• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Inject whole muscle meats, then onto the curing chamber?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Casebrew

Newbie
22
4
Joined Jan 14, 2021
The following discussion is for entertainment pruposes only and are Not Supported by SMF STAFF or members...JJ

Traditionally, all the whole muscle fermented meats were dry rubbed and abandoned for months. I figure inject a ham brine and hang it, start with the preservatives and flavors in the core already. Why not?
 

indaswamp

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
8,070
4,759
Joined Apr 27, 2017
The reason why dry cured hams are not injected is because the act of injecting leaves puncture wounds which would then provide access to the center of the meat for bacteria to migrate. Thus increasing the risks of it going bad. Also, you need the cure and salt to evenly disperse for even protection all over the ham, before you place into the drying chamber.

Also, for dry curing, you do not want to add any additional liquids. You want to dry the meat, not add more moisture to it. What percent brine by weight were you considering injecting?

Furthermore, this is why dry cured meats use a dry cure process... 1. the high salt concentration on the surface of the meat kills/prevents growth of unwanted pathogens. 2. The salt starts pulling moisture out of the meat immediately when applied. The high salt concentration on the surface will push the salt in faster than a wet brine will. I have seen where only half the initial salt and cure is applied, then 10 days later the ham is reworked and the other half is added. This allows for a more even distribution through the ham faster than if all the salt was applied initially.
 
Last edited:

SmokinEdge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
3,005
2,872
Joined Jan 18, 2020
Inda has you covered.
You cannot long age injected meats because in the end, it’s all about lowering the AW (available water) in the meat for preservation and stability. Injection is counter to drying. Will cause more problems than anything else for long cured products. We dry them down to concentrate the flavors, and kill bacteria, which needs water to survive.
 

Casebrew

Newbie
22
4
Joined Jan 14, 2021
The reason why dry cured hams are not injected is because the act of injecting leaves puncture woulds which would then provide access to the center of the meat for bacteria to migrate. Thus increasing the risks of it going bad. Also, you need the cure and salt to evenly disperse for even protection all over the ham, before you place into the drying chamber.

Also, for dry curing, you do not want to add any additional liquids. You want to dry the meat, not add more moisture to it. What percent brine by weight were you considering injecting?

Furthermore, this is why dry cured meats use a dry cure process... 1. the high salt concentration on the surface of the meat kills/prevents growth of unwanted pathogens. 2. The salt starts pulling moisture out of the meat immediately when applied. The high salt concentration on the surface will push the salt in faster than a wet brine will. I have seen where only half the initial salt and cure is applied, then 10 days later the ham is reworked and the other half is added. This allows for a more even distribution through the ham faster than if all the salt was applied initially.
I doubt the holes are any problem, germs don't have eye to seek them out. The brine will have salt, sodium nitrate, and a starter IMMEDIATLY into the meat and all over the outside. And filling the holes. Injecting the culture ought to jump start the curing/acidification too. So I'm not concerned with spoilage. So far as added water taking longer to extract, I suspect it will also lose it faster to start, so 20% more water to the 30% might not take 2/3 longer? Does the 8% red wine make the salami take longer?

Advantage? Flavor in depth, and safer because of the quick start to the fermentation.

Any first hand knowledge? How 'wet' have you cured anything?
 

PolishDeli

Meat Mopper
279
378
Joined Oct 9, 2018
You're right. Bacteria don't have eyes. But by stochastic growth processes and population statistics, they'll find the punctures.

If you inject a culture that is intended to be used on the surface of meat (eg Mold600), it won't work.
Why? Aerobic vs anaerobic conditions.

Dry-aged meat needs time to dry. Injecting liquid will not speed things up

If you want to cure a ham: yes, inject the brine.
If you want to ferment and dry-age something: no, don't inject anything.
 

Casebrew

Newbie
22
4
Joined Jan 14, 2021
You do you man......seems I'm wasting my time here.
Actually, that is the most support I've gotten here.
No actual experience, I guess I'll break some new ground. Risk a couple lbs pork.

Whadya think, use the before weight, less 30% for my target final weight?
 

Casebrew

Newbie
22
4
Joined Jan 14, 2021
Related thought: If you know what dry bub/wet bulb measurements* are, you can use a meat thermometer to tell how fast your meat is drying.

*DB/WB is telling humidity level by comparing the air temp with another thermometer that is in a wick that has the other end in water. It was the The evaporation off the wick cools that thermometer. A chart compares the two readings and gives Relative Humidity %. SOP before electronic hydrometers were invented. So, the temp of drying meat should tell you how fast the water is evaporating.

I've got a used Inkbird 608T coming from eBay, with two temp probes. I was wondering why the previous owner needed it that way and remember then DB/WB practice. I did it once years ago, using the cuff of a tee shirt as the wick. No need to submerge the probe, just the end of the wick.
 

Lorenzoid

Fire Starter
42
30
Joined Jan 29, 2021
Other replies have hit the nail on the head, but I'll take a stab at it. I think you're relying too much on the simplistic knowledge that nitrite protects against spoilage. It does, but it's not the whole story. Here's a good paragraph from Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages (Marianski). Marianski refers to "hurdles" or a succession of barriers to spoilage.

"The first hurdle is an application of salt and sodium nitrite which slows down spoilage and keeps pathogenic bacteria at bay. The first hurdle is a temporary one and if we don't follow up with additional hurdles, such as lowering pH and then lowering water activity Aw, the product will spoil." (emphasis added in bold).

As I understand this, the nitrite just buys some time (and a mixture with nitrate might buy more) but can't be relied on to preserve the meat through an extended drying phase, such as you would have if you started out with an injected ham. The drying needs to begin while the nitrite is still fully effective, and needs to continue at a rate that keeps up with the dissipation of the nitrite. I'm pretty sure there are graphs somewhere showing dissipation of nitrite and lowering of Aw that would reveal how they need to go hand in hand over time.
 

SmokinEdge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
3,005
2,872
Joined Jan 18, 2020
Other replies have hit the nail on the head, but I'll take a stab at it. I think you're relying too much on the simplistic knowledge that nitrite protects against spoilage. It does, but it's not the whole story. Here's a good paragraph from Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages (Marianski). Marianski refers to "hurdles" or a succession of barriers to spoilage.

"The first hurdle is an application of salt and sodium nitrite which slows down spoilage and keeps pathogenic bacteria at bay. The first hurdle is a temporary one and if we don't follow up with additional hurdles, such as lowering pH and then lowering water activity Aw, the product will spoil." (emphasis added in bold).

As I understand this, the nitrite just buys some time (and a mixture with nitrate might buy more) but can't be relied on to preserve the meat through an extended drying phase, such as you would have if you started out with an injected ham. The drying needs to begin while the nitrite is still fully effective, and needs to continue at a rate that keeps up with the dissipation of the nitrite. I'm pretty sure there are graphs somewhere showing dissipation of nitrite and lowering of Aw that would reveal how they need to go hand in hand over time.
This is all absolutely true…..
I cannot stress enough the danger of injecting then drying meat as in anaerobic bacteria Growth. The nitrate will keep botulism at bay, but there is a long list of other bacteria like listeria and others that must be controlled by fermentation and/or drying (LOWERING MOISTER CONTENT, ie,,, AW, or available water). Injecting meat prior to the drying meat is counter productive, dangerous, and frankly, stupid, but some of the best lessons in life are learned the hard way, if you don’t die, that is.
 

Casebrew

Newbie
22
4
Joined Jan 14, 2021
Funny, we can sure dry salami after adding fluids and perforating it full of holes . Up to large diameter bolognas and skilandis. Even safer to if you add a start culture to lower the pH faster.

But MY GAWD them charqueteers are dropping like flies from food borne illnesses. NOT.
 

pineywoods

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Administrator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
OTBS Admin
Group Lead
27,365
2,194
Joined Mar 22, 2008
You come onto our site I presume to get feedback on your plan which you have gotten quite a bit of. As was stated the ones that have replied to you have all done this before and are all very good at it with a great deal of knowledge. Since everyone of them has told you the way you want to do it is not safe and you refuse to heed their advice why did you bother to post in the first place?
They have tried to convince you it's not safe but you seem to feel you know more than all of them do so do what your going to do. You might just get away with it once or twice or more but eventually the odds will catch up with you hopefully you don't make to many people sick and they all recover.
 

indaswamp

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
8,070
4,759
Joined Apr 27, 2017
Funny, we can sure dry salami after adding fluids and perforating it full of holes . Up to large diameter bolognas and skilandis. Even safer to if you add a start culture to lower the pH faster.

But MY GAWD them charqueteers are dropping like flies from food borne illnesses. NOT.
^^^^^Case in point.

Salumi is not salami. Whole muscles do not have a significant enough pH drop to provide protection against spoilage because no fermentation culture is used, and no sugars are used. Salumi (whole muscles) are assumed to be sterile when fresh due to the innate immune system in the animal, as long as the animal was healthy when processed and the meat is fresh. It is this sterility that is essential for dry curing whole muscles. Which is why you can't inject.

With salami, when you mince the meat, you are exposing the meat surface to the air and it gets colonized with thousands of different pathogenic bacteria floating on the air. When you stuff in casing, those bacteria are all over inside to the center of the salami. Sterility is gone. You CAN NOT make salami WITHOUT fermentation. The modern way to do so is by adding a fermentable sugar like dextrose along with a culture specifically designed for meat fermentation, and most have bio-protective properties due to the natural antibiotics released by the bacteria. Sanitary processing procedures are your first hurdle. The addition of 3% salt and 0.25% cure #2 are the second hurdle. Acid drop is the third hurdle, and final drying below Aw of 0.86 is the fourth and final hurdle.

Until the salami has properly dried, the first three hurdles are your only protection against pathogenic bacteria.

You wanna fly fast and loose with the rules, that is on you. But don't come on here asking for advice, then laugh off the advice you are being given. That is quite arrogant. You want help? Best be humble and admit that which you do not know.
 
Last edited:

indaswamp

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
8,070
4,759
Joined Apr 27, 2017
Does the 8% red wine make the salami take longer?
No. Wine is very acidic running between pH 3.5-4.8. Wine also has alcohol, usually around 15% or so. The alcohol is antimicrobial, and it will evaporate faster than water.

Back in the day "old school" no cultures were used; though fermentation did occur but at a much slower pace with 'wild strains' thus increasing the risk of an unsafe product. A significant amount of wine was added because this dropped the pH of the meat. Just 4% wine will drop the pH of pork to around 5.6~5.65; adding 8% wine will drop the pH of pork to around 5.3~5.4 which is the lowest a traditional southern Italian salami will drop in pH; and offers a safety hurdle in conjunction with the salt and cure.

PH drop accelerates the meat losing water. This is why the salami is pricked. During the early part of the fermentation, the salami goes through the "dripping" phase where it will lose 3-5% of it's water. A small amount of additional water added will not affect the overall drying time.

Drying time of salami is affected by many factors, temperature of the chamber, air speed, RH% in chamber, diameter of the salami, fat to meat ratio, type of meat used, size of the grind, whether it is pressed or not, amount of salt used, final pH drop upon fermentation, thickness of mold coverage, thickness of dry rim-if present.
 
Last edited:

SmokinEdge

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
3,005
2,872
Joined Jan 18, 2020
Funny, we can sure dry salami after adding fluids and perforating it full of holes . Up to large diameter bolognas and skilandis. Even safer to if you add a start culture to lower the pH faster.

But MY GAWD them charqueteers are dropping like flies from food borne illnesses. NOT.
Im thinking you are a troll. No other reason for the stupidity in your posting other than to generate a response. This site is the gold standard in knowledge for all things smoked, cured and/or dried, as in bbq and charcuterie. I for one refuse to chase you any farther down your decrepit rabbit hole of nonsense. The admin should bring down the ban hammer on you.
 

Casebrew

Newbie
22
4
Joined Jan 14, 2021
No. Wine is very acidic running between pH 3.5-4.8. Wine also has alcohol, usually around 15% or so. The alcohol is antimicrobial, and it will evaporate faster than water.

Back in the day "old school" no cultures were used; though fermentation did occur but at a much slower pace with 'wild strains' thus increasing the risk of an unsafe product. A significant amount of wine was added because this dropped the pH of the meat. Just 4% wine will drop the pH of pork to around 5.6~5.65; adding 8% wine will drop the pH of pork to around 5.3~5.4 which is the lowest a traditional southern Italian salami will drop in pH; and offers a safety hurdle in conjunction with the salt and cure.

PH drop accelerates the meat losing water. This is why the salami is pricked. During the early part of the fermentation, the salami goes through the "dripping" phase where it will lose 3-5% of it's water. A small amount of additional water added will not affect the overall drying time.

Drying time of salami is affected by many factors, temperature of the chamber, air speed, RH% in chamber, diameter of the salami, fat to meat ratio, type of meat used, size of the grind, whether it is pressed or not, amount of salt used, final pH drop upon fermentation, thickness of mold coverage, thickness of dry rim-if present.
Finally some reasonable discussion. Except that pricking the salami is to let trapped air escape, and wine actually adds sugar to feed the lacto ferment, Indaswamp seems to back up my idea.

This discussion is what I came here for, I'm not just trolling. What has been absent is anybody with personal experience, no "I tried it and I ended up with a slimey putrid mess that 8 years later the neighbors still talk about the smell". :D

Typical salami takes weeks. Standard whole meat (salumi? def?) system may take a year or more. It looks to me that it will actually be safer due to jump-starting the whole meat fermentation system with wine, starter culture, and injection. It sounds to me like a process that you folks ought to be interested in.

Tell you what though, I'll put a clause in my will that if I die of food borne illness traceable to my salumi, to have my executor post an RIP here. :D
 

indaswamp

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
8,070
4,759
Joined Apr 27, 2017
Indaswamp seems to back up my idea.
No, I am not backing up your idea. How you arrived at that conclusion is beyond me.

It looks to me that it will actually be safer due to jump-starting the whole meat fermentation system with wine, starter culture, and injection. It sounds to me like a process that you folks ought to be interested in.
Whole muscles are not fermented. The flavors come from the lipolysis and protolysis, which is the breakdown of fats and proteins via a number of mechanisms within the meat to create new flavor compounds. That takes a lot of time, not an injection.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.