Meat preservation involves many different types of food processing techniques that preserve the life of the meat, so consumers can enjoy them for longer periods of time. There are many kinds of ways to preserve meat like sugaring, freezing, drying, smoking, etc. The most important thing to keep in mind is to procure quality, slaughtered meat. This is the best kind of meat to work with because substandard meat will never deliver good end results. Unfortunately, there are many things that people forget when they do these techniques. Here are ten common mistakes that home chefs make when they preserve their meat:
Improper Food Handling
People have a tendency to be complacent in their own kitchens. Remember to always wash the hands or wear gloves when handling raw food to prevent spoilage and contamination. Hands contain bacteria and if the goal is meat preservation, then the ones handling the food must be super clean.
Not Boiling Enough
One way to preserve meat is to boil it to destroy the microorganism contained therewith. One wrong culprit is not letting the meat reach the right temperature. This does not kill the pathogens in the meat causing those who ingest it serious tummy problems. Make sure that you get that heat high enough when you preserve food by boiling. This includes soups and stews braised in liquid. Make sure there is sufficient sauce that cooks the meat well.
Freezer Burn, Baby, Burn
Putting meat in the freezer is akin to a cold pasteurization that destroys bacteria because of the freezing environment. Some people do not pack their meat properly, so what you have stored suffer from freezer burns. These causes dry spots in your food when you finally get the chance to cook it. If you’re buying meat and you are not using right away, ask your favorite butcher, like the Best Butcher FatCow Brisbane, to pack it securely for you so that air doesn’t leak into your meat and cause oxidation.
Drying is one of the most ancient methods used by humans as early as the cave dwellers to process and preserve food. As the name says, drying dries the meat or attempts to eliminate its moisture content. Lack of water delays the bacterial growth and helps meat last longer. However, excessive drying can make for super tough leather like meat that is hard to chew and swallow.
Smoking is a great way to preserve meat, so it gets this smoky aftertaste. The problem is when you don’t use the right smoking chips, which makes the meat taste bad, or you are not smoking it enough and at the right temperature. Smoking is a tricky business that requires several elements. Be sure to be informed before you start, so you do not waste your meat.
Too Much Salt
Salt is a common preservation tool in food processing because it sucks out moisture by means of osmosis. In meat, salting with nitrates is a very common treatment. That being said, too much salt renders the meat inedible. People still want to enjoy the meaty taste in their palates. No one wants to eat a big mound of salt.
Faulty Vacuum Pack
Packing food in airtight containers is one way to preserve meat because takes out all the oxygen. The latter is needed by germs and bacteria to survive. At times, though, people make a mistake and not all the air is sucked out before they store the vacuum packs. Ones air enters the container, oxidation or the breaking down of the meat occurs.
Adding Excessive Sugar
Sugaring is a known technique to help process and preserve meat. They are cooked with sugar until crystallized, then they are stored dry. The problem is putting too much sugar because meat would literally taste like candy.
Insufficient Acid in Pickling
Pickling is another way to preserve meat, like corned beef. However, be sure that you use a good brine and right acid to get that yummy taste. Too often, people make a mistake and add insufficient amounts of acid.
Finally, one of the ways people preserve meat is by putting it in the fridge or freezer. Make sure to double-check the fridge and the freezer temperature because the wrong setting can shorten the lifespan of the meat product. Meat items are kept in the refrigerator compartment or the freezer for days. Leaving them in there with not enough coolness will lead to spoilage.