Brining Meats for Long Term Storage.

Brining is a simple way of preserving meat.  Properly brined meat will last for years.  The British Navy used meats

that were over 10 years old in the in 18th and 19th centuries.  This is the upside, the downside is the high salt content of the meat.  One thing that can be done to reduce the salt content is to soak the meat prior to cooking and pour the water off.  Spices can be added to the salt to flavor the meat.  Sugar was often added.

The basic process of brining is to add approximately 8 lbs of salt to 5 gallons of water.  A method of determining the correct concentration is with a raw egg.  The ideal brine has enough salt to float a raw egg.  You will need enough brine to submerge the meat or produce without any portion being exposed to air.  Some meat products might require being weighed down to stay submerged.  Leave the food in the brine until ready to consume.

Use canning salt for brining.  This has no additives.  Most stores stock canning salt in their canning supply section.  Using salt with additives or impurities can produce less than desirable results, especially with fish.  Fish must be cleaned prior to brining.

Glass bottles, crocks and wood barrels were used in the past.  Any food grade HDPE, PP, or polycarbonate container is appropriate for brining.  These materials can withstand the salt in brines.  These containers will normally have the recycling number two.  Generally, food storage containers sold at restaurant supply stores are made of food grade HDPE, PP, or polycarbonate.  The interior of ice chests and freezers are made of food grade HDPE.  Most white, opaque plastic bucket that contains food for human consumption is made of food grade HDPE.

Preserving food is why you need to store extra salt.

Here’s an article on meat storage that can help you.


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