Fast Cure/Brine for Chops - Ideas Plz
I recently posted about some brine/cured (and smoked) Pork Chops I made. I have eaten a few of them over the last few days, liking them better every time, save that I overcooked them and need to adjust for that.
The original recipe called for Morton Tender Quick, 1 cup to 4 cups of water. I changed it, taking the MTQ down to a half cup and upping the water to 5 or 6 cups, enough to cover the chops in my container. That really worked pretty well and since I was doing the brine/cure for flavor, not to keep them for longer storage, I wasn't worried about lowering the amount of nitrite they would get. And it called for time in brine/cure of 24 to 36 hours. (The Original Recipe is offsite here)
And most of them came out nice and pink from the cure. But MTQ is not available here and I won't have any more for a number of months. What I do have coming in a few weeks is 5 pounds of Prague Powder #1. So I need to develop a nice wet cure recipe (sweet pickle brine, if you will) using that.
I can brine for 4 hours up to 24 hours, depending. Usually brine time is in the 4 hour area, but for curing it is extended much longer. So I can't use the standard guides for time to brine, but I don't need to cure for days and days like bacon or ham.
I am open to ideas on how much PP#1 to use per quart to quart and a half of water, how much salt and sugar to add, particularly if the meat will cure for 24 hours like they did for the MTQ brine.
I found this a while ago and bookmarked it just in case :)
It shows a recipe for an equivalent to TQ using pink salt or Prague Powder.
DRY CURE - When I use a dry cure, my cure time is 48 hours.... then a soak-out, a rest them smoking. The time is based on chops 3/4" thick or so.
BRINE - If you are going for a brine/cure with more emphasis on the brine.... the lightest amount of salt I use is 7/8 (0.875) of an ounce to a quart of water. And I will do an immersion brine for 5 or 6 hours. You can reduce this by injecting some of the brine before immersing the chops into it, and because this brine is light on the salt, even if you go the same time you will be okay. You can increase the amount of salt to your liking. As far as sugar goes I like a couple of teaspoons, but again.... you can go higher.
In this same brine..... since you are really not doing any preserving, or using long smoking times....you can use some #1 Cure solely to keep the meat a little bit pink, and it won't take much. You might start with 1/4 ounce (0.25 ounce) and see how you like the color.
Thanks very much guys.
Ron L, this gives me some numbers to play with. And I like the link to the discussion on formulating a Prague Powder Equivalent to Morton Tender Quick.
The published percentages for the MTQ look like:
Salt 79. %, Sugar 20%, Nitrite & Nitrate 0.5 % eachBut the discussion in the other forum ended up sweetening the ratio and using the following percentages:
Salt 69.%, Sugar 30%, 1 percent of Nitrite (and replaced Nitrate) to be added by Prague Powder.The original discussion suggested using pickling salt since it dissolves easily, but any non-iodine salt will work if done by weight. We don't have pickling salt here, which is a fine salt, more akin to table salt in grain size, but without any of the additives. However, sea salt does not have iodine added. So I weighed some of Sea Salt and used it.
I started breaking down the percentages, using 1 pound as my base, but converting to grams so I'd have easier numbers (for me) to work with. What I ended up with is:
Ersatz MTQ Sweet Ratio 69/30/1 (1 pound)I don't actually have a scale that is close enough to weigh this stuff precisely. Or the actual weight of PP#1, but I saw close up photos of it and canning salt. They were similar in size so I used the weight of canning salt for PP#1's weight. I also subtracted the amount of salt in PP#1 from the amount of salt added, based on the residual amount of the 6.25% normally stated for PP#1 nitrite amount.
Tablespoon of PP#1 = ??? Canning Salt weights used as stand inSo, untested at this point, but I have a rough idea how to formulate my own Morton Tender Quick, but without Nitrates in it, bur rather all Nitrites for my dry cures and sweet pickle brine. Good for items not air dried.
If you see an error in my math or application, please feel free to let me know.
ThirdEye, I am going to keep your guide in mind as I mix my Cure together. Your 24.8 grams (7/8th ounce) of salt to 948 ml (1 quart), so I may be tempted to round up a bit an add 1 ounce of salt per quart (or even liter). Sugar in the 8:2 or 7:3 ratio and the 1/4 ounce or so. I really got off on the pink hammy flavor combined with the smoke so that is my guide. As long as I don't go bonkers, upping the PP#1 in reasonable increments until I get a nice pink consistency is my plan, starting with you suggested amounts.
I will try make a couple with your rule of thumb compared to my Ersatz Sweet MTQ Recipe and see how they come out down the road.
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