Deli Meat 101 - What Is Deli Meat?

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    Deli Meat

    Deli Meat 101 - What Is Deli Meat?

    Attend this entry level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!


    What is Deli Meat?

    Deli Meat covers a wide variety of different types of meat but most types will be Ham, Turkey or Beef. Deli meat can be made a few different ways, it can be fresh, which will be a whole muscle cut that has been cooked and then sliced like a roast or some turkey. Or it can be reformed from smaller cuts or even an emulsified product that is then sliced and sold by weight for sandwiches and subs.

    Fresh Deli Meat

    The fresh, or whole muscle deli cuts are fairly simple to make at home but more difficult to keep in a deli or grocery store. They will be injected with a soluble seasoning, then cooked or smoked until it has reached a safe internal temperature and vacuum packed. They generally contain no nitrates or nitrites so they can have a dull color and the shelf life will not be the same as a cured product. If you are making this at home the meat should be consumed within 3-5 days, when sold in stores this variety is generally sold at a premium due to the costs associated with product loss.

    Restructured Deli Meat

    The more common way is multiple smaller pieces that are formed together to make the turkey or other meat loaves that you see in your local deli. To do this the smaller cuts will generally be injected with water-soluble seasonings and cure for a cured product, then they will be massaged and vacuum tumbler to loosen the proteins in the meat to help the products bind together during the cooking process. They will then be put into a preformed plastic mold, vacuum packed and then either smoked or cooked which will bind the separate pieces together into a single solid piece.

    Reformed Deli Meat

    Another way to make deli meat is to use smaller excess pieces of meat that will be emulsified either with a bowl chopper or a meat grinder, which turns the meat into a thick paste-like substance. Once this is done it will follow a similar process as when it is made from larger cuts that are pressed together. After cooking some of them will be lightly fried to give them a nice crust and add more flavoring. It will then either be packaged and refrigerated for shipping to your local Deli, Grocery Store and Restaurant or it will be sliced and packaged at a processing plant for sale in prepackaged meals or cold cuts.

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About Meatgistics

Meatgistics is brought to you by Walton's ( Meatgistics is a community site, knowledgebase, forum, blog, learning center, and a sharing site. You can find help and ask questions about anything related to meat processing, smoking and grilling meats, plus a whole lot more. Join Austin & Jon from Walton's and sign up for our Meatgistics community today. We have created Meagistics University, where we broke down meat processing into different categories and then broke it down into a class like structure. The introductory classes are 10s, the intermediate are 20s, and advanced are 30s.

About Walton's

Walton's Inc. sells meat processing equipment and supplies, including all of the Seasoning, Equipment, Supplies, Packaging, and Casings needed to make almost any type of sausage. Walton's sells to the commercial customer with a focus on the small to medium-sized processing plants or butcher shops, and directly to the hunter or processor who makes their own product at home. Whether you are a commercial or retail customer of Walton's you will be receiving the exact same seasoning and supplies, we do not have a different "line" for commercial and retail customers so that everyone can make the best sausage or jerky possible!

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