Canadian Bacon Brine Time Question

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by wingrider, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. wingrider

    wingrider Fire Starter

    I know there are a ton of threads on calculating a brine time, but I had a slightly different question, and wanted an answer fairly quickly, and many of the threads have been inactive for quite a while so.....

    I'm making my first Canadian Bacon based on Pop's Brine as modified in Woodcutter's 2nd Try thread. Added a few things, like some maple flavoring, and some worcestershire sauce. I cut up an 11 pound pork loin into 7 pieces, so no piece has a cross section thicker than say 3" X 4". This means the center of any piece cannot be more than 1.5" in from some surface. So using the 1/2 inch per day plus 2 "rule" that I've seen many times here, I used the 4" and arrived at 10 days. Been turning the loins, and churning up the brine once a day.

    So today was day 5 of the loins being in the brine, and being impatient I couldn't resist cutting off a few slices around the edge, seeing that they were totally pink/cured, and frying them up. OMG - devine! For the first time, I don't know if I want to smoke these or not, they are so good the way they are. So kept cutting and realized the cure is already pretty deep.

    So my question is, what I thought to be true was that the length of time you leave the meat in the brine is to ensure that the cure penetrates totally through the meat. as evidenced by there being a uniformly ham reddish color throughout the meat. If so, then it's done. Is this true? Or, is some further curing going on that takes more time and develops more fully, even after this uniform color change? In other words, if I were to check the thickest piece, and it were to show uniform color to the center, could I smoke it now, or still need to wait for 5 more days?

    Thanks for any comments.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    From Pops thread...

    "Curing times vary with meat, but generally overnight to 2-3 days for chickens and turkeys, 8-10 days buckboard bacon, 10-14 days belly bacon, pork shoulder, whole butts, 3-4 weeks whole hams, 10-20 days corned beef (fresh beef roasts, briskets, rolled rib roasts, etc.) If whole muscle is more than 2" thick, then inject so it can cure i/o as well as o/i, and/or in and around bone structures, etc."

    Please post "Woodcutter's brine as modified"....
  3. wingrider

    wingrider Fire Starter

    Appreciate the response, but it doesn't answer the question I posed. As I said, I've read probably about every comment on brine time on this forum, including the above. Again, thanks, but my question (contained in the last paragraph of my post) remains.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just because the meat is pink does not mean the meat is fully cured... salt, sugar, nitrite penetrate at different rates...
    Just because "SOME" nitrite has reached the center of the meat does not mean it is adequate... Following directions is always best...

    Let me give an example of dry brining.... rubbing cure #1 on the outside of the meat leaves the outside layer at 62,500 Ppm nitrite, the center at zero Ppm nitrite... It takes time for the cure to evenly distribute throughout the meat.... salt and sugar have different equilibrium rates than sodium nitrite... different sized molecules... different polarity.... different solubility.. etc...
    The time recommended for curing different meats has been determined by folks in the labs....

    I highly recommend not using altered methods for curing....
    c farmer likes this.
  5. wingrider

    wingrider Fire Starter

    Dave - Now that answers my question. Many thanks!!!

    So I'm going to go with a minimum of 10 days.

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