Meat curing is a fun adventure to embark upon. The process of making cured meats at home is both an art and a science. We are able to draw on historical practices in order to guide our modern day experiments. Historically, the process of making cured meats was like an art, the masters of which used information and processes that were passed down the generations. Today, we are able to use modern scientific knowledge and techniques to expand the boundaries of what is made and enjoyed.
In my culinary journey, I try to use my scientific knowledge to inform my decision making process. I make hypotheses about what will happen, and use my kitchen as a test lab. Not everything I try works; there are often failures, which serve to teach me more about the processes I am investigating. These failures only help me to get closer to a superior end product, and must be considered part of the process. Meat curing truly is a grand adventure, and will reward those who take the time and effort to excel at it.
I have created pages that discuss the basics of meat curing. I have broken them down into the two main categories of charcuterie: whole muscle cured meats (think prosciutto or bresaola) and salami (think sopressata or cacciatore). For more basic information on these two processes see the links below: