How to Use Smoke to Cure Meat

Your food preservation skills and techniques help you to store or cure meat efficiently. Smoking is the oldest process of food curing that has a proven result.

It has arisen after developing the fire for cooking and still working as a proficient preservation method. You can do it for commercial and home purposes. 

You need some elements that allow you to complete this process perfectly. Besides, you should have food curing knowledge and skills. 

Understanding the temperature and curing steps enable you to do it in a hassle-free way. After all, it is a combined process of skills and techniques. 

In this writing, we present the steps of curing meat with smoke and guide you to cure meats with hygiene.

About Smoking


Smoking is a method of cooking where a piece of meat is placed in a smokey chamber at a certain temperature for a long period.

The process is called low and slow because of its extended period. 

The long working time and process allow the smoke to give a smokey flavor to the meat. This process adds a completely different flavor that distinguishes the taste and cooking structure of the meat.

In general, you have to maintain the temperature between 200-225 degrees celsius. This depends on the type of meat.

The most interesting thing about meat smoking is that you can preserve meat with this process.

Smoke will absorb the dehydration and the antibacterial properties of the meat and allow you to preserve it for a long time. 

So, you will have several benefits from this old preservation process.

How To Smoke Curing Meat

How To Smoke Curing Meat

Before the modern era, smoking was the most efficient process for meat preservation and curing. 

After the invention of the refrigerator, we preserve meat with this appliance, but smoking still has the appeal for meat curing.

For the nice and unique flavor, you will enjoy smoking meat differently. Besides, you can use this process in the rural area where electricity and gas supply is unavailable.

The process will save meat from being spoiled and give you a longer period to use the meat. You have to follow the steps accurately and ensure that the meat is curing perfectly.

Before you start, you have to know everything about this process and explore the ways to do it. Only try after you have learned the method. 

Everything You Need

Here, we present everything that you will need to know for curing meat. Some instruments will help you to complete the process like a professional. 

You can preserve meat for a long time. It will help you to store foods for further use. 

In general, you need wood chips, a smoker, utensils, and other ingredients based on your recipe and preservation time.

Prepare the Meat

The most important part of meat curing is meat selection. You have to take further steps depending on the meat quality and type.

You can collect different types of meat for smoking and curing. For example, beef, pork, poultry, and mutton are different types of meat.

So, you should follow the process that fits most of the meat types. You can use salt and spices to add extra flavor while marinating and rubbing meat. Moisture oil will extend the life of preservation and protect the growth of the virus.

Now, you have to remove the fat and cut meat into strips. At the same time, it is important to remove the bone and skin from the meat. Next, rub the salt gently on the surface of the meat. 

If you are using meat that is stored in the refrigerator, you have to wait until it gets room temperature.

Make a Smoker

So, you have selected meat and prepared it for smoking. You need a smoker where you will cure the meat. Here we describe different types of smokers and their functionality. Let’s explore.

A water smoker is perfect for meat smoking when you want to store food for a long time. In this process, water allows you to maintain the temperature inside the smoker.

On the contrary, if you are searching for an easy option, a gas smoker is ideal for you. You can make it easy and smoke meat without having any trouble. But, it provides less smoke than a traditional smoker.

Furthermore, you can use an electric smoker that is a modern invention for meat curing. It enables you to smoke meat in the easiest way. You have to just keep the meat inside and the device will do its work. 

But, it is expensive and you can’t use it if you have a budget shortage. Similarly, you need electricity to use this device and the smoker is useless where the grid is unavailable.

Wood Chips

No matter what smoker you are using, you can use wood chips to create smoke for meat curing. The flavor of the meat depends on the type of wood. So, you have to make sure what your favorite flavor is.

It is recommended to use alder, apple, cedar, cherry, hickory, or any other wood chips that have a decent flavor. Besides, you can mix different types of wood together to change the smoke’s flavor.

The process is easy but tricky. You have to consider the health issues with wood. There might be a poisonous issue if you are using woods that provide toxic and other unhealthy material. 

Avoid these types of wood because the smoke can transfer the toxic material into the meat for a long time when you will preserve it. 

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Steps To Smoke Curing Meat

When your meat contacts smoke, you have to make sure that you are using organic materials. Meat is full of protein, and you can’t burn it on high flame. So, you have to use indirect heat instead of direct fire for curing meat.

Remember, smoke acts like acidic acid on the surface of the meat. This layer keeps it safe for a long time.

So, it is important to follow each step accurately to make the process healthy and perfect. Here are the most used smoking methods. 

Hot Smoking

Hot smoking is the most used food smoking process that prepares meats at a certain temperature. 

You have to fix the heat between 60 to 65 degrees celsius to make the process perfect. The produced smoke will cure meat and make an acidic layer on the surface of the meat.

You will have a decent and easiest way to preserve food. Hot smoking needs pure wood chips, and you can use them according to your choice.

Before starting, make sure that you have selected pure meat and removed fat. Similarly, wait for the room temperature when using frozen meat. 

Cold Smoking

You can also use cold smoking for meat curing. You will use cold temperature to cure meat. The standard temperature for cold smoking is less than 37degrees Celsius.

This process is mostly used for flavoring meat. It is slower than traditional heat smoking and more effective for longer preservation. 

You can not use the traditional smoker for this process. You need several instruments to maintain the temperature.

Cold smoking works great in the hilly and rural areas. You will get pure meat and a decent place for making a smoker. 

We suggest you decide the best option depending on the meat type and your location. It will help you to complete the process efficiently and easily. 

Tips To Smoke Curing Meat

You got the materials and methods to smoke your meat. Depending on the process and smoker, the methods vary from place to place.

You have to do everything consciously to avoid unwanted situations. Here are some tips for you. 

Don’t make a smoker that is too large or small. A standard size smoker can hold temperature for a long time and cure meat accurately. 

It is better to use different methods of different meats. It will help you to understand the characteristics of the meat well for curing. 

You can use only healthy and hygienic ingredients with the meat. Don’t use excessive spices and salt. It will destroy the original food flavor.

Always think about the preservation time. Use the method that is suitable for the period. 

Finally, if you have a limited budget then use homemade materials and ingredients for smoking meat.

How To Store Smoke Curing Meat

How To Store Smoke Curing Meat

You can store your smoked meat in two different ways. These are refrigeration and vacuum-sealed airbags. 

You need an airtight packet or storage box to store the cured meat in a refrigerator. It will maintain the temperature and keep the same flavor after a long time.

On the contrary, air-sealed bags keep your meat fresh for a couple of months. When you separate the cured meat from the air, it will protect bacteria and yeast.

The process is more secure for a rural and hilly area where electricity is unavailable.

If you preserve cured meat accurately, it will remain fresh for years. 

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When Is It Unsafe To Eat?

The matter is very tricky, and you have to consider your health first. Whether you cured meat at home or buy it from a grocery store, it contains some preservatives. 

The smoked process goes through some chemical reactions and it might get difficult to adjust your digestive system.

Don’t think that cured meat is dangerous for your health. But, if you have prior health problems, it is better to avoid eating cured meat.

You can mix it with other cooked food in this situation. You can make it safe by cooking at 73 degrees celsius.

You can also use cured meat for grilling to ensure that you are eating meat without any problem. 


Finally, you get the options for smoking and curing meat at home. You can use any method that you feel comfortable with. 

Meat preservation is an old method, and you will have a safe option for a longer time. But, don’t use or eat too much-cured food. Smoke contains carcinogens that are not good for health.

Smoking is one method among several options and you can also use other methods to preserve your meat.

There are 9 Ways to Preserve Meat For Long Term Storage. You can check the article to get the best option for you.