Cold smoking questions

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by tinknal, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Since the mods won't ad a food preservation forum, I figure this is a good a place as any for this. My first question is about brining. What is the maximum allowable brine temp? I have 2 hogs worth of hams and bacons to brine, and I don't have the space to refridgerate that much meat for that long. I'm planning on doing it in the basement, and keeping the temps down using frozen milk jugs of water. Also, Does anyone have a good bacon cure? I've had great luck with hams, but my bacon has been hit and miss.
     
  2. bricned

    bricned Well-Known Member

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    There is some curring compounds on the market. Morton salt puts out one
    I use 50% salt and 50% sugar. I cover the meat with this mixture and let
    it set in the frig. for five days then smoke it. This may be a little salty for
    some but thats what we like. Also you can make a brine out of the same
    50-50 and add a little liquid smoke. It turns out good.
    P S
    wash the bacon before you smoke it.
     

  3. VApigLover

    VApigLover Well-Known Member

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    I beleive the brine should stay between 35-40 degrees max. can't help much with bacon, I miss it sometimes usually due to too much suger in the cure and burnt bacon the result.
     
  4. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I should mention that I'm using a prepared brine mix that I get from a butcher supply company. I get 50# at a time. Much cheaper than the mortons.
     
  5. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    VA is right, to brine or dry cure you need to keep it at 35 to 40 degrees.
    After the hams are cured, you can AGE ham at a higher temperature. 70 to 85 degrees is ideal, but anything over 95 and it will not age properly.



    FYI----the mods don't add forums. The owners of this site do, As in Chuck or Dean.
     
  6. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

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    book -- great sausage recipes and meat curing another one is cold curing meats = both got good recipes in them.
    here is a honey cured hickory smoked
    1 cup salt
    4 tbs instacure no.1
    2 cups honey
    rub slab with first 2, then coat with honey, wrap with plastic, keep at 38 for 6 days. remove, wash(lukewarm) dry for 30 min. put in smoker preheated to 135 with open dampers till dry, then close dampers to 1/4 apply smoke untill bacon reaches 127-128. reduce smoiker to 120, hold till desired color, remove and cool overnite -- use hickory to smoke it.
     
  7. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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  8. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Any guess what the brine temp will be in a 55 degree basement? I'm thinking that liquid temps will be cooler than ambient air temps. Aging will be no problem, as I age in my porch, and it won't be warmer than 50 degrees until sometime in March. As far as that goes how about aging in the basement? It can get a little damp in there, but never wet. Objects sitting on the floor will get a little mildew, but never things off the floor.

    Well, Chuck and Dean ARE mods right.............LOL, I guess I'll send them a PM!
     
  9. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't be able to guess tinknal, :shrug:
    What if your container with the ham and brine sat in another larger container filled with ice? Maybe you could keep the meat cooled.

    Naa, it would take quite a bit of ice over several days to keep it cold. :)

    As for aging in the basement.........If the humidity reaches 65%, mold can be a problem. They need good air circulation.

    Keep us posted on how it goes, and what works for you. :)
     
  10. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    The temps will be the same.....cannot get around that movement of thermal energy from areas of higher temps to lower.....a few frozen jugs of H2O will last more than a day...it may be a pain but it will protect your investment....