The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse (HM28M2)

Location: Sturbridge, MA 01566 Worcester County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 6.241', W 72° 5.791'

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Farm families usually butchered during the late fall when cool weather kept the meat fresh during processing. In an average butchering season, a farm family produced enough pork, beef, and mutton to last the year. Before refrigerators and freezers, families smoked much of their meat to preserve it for later use.
First, women soaked the meat for 4-6 weeks in brine, a solution of saltpeter (potassium nitrate), salt, molasses, and water, to remove excess moisture. Then they hung large pieces of this cured meat in the smokehouse. Smoke from burning corncobs, apple wood, or hickory wood left a layer of creosote that sealed the meat and protected it from insects and mold.
Before cooking, housewives cut off the creosote and repeatedly soaked the meat in fresh, boiling water to remove the salt left from the brine. Finally, the meat was ready to cook.
Creosote, the black stuff on smoked meat, works like plastic wrap; it keeps out air and water so that the meat stays fresh.
How long does meat in your refrigerator last? Salted and smoked meat is good for more than a year! Just keep bugs, mice, and water away.
HM NumberHM28M2
Placed ByOld Sturbridge Village
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 at 7:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 740078 N 4665405
Decimal Degrees42.10401667, -72.09651667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 6.241', W 72° 5.791'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 6' 14.46" N, 72° 5' 47.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)508, 774
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Old Sturbridge Village Rd, Sturbridge MA 01566, US
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