5 Easy Methods to Safely Preserve Different Types of Meats
Preservation of meat controls microorganisms’ growth and slows down the enzyme activity to inhibit spoilage. There are different methods to preserve different types of meats and meat products while maintaining quality and safety. The growth of microorganisms depends on the physical state of meat greatly. For example, the chance of grinding meat spoilage is higher than the full cut. Because grinding meat releases more moisture thus providing more surface for bacteria to grow.
Other than the surface area and moisture content, the pH of meat also affects the growth of microorganisms. There are a number of solutions to these issues and to preserve different types of meat. One method that we all are familiar with is the use of a freezer. In different stores and supermarkets usually, there is a commercial fridge freezer to prevent microbial contamination. But there are a number of other methods too like canning and drying.
So, here we have gathered some easy meat preservation methods for you:
Cold Storage of Meat
The most well-known method of meat preservation is refrigerated storage. But it can preserve meat only for 6 to 7 days. In the growth of bacteria, the most influencing factor is temperature. A temperature under 38°F or 3°C is appropriate for storing meat. But you should store meat at as cold temperature as possible for long-term storage.
The freezer is another excellent meat preservation method for long-term storage. But before storing in the freezer, use freezer bags or wrap the meat tightly to prevent air contact and moisture loss. At 0°F or -18°C that is the typical storage temperature of the freezer, you can preserve any kind of meat for 6 to 12 months.
Method of Canning
The second most widely used method of meat preservation is canning. In this method, meat is sealed in a container and then heat is used to kill microorganisms that cause meat spoilage. And after a complete process of canning, you can store your meat at room temperature. Although canned meat can be stored indefinitely, there is a sell-by date mention due to quality concerns.
For canning, always buy clean and fresh meat from healthy animals. And you should follow the instruction for successful canning. If you couldn’t seal jars within 2 to 3 hours of processing use the meat immediately or put it in the refrigerator.
Curing the Meat
Although nitrates are declared toxic if used in large quantities, for curing meat, salt is essential. You can find curing salts for meat preservation. These salts are also known as “pink salts” but they are not similar to Himalayan pink salt.
In the curing method, combine table salt, curing salts, and other spices and rub meat. After dry-rubbing store meat in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 days. Then rinse it thoroughly and wrap it in a cloth and hang it in a dry and cool location like in a walk-in refrigerator.
Drying the Meat
This preservation method is the oldest and the best method for preserving the leanest cuts. In the past, people put meat in the sun on flat rocks. But now, electrical appliances like dehydrators are used for this method.
Experts suggest pre-cooking before dehydration. You can use a preheated oven or can steam roast the meat. After pre-cooking, dry the meat for a few more hours and then put it in airtight containers.
Irradiation of Meat
In this method, meat is exposed to radiation, and microorganisms in the meat are killed. Electron accelerators and gamma radiation emitting substances like cesium-137 are used to expose meat to high-energy radiation.
Although, after irradiation, you still need to store meat in the refrigerator, it extends the storage life of meat. So, after exposing the meat to irradiation wrap it properly and put it in the refrigerator or freezer.