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Dry curing question

river100

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My first few cures were EQ dry cure with basic salt, sugar, and cure #1. They came out great.
While reading some of the threads in this forum I saw that at least one person mentioned that he puts a little water in his dry cure.
So I looked into dry vs wet and it looks like you could add a little water to a dry cure as long as you keep the percentages and weigh the water.

Am I right on this?

For example most of the bellies I get are already trimmed and only 800 to 1200 grams. So I for a 800 gram belly I added
50 grams of water and added it to the belly weight when calculating the cure amounts, still using EQ with .25% cure #1.
Can there be issues with this ? Will it affect the taste and or quality of the bacon?
Thanks in advance.
 

indaswamp

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Yes, if you add water, then you have to add the weight of the water when calculating salt, sugar and cure.

For a dry brine, adding water is not necessary because the dry cure will pull out water from the meat to create a concentrated solution.
 

DanMcG

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I'm not sure what the advantage would be, but it should work fine with the added water
 

thirdeye

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Is it possible the person was using some 'starter water' in the bag to get a head start on the salt pulling water out of the belly? For example giving the rubbed down belly a mist of water or adding a tablespoon of water to the bag.
 

SmokinEdge

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My reasoning was it would evenly spread the cure.
This is why with dry cure, you take the bag out massage it a little, flip it over about every other day. Sometimes I just flip the bags, still this evens out the cure as the liquid starts forming in the bag.
 

SmokinAl

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I agree with SE, in my opinion dry cure is the way to go. The texture & taste of the meat is much better with a dry cure with cure #1 than a brine cure. But that is just IMHO!
Al
 

indaswamp

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I like dry curing belly bacon. The air drying in the fridge concentrate the flavor. The belly will lose around 20% weight after 4 nights of cold smoking, another 5% sitting in the fridge.

Now Canadian bacon, a.k.a. loin bacon, I use a wet brine to keep the meat as moist as possible because loin is a lean cut with very little fat. I don't trim fat off-I leave it on for moisture and flavor.
When I smoke loin, I warm smoke 120-130*F for about 3-4 hours, then kick the heat up to ~190*F to push INT* to 140*F to finish quickly then I pull from the smoker. Always have very juicy loin bacon...YMMV...
 

thirdeye

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I like dry curing belly bacon. The air drying in the fridge concentrate the flavor. The belly will lose around 20% weight after 4 nights of cold smoking, another 5% sitting in the fridge.

Now Canadian bacon, a.k.a. loin bacon, I use a wet brine to keep the meat as moist as possible because loin is a lean cut with very little fat. I don't trim fat off-I leave it on for moisture and flavor.
When I smoke loin, I warm smoke 120-130*F for about 3-4 hours, then kick the heat up to ~190*F to push INT* to 140*F to finish quickly then I pull from the smoker. Always have very juicy loin bacon...YMMV...
I was cooking at a BBQ fundraiser and had injected 5 pork loins with salted apple juice to cook throughout the day. About noon the weather changed and there was a tornado warning for 2pm, so the event ended early.... I had two raw loins still in the cooler. When I got home I dried them very well and cured them with a Buckboard style Tender Quick based dry cure, then bagged them for 5 or 7 days. They were some of best Canadian loin bacon I've ever made.
 

SmokinEdge

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I like dry curing belly bacon. The air drying in the fridge concentrate the flavor. The belly will lose around 20% weight after 4 nights of cold smoking, another 5% sitting in the fridge.
I assume you are saying dry curing in the open air no bag, refrigerated? I’ve been doing this with BB and the concentration of flavors is off the hook good.
 

indaswamp

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I assume you are saying dry curing in the open air no bag, refrigerated? I’ve been doing this with BB and the concentration of flavors is off the hook good.
Yes. I dry cure belly bacon in a 25# meat tote. I rework and flip daily for the first three days, then every other day for the curing time needed.
 

Bearcarver

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My reasoning was it would evenly spread the cure.

I know a number of People that do that, and I've even done it a couple times myself with a TQ Dry Cure. You add such a small amount of water, like 2 or 3 TBS that you don't have to weigh it or make any changes with anything else. It just gives it a Jump on the process, instead of waiting for the salt to draw the juices. And Yes it does help spread the cure around.

Bear
 

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