• 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.

Not quite sure where to post...Pop's brine sugar "function"

SherryT

Meat Mopper
263
136
Joined Dec 23, 2017
I took my loins out of brine (Canadian bacon) this evening and they are currently in the fridge to dry the surface.

I sliced a couple of small pieces for a test fry...looks and tastes great. Hubs commented about the level of sweetness saying it was, to him, on the edge of being almost too sweet...a tiny bit more and he thinks it WOULD be too sweet.

So, this made me wonder if sugar in the brine serves a "function" OTHER than adding sweetness. I've read threads where some have subbed artificial sweeteners due to health concerns, so, to me, that says it serves no purpose other than sweetness or flavor depending on what type of sugar is used.

So, if I wanted to make a batch of CB that is more salty than sweet (I'm not talking about lip-puckering salt levels, just a bit more salty), could I either 1)add more salt to the brine or 2)use, say, half the sugar amount?

Thoughts?

Thanks!
 

indaswamp

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
6,274
2,931
Joined Apr 27, 2017
The sugar in a brine takes the edge off the saltiness. 1% sugar is standard, but more or less can be added adjusting to your tastes. That's 1% of the weight of the meat and water used for the brine...

Also, sugar molecules are much larger than salt and take longer to travel into the meat. A few extra days in the brine won't hurt to let the sugar even out through the meat.
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
26,277
3,645
Joined Nov 12, 2010
You could try injecting the CB... It's a lot more accurate than a soaking brine....
I use 5-10% the weight of the meat for the liquid....
......IMPORTANT.......
Mix in the order listed....
1.... STPP
2.... sugar
3.... salt
4.... Cure#1
Dissolve each ingredient before moving to the next...
I use no-salt veggie stock so my salt doesn't off kilter...
Then I add 0.4% STPP to keep the meat moist...
1% white sugar...
1.5-1.75% Kosher salt...
0.25% cure#1...

Inject ALL the brine/cure mix... Everything needed make a great "ham" is inside the meat now...
I try to inject about every 1.5-2"... using an injection needle from "Tony C's" injectable marinade... the syringes they use are VERY reusable... better than the competition...
Zip bag the meat and refer for 6-14 days... I prefer the 14 days... Mobetta flavor...


STPP .. https://butcherspantry.com/product-category/food-additives/ check out the other stuff Evan has in his store... He's a member here...

The only stock I use... Other stocks do not have the same flavor profile...
veggie stock.jpg

So, try this "Plain-Jane" recipe before you change stuff.... I was totally surprised how delicious the ham was when I finally got the ingredients right... There is nothing to change in this recipe for a delicious ham...
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,415
1,022
Joined Nov 16, 2016
There are at least a dozen small processors not far from where I live. I have had meats from nearly all of them and all are pretty heavy handed with the sugar. To me, the sweetness is one of the classic hallmarks of small farm processors. There are times I like it and times I do not. Hams yes, bacon no. That said, my family loves sweet bacon.

You are correct, if you half the sugar the results will taste more salty. From here, if you start to embrace the Omak style weight curing method you can customize easier and get more consistent results. I prefer .5% sugar and in fact just did CB with zero sugar for the first time this weekend.
 

smokerjim

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
4,422
1,814
Joined Jan 14, 2014
You could try pops low salt brine and cut back on sugar. Or just cut back on sugar if you want a little more salty flavor. Either way I think you'll be fine.
 

SmokinEdge

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
699
431
Joined Jan 18, 2020
Dave’s advise, stated above, will definitely give a much better flavor profile and give you more control of the end product, repeatability. That said, when fry testing brined meat, the first few slices from the rind in will always be both saltier and sweeter than the center of the meat. Also, it takes longer for the meat to equalize once removed from the brine. Following Dave’s method allows you to nail your flavor profile because you are directly injecting the flavor. Cure time is shorter too.
 

SherryT

Meat Mopper
263
136
Joined Dec 23, 2017
Thanks for the info, guys!

DEFINITELY going to look into daveomak's method...I "do" like the precision of percentages!
 

HalfSmoked

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
10,116
3,017
Joined Jun 11, 2015
As pops himself told me was to inject the brine mixture about every 2" in the pieces of the lion before placing in the brine.
So that's how I have done it with no problems with cure all the way through the meat
Yes you can adjust the sugar as well as the salt.

Warren
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,415
1,022
Joined Nov 16, 2016
Pops was the one that got me to overcome the mental hurdle of injecting. WAY better performance. Speed, accuracy, and consistency.
 

HalfSmoked

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
10,116
3,017
Joined Jun 11, 2015
Thanks for the like zwiller it is appreciated.

Warren
 

richclark

Newbie
9
18
Joined Mar 22, 2015
This is the recipe I use for a 4 pound loin....
1 gallon/4 liters water
11⁄2 cups/350 grams kosher salt
1 cup/225 grams sugar
6 teaspoons/42 grams pink salt
1 large bunch fresh sage
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed

I boil a quart of water and dump in all the ingredients, then let it cool add the rest of the water and soak for 2 days in your fridge. Rinse it and dry. Smoke it..
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
26,277
3,645
Joined Nov 12, 2010
DO NOT BOIL OR HEAT PINK SALT ABOVE 110 deg. F ....
 

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.