• 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.

Minimum salt% in pork loin?

malexassey

Newbie
4
0
Joined May 6, 2021
First time attempting homemade bacon! I used a piece of skin on pork loin but followed a recipe for a pork belly. Recipe called for prep of a bulk cure mix - 400g salt. 200g sugar. 60g pink curing salt (6.25% NaNO3).

I then weighed my meat and calculated 2.5% of this weight and used this value for my cure content. I worked out that the actually overall salt content in the meat is ~1.7% which I feel might be quite low? Just wanted to check that it's safe to eat as I've seen lots of other recipes going for 2.5-4% salt content
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,210
2,257
Joined Dec 30, 2016
First time attempting homemade bacon! I used a piece of skin on pork loin but followed a recipe for a pork belly. Recipe called for prep of a bulk cure mix - 400g salt. 200g sugar. 60g pink curing salt (6.25% NaNO3).

I then weighed my meat and calculated 2.5% of this weight and used this value for my cure content. I worked out that the actually overall salt content in the meat is ~1.7% which I feel might be quite low? Just wanted to check that it's safe to eat as I've seen lots of other recipes going for 2.5-4% salt content
Hi there and welcome!!!

For a wet brine what indaswamp indaswamp says is right on.

For dry brine cures I don't go over 2% regular salt on my pork belly bacon and I add the appropriate amount of cure.
IMPORTANTLY, I also follow the guideline that salt and cure penetrate at about 1/4 inch every 24 hours. So if I have a 3 inch thick pork belly that I am dry brining and curing cover it and know that every 24hrs that salt has penetrated 1/4 inch form all sides.
So with pork belly you can basically imagine that the salt penetrates 1/2 inch a day total.
A 3 inch pork belly would take 6 days for salt and cure to fully penetrate. Add a day or 2 for margin of error and safety reasons and you have a fully penetrated dry brine and cured pork belly!

A pork loin is quite thick (big tubular muscle from the back also known as backstrap, and NOT the tenderloin which is the smaller tubular muscle from the inner rib cage + pelvis area).
I wouldn't personally purly dry brine and cure a pork loin unless I cut into 2-3 inch cross sections.
I would much rather wet brine and cure it and inject the mixed up brine/cure into the pork loin so the salt travels form the inside out as well as outside in as it is submerged. This speads things up and ensures you don't miss any meat.
The 1/4 inch every 24hrs rule still applies for salt and cure penetration but again when you've injected the brine/cure all throughout the salt is traveling from inside as well as outside 1/4 inch every 24hr.

I hope this info helps :)
 

PolishDeli

Meat Mopper
244
317
Joined Oct 9, 2018
...6.25% NaNO3.
Double check this. It should be NaNO2 for what you're doing.

I didn't check your math, but 1.7% salt is not a crazy number.
Personal tastes vary. Try it.
Adjust accordingly next time.

The salt, in this case, is not the chemical responsible for curing/safety/ preservation. The sodium nitrite is.
The salt is mostly for flavor.
 
Last edited:

Fueling Around

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,051
1,084
Joined Dec 10, 2018
I made my last loin bacon at 1.5% salt and 150 ppm nitrite.
I prefer a lower sodium.
There's many websites with nitrite and brine calculators to help with the numbers.
 

dernektambura

Smoking Fanatic
868
592
Joined Oct 12, 2017
Whoa...! Wait... You said you added 60 g pink salt? I hope your loin is close to 10 kg or 22 lb otherwise you have to much cure... Just sayin'
...
 

malexassey

Newbie
4
0
Joined May 6, 2021
Whoa...! Wait... You said you added 60 g pink salt? I hope your loin is close to 10 kg or 22 lb otherwise you have to much cure... Just sayin'
...
Haha yeah don't think 60g would be particularly good for you! The recipe was for making a large batch of cure for future use, I only used about 27g of that 660g blend I described above for my piece of meat.
 

malexassey

Newbie
4
0
Joined May 6, 2021
Double check this. It should be NaNO2 for what you're doing.

I didn't check your math, but 1.7% salt is not a crazy number.
Personal tastes vary. Try it.
Adjust accordingly next time.

The salt, in this case, is not the chemical responsible for curing/safety/ preservation. The sodium nitrite is.
The salt is mostly for flavor.
Sorry yes I meant NaNO2! Thanks
 

malexassey

Newbie
4
0
Joined May 6, 2021
Hi there and welcome!!!

For a wet brine what indaswamp indaswamp says is right on.

For dry brine cures I don't go over 2% regular salt on my pork belly bacon and I add the appropriate amount of cure.
IMPORTANTLY, I also follow the guideline that salt and cure penetrate at about 1/4 inch every 24 hours. So if I have a 3 inch thick pork belly that I am dry brining and curing cover it and know that every 24hrs that salt has penetrated 1/4 inch form all sides.
So with pork belly you can basically imagine that the salt penetrates 1/2 inch a day total.
A 3 inch pork belly would take 6 days for salt and cure to fully penetrate. Add a day or 2 for margin of error and safety reasons and you have a fully penetrated dry brine and cured pork belly!

A pork loin is quite thick (big tubular muscle from the back also known as backstrap, and NOT the tenderloin which is the smaller tubular muscle from the inner rib cage + pelvis area).
I wouldn't personally purly dry brine and cure a pork loin unless I cut into 2-3 inch cross sections.
I would much rather wet brine and cure it and inject the mixed up brine/cure into the pork loin so the salt travels form the inside out as well as outside in as it is submerged. This speads things up and ensures you don't miss any meat.
The 1/4 inch every 24hrs rule still applies for salt and cure penetration but again when you've injected the brine/cure all throughout the salt is traveling from inside as well as outside 1/4 inch every 24hr.

I hope this info helps :)
Thanks so much! Really useful info, I just kind of threw everything together based on the first thing I found. Think I'll go for a wet brine next time anyway as that seems to be more common for this cut.

So for dry brines - is the amount of cure you use only dependent on the weight of the meat? And then the length of time that you cure it for only dependent on the thickness?
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,168
2,536
Joined Dec 1, 2019
I then weighed my meat and calculated 2.5% of this weight and used this value for my cure content.
Okay, I'm confused. It sounds like you are making a dry curing formulation? If so, the percentage of Cure #1 is 0.25% of the weight of the meat. Or 2.5 grams per 1000 grams of meat. If you used 2.5% of Cur #1 that would be 25 grams per 1000 grams of meat.
 

olaf

Meat Mopper
226
176
Joined Sep 4, 2017
the math on this recipe is a mess it looks like the cure is low, salt and sugar are also on the low end. you should just mix up what you need for each batch, the salts and sugar settle and wont stay mixed.
 
Last edited:

Fueling Around

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,051
1,084
Joined Dec 10, 2018
...
There's many websites with nitrite and brine calculators to help with the numbers.
Sorry, got pulled away before I could make my next post.

Many "curing kit" suppliers package their salt and spices separate from the pink salt (nitrite).
They only recommend combining the 2 packages for immediate use.

Other suppliers premix all ingredients in a single package.
?
My thought is we are not a controlled environment on home blends.
I all ingredients as needed

Here's a popular calculator Digging Dog Farm

I use Blonder's nitrite and Blonder's brine calculators.

I've done both wet and methods.
I prefer dry brine/cure for pork loin.
In wet a pork loin sucks up 8-10% of the liquid.
In the smoker you have to sweat out that additional 8-10% plus the approximate 12% weight loss from your starting weight for a pasteurized loin bacon.

Use the daveomak daveomak posted guidelines on pasteurizing meat.
edit
Keep the finished internal temperature under 140° per the table.
Ignore advise if you prefer very chewy loin bacon.
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,168
2,536
Joined Dec 1, 2019
First time attempting homemade bacon! I used a piece of skin on pork loin but followed a recipe for a pork belly. Recipe called for prep of a bulk cure mix - 400g salt. 200g sugar. 60g pink curing salt (6.25% NaNO3).

I then weighed my meat and calculated 2.5% of this weight and used this value for my cure content. I worked out that the actually overall salt content in the meat is ~1.7% which I feel might be quite low? Just wanted to check that it's safe to eat as I've seen lots of other recipes going for 2.5-4% salt content
Okay, I'm confused. It sounds like you are making a dry curing formulation? If so, the percentage of Cure #1 is 0.25% of the weight of the meat. Or 2.5 grams per 1000 grams of meat. If you used 2.5% of Cur #1 that would be 25 grams per 1000 grams of meat.
the math on this recipe is a mess it looks like the cure is low, salt and sugar are also on the low end. you should just mix up what you need for each batch, the salts and sugar settle and wont stay mixed.
Okay.... 'retraction time'. After reading the reply by olaf olaf , it looks like I failed to pick-up on the fact that the recipe in Post #1, and percentages were for a mix ahead type of 'curing mix'. So disregard my question question about percentages of Cure #1.
 

Latest posts

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.