Head to Head: Brine Vs Dry Cure

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by disco, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for catching that. In the first sentence I should have said 2 days for every half inch. I have corrected that. The following two lines:
    • 2 inches thick has four 1/2 inches, 2X4 is eight days, add two or three, cure for 10 to 11 days.
    • 1 1/2 inches thick as three 1/2 inches, 2X3 is six days, add two or three, cure for 8 or 9 days. 
    Is the correct formula.
     
  2. jimmy1957

    jimmy1957 Smoke Blower

    Thanks, I will have to give that a try.
     
  3. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I should point out these were among my earlier smokes. I now use dry cure for bacon and brine for hams.
     
  4. moparsbob

    moparsbob Newbie

    Your formula is twice what is shown in Bearcarver's step-by-steps.  For example, in his "New - Canadian Bacon" step-by-step, here is what he posted:

    Calculating curing time:
    The method I use for calculating curing time is simple.
    Measure the thickest spot of all of the pieces of meat you plan to cure.
    Figure how many "half inches" there are in that measurement.
    Add 2 to that number. That will be the minimum time that I would cure that piece of meat.
    Then I personally like to add 2 or 3 more days to be extra safe (you can't over-cure, but you can under-cure).
    Example:
    My thickest piece was 2 1/2 inches. There are 5 "Half inches" in 2 1/2".
    So that would be 5 Days plus 2 days = 7 days minimum curing time.
    Then I always add 2 or 3 days to that, so I planned on curing this stuff for 10 days.

    So his formula is 1 day per half inch of thickness, not 2?????
     
  5. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I guess Bear and I disagree on that then. I would use 12 days for 2 1/2 inches.
     
  6. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    By the way, the difference between 10 days and 12 days in curing is minimal. Bear refers to this as a minimum. I prefer to leave it in a couple of days longer. Both are fine.
     
  7. m00se

    m00se Fire Starter

    There are folks out there who swear that the longer the meat stays in the cure, the better is the flavor. A typical pork belly dry cured for 30+ days is not unheard of, and some people swear by it, FOLLOWED by an additional 30+ days rinsed and resting out of the cure. I usually don't rest my bacon for that additional 30+ days but I have and do allow them to dry cure for 30+ days. They taste phenomenal.
     
  8. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you rest it for 30 days it will dry out.
     
  9. m00se

    m00se Fire Starter

    It's wrapped at that point. No way for air to get to it (hopefully).
     
  10. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Aha...
     
  11. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have let it go for up to 14 days (things cup up) but that sounds like a major cure!
     
  12. I mostly like  the dry cure. years ago my ex used a salt brine for salmon which turned out real good. I think she only used salt in the brine.
     
  13. scooterjam

    scooterjam Fire Starter

    Loved the play by play!!   Awesome job and looks tasty!!! 
     
  14. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My missus does a salmon brine to die for!
    Thanks. It is a little embarressing because this was one of my early posts. I actually do things a little differently now.
     
  15. would you mind sharing your missus salmon brine, thanks
     
  16. zzrguy

    zzrguy Smoke Blower

    Those hams looked luvly I got 30lb at BJs a month ago still frozen(I ask if they have any in back still frozen not referee it) I like the nice simple brine. Thanks
     
  17. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is a post where we made the recipe:

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/150684/peppered-salmon-for-canadian-thanksgiving
    It is actually Pop's Brine and I suggest you read his post before using it. He is way more knowledgeable than me.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/110799/pops6927s-wet-curing-brine
     
  18. zzrguy

    zzrguy Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the link.
     
  19. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Very nice, Disco! The only thing I have dry cured is loin with Morton TQ. Morton calls it "Canadian Bacon"
    I know better, but SWMBO loves it and says "Leave it alone and make more!" .
    I will admit I'm a sucker for brine because it's so simple. A 2 gallon bucket in the back of the fridge and out of sight out of mind for a couple of weeks.
    Thanks for doing a comparison for us!
    Points for the idea and lots of pics!

    Dan
     

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