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Pops6927's Wet Curing Brine

Bearcarver

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Thanks. The bacon, after curing, doesn’t have to be taken to 140 correct?

Like Pops said, you can take it to wherever you want, as long as it gets to 145° IT some time, in some way, before you eat it.
Also: I have never had any Fat render from my Bacons at Smoker Temps below 140°.

Bear
 

chef jimmyj

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The benefit of SMF is there is lots of ways folks here prepare, cure,and smoke meat. Members get the opportunity to see various options and choose how they want to go. Both cold and warm smoking make tasty bacon.
Here's a little science behind Cold vs. Warm Smoking. First, Marianski points out that smoke penetration is deeper at temps below 100°F and includes the typical temps various regions in Europe use. Second is an article from Thermoworks describing what changes take place as we cook meat, aka denature the proteins. As the meat surface water proteins denature, smoke flavor can't penetrate and only accumulates on the surface. As you will see, proteins begin to denature at 105°F and by 130°F it is essentially cooked. Any internal temp we take meat beyond 130 is for safety, 145 for pork, and or desired doneness.

Taken from Marianski's web site...

...

Cold smoking allows us total smoke penetration inside of the meat. Very little hardening of the outside surface of the meat or casing occurs and smoke penetrates the meat easily.

Hot smoking dries out the surface of the meat creating a barrier for smoke penetration.

You will find that different sources provide different temperatures for cold smoking. In European countries where most of the cold smoking is done, the upper temperature is accepted as 86° F (30° C). The majority of Russian, Polish and German meat technology books call for 71° F (22° C), some books ask for 77° F (25° C). Fish starts to cook at 85° F (29.4° C) and if you want to make delicious cold smoked salmon that is smoked for a long time, obviously you can not exceed 86° F (30° C). Cold smoking assures us of total smoke penetration inside of the meat. The loss of moisture also is uniform in all areas and the total weight loss falls within 5-20% depending largely on the smoking time. Cold smoking is not a continuous process, it is stopped (no smoke) a few times to allow fresh air into the smoker.

From Thermoworks. This is an overview of what happens when
Meat is cooked. With bacon we are only concerned with denaturization up to 145°F.

Denaturation begins at roughly 105°F and continues upwards to temperatures in excess of 200°F. Changes in proteins can be seen in the form of changing colors (i.e. red to brown) and can be tracked at each stage by the use of a meat thermometer. Ideal cooking temperatures found on the chef-recommended temperature chartare indications that sufficient denaturation has occurred to render the meat to the color and texture of your choice.

However, just knowing what color and texture it is isn’t good enough for us. We want to know (and we assume you do, too) what’s happening to your meat as it passes through the various temperature stages.

As meat approaches 105°F, the calpains (calcium proteins) begin to denature and lose activity; this happens until about 122°F. Since enzyme activity increases up to those temperatures, slow cooking can provide a significant aging effect during the cooking process. At *125°F meat is rare. Ideally, you’ll want to sear the meat quickly to kill any surface bacteria.

Above 125°F, meat begins to develop a white opacity as heat sensitive myosin (motor proteins) denature. Coagulation produces large enough clumps to scatter light and red meat becomes pink. This is where the meat moves from rare to medium rare (*130°F).

Further cooking (towards *140°F) begins to breakdown the red myoglobin (iron/oxygen binding protein) and turns it into a tan colored hemichrome. It’s at this point that meat turns from pink, to brown and then to grey.

During this time, meat releases a lot of juices and begins to shrink noticeably. In a very rapid succession it can move from medium rare, to medium, to medium well. And, if you’re not careful, you can very quickly overcook your meat.

At *160°F, connective tissue begins to liquify. Proteins repel the water and constrict causing them to get closer together and grow stronger. This is what gives well-done meat it’s tough and dry texture. At the risk of ruining your main course, you would never want to take your higher quality cuts of meat to this temperature.

However, if you’re cooking low and slow with traditional BBQ cuts, it’s taken you hours to get to this point and things are just getting warmed up. As you accelerate past 180°F and up to 200°F, collagen begins to melt and turn into a gelatin. This gelatin is able to absorb up to ten times it’s weight in water. The moisture that is repelled by the protein is absorbed into the gelatin and the meat stays moist.
 

wbf610

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Like Pops said, you can take it to wherever you want, as long as it gets to 145° IT some time, in some way, before you eat it.
Also: I have never had any Fat render from my Bacons at Smoker Temps below 140°.

Bear
Thanks Bear.
 

eh1bbq

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Hey all, quick question, hope someone can help. Have some FS Cure from Canadiana land and it's 5% Nitrite. There are varying opinions on the internet of course, so wanted to get SMF's thoughts. One person suggested using 1.25x as much of the FS cure as you would Cure #1 in this recipe. Thoughts on this calculation? Given the smaller amount of cure overall, the extra salt would be negligible, but want to make sure my calculations are on point. You used to be able to change the nitrite %age on one of the better calculators out there but that feature has been hard coded as read only for Cure #1 now unfortunately.

Based on my calcs, the 1.25x would work and still be well under the max recommendation for nitrite ppm but just wanted to get another opinion/thought.
 

chef jimmyj

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You can use 1 for 1 with Cure #1. Cure does it's job over a range of concentration from 50 ppm min to 200 ppm max. If a Cure #1 calc gives an amount for 156 ppm, using your cure will give 154 ppm. Negligible difference...JJ
 

jcj112562

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I am about to mix up a bunch of brine to do some buckboard bacon, pork loin, and an eye round for dried beef. Looks easy, and I love the knowledge on this site! Thanks, Pops!!!
 

daveomak

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I'm not sure if it's OK to mix different meats in the same batch of cure/brine...
 

jcj112562

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Dave,

I will have the meats separated in different containers, and doing the added salt that Pops suggested for dried beef curing. Making a bunch, and then doling out in each lug or other containment device to fill my downstairs fridge...LOL...

John
 

Steve H

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I have, yes, another question about smoking pork loin! My last batch was made with pop's brine and hot smoked. And is fantastic. I'm gearing up to do between 15 and 20 pounds. This time I was thinking doing it cold smoked. And then brought to 145 in the oven or in the smoker. My ? is how long should you cold smoke? I know it's a personal preference. Just looking for a guide line.
 

chef jimmyj

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That would depend on what you are making smoke with and how much time you can spare. I use an AMNPS and get 10-12 hours of hands off smoke. So I put 10-12 hours on Belly Bacon. If you need to Feed a smoker, then put as much as you have time to sit and feed wood...JJ
 

zwiller

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I did 10hrs once and felt it needed more. Plan to try 24hrs next time. Over the years I continue to add more time to my holiday turkey and is also approaching 24rs now.
 

Steve H

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That would depend on what you are making smoke with and how much time you can spare. I use an AMNPS and get 10-12 hours of hands off smoke. So I put 10-12 hours on Belly Bacon. If you need to Feed a smoker, then put as much as you have time to sit and feed wood...JJ
If I go that route. I'll be using either my tray or 12" tube in the mailbox.
Maybe go 5 or so hours cold smoking. Then finish it with hot smoking.
 

pops6927

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I am not qualified to answer your question because I do not cold smoke, only hot smoke. Too much chance of improper food safety practices.
 

smokerjim

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you could always do a double smoke if you got the time, definitely worth the effort
 

remsr

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What is the difference between hot smoking bacon a cold smoking bacon? I have tried it both ways and my bacon comes out tuff. I have even tried wet curing with Prague powder and dry curing with Tender quick, it still comes out .
Randy,
I just moved from Minnesota to Florida and no longer cold weather for cold smoking, but the good part is that I can smoke year round.
 

chef jimmyj

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Steve H Steve H , because the loin is Cured, you can Cold Smoke as long as you wish, then Hot Smoke or Oven cook to 145°F.

remsr remsr ,Hot Smoking with Cured Meat is any temp over 170°F. (Uncured meat, 225°F+)
Cold Smoking is Ambient to 170°F.
Ambient can be 36°F in Northern States or 110°F in the South. As soon long as what you are Smoking is Cured, you have a big range of temps you can work with.
Tender or Tough depends on meat Cut, the Final Temp you cook to and/or are to eating the meat Cold or Cooked again.
Example...Belly Bacon can be Smoked for 24 hours at 100°F. You wack off a slice and eat it and you will be chewing Smokey Bubble Gum! Bake or Pan Fry the Bacon to Golden Brown and it will be Tender Crisp. In contrast, Cured Loin Bacon, aka Canadian Bacon. If Cold Smoked at 160-170 for 24 hours, until the IT is 145°F...Eaten Hot from the Smoker or Cold the next day, it will be juicy and tender. IF you choose to pan fry it until well browned, it can get tough and Dry. I do no more than just reheat it in a hot pan with Bacon Grease or Butter. Always Tender...JJ
 

Bearcarver

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What is the difference between hot smoking bacon a cold smoking bacon? I have tried it both ways and my bacon comes out tuff. I have even tried wet curing with Prague powder and dry curing with Tender quick, it still comes out .
Randy,
I just moved from Minnesota to Florida and no longer cold weather for cold smoking, but the good part is that I can smoke year round.

Hi Randy!!
How many times have you made Bacon that was tough?
How many times have you made Bacon that wasn't tough?
Maybe the Pigs were Weight lifters or Piglympic Athletes!!

Bear
 

Bearcarver

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I have never made any that wasn’t tuff.
Randy,

And HOW MANY was that?
If it was 2, you might have just gotten tough hunks of Belly.
But if it was 10 or 15, I doubt if they were all just tough hunks of Belly!

Bear
 

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