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Stirring the curing pot, so to speak.

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    Stirring the curing pot, so to speak.


    A while back I asked for advice after seeing rickgregory 's great looking bacon. I had two pork sides in the freezer from a pig purchase last year, and set them up two days ago. For one I used the wet cure from AR/SNS, for the other I followed the Ruhlman recipe with a dry cure:
    https://ruhlman.com/homemade-bacon/
    So, one wet, one dry (ish.)
    I'm on day 3 now, and clearly the wet cure gets into all crevices more effectively, although both look good in their 2 gallon bags. (I used the water immersion trick to expel most of the air from the bags.) I understand that the wet cured slab should be removed (per the AR Curing calculator) after 72 hours, rinsed, smoked, etc. The dry cured should stay for at least 7 days.
    I wanted to ask you what others thought of Meathead's Meathead dire warnings on the dangers of the dry cure treatment. Specifically the concern about botulism toxin. Since Ruhlman uses curing salt, and it spends a week in the bag, I feel like it will be adequately cured. In addition, it will be cooked to an internal temp of 150. Why is that any less safe than taking a brisket flat or chuck, with no nitrite salts, and smoking it to 150, then slicing and freezing? (Admittedly that would not be soft brisket!)
    Note: we are not discussing sausages (ground meat), nor cold smoking, nor air curing. These pork sides will be smoked at about 250 F to an internal temp of 150.
    As a retired surgeon, I completely understand liability risks, and am sympathetic to the need for disclaimers. Having said that, why is this different from cooking any brisket flat to 150?

    Discuss.

    Thanks,
    Daniel
    Click image for larger version

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    WET CURE (AR) ON THE LEFT, DRY CURE ON THE RIGHT (RUHLMAN) Front & Back views
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    #2
    It takes 185 to kill the toxin. Meathead created the most "fool-proof" recipes for curing beginners. Child's play for a surgeon, if you will.

    I like the fact he doesn't even dive off into equilibrium brining, we have plenty strugglers on the free side without that.

    Comment


      #3
      There is nothing unsafe about dry curing if it is done correctly, which unfortunately is becoming a dying skill. Meathead’s wet brining method overcomes the common mistakes people might make when dry brining. Crevices and folds, such as between the leg bone and the aitch bone, have to be packed properly when curing hams otherwise there is a real possibility of bacterial growth. What people call bone sour is usually a sign of not packing properly. Usually not a problem with a cut like pork belly.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Donw View Post
        There is nothing unsafe about dry curing if it is done correctly, which unfortunately is becoming a dying skill. Meathead’s wet brining method overcomes the common mistakes people might make when dry brining. Crevices and folds, such as between the leg bone and the aitch bone, have to be packed properly when curing hams otherwise there is a real possibility of bacterial growth. What people call bone sour is usually a sign of not packing properly. Usually not a problem with a cut like pork belly.
        Again, we're talking bacon here (though I didnt realize Daniel was doing sides which have more crevices).

        Dry curing pork belly isn't complex... rub the cure all over both sides. Put in Ziploc bag. Flip 1-2x per day.

        As for needing 185 to kill the toxin... I fry my bacon. So that's not an issue either.

        Comment


          #5
          Jerod Broussard My question is: Why is the piece of pork I photographed above more dangerous if I rub a dry cure on it and bag it in the fridge for 7 days before I smoke it to IT of 150, than if I leave a piece of pork in my fridge for 7 days, then salt and pepper it and smoke it to 150? Is it all because I put it in a ziplock bag in the fridge for 7 days?

          Really, that is the crux of my question, and that is why I want to separate the issue from the sausage, cold smoking, air curing issues.

          Comment


          • Jerod Broussard
            Jerod Broussard commented
            Editing a comment
            I don't see an increased risk. The thing is not all cures are 7 days, and if one dives off into cures lasting weeks, the risks increase and wet cures are a much better bet for the beginner.

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