Last week I picked up a pork loin for some smoked Canadian bacon and thought I'd try a little experiment. I wanted to see what adding phosphate to the brine would do to the finished product as far as aiding in moisture retention.

I cut the loin into four pieces, three would be in my basic brine and one will go into a brine with phosphate added. All four will be pumped with 10% and left in the brine for 4 days.

With a 10% pump this works out to 140 ppm of nitrite.

The basic brine was;

1 Gallon water 3780 grams

Salt 220

Maple syrup 150

Cure #1 95

For the phosphate brine I used the same ratio of ingredients but only made a quart and added 26 grams of Butch & Packers 450s “Brine Pumping Phosphate” this will give me about half the allowable amount of phosphate or 2400 ppm.

After the pump I let them rest a minute, dried them with paper towels and verified the weight was meat plus 10%. then into the brine. Then I repeated the drying and weighing each day to see if there was a difference in intake between the phosphated one and the other three.

After the 5 days they all took in about the same amount of additional brine, but the one with phosphate on the first day took in a two to five more then the basic three, but lost over half of it the next day. If I hadn't weight them twice the first day, I'd say it was a screw up in the weighing, and it still could be, but I won't know till I repeat the the proses.

The big difference was after smoking.

Smoked for approximately 6 hours starting at 130°F and ending up at 200°F until the internal temp's were over 152°

The three in the basic brine lost 5, 6 and 8 percent of their original green weight.

The one in phosphate gained a little over 1 percent, and was noticeably moister.

I need to do a good side by side taste test today to see if the flavor is different. And will add some pick then.

I could also add the spreadsheet (at least I think I can) with the daily logged info, but this post is already sounding to geeky for me.