To treat food (such as meat, cheese or fish) by one of several methods in order to preserve it. Smoke-curing is generally done in one of two ways. The cold-smoking method (which can take up to a month, depending on the food) smokes the food at between 70° to 90°F. Hot-smoking partially or totally cooks the food by treating it at temperatures ranging from 100° to 190°F. Pickled foods are soaked in variously flavored acid-based brines. Corned products (such as corned beef) have also been soaked in brineusually one made with water, salt and various seasonings. Salt-cured foods have been dried and packed in salt preparations. Some of the more common cured foods are smoked ham, pickled herring and salted fish. See also preserve; ripening.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.