The late Admiral Sir Charles Knowles's Receipt to salt Meat.

SO soon as the ox is killed, let it be skinned, and cut up into pieces fit for use, as quick as possible, and be salted whilst the meat is hot; for which purpose have a sufficient quantity of salt-petre, and bay-salt, powdered together, and made hot in an oven, of each equal parts; with this sprinkle the meat, at the rate of about two ounces to the pound. Then lay the pieces on shelving boards to drain, for twenty-four hours; which done, turn them, and repeat the same operation, and let them lie for twenty-four hours longer, by which time the salt will be all melted, and have penetrated the meat, and the pieces be well drained. Each piece must then be wiped dry with clean coarse cloths, and a sufficient quantity of common salt be made hot likewise in an oven, and mixed, when taken out, with about one third of brown sugar. The casks being ready, rub each piece well with this mixture, and pack them well down, allowing about half a pound of the salt and sugar to each pound of meat; it will keep good several years, and eat very fresh.

N.B. It is best to proportion the casks, or barrels, to the quantity consumed at a time, as the seldomer it is exposed to the air the better: the same process dos for pork, only a larger quantity of salt, and less sugar; but the preservation of both depends equally upon the meat being hot when first salted.

The late Admiral Vernon's Receipt to cure Beef.

TAKE four gallons of good water, to which add one pound and an half of good Muscavado sugar, six, or eight ounces of salt-petre, and eight pounds of common salt. Let these be boiled, and when the liquor is cold, it is fit for use. The sooner the meat is cut up after the ox is killed the better. The sooner the meat is cut up after the ox is killed the better. Sprinkle each piece of meat with equal parts of common salt, and brown sugar, mixed together. Let the meat drain twelve hours, and repeat the operation, first turning the meat: after having drained twelve hours, wipe the meat with a clean cloth, and rub it well with the salt and sugar mixed. Put it into the cask, and pour the liquor on, so as to cover the meat. The same process cures tongues.

The Method practised by the late Captain Cook, at Othaheite, and the Sandwich Islands, to cure Pork in an hot Climate. — Vol. iii. page 11. Last Voyage.

IT as generally been thought impracticable to cure the flesh of animals by salting, in tropical climates; the progress of putrefaction being so rapid, as not to allow time for the salt to take, as they express it, before the meat gets a taint, which prevents the effect of the pickle. We do not find that experiments relative to this subject have been made by the navigators of any nation before Captain Cook. In his first trials, which were made in 1774, during his second voyage to the Pacific Ocean, the success he met with, though very imperfect, was vet sufficient to convince him of the error of the received opinion. As the voyage, in which he was then engaged, was likely to be protracted a year beyond the time for which the ships had been victualled, he was under the necessity of providing, by some such means, for the subsistence of the crews, or of relinquishing the further prosecution of his discoveries. He therefore lost no opportunity of renewing his attempts and the event answered his most sanguine expectations.

The hogs, which he made use of for this purpose, were of various sizes, weighing from four, to twelve stone, (14 lb.) The time of slaughtering was always in the afternoon; and as soon as the hair was scalded off, and the entrails removed, the hog was divided into pieces of four, or eight pounds each, and the bones of the legs, and chine taken out; and in the larger sort, the ribs also. Every piece then being carefully wiped and examined, and the veins cleared of the coagulated blood, they were handed to the salters, whilst the flesh remained still warm. After they had been well rubbed with salt, they were placed in an heap, on a stage raised in the open air, covered with planks, and pressed with the heaviest weights we could lay upon them. In this situation they remained until the next evening, when they were again well wiped, and examined, and the suspicious parts taken away. They were then put into a tub of strong pickle, where they were always looked over, once or twice a day; and if any pieces had not taken the salt, which was readily discovered by the smell of the pickle, they were immediately taken out, re-examined, and the found pieces put to fresh pickle. This however, after the precautions before used, seldom happened. After six days, they were taken out, examined for the last time, and being again slightly pressed, they were packed in barrels, with a thin layer of salt between them, Some barrels of this pork, pickled at Owhyee in January 1779, were brought to England, when it was tasted by several persons about Christmas 1780, and found to be perfectly found and wholesome. — We are informed by a note subjoined to the above, that Mr. Vancouver, when lieutenant, tried the method here recommended, both with English and Spanish pork, during a cruize in 1782, and found it answer.

A Collection of Papers on Naval Architecture. Vol. II.
J. Sewall, London, 1800. pp 3:41-42

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.

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Copyright 2006 Lars Bruzelius.