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First try at curing meat

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

Hello all, 

So I have been reading up on curing and thought I would give it a try. I have a recipe for Lonzino and thought I would give it a try,


So here is my 4.5lb pork loin all seasoned up and ready to cure for 12 to 14 days.


I do not have a curing chamber and I am hoping that I will be able to just hang this in the basement and let it finish drying.


Being as I have never done this before please offer any suggestions you may have.


This is what I am following:

Prep Time: 24 days

  • A 3 pound piece of whole pork loin or boar loin
  • 45 grams kosher salt
  • 15 grams sugar
  • 5 grams InstaCure No. 2, also known as Prague Cure No. 2
  • 10 grams black pepper
  • 5 grams garlic powder
  • 5 grams ground cloves
  • 10 grams onion powder
  • 8 grams dried thyme
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients. Rub them well into the loin, then put the meat into a plastic bag or wrap with plastic wrap. This is to keep it from drying out. Keep the meat refrigerated for 12 days.
  2. On the 12th day, remove from the wrap, rinse it off and then let it dry on a rack for 2-3 hours. I use a portable fan set on low to oscillate over the meat.
  3. Truss the meat with kitchen twine (the white stuff) as you would a roast. Leave a long loop at one end so you can hang the meat. You can also use pre-made sausage netting.
  4. Hang the meat in a cool place to dry. It needs to be humid, about 70 percent humidity. How long? At least another 12 days. It should feel firm throughout and be a pleasing red. How long can you hang it? Up to six months or more, but it will become harder and drier the longer it hangs.
  5. To store: Wrap tightly in butcher paper or, better yet, vacuum seal pieces of it – I cut the loin into three chunks – and freeze. Unfrozen, it will last indefinitely in the fridge, but it will continue to dry out.
post #2 of 34
I've done dried loin without a curing chamber. What you need to do is keep an eye open for case hardening. You can manage by giving it a break in the fridge (wrapped) if it's drying too quickly. That will allow water content to even out.

Is ready when it has lost 30% of the original weight. I would expect it will take longer than 12 days (drying time).

I would cut it (once done) in smaller pieces (not sliced) before freezing. This is a cold cut, serving size is smaller than an entree. I keep in the fridge a week's worth of dried loin.

Good luck.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice.I expected it may take longer but that is ok I am in no hurry.


Hoping to have something for a cured meat and smoked cheese plate,

post #4 of 34
What recipe are you following.... can you post a link to it here... Sounds like you are mixing 2 curing methods... Curing a loin with cure #1 for Canadian bacon and a recipe for Bresaola using cure #2 and a loin...
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 

Dave Recipe is posted above.

post #6 of 34
What I meant was, is it Ruhlman's recipe or Marianski's recipe... Dave
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
post #8 of 34

It sounds tasty!


Happy smoken.


post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 

I also have the Charcuterie Book as well by Brian Polcyn, Michael Ruhlman.


But for this try I followed the one above

post #10 of 34
Usually there is a % weight moisture loss that should be followed... The moisture loss, insures there is not enough water for bacteria to survive or multiply.... And, different cure #2 manufacturers have different amounts of nitrite and nitrate incorporated in the salt, and sometimes other stuff....

It is important to follow recipes from one source... as mixing and matching can be confusing... Look at the different make-up below...

I have no idea if switching cure #2's will be a problem.... I doubt it.... Just pointing out things to be aware of....

Taken from.... http://www.modernistpantry.com/prague-powder-2.html

Prague Powder #2 aka Insta Cure #2, pink curing salt, or Sel Rose is composed of 6.75% Sodium Nitrite, 4.00% Sodium Nitrate and 89.25% Sodium Chloride. It used in the curing process to prevent botulism poisoning and to provide the characteristic flavor and red color associated with curing. Prague Powder #2 is recommended for meats that require long (weeks to months) cures, like hard salami and country ham.

Taken from... http://www.sausagemaker.com/11250instacureand153no28oz.aspx

InstaCure #2 contains salt, sodium nitrite (6.25%) and sodium nitrate (1%). Use 1 level teaspoon per 5 lbs. of meat. 8 oz. of Insta Cure™ will process approximately 240 lbs. of meat.

Taken from.... http://meatclub.in/start/ingredients/instacure-no-2

Instacure No. 2 Instacure #2 is a curing salt comprised of roughly (depending on the brand you purchase) 94% salt, 5% sodium nitrate and 1% sodium nitrite.

Instacure #2 is also known as Prague Powder II.

After reading a few "Methods / Recipes".... the authors have no idea there is a difference in cures....
post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 


I followed the above and used Pink Salt I had, I will confirm exactly which one it is and let you know. In you opinion is this still good? Should this be cured and then smoked instead if letting it dry?


What do you think? 

post #12 of 34
You will be OK..... Dry it.... dry it slow so it doesn't case harden.... Watch the fan for sure... to much air flow will case harden the meat.....
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 

Thank you! I appreciate your valued input.

post #14 of 34
If you want to smoke it you need to do it while is drying. If you wait until is dried you won't get much smoke penetration.
post #15 of 34
As far as I know lonzino is not smoked. Nothing wrong with smoking it (plan one for next month too) but it won't be true lonzino.
post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I do not plan on smoking it but was just concerned after Dave's input. I will let this go and see what happens it will be done curing in the refrigerator on Dec 4th so I will hang it after that and keep my eye on it.



post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 

Ok, so after 13 days curing in the fridge, I washed it of, tied it up and let it dry for a few hours.


I then hung it up to further cure until it loses 30% of its weight. Hopefully in about 3-4 weeks.


I hope this turns out.

post #18 of 34
Originally Posted by link View Post

Yeah, I do not plan on smoking it but was just concerned after Dave's input. I will let this go and see what happens it will be done curing in the refrigerator on Dec 4th so I will hang it after that and keep my eye on it.


FWIW.... Case hardening is..... when the outer surface dries too fast, it becomes HARD.... and interior moisture can no longer escape to dry the center of the meat...
post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
Dave, i will keep my eye on it daily and hope that does not happen.
post #20 of 34
What I do (as preventive trick) is wrap the meat in plastic foil and move it to the fridge for 1-2 days every 5 days or so. Will allow the moisture inside the meat to even out. It even works for mild cases of case hardening.
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