Curing belly in ziplock bag not throwing much liquid

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by dfvellone, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. dfvellone

    dfvellone Newbie

    I'm curing a belly for pancetta which is a pretty similar process to a bacon cure.
    My question is how much liquid should the belly release as its curing? I've got it in the fridge in a ziplock bag and I used a standard salt and pink salt ratio along with spices and it's just not releasing very much liquid. I'm keeping the temp in the fridge at 38*. Thanks for any input
  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can't answer your question cause I have yet to do a belly , but when I do loins for Canadian bacon I get little to no liquid
  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't panic. Fat will not release liquid, and that belly's what? 40-50% fat anyhow? A butt or loin- different story...
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    When you say "pink salt" are you talking about Instacure #1 ?? We recently had a member use a "pink salt" but it wasn't a cure it was a natural "pink salt" and there is a big difference. If you have indeed used Instacure #1 at the proper rate then as Rich says you may not get much liquid doing a belly
  5. Yea What Piney says is correct
  6. dfvellone

    dfvellone Newbie

    Yeah, I was calling instacure #1 pink salt. Sorry for the confusion. Well I'm glad to not have to be concerned. The belly looks and smells great and tomorrow should be it's final day in the cure. Then it's rolled and hung for a bit. I was a bit worried about hanging it if the cure hadn't proceeded as it should. Thanks to everyone for the responses. Great to be able to have someplace to turn to for advice backed by experience.
  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We here like to help but at the same time we want to learn too. There's nothin like a new set of eyes looking at something in a differant way. You might just come up with something brand new.
  8. freshmeat

    freshmeat Smoke Blower

    Pancetta *drool*

    Would you care to share your process or link / source to the process you are doing? I am uninformed and thus intimidated (and probably considered food safety anal) of the time spent in a 'curing chamber'...I have read some are completing this part of the process in their fridge.

    [​IMG] I look forward to learning more from your endeavor.
  9. john3198

    john3198 Smoking Fanatic

    Same here. Thinking about doing some Pancetta. What reciepe did you use and how are you planning on handling the hanging part of the cure/drying? I may try mine in an unused upstair bath that stays pretty cool.
  10. piker

    piker Fire Starter

    The last belly I did was one of 8 lbs. in a vacuum saver bag. My dry rub was a little on the salty side and after 7 days there was probably 1 1/2 cups of fluid in the bag. The second time with much less salt there was a corresponding less amt of fluid about 3/4 cup. Maybe its the amt of salt? Piker
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have noticed when I use a TQ dry cure, I have more liquid in the package after a couple days than I do after the 10 or 12 day completion of the curing. That is why I never dump the liquid out until the curing time is over. I figure some of that liquid is cure that didn't do it's job yet.
    But that's just my thoughts on that.

    Does anyone agree with that?

  12. piker

    piker Fire Starter

    I do totally as I never get rid of any liquid as I think the belly reabsorbs it by reverse osmosis or some way, Piker
  13. dfvellone

    dfvellone Newbie

    Bearcarcer, I notice that too. After one, maybe two days there seems to be a max amount of liquid, then it must reabsorb. But when I say max it's still not a whole lot. Though this belly was pretty small too. Butchered several months earlier than usual.
  14. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If it happens again and there is not enough liquid to cover your meat you can pour a simple brine in it to help out. It's is talked about in rytek's book
  15. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Yup! Yup! Yup!
    (Would have done it in one, but apparently one "Yup" isn't long enough!)
  16. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes Salt is the main reason. But the moisture has to come from somewhere, and you'll get almost none from the fat.
  17. I rub mine with a mixture of salt and cure, then pour Honey or what not on it. Then I wrap it in butcher paper and cut a 11" by about 2' bag and use my Vacupack and vacumme seal it. Store in bottom of fridge for about 6 to 7 days, turning once every day. I soak in one hour water baths, and test fry between baths. Sometimes it takes only one water bath and did as many as three. The Vacumme sealing seems to evenly distributite the cure and honey. If you are using a Foodsaver be carefull not to get the liquid in your machine. If your using a vacupack just run some hot water through and clean your pump.
  18. dfvellone

    dfvellone Newbie

    I removed the belly from the cure last night to roll, tie and hang, and there was a negligible amount of liquid. The belly was firm and seemed cured- smell great too. We'd butchered the hogs when they were quite small. Hanging weight was 100lbs, so as you might imagine the bellies were pretty thin and lean. I guess then, from general consensus here, I can assume that the small amount of liquid is directly related to the small amount of meat.
  19. Yea That Would Be My Thoughts Also

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