• 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.

Wet cure upper time limits

Jcarter93

Newbie
23
13
Joined May 7, 2021
Yesterday I put a whole pork loin cut into 3 pieces into a curing brine.

9.17 lb pork
1 gallon water
.25% Prague #1
1% brown sugar
2% salt
Black pepper, bay leaves, thyme for flavor.

I was planning on letting it cure for 10 days, taking it out next Wednesday to sit in the fridge and form a pelicle, and smoking it Saturday into canadian bacon.

I now have plans to visit my grandfather in Tennessee that weekend (he's ill).

My question is, will delaying a week hurt something? It would be in the cure for 17 days instead of the planned 10.

If it will hurt something, what would you guys suggest I do with it?

Thanks
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
26,555
3,976
Joined Nov 12, 2010
Brown sugar is pretty filthy stuff and grows mold etc...
Before you leave, rinse it off well, cold water.... Wipe down with white vinegar.. form the pellicle... vacuum pack and put in the refer.. Check your refer temp and make sure it's about 34-36F...
 

Jcarter93

Newbie
23
13
Joined May 7, 2021
Brown sugar is pretty filthy stuff and grows mold etc...
Before you leave, rinse it off well, cold water.... Wipe down with white vinegar.. form the pellicle... vacuum pack and put in the refer.. Check your refer temp and make sure it's about 34-36F...
If I didnt have a vacuum sealer would a ziploc work here?

Also if brown sugar is so dirty, what do you recommend for a sweetener?
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
47,615
8,165
Joined Jun 22, 2009
I use raw sugar, but Dave knows his stuff, so I would go by what he says.
Al
 

Hamdrew

Smoking Fanatic
486
668
Joined Jan 17, 2021
Brown sugar COULD grow nasty stuff, but that is the whole point of the brine..? The high levels of sugar and salt prevent it. I know Pop's made a post about how a chicken (if memory serves me) cured for one month was no "more" cured than one cured for a week.

Hams take a month. Yesterday I cooked a rack of spares that had been a wet cure for about 4wks. I always let loins go at least 2wks due to thickness.

as long as the brine is submerged, you are good. If there's any possibility of contamination, simply dump out and remake the brine.
 

smokeymose

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
3,861
1,369
Joined Aug 13, 2015
Yesterday I put a whole pork loin cut into 3 pieces into a curing brine.

9.17 lb pork
1 gallon water
.25% Prague #1
1% brown sugar
2% salt
Black pepper, bay leaves, thyme for flavor.

I was planning on letting it cure for 10 days, taking it out next Wednesday to sit in the fridge and form a pelicle, and smoking it Saturday into canadian bacon.

I now have plans to visit my grandfather in Tennessee that weekend (he's ill).

My question is, will delaying a week hurt something? It would be in the cure for 17 days instead of the planned 10.

If it will hurt something, what would you guys suggest I do with it?

Thanks
I don't think it will hurt a thing. I brine belly for bacon with pop's brine for two weeks and have gone a few days over with no problems.
 

forktender

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,235
1,460
Joined Jun 10, 2008
Brown sugar COULD grow nasty stuff, but that is the whole point of the brine..? The high levels of sugar and salt prevent it. I know Pop's made a post about how a chicken (if memory serves me) cured for one month was no "more" cured than one cured for a week.

Hams take a month. Yesterday I cooked a rack of spares that had been a wet cure for about 4wks. I always let loins go at least 2wks due to thickness.

as long as the brine is submerged, you are good. If there's any possibility of contamination, simply dump out and remake the brine.
Then I guess that isn't mold growing in Dave's brine bucket.:emoji_boot:
 

forktender

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,235
1,460
Joined Jun 10, 2008
If I didnt have a vacuum sealer would a ziploc work here?

Also if brown sugar is so dirty, what do you recommend for a sweetener?
If you don't have a vacuum sealer wrap it 3X as tightly as you can in plastic wrap making sure to get all the air pockets out of each layer then toss it into a zippy. Doing it this way it is damn near just as good as vacuum sealing. I take it a step further when I'm going to freeze it, it then gets wrapped in waxed butcher paper.
I've had much better luck preventing freezer burn this way because there is no chance of sealed seams failing. I've found halibut duck, goose and deer that was well over a year old in the bottom of my old chest freezer, and it was perfectly fine still yet half the vacuum sealed bags had leaked the vacuum seal.
So when I want to make sure it's going to keep I double or triple wrap in plastic than butcher paper, so I don't have to worry about it.
 

Hamdrew

Smoking Fanatic
486
668
Joined Jan 17, 2021
Then I guess that isn't mold growing in Dave's brine bucket.:emoji_boot:
I'm just asking, as I was under a different impression..?

Also, we have no way of knowing if it was contaminated/got foreign material, or what , or what type of mold that is, right? Buckets get scratched, easily, when cleaning them, and I know from homebrewing that those grooves can (very) easily harbor bacteria.

Yes, you can safely cure for 30 days. If necessary you may leave it in the cure for up to 45 days without much breakdown, but after that the meat can degrade; get mushy and fall apart.
^^^
It will take me a minute to find the post about (i believe) chickens cured for 1mo vs a week or two, but it's still very much relevant.. Again I'm not sure why 17 days would be questionable whatsoever when briskets, hams etc. often NEED to go longer??
 

Mmmm Meat

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
221
73
Joined Feb 6, 2021
It's situations like these that make a strong case for doing an equilibrium brine vs. a wet brine. You can leave it in the cure for weeks beyond the intended cure time. That may be the case with a wet brine too from what I read above, though I'm not sure of that.
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
21,091
5,793
Joined May 12, 2011
Dave is correct. Brown Sugar can make a Brine go Ropey, aka Slimey.. That said, there are many meats that get Brine Cured up to a Month without issue. If you are concered, make the same brine, without Cure #1 and Boil it. When cooled to room temp, add Cure#1 and refer it until cold. Add meat and make ready to see your Grandfather, wish him a speedy recovery from us...JJ
 

Jcarter93

Newbie
23
13
Joined May 7, 2021
If you don't have a vacuum sealer wrap it 3X as tightly as you can in plastic wrap making sure to get all the air pockets out of each layer then toss it into a zippy. Doing it this way it is damn near just as good as vacuum sealing. I take it a step further when I'm going to freeze it, it then gets wrapped in waxed butcher paper.
I've had much better luck preventing freezer burn this way because there is no chance of sealed seams failing. I've found halibut duck, goose and deer that was well over a year old in the bottom of my old chest freezer, and it was perfectly fine still yet half the vacuum sealed bags had leaked the vacuum seal.
So when I want to make sure it's going to keep I double or triple wrap in plastic than butcher paper, so I don't have to worry about it.
Thank you for the freezing tip
 

Jcarter93

Newbie
23
13
Joined May 7, 2021
Dave is correct. Brown Sugar can make a Brine go Ropey, aka Slimey.. That said, there are many meats that get Brine Cured up to a Month without issue. If you are concered, make the same brine, without Cure #1 and Boil it. When cooled to room temp, add Cure#1 and refer it until cold. Add meat and make ready to see your Grandfather, wish him a speedy recovery from us...JJ
Luckily, I boiled this brine and let cool before adding cure #1. I feel a lot better about the situation now.
 

Mmmm Meat

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
221
73
Joined Feb 6, 2021
Dave is correct. Brown Sugar can make a Brine go Ropey, aka Slimey.. That said, there are many meats that get Brine Cured up to a Month without issue. If you are concered, make the same brine, without Cure #1 and Boil it. When cooled to room temp, add Cure#1 and refer it until cold. Add meat and make ready to see your Grandfather, wish him a speedy recovery from us...JJ
I've got to ask - what is the effect of boiling the brine? Anti-microbial?
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
21,091
5,793
Joined May 12, 2011
Yes, boiling Brine ingredients will eliminate bacteria. I did not in the past and lost a batch of Bacon to spoilage in the Brine.
Note: There is an ongoing debate about boiling Cure #1, whether there is any effect or not. In general, we recommend Not boiling the Cure #1...JJ
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
26,555
3,976
Joined Nov 12, 2010
USDA tests have shown.... Nitrite dissipates, with time, from the manufacturer to the retail outlet by ~ 80-90%... That includes the cooking/smoking time and temp...


Quote.. "Michigan State University Extension created a video to demonstrate the calculations to determine ppm. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Processing Inspectors’ Calculations Handbook is also very helpful in learning how to make necessary calculations required for meat processing and has many examples. Interestingly, as the product is cooked in the smokehouse, much of the nitrite dissipates".

From the evidence, one can possibly conclude, nitrite dissipates with heat and time.... So, it "could" dissipate in boiling or hot water....
IMO, there is no reason to heat sodium nitrite and take the chance...
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

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.