Find the best curing lessons, classes, and instructors at HeyKiki and learn how to cure meat. Curing, or food preservation, is the act of using an outside catalyst, like salt or nitrates, to keep food intact for days. The first method used in curing meat was food dehydration, which is when the food would be drained of water to avoid bacterial infection. Also, smoking, cooking or flavoring the food can be implemented to achieve preservation. Curing has been around since the beginning of civilization as a way to maintain a supply of food for a long time and, contrary to many other things, it is a process that has not and will not go out of fashion.