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Curing Brine for Long Term Aging.

Discussion in 'Curing' started by hoopie, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. hoopie

    hoopie Newbie

    Im looking to recreate something my Grandfather told me the family did when he was a kid. Unfortunately hes no longer able to take questions. He said they would butcher hogs around febuary/march and take hams and shoulders and submerge them in barrels. In the barrels they had dissolved enough salt in water to float an egg. They'd leave the pork in the brine for up to a month and then cold smoke them. After that they'd get wrapped in brown paper bags and hung in the top of the garage all summer.

    I would specifically like to brine cure, and have a product that can be left un-refrigerated long term. Can someone point me in the right direction? Is it possible to do this with other types of meat? Venison? Poultry?

    It seems like every article and thread Ive found that brines something, cooks it, and then refrigerates.
     
  2. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    PM @pops6927
    He should be able to answer your questions.
    Al
     
  3. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Rock salt. Water will only dissolve/absorb so much of it. So if you have some undissolved in your barrel/crock, it's a brine as it can get.
    I think it is admirable of you to pursue the old ways of preserving. I hope you can find enough info to try it.
    But like Al said, contact Pops6927. If anybody knows, Pops does.
     
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think your grandfather may have used one of Morton's curing salts in his process.... Did you eat any of his cured hams ?? Was it pink inside or brown inside, like a regular hunk of pork..

    FWIW, the older the egg, the less salt it takes to float it... as the air chamber inside the egg increases... It's not a good method to check the salt content... Maybe they had chickens and all their eggs were fresh... Who knows...
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  5. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    In order to have room temp stable dry meat you need to welll...dry it.

    Wet curing and cold smoking alone won't do it.

    I used to do this with my dad with a whole leg of pork - but we'd start in december. After a few weeks in a wet brine would cold smoke for as long as one week. Then dry for a long time.

    It was perfect for Easter (were not allowed to touch it before) and then kept pecking it until only the bone was left (usually mid summer). Stayed hung the whole time in the pantry (cold in winter, hot in the summer).

    It's pretty much a wet cured smoked prosciutto.

    I tried to quantify the floating egg test. It's not consistent: way too many egg variables. 10% salt is sufficient for your brine.
     
    dernektambura likes this.
  6. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Rock, kosher, fine, table salt...they all disolve the same in water. Same amount. Just takes longer for large grain salts.

    1L of water can disolve as much as 350g of salt in it .You don't want to cure your meat in that.
     
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  8. hoopie

    hoopie Newbie

    No i never got to taste it. It was only ever brought up once in conversation and those are all ive got for details. Im a chicken owner myself, and understand you can get an idea of how old an egg is by putting it in water and seeing to what degree it sinks or floats. I figured they were using fresh eggs, I know they had chickens.

    I'll give that link a look over.

    Thanks everyone, for all the replies so far.
     
  9. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Do you want to hang hams because you don't have enough fridge space or just because they look cool (they do indeed)?
     
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  11. @hoopie
    "He said they would butcher hogs around febuary/march and take hams and shoulders and submerge them in barrels. In the barrels they had dissolved enough salt in water to float an egg. They'd leave the pork in the brine for up to a month and then cold smoke them. After that they'd get wrapped in brown paper bags and hung in the top of the garage all summer."

    It's basically "The Salt Box (Saltbox) method." Very popular decades ago.
    It's explained in several books.
    Often the meat was just salted and swam in the brine created by the water expelled from the meat, and topped off if needed!
    FWIW,
    At 68°F one liter of water can dissolve about 357 grams of salt, a concentration of 26.3%.

    Here's a better method:

    Details in print: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/ASC/ASC213/ASC213.pdf
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  12. hoopie

    hoopie Newbie

    Yes and Yes. Ive got a small "homestead" and while Ive got good freezer space it does run out from time to time. I would like to know how to preserve meats without the use of electric. Ive got a few books on the charcuterie, and sausage making, but nothing explains quite what I want to try.
     
  13. WaterRat

    WaterRat Smoking Fanatic

    Isn't this where the term pork "butt" came from? The "butt" is a wood barrel and whole legs where packed in salt in them.
     
  14. brine.png

    Needs to be modernized.
    Source: Circular, Issues 106-153, By University of Wisconsin. College of Agriculture, 1918
     
  15. HalfSmoked

    HalfSmoked Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We use to do a dry sugar cure I post the recipe one time but not sure where it is on the forum. Will gladly post it again.
    By the way and welcome to the forum.

    Warren
     
  16. 20141210_094746.jpg here is " old fashion, Southern Slavic" way my granpa teach me back in 60's which I still use today. .
    4 - 5 % salt of total pork butt weight...
    2% sugar (sugar keeps natural meat color)
    mix salt and sugar in amount of water just enough to cover half an inch over the top of pork but. keep it in brine for about 3 to 4 weeks turning pork but once every two days.. . after wet cure keep pork but for one day in fresh cold water changing water 3 times - desalination .. hang it for day or two to drain, spread generous amount of red paprika on pork butt and smoke it for 3 weeks... After smoke is done hang it to dry on dry and cold place on light breeze for at least 2 month... longer the better... and don't wash white mold that acumulates on pork butt... it is good sign that pork butt is healthy....
    here is pic of cold smoked pork butt in my smoker.. good old fashion way..
     
  17. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is where I got that.



    Frankly, it is a moot point to me. I dry brine anything I do. (Well, not since I don't brine Deer or Antelope in the bath tub any more.)

    But by all means, make yourself feel important. :emoji_bow:
     
  18. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That changes everything: if you got it from a video off youtube titled "the best..." It must be reliable information.

    I am not trying to feel important. I just corrected some misinformation you posted. If i am wrong feel free to prove it.

    P.s. even if you dry cure with rock salt. Leave it too long and the meat/fish will be inedible.
     
    chopsaw likes this.
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Rock salt and table salt "can" impart off flavors.... Kosher salt gives a clean flavor that is reliable...
    Do a taste test... put each on your tongue and check the flavor.... Personally, I find Kosher salt to not be as harsh as the others... Anywho, that's what I find...
    And that's my unscientific note for today....
     
  20. in my humble opinion, kosher salt, rock salt, table salt are pretty much the same....only difference is granularity of the salts... they all have diferent granularity, so one cup of table salt, kosher salt and rock salt have different weight measurement in one cup....whatever choice of salt you go with measure it by the weight not by the volume...
    BTW....One of the most important thing before you even start process of salting is to squeeze out blood remains in main artery that runs along pork butt.. do this by pressing with tumb along the blood vein... you will be surprised how much blood comes out....
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019