Here are 50 examples of common and some cured meats you might not of heard of. I could have easily written 100 salami variations, but decided to focus on familiar & interesting unique flavors of the meat curing world!
Maybe you want to find something for an epic charcuterie board or just want to learn a bit more about various cured meats.
Here with the first 20 are the classic charcuterie board options, then some more interesting unique flavors.
Red meat based cured meats are the mainstay, but there are so many fascinating and interesting cured fish types in the world also
Many Cured Meats can be made at home, I created this site because I am super passionate about it, here are some delights I have made:
If you have some interest in curing or learning more about curing. I will put some links to beginners guides below.
50 Interesting Examples of Cured Meats
|1. Hot Smoked Bacon||11. Gravalax||21. Sujuk||31. Liverwurst||41. Ch’arki|
|2. Cold Smoked Bacon||12. Braesola||22. Speck||32. Bündnerfleisch||42 Cecina (meat)|
|3. Hot Smoked Salmon||13. Pancetta||23. Lardo||33. Kabanos||43. Carne-de-sol|
|4. Cold Smoked Salmon||14. Coppa||24. Cervelat||34. Tasso Ham||44. Bakkwa|
|5. Biltong/Jerky||15. Culatello||25. Salami||35. Anchovies||45. Sukuti|
|6. Droëwors||16. Spalla||26. Nduja||36. Lap Cheong||46. Lahndi|
|7. Country Ham/Ham on the Bone||17. Chorizo||27. Pastrami||37. Pickled Herring||47. Kuivaliha|
|8. Texas Barbecue – ‘Slow n Low’||18. Jamon Iberico||28. Black Forest-Ham||38. Salt Cod||48. Basturma|
|9. Prosciutto||19. Guanciale||29. Westfalian-Ham||39. Lap Yuk||49. Gammon|
|10. Lonza||20. Mortadella||30. Mettwurst||40. Brési||50. Salo|
Dry curing meat is a process of fully salt curing and then intensifying flavor by drying (kind of like roasting to remove moisture). So I have figured out a way of doing it in a normal fridge.
Guide on Dry Curing Meat in Your Regular Fridge – here
If you want to have a crack at dry curing (or wet brining) bacon, check out a guide below. It also covers hot smoking bacon I think.
Guide on Easy Home Made Bacon – here
1. Hot Smoked Bacon (easy DIY)
Great starter project and easy. Salt cure, form pellicle, hot smoke/cook the bacon. I think this is the go to cured meat project. There is also cured ‘green bacon’ which is a simple, here it in the fridge project.
If you want to check out how to make bacon (hot or cold smoked), here is a post I wrote with a whole lot of details and different techniques.
2. Hot Smoked Salmon (easy DIY)
One of the most popular western style at home cured meats, basically same process as bacon. Because the meat is not as dense as pork, the smoking/cooking time is faster.
3. Cold Smoked Salmon (easy DIY)
Not sure why ‘cold smoking’ is made out to be so complex. It’s one of the oldest forms of preservation. The intensity of flavor is immense and as long as saltiness and sweetness are balanced. This is a harmony that is hard to beat!
4. Cold Smoked Bacon (easy DIY)
The best-smoked bacon before I started making it, was 3 days of smoking with a special blend of wood which was kept a secret, from a high end deli.
Quality of the meat and smokey flavors were all balanced nicely. I think the smell of fried bacon kicks in some caveman or cavewomen senses (probably the saturated fat which is pure instant energy).
For a full post on cold smoking, please find a post here.
5. Biltong / Jerky (easy DIY)
Jerky is generally drier. Commercially made jerky is often sweeter to appeal to a wider market I think.
Biltong can come in a semi-dried ‘wet’ format or a dry jerky style. Big difference in biltong is salt & vinegar; jerky is salt (sugar often or another sweetener).
For an easy guide, please find it here.
Favorite spices I use : smoked paprika, coriander & pepper
Coriander seed spiced South African sausage. Dried quicker using meat that doesn’t spoil as easy ie. beef/mutton. Great snack for outdoor adventures like many meats (some other outdoor cured meat ideas are here). Very classic and very popular amongst South African’s of course!
7. Country Ham / Ham on the Bone
1-3 months of salt curing, and then a long decent cold smoking (or sometimes no smoking). It can be glazed/baked to really give a sweet finish that matched the pork beautifully. I also mention Gammon to keep the Brit’s appeased.
8. Texas Barbecue – ‘Low n Slow‘ Hot Smoking
Has it’s own culture, techniques & methodology – its HUGE now.
Techniques brought from the German & Czech settler in the mid 19th Century have exploded in more recent year. The culture of hot smoking cured meat in the Southern States of the US is borderline religious.
Generally done at a low temperature for many hours or days. Another way to think of it is ‘pulled’ meat cooking with smoke added. The charcoal methods of smoking become an art form.
Some inject it with sweeteners like apple juice, for me this is taking it too far.
Of course a favorite, quality pork & salt – 12 months minimum drying/aging. It doesn’t get any simpler then this. But inside the basic recipe there are hundreds of years of Italian fine tuning so the end product is perfection.
Control of humidity, temperature, air flow & good bacteria are essential. These factors are applicable to many dry cured meat projects.
Initially the Romans used this method to stop spoilage and have meat over extended periods.
Classic loin dry cured Italian salumi (part of the whole muscle group)
Its a super lean cut and it can be made in the fridge or a cool area with good results.
Simple spices like black pepper are used or more complex spices work well.
Nordic classic, salmon cured in salt, sugar & dill (also vodka or beetroot variations). It’s another pure classic.
Wiki says that the name comes from the middle ages, when the fisherman brought back salmon in salt and then buried the fish in the sand above the high tide mark.
So fascinating I had to quote wiki:
gravlax comes from the Scandinavian word gräva/grave (“to dig”; modern sense “to cure (fish)”) which goes back to the Proto-Germanic
In the classic Italian Salumi family,
Interestingly it’s traditionally made of beef with balanced spices of cinnamon & cloves. From the classic Italian type of beef its from the ‘eye of round’ cut, which is very lean.
Horse, venison & pork are also used in Italian regional varieties.
Classis Italian pork salumi, rolled or flat pork belly. In some regions of Italy and other interpretations I have seen. It’s likely smoked too, it’s not bacon because it is dry cured until its fully preserved. So it can be eaten raw like proscuitto.
I think it belongs on a charcuterie board, or if you have a unsliced pancetta, it can be added to pastas,stews and soups! Cabonara!
14. Coppa / Capocollo
Upper neck salumi, wine spices and garlic are sometimes used. There is some wonderful fast showcased through this cut of cured meat.
I adore this style and it was a privilege to eat this is Norcia, home of cured meats and specially bred pigs
Wiki couldn’t help with this, had to use my book knowledge. Leg of prosciutto deboned, I have heard that some say it rivals the parma ham. Only 30,000 a year made in Italy vs Parma over 12 million.
Due to the regional profiling of this, it’s not so common. Worth the effort I’m told.
Pork shoulder no bone, rolled up and dry cured, another classic Italian salumi. It mentioned that pepper, cinnamon, garlic and nutmeg are the general aromatics. History sites this chunk of cured meat goes back to 1170!
A form of Spanish salami, I love this stuff. It’s major seasoning are smoked paprika and garlic. A plethora of variations out there, being a salami it can be used in many different dishes. Goes very well with some fish dishes too!
18. Jamon Iberico / Iberian Ham
Portugese & Spanish types, this is like proscuitto, fundementally different based on piggies diet. As per wiki, barley & maize to start. Then onto the main course once the pig has been weaned. ACORNS and other herbs – even olives.
Black Iberian pigs are also the key to the quality & flavors that come with Jamon!
Glorious amount of flavor from this hard working muscle. Pork cheek or jowl pancetta basically. Pepper, thyme, fennel maybe garlic – of course there are huge regional varieties in Italy of this salumi!
The fat and texture is rather different to the pancetta prok belly, worth seeking out or making if you have the chance!
Glorious cooked, emulsified giant salami, it has a completely different flavor to many other classic Italian cured meats.
Originally Bologna got famous for it. I have to say the truffle & pistachio embedded type is a glorious joy from Sicily.
Cured meat of Balkan, Central Asia & Middle East. Lots of variations on this, ok its a fresh sausage. But it sounded so interesting I stuck it in here.
Black pepper, aleppo pepper, whole garlic cloves, red pepper powder, and cumin are added to the meat before it is ground. Click above for the full breakdown
In English or German the word means “fat”, I love speck. It has a lot of regional variations.
Dutch use the lingo ‘speak’, which means bacon in German. Yes, it does make wicked bacon. It’s a pork belly variety, but with heaps more fat content.
If I could replace butter with this and not feel completely guilty I would. Though I moderate the butter intake nowadays, pure quality pork fat, dry cured and sometimes with additional spicing.
The specialists in Italy cure this quality fat up on a hill in marble.
24. Cervelat (The Brain Sausage, not Anymore)
Switzerland, France and Germany seems to have a history with this cured meat wurst. There is some Latin history so the wording relates to the brain, which was added in early versions of this.
Beef, bacon and pork rind are mentioned, I haven’t tried it but I want to. The French type has truffles & pistachios so says wiki above.
25. Salami (dry cured or cooked)
I have seen hundreds of different types of salami, I think there would be over 1,000 types (please don’t ask me to list them). It’s an advanced meat curing skills, generally fermentation takes place first before drying.
My top salami favorites are: Cacciatore, Finocchiona, Gyulai Kolbász
Definitely lesser known, it’s a spreadable salumi with a high fat content. Roasted peppers are common, it’s definitely worth looking for.
Linked historically to Roman, Greek & Bulgarian origins, so says wiki. Jewish American ties are a modern event with this. Salted and then slow simmered and hot smoked normally. It’s a super treat and works with farmed or wild chunks too.
New York Style – Lots of spices sometimes – garlic, coriander, black pepper, paprika, cloves, allspice, and mustard seed, then smoked
28. Black Forest Ham
The real deal has to come from the Black Forest of Germany, its got
Protected Designation of Origin. Heavy spicing such as garlic, coriander, pepper, juniper berries and other spices. It’s got some dry curing, then some serious cold smoking…for weeks. I have loved having this stuff for Bavarian breakfasts, meat and cheese all the way!
29. Westfalian Ham
Westfälischer Schinken German ham from acorn fed piggies. Dry cured and then cold smoked with beechwood & juniper branches. Have this one on my bucket list.
Garlic pork sausage/salami. Lots of variations across the globe, Germany has a lot of types, can be smoked and can be spreadable.
Lots of variations of this from settlers to areas around the world.
Translates to liver sausage. So in a way is liver pate in a sausage form. Spreadable and non spreadable varieties. Spices can include,
ground black pepper, marjoram, allspice, thyme, ground mustard seed, or nutmeg.
I grew up on this stuff, it’s addictive I reckon. Variations all across Europe of this.
32. Swiss Bündnerfleisch
Beef from the shoulder/thigh area, white wine & herbs go in. Some long curing process occurs. It’s also shaped in a container making it rather uniform.
It’s an awesome Polish sausage, heavy smoky goodness. Cured & cold smoked, wiki says they were hung around the necks of soldiers on horses so they could eat on the go.
34. Tasso Ham
Louisiana style ham, cured -garlic & caynnene pepper. Then hot smoked. It’s called a ham which would normally mean its from the hind leg, but the pork shoulder is used.
Used as an addition into other stews and dishes, salted heavily traditionally.
Super flavor punch for so many dishes, they tend to dissolve and become a flavor enhancer of sorts. I love them packed in oil and they offer so much. My father had an interesting pasta sauce he made with garlic, broccoli and anchovy –mighty pungent!
36. Lap Cheong (Chinese Sausage)
Hanging around all over Asia, fatty or lean types. Lap Cheong is the Southern China Cantonese type. There are variations across s Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines & Singapore – likely many other countries too!
37. Pickled Herring
Probably a 1,000 variations of this also. I have relished in having pickled herring as part of most meals in Sweden. They get the balance of flavors just right. All across Baltic & Europe – you will find the Herring in all its variations. 2 steps, salt cured then brined in vinegar for preservation.
38. Salt Cod
It has a 500 year history, so worth a mention. Cod is in decline worldwide due to over fishing, like many targeted sea fish, I suggest you use an alternative sustainable species.
It’s soaked and then used in many dishes. Jamaica, France & Greece all have national dishes based on salt cured & dried fish.
39. Lap Yuk (Chinese cured Pork Belly)
The link above has a full recipe, soya sauce & sugar cure the pork belly – it can be used for a plethora of dishes.
“Just marinate the pork in some light soy sauce, ginger, some wine, and a little bit of whiskey, and hang it by the window. That’s it.”
Another Swiss variation, salted, dried & smoked beef. It has some interesting history made in Caton of Jura. Created around the 15th Century, it’s color was similar to Brazilwood, an exotic Asian timber with a rich red color similar to the finished product, hence the name.
41. Ch’arki (South American – ancient jerky)
Salt cured and dried – Llama, horse or beef. I believe this is the early origin of jerky.
Some talk of how the Incas freeze dried this in the freezing mountains.
Leon, Spanish beef that is salted then dried by air, sun or smoke. It’s awesome and worth seeking out. There seems to be a dried beef Mexican type also.
Locally Portuguese for “sun meat”, or used in jabá a dish from Northeastern Brazil of Sephardic Jewish origin.
It is heavily salted meat, which is then exposed to the sun for one or two days to cure.
Seems to widely be available in restaurants across Brazil, being thoroughly preserved it has good shelf life.
Chinese salt sweet meat, spices, salt, soy sauce – this is very popular across Singapore & Malaysia. The finished product has a soft texture, which retains some moisture.
45. Sukuti (Napal style Jerky)
Used in dishes or a snack like alot of dried meat, flavors mentioned by Wiki – salt, cumin, pepper, and chilli powder. (Sounds like i have accidently made this with that spice mix!)
46. Lahndi (Afghanistan Jerky)
” First a lamb or sheep is slaughtered in the Islamic way, i.e., halal. Then the wool is separated in a proper and skilled way, leaving only the skin. After that, the remaining hairs on the skin are burned away with fire, after which the meat is wiped to get rid of the carbon deposits. Then the meat is cut into smaller pieces and rubbed with salt to prevent bacteria. It is also rubbed with pungent-smelling asafoetida, which is a little like garlic and serves as a preservative”
The asafoetida sounds like it is packed full of natural nitrates.
47. Kuivaliha (Finnish Jerky)
Salted and dried rein deer, used as a snack or added to some traditional soups. I remember buying some reindeer salami when in the region, but I left it in my hosts fridge and never tried it!
48. Basturma (Armenian air dried beef)
My friend tried this and was impressed. You can get a spice encased type that uses alot of fenugreek powder. Sounds like it packs an interesting punch. He also found a mountain side of Obsidian, that’s another story
Also known as Dutch
Yes it has interpretation across the globe. Smoked or un-smoked brine or dry cured. Glazing the ham with sweetness, can work well due to the sweetness matching the salt porkiness.
A pure fat cured meat – Salo is a type of Lardo, but added levels of smoke whilst also spiced differently. Paprika, black pepper and minced garlic are mentioned. Lots of Eastern European variations from my research.
Check out the wiki link above in the title.
Is Cured Meat Safe to Eat?
If the cured meat has been prepared properly, it should be safe for consumption. There are many variations in cured meats across the world, understanding the origin and process used to make the product are very important factors before consuming.
Which Meats are Cured?
Meats that have had salt added to utilize the process of osmosis, have been technically salt cured. Some forms of meat curing, mean the product can be consumed without cooking. Other forms of meat curing need cooking. For example, salt cured hot or cold smoked bacon.
Thanks for dropping by, I’ve been passionate about meat curing for decades.
I Hunt, Fish, Forage, Buy, Butcher (Wannabe Norcini), Make, Savor (I’m not a Saviour), and love curing and smoking meat.
Learning and consuming in a circular fashion, I am always interested in what is happening around the curing and smoking world
Seeking the passionate behind the passion.