Episode-1248- Preservation of Meats with Ken Strayer

Simple Beef Salami Made with Morton Tender Quick

Simple Beef Salami Made with Morton Tender Quick

Today I want to discuss curing meats.  To do that we are joined by Ken Strayer a member of the TSP audience.  Ken has been curing meats for a few years and did a great job of answering my questions on the basics of curing meats.

He was however, extremely efficient and his knowledge is limited to a few types of cured meats so the interview as only about 28 minutes long.  It was 28 extremely informative minutes but my shows are generally at least 50 minutes to an hour in length.

So I am adding a bonus segment on the curing of meat via biltong method to the beginning of today’s show along with some stuff I picked up on simple quick “sausage style” cures.  Those might be some cool things you can do for the coming holidays.

Also next week we will have The Farmstead Meatsmith on next week.  That will be a somewhat more advanced show.  So think of this show as part one of a two part series.  This will form the basis of your understanding of making cured meats, the basic process, etc.

Ken is an awesome guy, he is a medically retired US veteran who served for 10 years in the United States Navy.  He is an avid outdoorsman who spend most of his free time backpacking and fly fishing throughout the North East.  He spends the rest of his time tending to his garden and small homestead, and cooking-and a hobbyist at smoking and curing meats of all types.  A listener of the show for about three years now, a supporter of liberty, and an Oathkeeper.

Resources for today’s show…

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22 Responses to Episode-1248- Preservation of Meats with Ken Strayer

  1. Is biltong tender, more tender than jerky?

  2. Hi Jack and Ken,

    Enjoyed the show, just a few comments/questions:
    1. The link listed in show notes for Kens documentations.
    2. What is the benefit of curing something like a ham, as opposed to just freezing it, then putting a rub on it, heat smoking and eating? Maybe im misunderstanding but it doesnt seem like any of the cured meats can be kept without refridgeration, or freezers, and would last only a few days without. Just trying to compare to something like biltong where you cure it and then keep dry for months to a year, which I really like conceptually. Thanks for clarfying and thanks to both of you for your service to our country.

    • A fresh ham has very little internal flavor beyond pork, if you just smoke and eat it it’s just smoked pig, not really ham. A wet cure is easy and flexible and can be done for several weeks, extending storage in less favorable conditions. If you’re a bit warmer in the south, using the dry cure can extend seasons quicker and more importantly longer (dry cure in the north is easier too). Once you pull a dry cure ham you can store it for years. A wet cure can store well too once you’ve developed a good peticule but it’s harder to monitor/control.

      • You can store the products they discussed outside of refridgeration for more than a couple of days to a week? And from what I understood, the curing process had to take place in a cool area, again unless its the right time of year would require power…what am I missing?

  3. The document provided by Ken link above does not work. Very good show, thank you.

    • Modern Survival

      Works now, sometimes wordpress just pisses me off. I have no idea how the URL ended up the way it did.

  4. I loved the topic of the day, but I would definitely like to hear from someone with a little more experience and broader range of skills.

  5. This was a good show but MAN OH MAN I can’t wait for the Farmstead Meatsmith show to get here.

  6. Jack,

    Paul had someone on who talked about curing abit but most of the podcast was on butchering. I think he was making prosciutto. I’d like to hear more from him.


  7. OUTSTANDING Episode, the TNgun site had a recipe for Salt pork which got me somewhat interested, this one got me hook, line and sinker… I am going to be bringing the mini-fridge out of the basement in the next week to start.

  8. I have had really good results with jerky(using coconut aminos as the brine. Paleo friendly!), bacon, and hot smoked salmon. I am excited to try billtong when I harvest another deer. Your right Jack, salty dried meat is amazing! Also looking forward to Farmstead meatsmith. Was very inspired by his interviews with Duke Paul.

  9. Excellent show!
    I just got my 1/2 a steer put away in the freezer with 30lbs of ground and some roasts that I could eat on for weeks they were so large. Now I have something else new (from Jack) to impress my wife with as I am always doing.

  10. Another awesome show. FYI, knowing Spanish won’t help with pronoucing Aztec names. They spoke a language called Nahuatl:

  11. Great show! A great book to get you started in smoking, salting, brining and more is Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman. Outfitting a frig for charcuterie then another for cheese. Definitely going to check out the Morton site for recipes. Thanks.

  12. great show, I want to try the morton homemade pepperoni recipe using ground pork. The info on bacon and other stuff was good but my local grocery store has a vacuum tumbler for curing bacon and ham. They have a commercial smoker and with the bonus of a commercial slicer I can’t beat the product. When I run out of bacon I am seriously thinking about having them get a case of pork bellies and pepper baconize it for me, I have enough people willing to buy the pepper bacon in excess to my need/want.

  13. hi jack
    ive got a question about spoiled biltong.
    a few weeks ago i made a batch of biltong based on your videos.
    turned out great!
    however, not considering the best way to store might be different, i did what i do with store bought jerky… put it in a plastic bag with a couple o2 absorbers and kept the a cabinet.
    within a week the whole batch was moldy.
    -deleted expletive-
    did a quick search at the time for best ways to store biltong and came up with this…
    from your podcast, sounds like there shouldnt be a problem storing.
    any thoughts?
    btw, not sure if it matters, the o2 absorbers came used out of cans of freeze dried foods.


  14. I would love to learn how to do the old fashion smoke curing of meat. I have enough room to build a small smokehouse and even if I only use it a few times a year I think the investment would be worth it.

  15. This sounds similar to carne seca which is a ¼” lean steak meat left to cook over night in a salt and Mexican lemon (the small, green acidic, not the yellow fruit) solution then hung to dry in full sun for 5-8 days depending on the intensity of the sun. Once the meat has been hanging for 5-8 days remove from cloth line and pound with wood mallet. Great with eggs as machacado or alone with beer. It lasts forever.

  16. I made Biltong for the first time! It really is easy! Thank you!