Dry Curing Bacon.
Picture of dry curing bacon

 

What is dry curing meat and how do you dry cure food?

The Simple Answer to What is Dry Curing Meat

To put it simply, Dry curing food like ham, bacon, fish, meat and other food is the curing of the food by coating with a dry curing agent.

Dry curing is the curing of food by coating it with a curing agent like salt and suspending the meat to drain and dry the meat being cured.  Typically meats like ham, bacon and fish like Lox are dry cured but there are many sausages like salami that are dry cured as well.  The usual dry curing agent is a combination of salt and potassium nitrate or sodium nitrite.  The meat is heavily coated with the curing agent and then hung for several days to several months while it dries.  During the drying time the curing compound penetrates through the meat, drawing out the moisture and thereby preserving the cured meat.  As the moisture leaves the meat there is a weight loss of the meat but the flavor of the meat intensifies.  Many times the meat is smoked during or after the dry curing process.  Either cold smoking, without cooking as is done for smoked cured bacon, or hot smoking, as is done for smoked ham, can be used.