Salt pork, beef, or any meat....

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Fallbackpuppet

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We butchered a pig in January and as an experiment I made salt pork. In a 5 gallon food grade bucket I layered about .5-1 inch of salt to 1-1.5 inches of boneless sliced pork up to about 5 inches from the top with the first and last layers being salt. Then I put a foil wrapped piece of plywood cut to fit with about 1/16th clearance around the edges of the bucket. Lastly I placed a 25# weight on top and sealed the bucket. This has been sitting in the back closet at room temperature around six months.

When I opened it on Tuesday I was careful to only remove the top layer of 8 pieces and not disrupt layers below that. I then resealed the bucket. When opened there were no off smells and when I dug the pork out it kinda looked like meat raisins and had a rubbery texture. Much of the salt was clumped and slightly discolored. I soaked the first test piece for an hour and changed the water once at about 30 minutes. I then fried it and it was too salty to eat. The second test piece was soaked for 6 hours changing the water every two hours. It was edible but still very salty after cooking. I then took four pieces and chopped them finely, after that I used them to make a pot of beans (added peppers, onions, and the usual but didn't add anymore salt or meat). This came out really good and the entire pot was seasoned well. The last two I soaked for 24 hours changing the water every two hours until I went to bed. This was cut into pieces and fried with potatoes and eggs this morning and wasn't to salty and tasted ok to good.

My next experiment will be at 9 months, but for now I think salted meat was a successful experiment .

Note 1: Yes I know salt meat is an ancient method of food preservation and not anything new. However knowing a thing can be done and doing it successfully are not the same thing so I think this experimentation is helpful and important.

Note 2: When water soaking the salted meat I used a one gallon pitcher filled to the one gallon mark after the meat was placed inside.

Note 3: All the meat except the finely chopped stuff in the beans had a rubbery texture kind of like over cooked mussels. You could chew it but it felt strange as you did so.

Let me know what you think and if you have ever done this before pointers and tips are very welcome.
 

Fallbackpuppet

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Ain't that the truth! Great info can't wait to hear your 9 month report ;)
I can and do harvest Deer, Turkey, pigs, ducks, and other game. We raise Chickens and have eggs (water glassing is awesome), and we plant and grow a large garden every year. However with the direction the world is going I want to make sure we can preserve and fully utilize all the stuff we grow and harvest so that we get the full benefit. We can stuff every year, but just to make sure we could we canned the first round of green beans this year over the fire pit. There were a few gotchas we had to account for, but it wasn't too hard.
 

Fallbackpuppet

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We butchered a pig in January and as an experiment I made salt pork. In a 5 gallon food grade bucket I layered about .5-1 inch of salt to 1-1.5 inches of boneless sliced pork up to about 5 inches from the top with the first and last layers being salt. Then I put a foil wrapped piece of plywood cut to fit with about 1/16th clearance around the edges of the bucket. Lastly I placed a 25# weight on top and sealed the bucket. This has been sitting in the back closet at room temperature around six months.

When I opened it on Tuesday I was careful to only remove the top layer of 8 pieces and not disrupt layers below that. I then resealed the bucket. When opened there were no off smells and when I dug the pork out it kinda looked like meat raisins and had a rubbery texture. Much of the salt was clumped and slightly discolored. I soaked the first test piece for an hour and changed the water once at about 30 minutes. I then fried it and it was too salty to eat. The second test piece was soaked for 6 hours changing the water every two hours. It was edible but still very salty after cooking. I then took four pieces and chopped them finely, after that I used them to make a pot of beans (added peppers, onions, and the usual but didn't add anymore salt or meat). This came out really good and the entire pot was seasoned well. The last two I soaked for 24 hours changing the water every two hours until I went to bed. This was cut into pieces and fried with potatoes and eggs this morning and wasn't to salty and tasted ok to good.

My next experiment will be at 9 months, but for now I think salted meat was a successful experiment .

Note 1: Yes I know salt meat is an ancient method of food preservation and not anything new. However knowing a thing can be done and doing it successfully are not the same thing so I think this experimentation is helpful and important.

Note 2: When water soaking the salted meat I used a one gallon pitcher filled to the one gallon mark after the meat was placed inside.

Note 3: All the meat except the finely chopped stuff in the beans had a rubbery texture kind of like over cooked mussels. You could chew it but it felt strange as you did so.

Let me know what you think and if you have ever done this before pointers and tips are very welcome.
Also while the texture was a little rubbery and strange the pork taste like cheep yellow and black label bacon. Essentially salt with just the hint of pork on the back end (once you get enough out to eat it). Very one dimensional. I am going to try soaking the meat in a sugar water next time and see if that helps the flavor any.
 

Ready_fire_aim

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Cool! I am not sure if you have ever heard of the YouTube channel “Townsends” he does a lot of cooking and recipes from colonial time era.

I don’t think salt pork was ever actually all that great to taste and eat. It was primarily used because it preserved the meat and that was it.

I like dehydrating, canning, freezing, etc… The salt thing works, but it died out for a reason
 

dennishoddy

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I like salt pork. Its from the store as I have never tried to make it.
Did try to make bacon from elk once using a store bought package of ingredients from Academy.
It was so salty you couldn't eat it, so I'm interested in your experiment as well.
 

Fallbackpuppet

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Cool! I am not sure if you have ever heard of the YouTube channel “Townsends” he does a lot of cooking and recipes from colonial time era.

I don’t think salt pork was ever actually all that great to taste and eat. It was primarily used because it preserved the meat and that was it.

I like dehydrating, canning, freezing, etc… The salt thing works, but it died out for a reason
Yes, I have as a matter of fact his use of salt pork in several episodes over the years is what got me thinking to try this. I spent a couple weeks looking at different methods some using salted water and some dry with other things besides just salt. For my first experiment I chose the simplest method I could find from the 1400s or probably before origin dates are sort of unreliable that far back. Essentially thin cut meat and salt. I too like dehydrating, canning, freezing, and other preservation methods. That being said as the world continues to unravel and IF the power for freezing, dehydrating, and other methods becomes unavailable I want to be sure I can preserve game I kill or vegetables I grow without modern convenience. That is why I took the canner out to the fire pit and canned green beans over an open fire. It is also why my old time smokehouse 8x10 is about 60% complete. I can do modern slow and low BBQ type smoking, but that isn't the same as old school smoking for preservation. While I can read how to do it from books like foxfire that is totally different then successfully actually doing it. At this time I am not looking to put put up tons of food with old school methods. What I am trying to do is build a baseline of skill so that I have a reasonable chance to successfully preserve foods in a worst case scenario. Salting is only out died out because better methods were available, but what if the better methods are no longer available? I would rather have a clue than be trying to figure it out when it matters.
 

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