkets, we find many commercially smoked products which usually come from cured parts of pork. They are derived from those popular large cuts which requires longer curing times like ham, bacon, butt, loin, back fat and smaller parts such as hocks and jowls, and the reason why most smokehouses shortened the process by needle pumping the meat to hasten the curing time. You have an advantage if you cure and smoke meat at home since you can use any type of meat and you can also cure and smoke the entire animal, and not just parts of it. Another benefit if you cure and smoke at home is that you can use healthier ingredients for your smoked meat. When you are following the traditional way of curing and smoking, you would also want to put only those authentic ingredients or come up with your own traditional recipe. The thing that makes a better quality smoked meat is if you process it longer. Since high quality products have long curing processes, it comes out in the market as a costly item. However, when one starts to substitute those traditional steps with chemicals to speed up the process, it will doubtlessly make the food less healthy. If you do the curing and smoking at home, you are sure that you are eating a high quality meat product while saving money.
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It is good to note that people are now coming back to making traditional cured and smoked meat. In the days before refrigeration, the craft, which is about “preservation above all”, was an absolute necessity, and widely practiced and kept alive by artisans all these years. Today, many are interested in trying the craft of curing and smoking meat themselves, especially after long years of eating grocery meat that is pumped full of water and preservatives that they have somehow forgotten what the real taste of meat is like.
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The process of making smoked products basically follows these steps: they include first and foremost, meat selection, curing- which includes salting and putting sugar to give it a sweet flavor and then make it set for a certain number of days (12 to 14 days is common), take it back out wash them and make it dry for around 2 days, it is then followed by conditioning and drying then by bringing it to a meat bench where you would apply seasoning ingredients like black, red and cayenne pepper, honey or molasses and make it stay before smoking, cooking, cooling and storing. The thing nice about doing it yourself is because you can create what you want for your traditional recipe from scratch or alter it a bit to suit your preference. There is no one set time for curing and smoking, you can try experimenting on this on your own.

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