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How to Cure Meat

Whether you're out in the wild or just hungry at home, use this recipe and ordinary household ingredients to cure your own meats for jerky.


  • Step 1: Combine dry ingredients Combine the salt, brown sugar, pepper, herbs, and saltpeter. Make sure the saltpeter is thoroughly mixed in.
  • Step 2: Make brine solution Chill the water to 38 degrees Fahrenheit and add the dry ingredients. This is your brine solution.
  • Step 3: Wash and trim meat Thoroughly wash the meat and pat it dry. Then cut away any fat or waste.
  • Step 4: Soak the meat in the brine Submerge the meat in the brine solution. Keep the meat from floating above the brine by weighing it down with a heavy plate. Cover the meat and let it soak in the brine for four to six days, keeping it between 30 and 50 degrees.
  • TIP: If you're impatient or in a hurry, you can inject the meat into the brine solution with a turkey baster.
  • Step 5: Wash and refrigerate Remove the meat from the brine solution, wash it under cold running water, and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to eat.
  • FACT: Salt containing nitrates was used as long ago as 850 B.C.E. to preserve meat.

You Will Need

  • 1 c. salt
  • 1/4 c. light brown sugar
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh herbs
  • 1/4 oz. saltpeter
  • Cold water
  • Rack of meat
  • Heavy plate
  • Turkey baster (optional)

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