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How To Cure Meats: Bacon, Ham, Corned Beef, Andouille, Turkey Legs, Pastrami Recipes, And More

Curing meats is an ancient technique for preserving meats before the advent of refrigeration. If done properly it can make awesome tasting food such as bacon and pastrami. If done improperly, it can make you sick. We can teach you how to do it properly. Below are links to recipes that you will love but first you absolutely positively must without a doubt no questions asked pinky swear to read my article The Science of Curing Meats Safely and why these recipes are different than any other recipes and why you cannot improvise with some of the ingredients. Here’s some good news: Start with bacon! It is easy and soooooo goooood.

One more thing: True cured meats have preservatives, sodium nitrite and/or sodium nitrate, added to them. That’s what gives them their pink color and unique flavor. Most are then smoked. Lately, because of irrational fears over preservatives, there are things like “Uncured Bacon” or “Naturally Cured” meats on the market. They almost all have celery powder added to them and celery powder is loaded with, you guessed it, sodium nitrite and nitrate. Same exact chemistry. In fact, tests by Consumer Reports and others have shown that many of these products have a higher concentration of preservatives. So don’t be suckered by signs like this one at a hotel buffet breakfast.

natural bacon

Reuben sandwich

The Science Of Curing Meats Safely

By:

Meathead

Curing meat is not like any other recipe. You must be pretty precise about some ingredients.
cured uncooked homemadebacon

How To Make Smoked Homemade Bacon – It Is So Much Better Than Store Bought

By:

Meathead

Homemade bacon is easy and the results are much better than grocery store smoked bacon. Once you have the basic homemade smoked bacon recipe down, you can vary the ingredients to make countless flavor variations.
Sliced homemade Canadian bacon

Canadian And Irish Bacon Made Better At Home

By:

Meathead

Fans of Canadian bacon will rejoice this recipe for making flavorful smoked pork loin at home. Making Canadian bacon or back bacon is more like curing a ham than making American bacon. Order boneless loin (not tenderloin) if you want to make this. Irish bacon is made like Canadian bacon but without the smoking step.
Cured and smoked ham

How To Make A Cured Smoked Ham From Scratch

By:

Meathead

Create a smoked ham at home that will put any store-bought ham to shame thanks to this simple, yet flavor packed recipe. The key to creating a ham like the ones you normally purchase during the holidays is the curing process. Without curing a fresh ham, you won't achieve the same flavor or deep red color of the traditional type.
double smoked ham

You Have Stumbled Across The Ultimate Double Smoked Ham Recipe

By:

Meathead

Create the best ham you've ever tasted with this ultimate double smoked ham recipe. Ordinary store bought whole or spiral ham is taken over the top by slowly smoking it on the grill. The true star of the show, however, is the sweet and savory glaze!
hams hanging on a rack

Hamming it Up: A Survey of the World’s Great Hams And How To Cook Them

By:

Meathead

There are many different types of ham around the world, but they all fall into three categories: Fresh ham, dry-cured ham, and wet-cured ham.
Sliced corned beef

Our Famous Corned Beef Recipe Outshines Store Bought

By:

Meathead

Our famous corned beef recipe is not only fun, it also puts the prepared stuff at your local grocery store to shame. Preparing and cooking this corned beef brisket recipe might take a little extra time but it is well worth the effort when you bite into it! Smoke it on the grill and suddenly you have homemade pastrami!
corned beef and cabbage

Corned Beef And Cabbage Done Right (You’ve Been Doing It Wrong)

By:

Meathead

This St. Patrick's Day, take your corned beef to a new level thanks to this fool proof recipe. Traditionally preparing corned beef and cabbage means simply throwing it all in a pot of boiling water. Unfortunately the result is salty, mushy vegetables and meat that is tough and fatty. Here are tips to elevate this dish.
corned beef hash

The Corned Beef Hash Recipe All Others Aspire To Be

By:

Meathead

Corned beef hash is a perfect way to use leftover corned beef after St. Patrick's Day has come and gone. Cooking chopped corned beef along with potatoes, onion, and other select ingredients results in a dish that puts all other corned beef hash to shame. Top it with an egg or other ingredients for your own twist.
Reuben burger plated

Reuben Reimagined: The Corned Beef St. Patrick’s Day Melt

By:

Clint Cantwell

Corned beef is taken to new heights with this delicious recipe for the Reuben burger. Corned beef brisket is ground into burger patties before being grilled to perfection. Inspired by the classic Reuben, this patty melt style burger features tangy sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye bread.
Sliced homemade pastrami

A Smoked Pastrami Recipe That’s Close To Katz’s

By:

Meathead

If you've ever wondered how to make pastrami then we've got you covered. Moist, tender, and full of flavor, this is the ultimate homemade smoked pastrami recipe. So what is pastrami? Simply put, it's Jewish barbecue, i.e. corned beef that has been smoked. This is about as close to Katz's pastrami recipe as you'll get!
Sliced sous vide and smoked pastrami

Pure Pastrami Perfection, The Sous-Vide-Que Method

By:

Clint Cantwell

Pastrami is the ultimate expression of beef brisket, and it is at its best if you start with sous vide. To begin, prepared corned beef is rendered moist and tender thanks to a low and slow sous vide water bath. The meat is then smoked on the grill, creating mouthwatering sliced pastrami for sandwiches and more.
Reuben sandwich

Classic New York Style Rockin’ Reuben Sandwich Recipe

By:

Meathead

Create the ultimate Reuben sandwich with this simple recipe. If you've never tried a Reuben sandwich then you're missing out on one of the greatest flavor combinations ever. Thinly sliced corned beef is layered thick on rye or pumpernickel bread along with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and a Russian-style dressing.
Grilled andouille sausage on a plate

How To Make Traditional Louisiana Andouille Sausage At Home

By:

Meathead

Andouille sausage is the soul of New Orleans Creole cooking. It is spicy, garlicky, and smoky. Here is how to make this classic Louisiana sausage.
Couple enjoying a smoked turkey leg

How to Smoke Turkey Legs, Disney Style

By:

Meathead

This tested recipe reproduces the monster turkey legs you see if you visit any of the Disney parks where you will see folks stumbling around with delirious smiles. The secret to success is curing then smoking the giant turkey legs. This recipe also works fine with chicken legs, though they will cook faster.

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Published On: 4/24/2019 Last Modified: 4/17/2021


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