What is the purpose of a "pelicle"

Discussion in 'Curing' started by smokesalittle, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. I have 2 10lb Boston Butts curing in Pops brine to make some ham, I see in most of the threads forming a pellicle prior to smoking, I have searched and searched for the reason and if this has been asked before I have not found it so I apologize.

    Many of you talk about it but no one ever gives a reason for doing it, so what is the purpose for it? Is it just being done because it has always been done that way? What happens if you don't? Granted I started my hams brining with allowing time for the pellicle to form in mind, but before I go through all of that I just would like to know what is the purpose?
  2. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    •Pellicle (cooking), a skin or coating of proteins on the surface of meat, fish or poultry, which allow smoke to better adhere the surface of the meat during the smoking process. Useful in all smoking applications and with any kind of animal protein, it is best used with fish where the flesh of, say, Salmon, forms a pellicle, the surface that will attract more smoke to adhere to it than would be the case if you had not used it: Without a pellicle; the fish would be inedibly dry from enough smoking to produce a tasty finished product. It is the pellicle which permits the transformation creating delectable Smoked salmon.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The dry surface, of the pellicle In my opinion, replaces the water normally found on the surface of meats.....   Water and smoke make "acid rain" which is a nasty tasting coating.....   Acrid and bitter.......   That's a taste difference, I have found when smoking salmon...

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