I know there are a ton of threads on calculating a brine time, but I had a slightly different question, and wanted an answer fairly quickly, and many of the threads have been inactive for quite a while so.....
I'm making my first Canadian Bacon based on Pop's Brine as modified in Woodcutter's 2nd Try thread. Added a few things, like some maple flavoring, and some worcestershire sauce. I cut up an 11 pound pork loin into 7 pieces, so no piece has a cross section thicker than say 3" X 4". This means the center of any piece cannot be more than 1.5" in from some surface. So using the 1/2 inch per day plus 2 "rule" that I've seen many times here, I used the 4" and arrived at 10 days. Been turning the loins, and churning up the brine once a day.
So today was day 5 of the loins being in the brine, and being impatient I couldn't resist cutting off a few slices around the edge, seeing that they were totally pink/cured, and frying them up. OMG - devine! For the first time, I don't know if I want to smoke these or not, they are so good the way they are. So kept cutting and realized the cure is already pretty deep.
So my question is, what I thought to be true was that the length of time you leave the meat in the brine is to ensure that the cure penetrates totally through the meat. as evidenced by there being a uniformly ham reddish color throughout the meat. If so, then it's done. Is this true? Or, is some further curing going on that takes more time and develops more fully, even after this uniform color change? In other words, if I were to check the thickest piece, and it were to show uniform color to the center, could I smoke it now, or still need to wait for 5 more days?
Thanks for any comments.