Stupid questions thread..........

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by expat smoker, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. expat smoker

    expat smoker Smoke Blower

    I'm sure others out there have their share of 'stupid questions', but are shy to ask, so I'll start this off by asking 2 stupid questions.  

    1] Doing a dry cure on pork/bacon........what's the longest time that you can leave it in the fridge before the smoke??  And what's the shortest??

    2]  And if you follow all the rules and have a successful hot smoke with proper internal temps, then store it in plastic vaccume bags....what's the longest that you can safely store it at room temp?/fridge?/freezer?

    And if frozen immediately, are there any safety issues in refreezing the product.?? assuming that you did everything clean and safe............. awake now??

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, I'm awake....   temporarily....  

    Minimum time in the refer, cure penetrates at about 1/4" per day.... Now that's from both sides of the meat figuring you rubbed both sides with cure, salt, spices etc... then another 2 days for good measure.....  So, a 2" thick piece of meat... 4 days for the 1/4" rule then 2 more = 6 days.... I always wait 7-8 minimum......   meat over 2" ish thick, it's a good idea to inject a brine/cure mix every inch or so, injecting 10% of the weight of the meat...   1000 gram hunk of meat, inject 100 grams/ 100 mls type thing....

    15-20 days is probably the max......  Pops would know more about the max days number....  He had the food police check his dads stuff all the time and has some time tested curing recipes that are stamped "OK" by the feds.....

    About curing...  You are looking for 120 Ppm to 156 Ppm cure in the meat...  You add an amount of cure to the surface so when equilibrium is finished, the meat will be uniform in cure concentration throughout the hunk.....    

    Cure is about 62,000 Ppm nitrite....    so the surface of the meat is really high in nitrite, and the center has zero cure.....   over time, it will equalize out through equilibrium to a steady state of 120-156 Ppm nitrite.....  

    So, after the rest in the refer, it's a good idea to rinse the meat and let it continue to rest in the refer for the equilibrium to take place....

    As far as storing bacon, I don't know off hand....  I don't try to remember stuff like that....  If I make an error in judgement, it could be my last....  

    I will search....  "FSIS storing cured smoked meats"

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, the Gummint can't get to specific so here's one blurb that explains a lot....  Reading through several of the paragraphs, the myriad of methods pretty much precludes the Gov. from being specific.....  It's obvious now, trying to find "storage time" depends on so many factors it's impossible to put under "one header"........    If  you do a search, use FSIS in the header.... (Food Safety Inspection Service)

    5.1.1. Non-traditional foods and non-traditional processes

    Today, consumers demand foods that are minimally processed, as "natural" as possible, and yet are convenient to use. Complicating these factors is a consumer preference toward cured and smoked foods that are processed with lower salt, lower nitrate and higher moisture levels. These parameters have a tremendous impact on the safety of a given cured/smoked food or process. Preferences for low fat and low sugar have less impact on the safety, but these factors can change the traditional curing and smoking process. It will be difficult to completely eliminate the use of nitrite, as there is no known substitute for it as a curing agent for meat. Nonetheless, the demand for fewer chemicals added to foods has put pressure on the industry and the scientific community to seek new alternatives.

    In-home vacuum packaging machines have become popular in recent years. It is important to realize that in-home vacuum packaging is not a substitution for cooking or any form of food preservation, e.g., refrigeration, freezing, or curing (Andress 2001). In-home vacuum packaging can reduce the quality deterioration of foods catalyzed by oxygen, such as rancidity. Many food spoilage and food poisoning organisms require oxygen for growth and would also be inhibited by this process. However, the most deadly food poisoning organism,Clostridium botulinum  requires a low oxygen atmosphere and therefore, vacuum packaging favors its growth (Andress 2001). In cured meats, careful attention must be paid to proper use of nitrates/nitrites that inhibit Clostridium botulinum  prior to use of in-home vacuum packagers. To further reduce the risk of botulism after vacuum packaging, properly refrigerate the cured/smoked meats. Under normal processing, freezing of salt-cured meats is not recommended, due to oxidative rancidity that affects the quality and flavor of the product.
  4. expat smoker

    expat smoker Smoke Blower

    Good afternoon Dave........

    Interesting read on not freezing vacuum packaged salt cured meats............does that include meats cured with nitrites [cure #1]??  Kinda scary if true, as most of my smoked meat goes directly into the freezer once cooled enough.

    Good info on your first post that will get printed as a quick reference for the future.

    Thanks again Dave...........good night/morning??

  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jack, howdy.....   I read that,  "freezing of salt-cured meats is not recommended, due to oxidative rancidity that affects the quality and flavor of the product."  I think they are referring to meat that has been rubbed, dredged in salt and left to hang, to have the moisture sucked out of it by the salt... You know, like hung in a shed to drip moisture for months until bacteria can't survive due to lack of moisture and high levels of salt...   The type of meat is left in the open air, no refrigeration, for storage...

    There are a few folks, on this forum, that have processed meats like that.....

    Meats using cure #1.....  Meats cured like bacon, smoked sausage, some hams etc. usually have around 2% salt and a high moisture content.... Cure #1 is usually intended for meats that need cooking....  It's a short term cure that the meat needs refrigeration while the process happens...  Freezing these products is OK....

    Meats using cure #2....... is usually used in meats that do not need cooking.....   are rubbed with cure #2 that has a high percentage of salt.....  are not stored under refrigeration.....  and are hung to dry in a cool place for months to drip moisture or in a fermenting chamber....  temp and humidity controlled for months...  evidently, from the cited sentence, it is not a good idea to freeze these products....

    The above two paragraphs are speaking in generality..   not specifics....  there are so many methods that have been developed, there are no specifics that can be addressed, at least by me....  Generally speaking, I don't know squat....

  6. expat smoker

    expat smoker Smoke Blower

    Afternoon Dave..............sorry to inform you, but you seem to know a bit more than 'squat'.  You also have a talent to word complicated things so that an idiot can understand and are humble enough to say you don't know squat when you are not sure...........

    Thanks again for your squat, 

  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jack my friend.....  You too, have a way with words.....       Dave
  8. Jack, in my opinion the only stupid questions are the ones not asked! You did good!

    Interesting read for sure and Dave, you do have a knack for making it easy to understand!
  9. expat smoker

    expat smoker Smoke Blower

    Wow, 2 moderators on my 'Stupid questions thread' .................maybe a good time to suggest that a new sub forum be created for general 'stupid questions'?? Just a thought.........
  10. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Giggle!  There is no such thing as a stupid question....My 2 cents!  If you don't know the answer...ask.  Learning here is what we all are wanting and looking for!


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