Pops6927's Wet Curing Brine

Discussion in 'Curing' started by pops6927, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. flareman

    flareman Fire Starter

    Pops, do you hot or cold smoke your bacon? Smoking time ?
  2. ballagh

    ballagh Smoking Fanatic

    bump......55 pounds of bellies hitting the brine tonight :)
  3. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I hot smoke all my bacons to  minimum 135°, partially cooked, (enough to kill trich) to 146°, fully cooked.  I always give some to my sons and I don't want to worry that they'd eat it uncooked and die or get sick.
    smoker21 likes this.
  4. Hey Pops,

    I appreciate you posting your recipe and look forward to trying it.

    Can I substitute Kosher salt for sea salt in the recipe.  If so does the volume change at all?

    Thanks You
  5. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just use plain ol' non-iodized salt.  Some salts are coarser and will change the amount of salinity of your cure; try what you like and modify it as necessary on subsequent brines!   Not critical, have fun and experiment!
    craig2387 likes this.
  6. wingrider

    wingrider Fire Starter

    A great thread with lots of information. I've read every post and still have a question.

    Because of meat prices, and what I like, I tend to smoke pork loins. I'm wanting the smokiest taste I can get, which is difficult because I'm using a MES 30 which I understand does not give as deep a smoke flavor as using a wood fired smoker. However, it is what it is. After much experimentation the method I use that has given me the best results is as follows.

    I buy whole loins in generally the 8 lb range. I cross cut the loin in 3 pieces, remove the fat/membrane, and then cut each piece lengthwise to maximize surface area to expose to the smoke. So I end up with roughly rectangular pieces roughly varying in thickness from 1 inch to 1.5 inches or so.

    For a moister result, I then brine the pieces in a brine pretty much like Pops but have never used any cure. I've settled on about a 2 day brine as I went 3 days one time, and it seemed that the meat's texture/flavor started changing more than I wanted at that point. I'm after smoked loin, not Canadian bacon. I then rinse the meat, pat dry, rub with mustard, and coat with Jeff's rub.

    Since no cure, I've roughly followed the 4 hour rule. I cold smoke for 3 hours using an AMNPS, then turn on the heat with the wood tray loaded with chips. Since even cold smoking has usually raised the meats temp to 90°+, it does not take long to bring it on up to 145°. Very tasty, but I'd like to get even more smoke flavor if I could.

    So my question is this. I've noted from this thread and others on making bacon, that often times people are shooting for a smoking time of up to 30+ hours. Given that I can understand the brining/curing time of 1 day per 1/4" + 2 days. However, that's going to give me bacon. If I'm only shooting for maybe increasing my cold smoking time up to maybe 6 hours (in an attempt to get a more smoked flavor) so 7 to 8 hours total time, do you thing a 2 day brine, with cure #1 would be safe?

  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    WR, evening......  why not try a dry rub.....  2% salt, 1/4 - 1% sugar, 0.012% cure #1 (120 Ppm ) and any other aromatics you prefer....  rub in well and wrap with plastic wrap for 10-15 days or so in the refer at about 38 deg F...... rinse and dry.... hang in the smoker with vents wide open and smoke until you get a beautiful mahogany type glaze.....  Keep the smoker below 70 for a week or better and smoke for 10-12 hours/day...   

    I agree that brine has some effect on flavor.....  I prefer dry rubs.... seems that intensifies the flavors as dry aging a steak does...  could be just me and my old school ideas...  

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  8. [quote name="WingRider" ] I'm after smoked loin, not Canadian bacon.

    In that case, I wouldn't use cure.
    I'd equilibrium brine with a mild brine so as not to change the texture of the loin much.
    I'd leave the loin whole and not cut it into slabs.
    I wouldn't compromise the interior of the loin and do a nice long smoke at a safe temperature.

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you use Cure #1 for a sufficient amount of time, you can smoke for hours or days at any temp, Cold, Warm or Hot...BUT, you will get Canadian Bacon not Smoked Pork Loin or if you only leave it in the Cure a day or two, you will get a Canadian Bacon " covered " smoked Pork Loin but it will be the thickest Faux Smoke Ring you have ever seen. Either way the Hammy flavor will be on a portion or all through the meat...Technically, USDA guidelines, if you Brine it without Cure, cold smoking more than 2 hours in the 90*F range can still generate a large amount of Bacterial growth. Yes, typically it is no big deal as anything that survived the Salty Brine will be killed when the meat is brought up to temp. However there are a few nasty bugs that generate Toxin as they multiply. Some toxins are destroyed or rendered harmless at 200+*F, some are not. So by cold smoking for several hours without Cure you carry some risk of getting sick...Some will and have disagreed with me, so this is strictly My Opinion and I make no Guarantees as to it's Safety in any way!... IF AND ONLY IF...You Sanitize yourself, work area and tools with a disinfectant, 1T Bleach in a Gallon of Water works nicely, Wash the meat, Brine without Cure, Don't Inject, Crosscut, attempt to make it into Sausage or insert the Therm Probe before hot smoking, apply Mustard (contains Acid and more Salt) then apply a Salty Rub like Jeff's, Cold smoke for 6 hours, followed by HOT, 225+*F, smoking until the meat reaches 140*F or more AND this meat is for personal consumption by healthy individuals...Feel free to invite me over for Dinner...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  10. wingrider

    wingrider Fire Starter

    Hi Dave - thanks for the response. Several questions/comments:

    Given your percentages for the dry rub, if I use 1% sugar, then that adds up to 3.012%. So whats the other 96.988 of the dry rub made up of?

    As to your suggestion of keeping the smoker below 70, well you live in Washington, I live in North Carolina. The temperature of the smoker is above 70 all the time unless it's winter. The MES must be darned well insulated as I was smoking cheese last winter when the ambient outdoor temp was in the high 20's low 30's. So cold I had to heat the control unit on the MES with a hair dryer before it would turn on to show me what the temp was. Under those conditions, and ONLY using a AMNPS to cold smoke, it was still all I could do to keep the interior temp under 90 by opening the door occasionally. Just saying, LOL

    I did try a dry rub on salmon once, and really liked it. Think it was Dionysus's brown sugar and garlic rub.
  11. wingrider

    wingrider Fire Starter

    Hi Martin - many thanks for the response.

    So how long is "...a nice long smoke...", and what is a "safe temperature?"

    I cold smoke for several hours, then turn on the heat. Doesn't matter what I turn the heat on for, the loin reaches and internal temp of 145 way before the setpoint temp is reached.
  12. wingrider

    wingrider Fire Starter

    Hey Jimmy - you are most definitely invited for Dinner. Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely try this
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Spice in grams per 1 kg of meat
    Bay leaf2 leaves
    Cardamom1.0 - 2.0
    Caraway seeds2.0
    Caraway powder0.5
    Cayenne pepper0.5
    Celery salt1.0
    Cinnamon0.5 - 1.0
    Cloves1.0 - 2.0
    Coriander1.0 - 2.0
    Curry powder1.0
    Garlic paste3.0 - 5.0
    Garlic powder1.0
    Marjoram2.0 - 3.0
    Onion (fresh)10.0
    Onion powder2.0 - 5.0
    Pepper-white2.0 - 3.0
    Pepper-black2.0 - 3.0
    Red peppers0.5
    Turmeric2.0 - 4.0
    Other Ingredients in g per 1 kg of Meat
    Non fat dry milk powder4.0
    Soy powder concentrate1.0 - 3.0
    Sugar1.0 - 2.0
  14. wingrider

    wingrider Fire Starter


    Great explanation. Many thanks. I love the approach of calculating it based on the meat instead of the other ingredients so as to be able to apply it to varying amounts of meat. Very good.

    Just out of curiosity, what to dry milk powder, or soy powder concentrate do in a rub?

    Thanks again.
  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Daves process and Chart are great and will give good starting point or accurately reproduce a recipe. Soy and Milk don't do any thing to Rub. They are used to help retain moisture in Sausage. The rest of the chart applies to sausage and equally well in Rub...JJ
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Like JJ said, moisture retention....   I use it in breakfast sausage patties, to hold the fat, so the patties stay moist... and in hog cased sausages... If you use the soy, use as little as possible....  I find it give the bkfst sausage a weird texture and flavor when you start nearing 2 1/2%...   I keep my mix about 1 1/2-2%....  Dave
  17. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic


    I'm posting this, not only to give your thread another bump, but because I think it is something newcomers like myself, can benefit from & use.

    Now my personal questions:  (I think I may have asked some of these in another thread, but can't find it right now.)

    1.  Will this brine work on "any" whole meat?  beef, lamb, pork, fish, poultry?  (I understand cure will make pork and poultry hammy tasting)

    2.  Will it work for drying meats like jerky, and dried beef hunks?   Wife loves SOS, but I hate all the salt, from the jarred stuff she buys.

    This next question is very important to me!

    3.  Do I have this right?  As long as the curing brine is made with 1 TBSP per gal of water, and then, as long as meat is fully covered, it will work.   Say, I mix a gal of your recipe, but only use a pint of it, in a small Ziplock bag with some jerky strips.  The jerky will still brined safe and sound, the same as if I had used the whole gal?

    4.  Is that TBSP a "Heaping tbsp." or level tbsp?   You mentioned that a heaping tbsp. equals about an ounce, but your recipe only said a tbsp.

    5.  I see that your recipe says "up to" 3 + tbsp. is safe for one gal water.   If I wanted a more shelf stable, or longer product, then I should use more than I tbsp?  And if it was something to be consume rather quickly within a couple of weeks, then only one?

    6.  I know you put a few times in your original post, of times, but wondered if you could expand on the time to brine various meats to be safe a bit more?

    7.  I have heard a tiny bit about you, and your Dad's store.  I love and respect family history's, and love seeing how things were done in the past.  I also love old photo's of the same.  When you have time, could you please PM me and send some links & photo's, of your past with your dad, that I could enjoy?   I'd appreciate that immensely Pops!

    Thank you so much for your time, and contributions to the site, to benefit others.

    Humbly your student,
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  18. wingrider

    wingrider Fire Starter

    Hi Jimmy - I did this several weeks ago, and it turned out great. Nobody died, or even got a tummy ache. When all was said and done I ended up cold smoking for 7 hours as it took me an hour to realize that the smoker wasn't heating up after I turned on the heater. At that point I pulled the meat and actually cooked it in the oven. Still excellent.

    Turned out I had the famous MES corroded wires heater failure. I've repaired that and did my first turkey breast as a test run. I will use this method to smoke loins going forward.

  19. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just made Bacon on a Stick with this brine. Turned out great.

    Thanks, Pops.

  20. hi Pops love your posts, ive made pastrami based on your cure recipe and it was good , but i had access to only pure sodium nitrate and made an error in my concentration.  it was only a little over half strength. meat was still great just nice red colour didnt penetrate.

    just wondering about curing larger cuts, at what thickness do you need to inject meat to attain proper penetration of cure?

    I dont plan on doing anything large any time soon, just doing a lot of research on curing meats for future projects. this site is a huge help and there are many great books out there.

    Happy Smoke!!

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