In another forum, I ran across WhitetailFan's recipe for thick cut pork chops that were submerged in a wet cure, then smoked. I tried making them following his recipe and they were a bit dry when they finished at a specified 150F. This time I will not finish them quite so high, maybe 141F. I may, in fact, pull them after 2 or 3 hours of smoking and finish them sous vide, which simply means vacuum packing them and cooking in a precisely controlled hot water bath.
The brine calls for Morton Tender Quick, of which my little supply is gone, so I used MartinF's of Digging Dog Farm recipe for a replacement using Cure #1.
My only camera is very so-so cell phone, but here are the chops, submerged in their wet brine, with some rosemary and peppercorns bobbing merrily on the surface. About 10 chops, bone in, heavy fat layer on the outside which we'll remove after brining and cook separately. Maybe 3 to 3 1/2 pounds of meat. 10 cups of water to submerge, 1 cup of ersatz TQ (recipe below).
The Cure from MartinF follows:
Morton Tender Quick Alternative:
All-Purpose Cure Mix
17.5 oz canning/pickling salt
5.5 oz granulated sugar
2 oz cure #1
Mix well before using.
I did the math on this and the same amount of MTQ will contain 3.54 grams of sodium nitrite. The 2 ounces of Cure #1 provides exactly that amount, the same proportion when the specified amounts of salt and sugar are added. Very handy.
So the chops are doing submarine duty, I am patiently waiting for them to finish. The original recipe says 36 to 48 hours. The first time I did them was only 24 hours of submersion and they were fine. Of course they were smoked and consumed the same day, so no way for them to go bad.
These I will hold longer. But with vacuum packing and the long sous vide bath, there is little to worry about. I would do them for only 24 hours again, but the northern Philippines has been getting pounded by rain. Manila is a lake. Parts of it has gotten over 3 feet in last week! Up in the mountains we fare a little better because, as we all know, water runs downhill. But for two weeks I haven't been able to light up my Weber. Typhoons, heavy rain, driving winds, and zero smoke. Driving me nuts!
When I get a chance to do these chops on my smoker and then sous vide, I will post photos of the end result.
On a different note: I just got a box of supplies from the USA including two large bags of hickory chips from Todd of A-Maze-N
smoker that he couldn't use! So thank you very much Todd. He is a prince of a fellow! I can barely wait to get some of it smoking. And I want to buy his pellet smoke box in the near future for cold smoking.