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Can cures go bad?

buzzy

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I’m dry curing bacon with TQ. Ran out of new cure but still had 4 3#ers to do. Had a old bag of Sugar cure TQ in back of cupboard. 8-10 years old. It had drawed in some moisture. Even had some hard chucks in bag that could not be broken up by hand. Not thinking ahead didn’t mark bags. Now 6 days in an I have some bags with no fluid or slurry in them. Others have in them. Is this a bad sign or just different cuts of meat thing? Yes there was 1 Tbs. /# used. Thanks in advance for all insights.
 

Bearcarver

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Normally I'd say no problem, however the 8 to 10 years isn't as bad as the fact that it drew in moisture & had hard lumps in it. I'd toss it & get some new.
Different meat produces various amounts of liquid during curing, but usually all the bags in the same batch would be similar to each other.

Bear
 
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daveomak

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Is this the cure you are using ?? It should be fine... It was stored dry and dark...

MORTON sugar cure 1.jpg
 

thirdeye

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Did you happen to add a tablespoon or so of bottled water to your bags to act as a starter? It's not unusual for me to see more liquid in one bag than another and always attributed that to the liquid content of the individual belly itself.

Clumping inside the bag of TQ would be a sign for me to purchase a new bag.... but I would bet you are okay if you were able to pull your 12 tablespoons from the unaffected cure mix. With home curing safety in mind, Morton's has a good process for thoroughly blending the nitrite and nitrate into the salt/sugar carrier, and it remains "in suspension" so to speak, meaning it's less likely to settle out. And, once the product contacts the pork belly it's going to begin to liquefy anyway.
 

buzzy

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Normally I'd say no problem, however the 8 to 10 years isn't as bad as the fact that it drew in moisture & had hard lumps in it. I'd toss it get some new.
Different meat produces various amounts of liquid during curing, but usually all the bags in the same batch would be similar to each other.

Bear
All ready tossed with new bag on list of things to get at next trip to grocery store.
 

buzzy

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hey when using the mortons tender cure , do/can you still add their normal amount of salt as what the recipe calls for . thank you
No don’t do that. TQ is mostly salt to carry the nitrates & nitrites.
 

Bearcarver

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Yes it is. I was concerned because of lack of liquids in some bags compared to others. I’ve never seen this before with fresh butchered hogs.

Like I said:
#1 My main concern was when you said in your first post your TQ Drew moisture, during the 8 to 10 years, and had some hard chunks that could not be broken by hand.

#2 And if your pieces were all from one belly the moisture amount drawn into the curing bags should be similar to each other. If the pieces were from more than one Belly, that could cause a difference in moisture, but the cure could have gone bad from picking up moisture over all those years.
Normally the amount of moisture in the curing bags means nothing.
 

buzzy

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Like I said:
#1 My main concern was when you said in your first post your TQ Drew moisture, during the 8 to 10 years, and had some hard chunks that could not be broken by hand.

#2 And if your pieces were all from one belly the moisture amount drawn into the curing bags should be similar to each other. If the pieces were from more than one Belly, that could cause a difference in moisture, but the cure could have gone bad from picking up moisture over all those years.
Normally the amount of moisture in the curing bags means nothing.
Like I said:
#1 My main concern was when you said in your first post your TQ Drew moisture, during the 8 to 10 years, and had some hard chunks that could not be broken by hand.

#2 And if your pieces were all from one belly the moisture amount drawn into the curing bags should be similar to each other. If the pieces were from more than one Belly, that could cause a difference in moisture, but the cure could have gone bad from picking up moisture over all those years.
Normally the amount of moisture in the curing bags means nothing.
Like I said:
#1 My main concern was when you said in your first post your TQ Drew moisture, during the 8 to 10 years, and had some hard chunks that could not be broken by hand.

#2 And if your pieces were all from one belly the moisture amount drawn into the curing bags should be similar to each other. If the pieces were from more than one Belly, that could cause a difference in moisture, but the cure could have gone bad from picking up moisture over all those years.
Normally the amount of moisture in the curing bags means nothing.
Going to let go for another week then slice the ones I’m not sure of down the middle to take a look if cured or not. The bellies are from the 2 hogs we butchered last weekend. Didn’t think about keeping track of or marking to see if it’s the difference between the 2. Never saw this before but had to get hogs from different guy this year. Before they were from the same litter. These last 2 were not.
 

Bearcarver

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Going to let go for another week then slice the ones I’m not sure of down the middle to take a look if cured or not. The bellies are from the 2 hogs we butchered last weekend. Didn’t think about keeping track of or marking to see if it’s the difference between the 2. Never saw this before but had to get hogs from different guy this year. Before they were from the same litter. These last 2 were not.

OK---But since you're Dry curing with TQ, make sure you do a Salt-Fry-Test after curing, especially if you Dry cure for longer than 12 days.

Bear
 

buzzy

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OK---But since you're Dry curing with TQ, make sure you do a Salt-Fry-Test after curing, especially if you Dry cure for longer than 12 days.

Bear
Will be pulling & rinse off at 10- 12 days. Then back in frig for 2 days to equilibrate. Then cold smoke for 4-6 hrs twice. Sound like a good plan?
 

Bearcarver

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Will be pulling & rinse off at 10- 12 days. Then back in frig for 2 days to equilibrate. Then cold smoke for 4-6 hrs twice. Sound like a good plan?

Sounds like a good plan.
I quit cold smoking years ago, because I get better color & flavor with "Warm Smoking", between 100° and 130° for about 10 hours. (No fat is rendered below 135°)
However many people are very happy with the same plan you've got right there.
Many ways to do it.

Bear
 

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