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Bulk batches of cure/brines

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping I'm posting this in the correct place.

I've been curing and smoking for some time now tending toward using cuts rather than going for sausages etc due to the food hygiene issues that seem to be inherent. I think I do great pastrami and bacon/pancetta but things are changing a little in my business.

Up to now I've been a professional cook in the UK specialising in hand made rare breed sausage rolls, pork pies, pies and pasties and have had some success. My wife and I have decided off of the back of this along with my love of curing and smoking pastimes to look into opening a deli. I've always been of a mind that a 'proper' deli makes a decent proportion of the products it sells otherwise you're just a cafe or retailer. Up to now we've worked hard to gain our artisan reputation and are loathed to walk away from it.

Anyway..... Before I digress too far.... (Too late)....

Running the deli is going to be a massive undertaking for us and I'm looking for ways of doing the production side of things along side everything else and am wondering if anyone has ever mass produced their brines for curing purposes and if there are any issues that could arise due to storage for a period of time 1 month plus.

In my mind, in making a brine, something that is designed to reduce bacterial activity and reduce spoiling therefore this should be the case wishing the ingredients (herbs, garlic etc) within suspension. However, I'm a little worries about the chemistry of curing salt offer a period of time.

I know I could buy cure pack that could be added to water etc but this doesn't sit well with me..... I want to use my recepies to crate something unique to my deli.

I hope I'm not being too cheeky asking this question here but if anyone has experience here it's bound to be you guys.

Thanks for your help in advance

post #2 of 13

Good morning and welcome to the forum. Good luck with your new venture. I'm sure someone will be along to share their opinions and thoughts on the curing process




post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks Gary
post #4 of 13
Anthony, morning.... Getting all the totes the same size..... add in the same weight of meat to each tote and the same weight of water is a start... using good clean water... and sanitizing the containers..
A batch of corned beef as an example.... maybe the tote holds 40 pounds of beef and you add 15 pounds of water to cover.... those amounts should be continued for every batch.... Then you can make up packets of spices, nitrite, salt and processed white sugar.... All of the old recipes I have read, use processed sugar as others have impurities that can cause "ropy" or "slimy" brine solutions after time... also impurities in the water "can" do the same... rotate or "overhaul" the product, on a schedule, for consistency... maintain a consistent temp. in the curing room, 38-40 deg. F... cure for a consistent time, probably 3-4 weeks...
There are many books, archived in libraries, describing techniques from the past that can be adjusted to modern sanitation etc...

I agree that "SPEED" techniques, used today, provide an inferior product...
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Really sorry

I'm not sure I've set my question out correctly.

I was thinking about having a large 'barrel' of brine ready to go.... I generally cure 2 kg of bacon at a time. I know I can work out the weight of brining solution I should be using with each 2kg batch. I was hoping I can make (say) 40 litres of brine at a time. Store it and then over a number of weeks/months pour off 4 litres at a time as and when the need former bacon comes up?

I know that curing salt breaks down over time, would this be gone by the time I come to add the brine to meat?
post #6 of 13
Calculating chemical reactions over time is impossible.... You are dealing with food products.... shortcuts are not something you want to do...
I thought you wanted to make a "premium product" that folks would learn to love and trust.....
post #7 of 13
Mix up small packs of cure, salt, sugar and spices that you can mix up 1 gallon of brine at a time... that way you can add 20#'s of meat in the gallon... You will have to calculate in ingoing nitrite to be sure you meet government specification for your products....
Meat hunks should be of the same size, thickness etc. to insure ~equal uptake of ingredients....
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I don't want toke an inferior product which is why I'm asking questions before hand..... I suppose our route really is creating my own flavoured cure mix really.....

The adding of water, I would imagine, must be the beginning of that phosphate breakdown
post #9 of 13

Every operation I have seen, a bulk Premix of dry flavoring ingredients, excluding Cure, is on hand then the appropriate amount of Premix, Water and Cure is combined as needed. Refrigerated storage space is limited and expensive to operate in most operations so storing a big barrel of Brine is impractical compared to a small un-refrigerated box of Dry Seasoning and storing the water in the wall...JJ

post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by TheMan View Post

I don't want toke an inferior product which is why I'm asking questions before hand..... I suppose our route really is creating my own flavoured cure mix really.....

The adding of water, I would imagine, must be the beginning of that phosphate breakdown

What is phosphate breakdown....
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sorry my bad, I meant the breakdown of sodium nitrite.

Chemistry, not a strong point.
post #12 of 13
I do believe that's true, but have nothing to back it up... cures need to be mixed, from what I understand, when using... Water is a very good solvent....
post #13 of 13

My dad would make up his brine 50 gallons at a time in a large 75 gallon brine barrel.  He would keep it in the curing cooler and bring it out when processing product.  If he emptied it, he would wash and sanitize it, then make up a fresh batch.  Some days, he would refill it 3 or 4 times.  Other days, when not processing, he'd store it, then when bringing it back out, he'd stir it and continue.  But, no batch would last more than a few days; 2 or 3.  Because of the sugars, it could ferment and get ropy, so he was very careful not to keep it more than a couple days maximum.

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