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Unread 01-26-2013, 08:04 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
Did it still have the skin on?
Yes.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 11:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Yes.

That can make a difference in cure time because you are basically curing from one side only instead of from two.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 12:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
That can make a difference in cure time because you are basically curing from one side only instead of from two.
Then use injection as well. This helps this issue.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 12:10 PM   #19
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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.
John
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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Unread 01-26-2013, 12:18 PM   #20
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Thank you all for the excellent info, I've decided to wait until next weekend.

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Unread 01-26-2013, 03:32 PM   #21
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When I make a brine to cure meat I use nitrite. are we all talking the same thing?
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Unread 01-26-2013, 07:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanMcG View Post
When I make a brine to cure meat I use nitrite. are we all talking the same thing?
A wet cure, a pickle, (or sweet pickle if sugar is added), or brine all have salt as a basic ingredient..... and I think they are just interchangeable terms.... like smoking and barbecuing are.

Brines can be flavor brines or curing brines. Flavor brines can vary in amount of salt, seasonings and aromatics, and might only be used to make things retain moisture.....and might be used for very short times, like 5 minutes when brining shrimp. Curing brines have the addition of nitrites and sometimes nitrates, and can be different concentrations. A lighter curing brine might only be used to produce a pleasing color and tighten up the texture of meats, like on Buckboard bacon or city ham. A stronger or hard curing brine is used when preservation is a consideration, like a country ham or some varieties of bacon.

For example, when corning beef, you are curing it. It can be corned in a liquid solution, which might be called a brine or maybe a pickle. It can be pumped, which means injected, with the same liquid it is immersed in....or corned beef can be dry cured.

Some folks use the term dry brining to mean dry curing. Dry cures have salt but not always nitrites or nitrates. Most meats that are dry cured are smoked (or cooked) afterwards (ham, bacon, etc.). Some things are not cooked.... like lox, dry cured salami, some Italian style deli meats and maybe a duck breast. Lox is cured with only salt. Your salami and Italian meats will use a different combination of nitrites and nitrates as they take a long time to cure.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 10:51 PM   #23
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Thank you all for the overwhelming knowledge, there is know way I would ever tried this without you;). I ended up buying a foodsaver today, so I am ready

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Unread 01-26-2013, 11:09 PM   #24
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I think that I'd be careful about injecting a belly with a cure/brine. The excessive fat content in it could likely turn mushy. I've done both wet and dry cure for belly when making bacon and really prefer the dry cure approach.
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Unread 01-27-2013, 04:23 AM   #25
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I guess it's subjective and down to personal preferance, but, I prefer to dry cure using "Supracure" it's a ready mixed salt / sodium nitrite cure.
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Unread 01-27-2013, 12:26 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaQue View Post
I think that I'd be careful about injecting a belly with a cure/brine. The excessive fat content in it could likely turn mushy. I've done both wet and dry cure for belly when making bacon and really prefer the dry cure approach.
Careful (or controlled) injecting is good advice for the home charcuterist, yet injecting bellies is very successful.... the majority of the producers do it. If they didn't shorten the cure time by injecting and immersing the bellies, bacon would be $20 a pound. Of course they have a few other chemicals and special flavorings in their bag of tricks too.

Personally I'm with you, I like dry cured bacon.
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Unread 01-27-2013, 04:49 PM   #27
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I dry cure Bellies, but inject and immerse loins and small hams, all to 150 ppm nitrite
normally.
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Unread 02-01-2013, 04:41 PM   #28
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Well, BACON is done with its cure and has been thoroughly rinsed and soaked in water and is back in the fridge uncovered so it can develop its felicle. First off, I want to thank everybody for all of their help in this project, there is absolutely no way that I would have ever attempted this project without the knowledge that you have provided me in all of my cooking endeavors. I have a maple cured and peppered version in these batches and with all three bellies I have a gross weigh of 34.9 lbs of Bacon to be smoked as soon as I get home from work tomorrow. Here are some pictures I have taken along this journey, with obviously more to come;)

This is the 3 bellies still frozen together after I took them out of the package. Note; the cup is a 16oz. cup, lol


Another view


Here is my daughter being funny


This is the cured rinsed and soaked bacon in rib racks developing their felicle until tomorrow morning sometime



Thank you for looking:)



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Unread 02-03-2013, 04:56 AM   #29
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So How did they come out MStoney?
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Unread 02-10-2013, 02:21 PM   #30
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Quote:
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So How did they come out MStoney?
I never saw your post, but just wanted to answer you question. Bacon came out great!

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