Drying is a very old method of preserving meat. It is also relatively inexpensive and has recently become popular to do at home as a way to store food, not just meats, for later consumption. Here are some common dried meats.
Probably one of the first things ever produced by humans, jerky is a marinated meat strip with the fat removed. It can be sun-dried or smoked in low heat, and salted. It can be stored for long periods of time since it needs no refrigeration.
Because of it is easy to pack and nutritious, it has become popular as a food for space travelers.
Similar to jerky, Bakkwa is Chinese in origin and is typically made from pork in the form of flat thin sheets. Originally made from meat left over from festivals, it is still popular to eat during social functions and holidays, or to offer as a gift.
Cabanossi is much like a mild salami, made from smoked pork and beef. It is shaped like a long sausage, seasoned, and smoked. Cabanossi, which also may be made of turkey, chicken, or duck, is often served cold as a snack, and on crackers or as a pizza topping.
A dry-cured Italian cold cut, capicola is made from pork neck or shoulder. It differs from prosciutto in that the latter is the buttocks and thigh of a pig. Capicola is seasoned with a red or white wine and spices, then salted. It may cure up to half a year. It is considered a gourmet item in many countries.
Many U.S restaurants serve chipped beef, which is salted, dried beef that is thinly sliced, for breakfast. Served on a piece of toast, chipped beef became closely connected to the military experience of U.S. GIs during World War II.
Today nearly all ham, which generally is the thigh of a pig, is sold cured or fully cooked. There are several types of ham, including country ham, which is uncooked but fully cured and dried; black forest ham, from Germany and seasoned with spices such as coriander, pepper, garlic and juniper berries;and Jamon Iberico, from the black Iberian pig and produced mostly in Spain.
From Italy, Pancetta is similar to bacon. It is pork belly that is dry cured, salted and seasoned with spices such as garlic, nutmeg, and fennel. Regions in Italy produce their own versions of pancetta.
To make pastrami, raw meat, generally beef, is brined and seasoned, dried, smoked and then steamed. It shares a history with corned beef in that the processes to make both were developed as a way to preserve meat before refrigeration.
Salami is a cured and dried sausage made from the meat of one of several animals. There are many varieties of salami, which historically has been popular among nations of southern and eastern Europe. Like other dried meats, it can be stored for many years at room temperatures.
A spicy type of salami, pepperoni may be made from beef or pork, and sometimes even poultry. It is popular as a pizza topping or submarine sandwich ingredient the U.S.