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# Pops6927's Wet Curing Brine - Page 9

Thanks for picking that up, Chuck, I fixed it.  Drives me nuts when folks are careless like that, and here I'm doing it myself!

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First I want to join in thanking Pops for posting his recipe. But I am hoping someone can help clarify something for me.

I normally dry-cure my meats (bacon and small hams), and for this type of curing you assume that all the nitrite applied will permeate into the meat. This makes it easy to calculate how much nitrite to have in the rub.

For brine curing, I'm less clear. I am looking at the USDA food inspector's handbook. When discussing brine curing it talks about two methods of calculation. The first method talks about "percent pickup", which is the ratio of the amount (weight) of brine which will be absorbed into the meat to the weight of the meat. My question is how does one determine or even guess at what this rate is?

If my quick calculation of Pops' brine with maximum nitrite was correct (3.84 ounces per 1 gallon of brine), the nitrite in ppm is around 1800 (less if you account for the salt and sugar in the mix), so if a 10% pickup is assumed, that would be about 180 ppm. So is 10% pickup a good guess or fairly standard?
Quote:
Originally Posted by saigonJJ

First I want to join in thanking Pops for posting his recipe. But I am hoping someone can help clarify something for me.

I normally dry-cure my meats (bacon and small hams), and for this type of curing you assume that all the nitrite applied will permeate into the meat. This makes it easy to calculate how much nitrite to have in the rub.

For brine curing, I'm less clear. I am looking at the USDA food inspector's handbook. When discussing brine curing it talks about two methods of calculation. The first method talks about "percent pickup", which is the ratio of the amount (weight) of brine which will be absorbed into the meat to the weight of the meat. My question is how does one determine or even guess at what this rate is?

If my quick calculation of Pops' brine with maximum nitrite was correct (3.84 ounces per 1 gallon of brine), the nitrite in ppm is around 1800 (less if you account for the salt and sugar in the mix), so if a 10% pickup is assumed, that would be about 180 ppm. So is 10% pickup a good guess or fairly standard?

JJ, morning.... Ppm is calculated using the weight of meat, water, sugar, salt etc...
So.... at 8.35#'s of water per gallon and adding the weight of the meat.... Ppm can be figured.... Remember, 120 Ppm ingoing nitrite, for bacon, is the MAX. allowed...
Pops dad had the recipe tested by the inspectors.... they ran a business.... It ,at least, met the minimum guidelines for an appropriate amount of cure.... Having less nitrite, yet having enough to do the job, makes for a tastier finished product.. Also, the time in brine, allows for something closer to an equilibrium brine....

Hello. Up to this point, I haver never used a brine. I have used a dry rub for bacon and Canadian bacon. I was thinking of making up some of Pops Brine and using it later this fall for turkey, bacon, Canadian bacon, and possibly my first attempt at a ham. The question I have is, can I mix up a couple of gallons and keep it refrigerated? How long will it it last? Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ace 350

Hello. Up to this point, I haver never used a brine. I have used a dry rub for bacon and Canadian bacon. I was thinking of making up some of Pops Brine and using it later this fall for turkey, bacon, Canadian bacon, and possibly my first attempt at a ham. The question I have is, can I mix up a couple of gallons and keep it refrigerated? How long will it it last? Thanks.

Why would you not want to just make it fresh when you are ready to use it?

I just finished making my first approx 40lbs of Bellie Bacon/Back Bacon and a Bone in leg Ham in POPs Brine.It was easy and fast to mix up the Brine all at the same time as preparing the meat.

Thanks POPS for a great turn out on my meat.

Dan

Not a problem making it as I go, but was wondering how long it would last in the fridge...Might want to have some on hand for a spur of the moment use. So, how long will it last refrigerated? Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ace 350

Not a problem making it as I go, but was wondering how long it would last in the fridge...Might want to have some on hand for a spur of the moment use. So, how long will it last refrigerated? Thanks.

It's best to not make up curing solutions ahead of time.... It can get ropy and degrade.... It only takes 15 minutes to make up a batch... Why take a chance on having it go bad.....

As a side note...... when making up curing/brine solutions..... DO NOT ADD THE CURE TO WARM OR HOT WATER...... wait for it to cool....

I PMed Pops but thought I'd post here too.

I put two bellies in the brine last Saturday with plans to smoke it 10 days later.  However, I now have to travel.  Will it hurt them to sit in the brine 14-15 days?  I used 1/2 cup of kosher salt per gallon so the salt is low.  I also used 1 ounce of pink salt per gallon.  The other option is to smoke them Sunday which would be 7 full days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biaviian

I PMed Pops but thought I'd post here too.

I put two bellies in the brine last Saturday with plans to smoke it 10 days later.  However, I now have to travel.  Will it hurt them to sit in the brine 14-15 days?  I used 1/2 cup of kosher salt per gallon so the salt is low.  I also used 1 ounce of pink salt per gallon.  The other option is to smoke them Sunday which would be 7 full days.

I just finished some Bellie Bacon and Back Bacon this month.I went with the 1/2 cup of salt and 14 days in Pops brine on the Bellie Bacon and 15 days on the Back Bacon.I was very happy it all turned out great.

Dan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biaviian

I PMed Pops but thought I'd post here too.

I put two bellies in the brine last Saturday with plans to smoke it 10 days later.  However, I now have to travel.  Will it hurt them to sit in the brine 14-15 days?  I used 1/2 cup of kosher salt per gallon so the salt is low.  I also used 1 ounce of pink salt per gallon.  The other option is to smoke them Sunday which would be 7 full days.

Nope you're good to go. You can leave them in for as long as something like 30-40 days. I typically do a 14 day cure when using Pop's Brine. Something always seems to pop up right when it's time to pull and smoke! Usually work!

Within reason, a little extra curing time is fine.

Biggest problems come with not measuring the cure carefully or not curing for a sufficient time.

Good luck and good smoking.

Pops brine is pretty much fool proof. Make brine, toss meat into it, forget it.  Thing is with Pops brine... it's not maxed out on cure. so you can basically ignore it. It gets to equilibrium and pretty much stays there.

If I'm going to cut down the amount of water my a proportion, say from 1 gallon to a 1/2 gallon, then does that mean I'll cut all of the other ingredients by the same proportion? I'm going to be using this brine for some tasso, and I'll need nowhere near 1 gallons worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgautheir20420

If I'm going to cut down the amount of water my a proportion, say from 1 gallon to a 1/2 gallon, then does that mean I'll cut all of the other ingredients by the same proportion? I'm going to be using this brine for some tasso, and I'll need nowhere near 1 gallons worth.

Yes, just so the ratio stays the same---Make sure you have enough to keep the meat submerged.

Bear

Thanks Bear. I'll be using a zip log bag for curing and massaging each morning and night for the curing period.

edit

Dave, sorry for the delayed response. I did see your comment last night...but it was late. I'll respond to it even though you've edited I guess. I'll only be doing 2 - 3 lbs of pork shoulder cut into approx 2" strips. I can always mix up more if needed, but I'm figuring the half gallon should do it. I'll start a new thread for the tasso later.

Gotta keep this one handy. Thanks.

I have an 11lb. turkey I'm going to cure for 3-4 days in 3 gallons of water with 3T cure + salt and sugar.  The turkey is still thawing in the fridge so I'm pre diluting the pink salt in a 1/2 gallon of water.  I'm not sure if that's necessary.  Since my plastic food grade container I use to make beer in is so wide, with dead space to cover the turkey with the wet cure, can I add pork bellies for bacon or pork loin for Canadian bacon with the turkey or do poultry, pork and beef need to cure by themselves.  I would leave the pork in for a total of 14 days.

-Kurt

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