[Sca-cooks] smoked meats

Tony morganmacleod at excite.com
Tue Oct 10 10:28:10 PDT 2006

 Smoking and salting meats are excellent ways to preserve the meat without refrigeration.  If properly performed, the meat will last for years safely although the organoleptic qualities may decline.  The purpose of both methods is to reduce the growth of spoilage bacteria on and in the meat.  Smoking the meat reduces the moisture level below that at which pathogenic bacteria can thrive as does salting. The smoking process slowly dries the meat, much like making jerky except typically with larger cuts of meat and a higher moisture content.  The exact temperature is not really important as long as it does not rise to the point at which true cooking actually occurs.  That is called BBQ and is delicious, but not the point of this discourse.  The quicker the meat dries, the less likely it is to harbor bacteria so this should be considered.  You may brine or sugar the meat before smoking to decrease the survivability of pathogens.  If the smoke flavor from this long process is too 
harsh for you, then simply don't add the wood until partway through the process.  While the wood smoke itself does have some antiseptic properties, the drying of the meat is what actually does the preserving and the smoke adds flavor. Care should be taken to keep the meat dry after it is cured or the bacteria will start to grow.  If traveling, simply wrapping the sliced pieces in butcher paper or putting it in a plastic container will serve quite well.  Depending on your taste and texture preferences, you may wish to soak the meat in water before consuming. Morgan  Tony McCollumRealtor-AssociateReeves Williams RealtySenatobia, MS 38668662-562-6699

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