wet vs dry

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by charcoal junkie, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. charcoal junkie

    charcoal junkie Smoking Fanatic

    Has anyone compared wet cured bacon vs dry cured. I seen on Tv that wet cured bacon shrinks more than dry cured when cooked. I have not made either but would like to this fall when the temp is cooler outside.
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I tried both ways at first, and found Dry cured more tasty, but that's just me. Dry curing is the only way I go since then.

    I don't think how it was cured would have anything to do with how much it shrinks when cooked.

  3. 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.
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


  5. I've made a couple of thousand pounds of bacon over the past year, and dry cure is the only way to go. Wet cure/injection, there is a lot of water that will stay in the bacon. So it will pop more when you cook it and it will also shrink a lot more.

    Dry cure tends to hold the flavors of the ingredients I am using a lot more than wet cure.
  6. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Very good thread.  I've done  both and i like both.  I'm partial right now to Pop's brine which i like for larger pieces of pork or poultry [like whole birds].  Smaller cuts like boneless pork loins or butts cut in half for buckboard i like the dry cured at times.  Using Pop's brine is easier and less time involved turning the meat over daily such as you have to do with dry cured.  I think it's realy personal preferance.  Reinhard
  7. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    For brining, I would think that making a tea out of the brine, (before adding cure) would allow the flavors from things that don't dissolve to be more available to enter the meat.
  8. navigator

    navigator ImpEx - Users Awaiting Email Confirmation

    I have done both and like the dry better, Its a little more work but that's half the fun of it. That being said wet still makes a far superior product that you will get in any grocery store and is a good way to get your feet wet.

    I was surprised to learn that my favorite commercial bacon (Nueske's) is injected and wet cured, but them they smoke and age if for quite some time.

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