Wet Brine Confusion

Discussion in 'Pork' started by navier, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. Living here in Canada, store had pork loins on for $1.47. so I bought 3 loins to make peameal bacon. not your version of canadian bacon just brined rolled in cormeal and a cold smoke.

    didn't weigh but the 4th I bought was 8 lbs and all were roughly the same size.

    searched the net, I know that was my first mistake.

    All the sites I come across say 3 tbl cure 1 in one gallon of water. Pops is 1 tbl in gallon of water.

    http://blog.ruhlman.com/2011/02/canadian-bacon-brining-basics/   his is 2tbl

    http://www.post-gazette.com/life/fo...n-Canadian-Peameal-Bacon/stories/201504010005  3 tbls

    http://amazingribs.com/recipes/porknography/curing_ham.html  3 tbls but 3 gal of water

    at first I thought I put too much cure. now I'm thinking I didn't put enough salt or water.

    what I did was cut loins in half, injected loins with brine. put 3 halves per extra jumbo bag, then evenly divided the gal of water with 3tbls between the two bags

    seems like there was enough to cover properly. today is the start of day two. I was planning on leaving in the fridge until Wednesday. 3-4 days.

    My question is. too much cure? not enough water or salt (1 cup)

    forgot all about diggs calculator.

    Please fill me in on what I did, what I should do


  2. bentley

    bentley Fire Starter

    Navier,  Im very new at this but when I make Canadian bacon I use 1 teaspoon of #1 cure in two quarts of water, 5 tablespoons of salt per 5 pounds of pork loin. Hope this helps.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You are fine on the Cure. There is a fairly broad range of cure amounts that work. Low end is 40ppm and the max is 200ppm in a brine. Without going into the math, Pops Brine is on the low side and you are more towards the middle. Next, the Salt. 1C of Morton Kosher or Fine Salt per gallon water is a common recommendation but I find it too salty and use 1/2C Morton Kosher per gallon. So a fry test, cook a little bit before you roll it in Pea or Corn Meal, will show where you are at. If ok, proceed if too salty, soak 24 hours with 2 changes of water and fry test again. Repeat if needed. No need to panic and you are at a great site for info, feedback and recipes, why go any place else?...JJ
  4. thanks chef

    really didn't want to toss it out.

    that ratio hast to be followed though? 1tbls/2tbls cure, 1/2 to 1 cup salt, to every 1 gallon of water..

    why in some threads weighing meat and water is recommended for cure or is that more sausage related than wet brine related.

    slow process but learning more and more each day. Now if I could just remember to take notes and save things
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Weighing the meat and the water is the most accurate method of equilibrium curing.... Which is what Pops method is...

    If you have 1 million grams of meat and water and add 10 grams of cure, you will end up with approx. 10 parts in one million or 10 Ppm...
  6. I was hoping you would pop in Dave

    my best bet then would be to use diggs calculator to be on safe side.

    could you put down the optimal ppm that you normally quote. all I remember is 156 for ham.

    also for salt what % is optimal. what would % would up the chance of your meat product being too salty.  I like salt but to an extent

    thanks Dave

    for others that may wonder

    "equilibrium curing" in which a calculated quantity of salt is added to the meat, with the spices, and allowing enough time for the meat to absorb all the salt.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  7. Found this at http://curedmeats.blogspot.com and found it quite interesting and made things much clearer for me.

    this isn't really wet brine, well sort of because it sits in its own liquid. but the point I got out of it was the salt ratio to never have over salted meat.

    love the sous vide analogy. if you cook your food at the same temp you want the finished product then it is impossible to over cook. Much like salt in proper proportion is impossible to oversalt it.

    forgot to post the article

    I always cure using an equilibrium cure. I use between 2.5% and 3.5% of the meats weight in salt, rub it all over the meat, and put the meat in a sealed bag, flipping it every 3-5 days in the refrigerator to make sure the  chunk is always exposed to the brine that is formed by the salt pulling out water from the muscle. After a fairly arbitrary amount of time, but one which is long enough to make sure all the salt i've applied has been absorbed, I consider the meat cured and ready to move to the next phase, into the fermentation box or curing chamber. To me this is much easier than excess salt curing. By applying a known, wanted, quantity of salt, the product will not become over-salted, ever, no matter how long it's left in the fridge. The question is really what the minimum amount of time is for the meat to absorb the salt. I don't really have a good answer, other than "leave it long enough to be SURE it's absorbed the salt". I always leave my items in the fridge curing at least 2 weeks, and for very large things like a culatello, I give it 3. That's the beauty of this system..... you can't overcure! I guess if I'm in a analogy to cooking mood, this method would be the sous vide cooking of the curing world. By cooking a product at it's final temperature, you can't overcook it, and it won't be undercooked if you leave it long enough.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The USDA / FDA / FSIS has guidelines for many different cuts.... Brining, injecting and rubbing have different maximum amounts of nitrite allowed.... The amounts allowed are always expressed as maximums.... Bacon... 120 Ppm ingoing nitrite maximum when pumped, massaged and brined.... 200 Ppm ingoing nitrite maximum when dry rubbed or "dry brined" as I prefer to call it... Dry brining is when you salt and cure a piece of meat and leave it in a tub or bag or something that collects the extracted liquid, for it to be re-adsorbed... thus insuring a complete use of applied chemicals...
    Dry rub / Dry cured, such as that like a ham, 625 Ppm maximum ingoing over a time period of weeks or longer employing multiple applications...

    I prefer the EQ. method or the direct injection method for curing... The DI method is... weigh the amount or cure needed for the meat.. weigh the salt and sugar... weigh out 10% of the meat's weight in water... dissolve the cure, salt and sugar in the water.... inject all the liquid into the meat.... Done... in a few days the meat is thoroughly cured... Of course you have to pay attention to the injections and try and insure equal distribution throughout the meat....

    As far as a calculator, Dig's is very good... the Ppm can be changed to allow for different methods..

    I like to use the mathematical method... 150 Ppm is.... 0.000150.... multiply that by the weight of the meat in grams... that equals the amount of nitrite needed to make the meat 150 Ppm... in grams.... Since we don't use pure nitrite, we need to convert our number to grams of cure #1.... so the calculation now is..... meat in grams X 0.000150 / 0.0625 (% nitrite in cure #1)..... or multiply the meat weight in grams by 0.0024 equals grams of cure #1.....

    0.000120 / 0.0625 = 0.0019

    I have an inherent fear of calculators because they can be wrong....
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  10. perfect, sound like a math major....lol
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Pops Brine is like an old family recipe. You follow it because you trust and know it works. You are not going to mess with it and you don't want to know or care why it works...

    The second option is YOU are the recipe author. You learn how and why Cure and Salt is used, including min and max amounts for a given situation. You use calculators to design your recipe or do the math yourself, like Dave...

    The third option, get a working knowledge of Curing Meat and adapt or modify known good recipes to your taste but follow the general guide lines...I know Pops Brine works but also know how to adjust the salt/sugar to suit my taste.

    So, " Has to be followed " ? If you trust and use Pops Brine...Yes, follow his proportions. If you want to custom design a Navier Brine, learn how and why Cure and Salt effects meat and make your recipe. It is all about how involved in the process you want to be and one is as good as the next...JJ
    navier likes this.
  12. hank2000

    hank2000 Smoking Fanatic

    Makes my head hurt. Pops all the way
  13. so in closing 3-4 days in the wet brine is sufficient considering I also injected?
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nav.... If your cure/brine final concentration was 1 TBS #1 per gallon, and you injected the loins about every 1 1/2" ... (stitch pump) then you will be good to go at about day #6 in the refer.... remove, rest for a day or 2 to equilibrate and you will have the best Pea Meal bacon in North America....
    navier likes this.

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