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Question about dry cured cold smoking seasoning

mrQQ

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Hello,

first of all, let me say that I'm new to this forum, and not a native speaker. So please forgive me if some terms I use here will not be accurate, but I'll try to explain everything the best way I can, or clarify it later.

So basicly, what I've been doing is cold smoking some pork in a Kamado grill. For that, I use dry curing with 3% of salt for 10+ days in a vacuum bag/refrigerator, flipping it at least once very days. Once I take them out, I rinse them, then leave in the refrigerator again for a couple of days (I know at this point, it probably would be better to have a cold, well ventilated place to hang the meat, but I don't have such one). After that, I put it to the cold smoke for 1-3 days, and then let it hang for a week or so.

This has been working fine and the taste is good.

However, I wanted to start some experiments with additional spices. And now here-in lies the question:

1) Do I put the spices into vacuum for the curing stage? This makes sense as that would seem to "infuse" the spices into the meat, but then they would be washed away from the crust at the later stage.
2) Do I just use the basic mix for curing stage (salt, sugar, garlic, pepper, hay leaves), and then add spices before the drying stage? This would make sense as they would stay on the crust, but how much would that affect the inside of the meat?
3) This would probably be best - do both 1 and 2, but that's quite a lot more work, and I am not sure if it's completely needed?

Please give me any insights into this :)

Thank you very much, and greetings from Lithuania!
 

SmokinAl

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Here is a great tutorial on dry curing & cold smoking bacon.
Al
 

indaswamp

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First off- welcome to SMF!

Second, What cut of pork are you using? And are you striving for a dry cured product that can be eaten without further cooking? Or a cooked product?

Now to address your questions:
1) Do I put the spices into vacuum for the curing stage? This makes sense as that would seem to "infuse" the spices into the meat, but then they would be washed away from the crust at the later stage.
Yes, this is the best way to do it. This is how Coppas, pancetta, as well as other dry cured products are made.
2) Do I just use the basic mix for curing stage (salt, sugar, garlic, pepper, hay leaves), and then add spices before the drying stage? This would make sense as they would stay on the crust, but how much would that affect the inside of the meat?
Yes, after curing, add the spices you want and preferably hang in refrigerator so the surface will dry and lock the seasoning onto the meat surface.
3) This would probably be best - do both 1 and 2, but that's quite a lot more work, and I am not sure if it's completely needed?
How you proceed will depend on what you are trying to make, air dried product or cooked.
 

chef jimmyj

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Your option 3, adding your new spices with the Cure and Again while drying will give the most flavor. If that is too much work...
I think I would go with option 2, adding the New, finely ground, Spices to the meat after the rinse. This will add flavor as it Rests, as it Smokes, during Storage and when Cooking the Pork.
If you are happy with your Cure Mix, adding the Experimental Spice while drying, etc. Let's you flavor many small pieces, to see what you like, while still keeping your Signature Cure Flavor...Sėkmės...JJ
 

forktender

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"1) Do I put the spices into vacuum for the curing stage? "

Don't vacuum seal the meat or the places the plastic clings too may not cure properly.
Use a Ziploc bag or a glass or plastic covered tray, I like the large Ziploc bags. After day 2 if there isn't much moisture built up in the bag, add a couple glug's of soft water to each bag. It helps disperse the cure better.
 

Steve H

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If you use a vacuum bag. Don't go full vacuum. I use vacuum bags as well. But I just get enough air out so they bag sits loose on the meat. And with it sealed I don't worry about a mess/smell in the fridge.
 

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