Dry curing question

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river100

Smoke Blower
Original poster
Sep 2, 2017
86
40
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.
 
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.
 
I'm not sure what the advantage would be, but it should work fine with the added water
 
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.
 
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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.
 
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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 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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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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