Thread: Curing Bacon:
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Unread 01-26-2013, 12:10 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by JohnHB View Post
I believe it it time we all modernise our brining techniques and use the "Equilibrium Method". By doing this one knows exactly when the required amount of salt has been absorbed into the meat. It stops all guesswork. I provide a brief description (not mine) of how you creat an Equilibrium Brine:

Creating an Equilibrium Brine

Weigh water and food together, subtracting any bone weight, since salt will not diffuse into bones.

Multiply the combined weight of the water and meat by the desired finished salinty you want your protein to contain at the end of the brining process (usually .5-1% by weight).

Dissolve the appropriate amount of salt into the water and place food in the brine.

Use a salinity meter to take readings throughout the brining process. When the brine’s salinity drops to the desired finished salt percentage, you can conclude that your brine and food have reached a state of equilibrium and the bringing process is complete.

I hope this helps and gets others thinking/discussing.
I've read a little about gradient and equilibrium brining, and do think the process (and the calculations), as well as the scientific approach is a step forward from traditional (1 cup of water to 1 gallon of water) brining..... that said, I was a traditional brine guy for many, many years and for the last several years I have been been experimenting with "Lite Brine" recipes and using them in a combination of immersion and injecting. The combination reduces some of the dependency of osmosis, and can shorten brine time. I still allow time for equalizing to allow everything to diffuse on their own and think this step is very important.

I do prefer dry curing over a wet sweet pickle (sweet brine) on my belly and Buckboard bacon, and also on my fish. However I make lox using both a dry and wet cure. I do a salt cure (my grandma called it koshering) on chicken and sometimes on chops, but also like to inject a brine in them as well.

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