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Curing with Pop's Brine

pops6927

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Making the curing brine: I measure out (for 2 gallons):

2 heaping tablespoons of curing salt ( always put that in first, on the bottom)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup plain, non-iodized table salt



Then I pour two gallons of water into the bucket:



and stir until dissolved. (This photo is of the other bucket before I completely stirred it):



This is after stirring it, completely dissolved:


You don't need to heat it, you don't need to boil it, only stir until dissolved. The cure is totally dissolvable; once dissolved, it cannot be un-dissolved. Once dissolved, the ingredients do not need to be re-stirred; they have been dissolved initially and completely. I have done this thousands upon thousands of times, from one gallon to 55 gallon batches, a dozen times over. Don't make it more difficult than it has to be. Add ingredients, add water, stir a couple dozen times, pour in and just plain let it sit and do it's magic! So Simple!
 

smokeymose

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I’ve been doing your brine for a while now, Pops, but I’ve been doing the one cup each of sugar, brown sugar and kosher salt with 1 heaping tablespoon of #1 to 1 gallon of water.
Have I been doing it wrong all along? I thought it was for 1 gallon....
It’s made some awesome bacon.
 

pops6927

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http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/pops6927s-curing-brines-regular-and-lo-salt

I revised my brine many years ago for a lo-salt version, think it was in 2010 after my second stroke. This thread: http://smokingmeatforums.com/index.php?threads/lo-salt-cured-and-smoked-turkey.98333/

So, yes, you are correct, that was my full strength curing brine. Since then, after my second stroke (and another in 2010 ad in 2011 and in 2012), I had to test and re-test many curing brine combinations to settle on my lo-salt version, cutting the salt in half. Thank you for asking!
 

chopsaw

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I do 1 gallon batch in the Briner Jr. for chicken parts . 1/2 cup salt , and both sugars . 1 Tbls cure 1 . I always put the water in first , then add the dry . Stir the heck out of it . I put 12 chicken thighs in Friday night . Cook them next weekend . Makes the best fried chicken .
 

pops6927

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I measure out the ingredients first a/c bad memory - I can always look through the ingredients and tell what I've added before adding water, but not vice versa. I've made that mistake before (uhhhhh.... did I add cure?? Can't tell with water in it!).
 

chopsaw

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Ok I get it now . Been there . I make a list and check off as I add . Makes sense to me , gonna add dry first . Thanks .
 

griz400

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So, if I mix a 1 gallon batch, does it matter if you have a single piece of meat, or a container full of meat, as long as brine covers it all completely, is it strong enough to do the job ?? for example .. 2 lbs . vs 12 lbs .. would it matter how much meat ??
 

pops6927

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Not at all, time is the key, not the quantity of meat.
DSCF0010.JPG


These turkeys are touching tightly together and there's about an inch or so of curing brine all around them. Am I worried they won't cure properly? No, not at all, i've done this for over 50 years. The plates sitting directly on them? They will still cure properly. At my dad's store, we'd stack 350 lbs. of pork bellies, one atop another, fanning them out for balance only, and they would all cure correctly in a 55 gal. drum (we had to balance them as they were all on dollies and we'd shove them around in the brining cooler, and woe be the employee who tipped one over!).
 

smokeymose

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I measure out the ingredients first a/c bad memory - I can always look through the ingredients and tell what I've added before adding water, but not vice versa. I've made that mistake before (uhhhhh.... did I add cure?? Can't tell with water in it!).
I set all the ingredients on the counter, whether for brine, sausage or rubs, whatever. As an ingredient is added, the container is put away.
When the counter is cleared and everything is put away, everything is added.
I’ve tried checking off on the recipe, but caught myself forgetting to check off a time or two, so I stick with my slower method now.
 

worktogthr

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Been using this since I found SMF for bacon, canadian bacon, ham, pastrami, etc. Its so easy and so versatile! Thanks again for sharing this family recipe!
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the total explanation and to do dry first makes since.

Warren
 

hondabbq

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pops6927 pops6927
Im confused with your statement about the length of time for meats to cure vs the volume of meat.

The initial recipe which I wrote down years ago was 5 lbs of meat per 1 gallon recipe. That is the recipe I followed.
I understand how you have since modified it to a low salt version, but with the measuring of cure for meat eludes me. If I understand what your saying above, you can put as much meat as you want into a recipe of the brine as long as its all covered by the brine? you can put 5lbs? 10 lbs? 20 lbs? of meat in to the same volume of brine?

Does doing it this way change the length of time in the brine then? I would think that the more diluted the cure in the brine ( having to penetrate the larger volumes of meat) would not occur properly or it would take an exorbitant amount of time longer.

Please clarify for this simple mind.
 

ghostguy6

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pops6927 pops6927
Im confused with your statement about the length of time for meats to cure vs the volume of meat.

The initial recipe which I wrote down years ago was 5 lbs of meat per 1 gallon recipe. That is the recipe I followed.
I understand how you have since modified it to a low salt version, but with the measuring of cure for meat eludes me. If I understand what your saying above, you can put as much meat as you want into a recipe of the brine as long as its all covered by the brine? you can put 5lbs? 10 lbs? 20 lbs? of meat in to the same volume of brine?

Does doing it this way change the length of time in the brine then? I would think that the more diluted the cure in the brine ( having to penetrate the larger volumes of meat) would not occur properly or it would take an exorbitant amount of time longer.

Please clarify for this simple mind.
I'm also a little confused about this as I have found conflicting information. I found one post that said 14 lbs was the maximum and another that says 5 lbs per gallon. Another thread indicates you need to calculate the total weight of meat and brine solution then add cure at a rate of 1 tablespoon per 5 lbs. For example 1 gal of brine plus 5 lbs of meat weighs approximately 13.64 pounds so you would need just under 3 tablespoons of cure.

So I all ask Pop's, what would you say is the maximum amount of meat you can safely use per gallon of brine?
 
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Rings Я Us

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Would be the same strength for a pork butt or pork chop. The length of time determins the penetration.
 
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Bearcarver

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pops6927 pops6927
Im confused with your statement about the length of time for meats to cure vs the volume of meat.

The initial recipe which I wrote down years ago was 5 lbs of meat per 1 gallon recipe. That is the recipe I followed.
I understand how you have since modified it to a low salt version, but with the measuring of cure for meat eludes me. If I understand what your saying above, you can put as much meat as you want into a recipe of the brine as long as its all covered by the brine? you can put 5lbs? 10 lbs? 20 lbs? of meat in to the same volume of brine?

Does doing it this way change the length of time in the brine then? I would think that the more diluted the cure in the brine ( having to penetrate the larger volumes of meat) would not occur properly or it would take an exorbitant amount of time longer.

Please clarify for this simple mind.

The cure doesn't get diluted because the cure is mixed per gallon of water. The more meat you put in, the more gallons of mixed solution is needed, but the strength of the mixture stays the same.

Bear
 

wes w

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A new format, it has been a while since I've been here.

I have used the cure many times with store bought bellies, but last weekend we bought a hog that was 480lbs on the hoof. I ain't lying, this bad girl had a 3- 3 1/2 in belly.

My question sir, do I need to let that thick a belly cure longer then the 10 days?

Love this cure. It makes life simple. Thank you again!

I haven't weighed them, but these bellies are at least 40lbs each
IMG_20180117_130547584.jpg
 

Bearcarver

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A new format, it has been a while since I've been here.

I have used the cure many times with store bought bellies, but last weekend we bought a hog that was 480lbs on the hoof. I ain't lying, this bad girl had a 3- 3 1/2 in belly.

My question sir, do I need to let that thick a belly cure longer then the 10 days?

Love this cure. It makes life simple. Thank you again!

I haven't weighed them, but these bellies are at least 40lbs each

I'm not Pops, but I think he will tell you to inject that belly, because it's so thick, so it can cure from the inside out & the Outside In.

Bear
 

wes w

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I've never injected cure or anything. Can you get to much brine in it? I just don't want to ruin these bellies. Thanks Bear
 

chopsaw

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Inject from the brine you mixed . So if you made one gallon , use out of the gallon mix to inject .
 

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