Modern injection process makes bacon way too salty (and cheaper to produce)

Richard Bosman, owner of Bacon on Bree and Quality Cured Meats joins Kieno Kammies to help answer the question - why does bacon seem to have become more salty?

Bosman says while he has no scientific research to back this up, he believes modern bacon curing methods are probably causing this higher salt level in the meat.

Injecting the salty water into the meat speeds up the process and obviously adds weight to the product, making it cheaper.

Richard Bosman, Bacon on Bree

Salt brine is often now injected into the middle of the meat.

Bosman says hundreds of years ago, the dry curing method began by rubbing salt onto the outside of meat products.

Letting it sit for a couple of weeks, and through osmosis the salt would penetrate into the muscle. And you can obviously adjust how much salt to add to the outside to make sure the bacon is not too salty.

Richard Bosman, Bacon on Bree

He explains that after this process, the bacon would be hung up for a period of time to dry and produce a good concentration of flavour.

There is also a wet curing process where the bacon is placed in a bath of brine.

This was developed before refrigeration as a technique to cure the meat.

Richard Bosman, Bacon on Bree

But all these have been sped up with modern technology where the brine is injected straight into the meat.

He says frying is the test of a good bacon.

If there is a great deal of white liquid running off the meat then the product is brine injected.

Dry cured and well hung bacon will crisp up quickly in the pan and preserve the flavour.

Listen to Richard explaining how to select good quality bacon...

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