How to Preserve Your Meat using Salt

By Karamagi Akiiki Ednah

Step 1 Identify your meat of preference that you would like to preserve
Step 2 Wash it and trim away loose ends to get a neat finish
Step 3 Pat it with a clean towel until completely dry
Step 4 Rub on it a mixture of desired aromatic dried and crushed plants like basil, rosemary, sage or even parsley. This gives it taste.
Step 5 Thoroughly rub salt onto it and finish by placing a layer of salt all over so as to stop the activity and reproduction of enzymes in the meat. The women in the rural areas use the local salt, known as “ekisura“.
Step 6 Hang the meat and let it air-dry for about three weeks. This should be in a room with temperatures of about 15 degrees centigrade. This is to enable effective curing and also for increased hygiene purposes. Also, check at least every two days or so for smell – it must maintain a desirable scent.
Step 7 Then it is ready for consumption. You will notice that it will have layers of salt on top. Wash off this using lot of running water and towel pat it to dry completely. Cook as desired.

Use of salt is a famous way for preserving meats in Uganda. This is especially in the rural areas where they cannot afford to buy a fridge. Meat by nature has enzymes that can easily spoil if not well preserved. One way therefore to stop its action is through application of salt.

Salt deactivates bacteria through the process of osmosis, whereby water is passed in and out of semi-permeable membranes. When raw meat is exposed to a high concentration of salt, the salt dissolves into the water in the meat, creating a salty solution that exerts pressure on the cell walls, disrupting the equilibrium in which the bacteria survive and feed. The outward pressure prevents the bacteria from drawing in any nutrients, and without nutrients, they are prevented from reproducing. Any spoilage that would normally take place due to bacterial growth is suspended in time.
Brine (salt / (salt + moisture)) of 3.5% will normally prevent serious pathogens (e.g., Clostridium botulinum) from growing. Brines of more than 10% will normally prevent all pathogenic bacteria from growing.

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17 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by john on August 10, 2007 at 9:13 am

    if i wanted to display “chorizo” or sausage… for artistic purposes and i want to preserve it … the look and keep it from smelling up the room it is in… will this salt thing work????

    if not how could i do this? thnx.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Patrick on August 11, 2007 at 9:05 am

    i would like to know more about local salt
    (Ekisula)

    Reply

  3. Hallo John
    Thank you for your question and yes i did some homework to that regards:
    For starters, i got to know that Chorizo can be hung in a cool dry place to cure until they are ready to be eaten (http://tapas-recipes-andalucia.blogspot.com/2007/01/chorizo-recipe.html); or can be placed in refrigerator for 3 days prior to cooking or freezing for future use (http://www.ochef.com/81.htm ) I would imagine that bottom line if you opt to hung them in a cool place, you must have free flowing air with temperatures simailar to what is mentioned above. About the salting, i guess it is similar to what is mentioned above.
    It would be nice to have you try it out and let us now how it goes …

    Reply

  4. Hallo Patrick
    Give us a little more time and we will do some basi research pertaining to this and them we will get back to you

    Reply

  5. is there any other way to do step no.6?

    THANKS

    Reply

  6. John? No i am sorry i dont know an alternative. Air drying is important because it enables the curing process.

    Perhaps these links will offer a solution: -
    1] http://waltonfeed.com/old/brine.html
    2] http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-2055/ANSI-3994web.pdf

    Let me know where this is appropriate please

    Reply

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    Reply

  8. Posted by john on November 17, 2008 at 4:00 am

    how can anyone keep a room right at 59 degrees? I know people cure meat but how do they maintain that exact temperature? Thanks for the article.

    Reply

  9. Posted by larry on December 26, 2008 at 4:04 am

    wow, that is interesting

    Reply

  10. [...] but all the cool gadgets in the world arn't going to help if you can't last. salt to cure meat How to Preserve Your Meat using Salt Collecting and Exchange of Local Agricultural Content salt to treat wounds. You can make a salt water wash… Survival – BASIC SURVIVAL MEDICINE – [...]

    Reply

  11. Posted by sheila on February 13, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    will salting prevent the growth and reproduction of maggots

    Reply

  12. Posted by Cameron on December 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Fairly informative, but try to get your facts right. Enzymes do not live and “reproduce” in the meat. Enzymes are proteins which become denatured or “broken” by the high salinity. Bacterial growth is inhibited through osmosis because the salty environment dehydrates the bacteria, as water flows out of the cell into the salt solution.

    Reply

  13. Posted by MANZ on February 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    BY FOLLOWING THIS WAY OF SALTING THE MEAT, HOW LONG WILL IT STAY IN GOOD SHAPE? THAT IS TO SAY HOW LONG CAN I LEAVE IT BEFORE IT GOES BAD?

    MANZ.

    Reply

  14. What Factors influence this preservation method?

    Reply

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  16. This amazing blog post, “How to Preserve Your Meat using Salt « Collecting and Exchange of Local Agricultural Content” demonstrates
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