The meat preservation
recipes given in this chapter (with the exception of the fish
preservation recipes), were taken from Farmers' Bulletin 183, written by
A. Boss. The fish preservation recipes were furnished by H. Davi, at
present with the Bureau of Chemistry of the U. S. Department of
Recipes for Home Curing
(126) Plain Salt Pork.
1. Prepare a clean hard
wood barrel by thoroughly scrubbing the inside with hot water and
washing soda or a little lye and rinsing thoroughly with water. Sirup
barrels, alcohol or whisky barrels that are still sound and sweet may be
used. A large stoneware crock is also suitable.
2. The meat must be
properly and thoroughly cooled because if salted before the animal heat
is out the shrinkage of the muscles cause the retention of injurious
gases, giving an offensive odor to the meat. It must not be frozen
because the salt will then not penetrate. Ordinarily 24-30 hours'
cooling after slaughtering will be sufficient.
3. Cut the carcass in
pieces about 6 in. square. Rub each piece with fine salt and pack
closely in a barrel. Let stand overnight.
4. The next day weigh out
10 lbs. of salt and 2 oz. of saltpeter to each 100 lbs. of meat and
dissolve in 4 gals. of water. Allow this brine to cool thoroughly.
5. Cover the pork
completely with this cold brine and weight it down with stones or other
heavy weights to keep it completely immersed. The pork should be kept in
the brine till used.
(127) Corned Beef.
1. Cool the carcass
thoroughly but do not allow it to freeze. Cut in pieces about 5 or 6 in.
square. The cheaper cuts such as plate, rump, cross ribs, brisket, etc.,
are ordinarily used. Fat beef gives better results than too lean meat.
2. Weigh the cut meat
carefully and allow 8 lbs. of salt to each 100 lbs. of meat. Sprinkle a
layer of salt
in. thick in the bottom of the barrel. Pack in as closely as possible
the cuts of meat, making a layer 5 or 6 in. thick. Then put on a layer
of salt, following that with another layer of meat. Repeat until the
meat and salt have all been packed into the barrel, care being used to
reserve salt enough for a good layer over the top.
3. After the package has
stood overnight add for every 100 lbs. of meat, 4 lbs. of sugar, 2 oz.
of baking soda, and 4 oz. of saltpeter dissolved in a gallon of tepid
water. Three gallons more of cold water should be enough to cover this
quantity. In case more or less meat is to be corned, make the brine in
the proportion given.
4. A loose board weighted
down with a heavy stone or other weight should be put on the meat to
hold it down under the brine.
5. In warm weather the
brine may become slimy or ropy. If this happens make a new brine of 8
lbs. of salt, 4 lbs. of sugar, 2 oz. of baking soda, and 4 oz. of
saltpeter to 4 gals. of water. Pour off the old brine and wash the meat
thoroughly. Add the new brine. If the meat is kept a long time the brine
should be changed occasionally. The meat will usually be corned and
ready for use in 6 weeks.
(128) Sugar Curing
Hams and Bacon for Smoking.
1. Cut bacons in proper
sizes and trim hams and shoulders after meat has cooled. Weigh.
2. Then pack in a barrel
with the hams and shoulders in the bottom, using strips of bacon to fill
in between or to put on top.
3. Weigh out for each 100
lbs. of meat, 8 lbs. of salt, 2 lbs. of brown sugar and 2 oz. of
saltpeter. Dissolve all in 4 gals. of water and cover the meat with the
brine. For summer use it will be safer to boil the brine and allow it to
cool before using. Place a few pieces of board on the meat with weights
to keep the meat immersed in the brine.
4. Bacon strips should
remain in the brine 4 to 6 weeks and hams 6 to 8 weeks before smoking.
In case the brine becomes slimy or ropy remove it, wash the meat and
cover with a fresh brine made as above.
(129) Dry Curing of
Pork for Smoking.
1. Cut bacons to proper
size and trim hams and shoulders. Weigh.
2. For each 100 lbs. of
meat weigh out 5 lbs. of salt, 2 lbs. of granulated sugar, and 2 oz. of
saltpeter and mix them thoroughly.
3. Rub the meat once
every 3 days with a third of this mixture. While the meat is curing it
is best to have it packed in a tight box or barrel. For sake of
convenience it is advisable to have two barrels and to transfer the meat
from one to the other each time it is rubbed. After the last rubbing the
meat should be let lie in the barrel a week or ten days, when it will be
cured and ready to smoke. It cures best in a cool moist place; and the
preservatives will not penetrate satisfactorily in a dry warm place.
(130) Salting Beef for
1. The round is usually
employed. Cut the fresh meat lengthwise of the muscle fibers so that the
fibers will be cut crosswise later for table use, after drying. A tight
jar or barrel is necessary for curing.
2. To each 100 lbs. of
meat weigh 5 lbs. of salt, 3 lbs. of sugar, and 2 oz. of saltpeter. Mix
3. Rub the meat with a
third of the mixture and pack tightly in a large jar or cask. Allow to
remain 3 days. Remove and rub with a third of the mixture. In repacking,
put at the bottom the pieces that were on top during the first salting.
Rub again with remaining third of the mixture. Let stand 3 days. It is
then ready for smoking and drying. The brine forming after each salting
should not be removed but the meat should be repacked in the liquid each
(131) Preservation of
Fish by Salting.
1. Select fish that are
2. For large fish such as
salmon and shad, cut off time head; scale, split in two down the back
and remove back- bone and visceral matter. Clean fish thoroughly. In
splitting the fish two pieces very much alike will be 01)- tamed. Make
three or four straight incisions on the outside of each piece so that
the salt will penetrate. Then cut the two pieces in half crosswise
making four pieces for each fish.
3. Make up a saturated
brine so that it registers 95 on the salometer or simply prepare a brine
of 3 lbs. of salt per gallon of water.
4. Immerse the fish in
the brine. Leave immersed 48 hours. A wooden weight should be used to
keep the fish completely submerged.
5. Remove the fish and
drain thoroughly 3 to 4 hours. Use 5 or 10 gal. kegs for packing. Place
the fish in the bottom of barrel on layer of salt with flesh side of
fish upward. Sprinkle with a layer of salt. Add another layer of fish;
then another layer of salt and so on until the keg is full. Cover with a
thin layer of salt. Cut a circular false head to fit inside the barrel
and weight it down heavily.
6. After a month drain
off the oily liquid and replace with a saturated brine of 3 lbs. of salt
per gallon of water. Weight down again and examine occasionally. The
fish is ready for use in 5-6 months. Crocks may be used instead of
barrels, but barrels seem to give a better flavor.
7. Small Fish. Small fish
such as herring, anchovy, mackerel, and sardines are not cleaned.
Immerse in saturated brine of 3 lbs. salt per gallon for 24 hours. Then
proceed as directed for large fish by packing in dry salt.
8. Salt. The salt used
should be granular, not too fine.
(132) Home Made
A good form of smokehouse
is shown in Fig. 56. It can be made of any size. If a very small one is
to be made, a large dry goods box or an old barrel may be used. It
should be so arranged that the pieces of meat will hang clear of each
other and-so that the smoke will pass freely around the pieces. The
smoke should he generated outside the house and conducted to the bottom
of the house by means of an old stovepipe or covered ditch. If a larger
house is built it should be 8 to 10 ft. high. One 6 x 8 ft. will be
large enough for ordinary farm use. Ample ventilation should be arranged
to carry off the heat. Small openings under the eaves or a chimney in
the roof will be sufficient, arranged so that they may be controlled. A
fire pot should be built outside the house and the smoke conducted into
the house by means of a flue made of stovepipe or wood. If the meat
hangs 6 or 7 ft. from the floor a fire may be built on the floor of the
(133) Fuel for Smoking.
Green hickory or maple
smothered in sawdust of the same wood are considered excellent for
smoking pork and beef. Any hard wood is superior to soft wood. Corn cobs
may be used but give off carbon that may darken the meat. Spent tan bark
from tanneries is the best material for smoking fish. It is also very
good for other meats. The wood should smolder and smoke and not burst
(134) Ham and Bacon.
1. Cure the ham in brine
or salt as described in Recipes 130 and 131. Rinse off adhering salt and
allow to drain. Hang in the smokehouse.
2. Smoke continuously for
2 or 3 days or smoke 3 or 4 hours each day for about 2 weeks. Use hard
wood or spent tan bark for smoke.
3. As soon as the meat is
sufficiently smoked, open the doors and windows of the smokehouse and
allow meat to cool. When thoroughly cooled, remove and wrap each piece
closely in paper. Put the wrapped pieces in strong sacks and tie well at
the top. The sacks should be hung where they are to remain until the
meat is used. The sacks should be coated with a thick paste of lime,
water and enough glue to make the mixture stick. Do not stack in piles.
Hang so pieces do not touch.
(135) Dried Smoked
1. Prepare the beef by
salt curing according to Recipe 132. Rinse off adhering salt and hang in
smoke house. Allow to drain several hours.
2. Smoke for about 3
days. Then hang in the kitchen or a dry attic and allow to dry until
sufficiently dry for slicing.
(136) Smoking Large
1. Use fresh fish only.
Scale. Clean. Cut in half clown the back and remove backbone. Cut in
pieces about 6 in. long.
2. Prepare a saturated
solution of salt (3 lbs. per gallon of water). Place fish in this brine
for 24 hours, keeping them immersed by wooden floats.
3. Remove from brine and
allow to drain 4 hours.
4. Construct a smokehouse
as previously described but make a number of wire netting trays that may
be supported in some way in the smokehouse. They may be supported on
cleats, nailed to the sides of the house if it is small, or by wires
from the rafters if the house is large. A number of trays may be placed
one above the other if a space of a few inches is allowed between each
pair. Lay the fish on these wire netting or wire screen trays.
5. Smoke the fish 10 to
12 hours with tan bark smoke. Obtain this from a tannery. If this cannot
be obtained use any hard wood chips smothered in hard wood sawdust.
6. Remove the fish and
dry in the sun 3 to 5 days. If the sun is not shining, dry in a very
slow oven or any form of fruit dryer. (See descriptions of artificial
dryers, Chap. XII, par. 68.) Wrap in paraffined paper and pack in boxes
in a cool dry place.
(137) Smoking Small
1. Cut off heads. Scale
and clean. Split so that halves just hold together.
2. Store in brine of 3
lbs. salt per gallon of water for 20 hours. Remove and drain 4 hours.
3. Smoke 8 hours, using
spent tan bark if obtainable.
4. Dry in the sun 2 to 3
days, or in artificial dryer. Wrap in paraffined paper and pack.
(138) Drying Fish.
1. Place the fish in a
brine of 3 lbs. of salt per gallon of water as directed in Recipe 133.
Drain 5 hours.
2. Dry several days in
the sun or in artificial evaporators until most of the moisture is
removed. Wrap in paper or press into bricks and wrap. Store in dry
(139) Dried Beef and
This can only be made in
a dry arid climate.
1. Cut in strips about 2
in. wide and 1/2 in. thick. Rub with a little salt and sprinkle heavily
with pepper to repel insects.
2. Hang strips on a
clothesline or long wire or string in the sun till dry. Pack in sacks.
(140) Preservation of
Eggs in Water Glass.
1. To each pint of water
glass obtained from a grocery or drug store, add 9 pints of water. Pack
the eggs in a stoneware crock, tin can, or wooden vessel. Fill with the
water glass and cover to prevent evaporation. Store in a cool place.
2. Alternative Method.
Prepare a solution of 1 cup of water glass to 2 cups of water. Dip the
eggs in this solution and allow to dry on a layer of flour or bran. Dip
again the next day and allow to dry as before. Pack in bran and store in
a cool place. Or pack in dry salt. This is preferable to bran.
3. Caution. Use only
fresh eggs and if possible non-fertile eggs. In method (2) use clean,
very dry bran.
(141) Preservation of
Eggs in Lime and Salt.
1. Slack 2 lbs. of lime
in a small quantity of water. Mix with 2 gals. of water and add 1 lb. of
salt. Stir thoroughly and allow to settle.
2. Pour off the clear
solution and use it for the preservative. This will be sufficient for
about 12 doz. eggs.