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Meat Curing Tips for Beginners – Dry Curing, Cold Smoking

I was thinking the other day about the best tips I could give for meat curing to a beginner. Dry-cured meats and cold smoking have been my passion for a few decades, it’s quite the obsession! Quick Meat Curing Tips Off the top of my head, I can whack up some dry-cured, cold-smoked bacon. This info will be around the …

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Complete Guide to Equilibrium Curing Meat

This equilibrium curing guide will cover everything I’ve learned and know in the past ten years of using it for making cured meats at home. The ‘secret sauce’! It isn’t much of a secret these days – but I want to expand on it. I wished that this guide had existed when I started; it would have made things a …

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Best Wood for a Charcuterie Board (Styles & Pictures)

I’m going to talk about different wooden boards for charcuterie and a lot of things I have learned about making/eating charcuterie. I use a multitude of styles to bring out the best in food. There are some woods to avoid and many variations as I’m sure you know. Don’t worry here is a guide about what works, is universal, and …

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What Should Charcuterie Boards be Made of?

What Should Charcuterie be Boards Made of? Charcuterie boards are made of hardwoods that enhance the display of cured meats, preserved vegetables, cheeses, and other common components. These hardwood charcuterie boards are often made of acacia, hard maple, teak, olive & cherry. Charcuterie boards should be made of hardwood that enhances the presentation of the dry-cured meats, preserved vegetables, and …

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What Does a Traditional Charcuterie Board Have On it? (French & Italian)

A traditional charcuterie board is based on either French or Italian traditions. Quality Dry Cured Meat, pates, and cheese, that is the core of the tradition. When it comes to charcuterie platters cured meat like salami and prosciutto are generally the cornerstone of most classics. Classics will always endeavor. There is so much variation around, it’s been expanded on in …

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Difference Between Antipasto, Antipasti & Antipasta

The difference between antipasti, antipasto, and anti pasta is subtle. I have had hundreds of variations of these appetizer platters, and I’ve enjoyed variations of them across all regions of Italy. It’s often outside of Italy, where this needs clarification, I’ll explain all this in detail as a purveyor of antipasti, salumi, salami and charcuterie. Antipasta does not mean anything …

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The Most Useful Dry Curing Meat Curing Books I Have Read

Here is a helpful rundown of the best books I have found on meat curing, dry curing, and smoking food; these are books I have re-read and used as references throughout this site, the best of the best! Best Most Useful Meat Curing Books These ‘go-to books‘ are very useful for someone trying to learn dry curing and smoking; they’re …

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Is Charcuterie Raw Meat? (or is it Cooked?)

In the modern sense, Charcuterie hasn’t got much to do with raw meat, although sometimes it can look quite raw; it’s probably dried. Charcuterie is not raw meat; most is a form of dry-cured charcuterie, salt-cured and dried. Other types of charcuterie are cooked, such as ham, rillettes, and pates. Since dry-cured charcuterie is not cooked but dried, it is …

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Best Humidifiers for Meat Curing (Chambers, Dry Curing)

Most of the time, humidifiers can be the most important part of the curing chamber. When you’re looking at this type of component, you are probably also thinking about the size of the chamber. There is always the option of using a duct to transfer the moisture or even a DIY pipe or exhaust attached. I’ve had 6 DIY dry …

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Best Temperature Controller for a Meat Curing Fridge Cabinet Conversion

The best temperature controller depends firstly on what type of fridge you use to cure meat and whether you want an easy plug-and-play option. Best Plug & Play Temperature Controller for Meat Curing Best Hard Wire Temperature Controller for Meat Curing Many years ago, I started looking at all the options for my first curing chamber; I still check out …

Cured Meat & Nitrates (Research Summary)

I am not here to debate whether or not nitrates should be used, it’s up to you to decide. All I can do is say what I do and what I’ve learned. There is a food scientist blogger who put together a very decent science-based post on nitrates/nitrites and cured/processed meats, it’s worth a read.  Here is a link to a recent …

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Gift Ideas for Meat Curing & Smoking

Here are my top picks on some novel suppliers to try, useful tools & books for info or inspiration that are worth giving to someone or giving to yourself! I’ve tested many different tools and equipment over the years, and I thought it would be useful to share some of the all-time most helpful and practical equipment I have used, …

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Best Humidifiers for a DIY Meat Curing Chamber

Humidifiers specifically to raise the moisture in the fridge can vary greatly in design. I’ve used many over several years and wanted to highlight which will work and which won’t. Choosing the best humidifier is about getting the right device for your meat curing chamber based on size and capacity. Best Humidifiers for a Meat Curing Chamber There are a …

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How To Equilibrium Cure or Brine Bacon (Calculator & Tool)

So it was a bit of a revelation discovering how to equilibrium cure or brine bacon, it means I had control over the level of saltiness that you taste (rather than guessing with the old covering the bacon with the salt method). I’ve been making my own bacon for about 20-odd years. I’ve tried dry curing and wet brining with …

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How Does a Pellet Smoker Tube Work? (Smoking Guide)

How a pellet tube smoker is simple, there are quite a few different ways that you can use it, which I want to go over. I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with pellet tube smoking both cold smoking and hot smoking on various different types of smokers for 20 years. I looked around for the right type of …

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How to Cure Meat for Long-Term Storage (Various Methods)

I’ve used, taught, and come across many different techniques on how to cure meat for long-term preservation and storage. This website is about dry curing and smoking meat, I’ve delved into learning and practicing preserved long-term storage versions in case I didn’t have any refrigeration. These are simple techniques for salting and curing meat that have been used for preservation …

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How Does Charcuterie Work? (Dry Cured Meats & Preserving)

So how does this thing called charcuterie work? This is something that gets asked often around here. What are the main reasons why it’s different from fresh meat, or bacon. You’ve come to the right place. I’ve been passionate about charcuterie for decades, and it still fascinates me, so I will give you a quick answer and then dive into …

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What Does Charcuterie Taste Like? (Cured & Smoked Meats)

The tastes of charcuterie vary greatly; I will describe all categories I have eaten, researched, judged, taught, and made at home. Traditional salumi or charcuterie, like cold smoked meats and dry cured meats, have a high level of ‘umami,’ a balanced ‘savory’ flavor. Many cured types of meat, such as prosciutto and pancetta, use salt to preserve; they are cut …

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Some Charcuterie Idea Recipes for Beginners (Meat Curing & Smoking)

When you start with charcuterie as a beginner it can seem overwhelming with all the variations out there, in our very online connected world (low information diet is the key I reckon). The definition of charcuterie encompasses a lot more than dry-cured meats for most people, which I guess now becomes whatever you want to highlight your charcuterie board (but …

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Is Charcuterie Processed Meat? (Dry Cured Meat)

Charcuterie and processed meat are quite poorly defined because most of them have been deemed different by different organizations and people. Charcuterie can be dry-cured meat such as dry-cured salami and whole muscle. Like genoa salami, prosciutto, and pancetta. It’s also traditionally ham, rillettes, pates, and offal-based cooked meats from a French charcuterie perspective. It involves a process but may …