Brining vs Curing

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by drm0663, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. drm0663

    drm0663 Newbie

    i'v done pork bellies for homemade bacon and cured them  how does brining change things
  2. curing is a preservative. Brine is to add flavor and moisture. You can add about anything you want to the brine.

    Happy smoken.

  3. Dry curing or brine bellies for bacon is essentially the same its just the amount of time involved. Both methods use cure #1 and they both are good ways to introduce flavor into the bellies. A good rule of thumb is that dry curing will cure about 1/8 in a day and brining will cure about 1/4 in per day.

    I've done both methods and I lean more to brine now using pop's brine (slightly reducing the sugar), there are several posts here that feature it.

    The brine uses osmosis and equilibrium to introduce the cure and flavors and does not take up too much room in the fridge, i'll do 1-2 gal depending on the amount of bellies.

    My last batch I cold smoked for 24 hours but, I think i'll go more towards 36-48 hours next time, ive never hot smoked bacon

    I'm no expert, there are lots and lots of really great threads to read here from folks that have done it any way you can imagine.

    Give the brine a try, its easy...Q-View is always great!

  4. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    With a dry cure, you use the moisture inside the meat to get the cure, salt & flavors into the meat.  Salt sucks it out, makes a brine, meat absorbs it back in.

    With a wet cure, you use the moisture in the brine to get the cure, salt & flavors into the meat.  This adds extra water to the meat, which would plump it up a bit.  When you fry it, you cook out the water, shrinking it back.  That's why brined bacon will splatter a little more than dry cured bacon.  

    I would think if you started with the exact same size piece of meat, the brined would be bigger before you start to cook.  But they would end up really close to the same size after being cooked.

    I would try them both at the same time with both processes to see which you like better.  Taking into consideration the work involved with each process.  

    One may be better for imparting different flavors.  I prefer my bacon plain.

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