Ham  Brining 101 (and Bacon)
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Ham  Brining 101 (and Bacon)
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Thread: Ham Brining 101 (and Bacon)

  1. #41
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
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    My first attempt turned out salty than I like . Due to a family emergency my ham was in brine for 11 days instead of 7. Would this effect the saltyness or should I just cut back on it. I used 1 1/2 salt 3/4 brown sugar,gal water 2 tbs cure 2 lb venison tip roast. Thank you in advance

  2. #42
    Yes, leaving the roast in the brine longer may have affected saltiness, especially if your brine was strong. Cut back on the salt to your liking.

    Question:
    Were the amounts of salt & brown sugar you stated per 1 gallon of water? If so, that's a LOT of salt (double what I use)! Perhaps you got the salt & sugar amounts switched.

    Either way, I prefer lower salt, so I actually use around 2/3 cup pickling salt per gallon water (rather than the 3/4 cup I give in the recipe). I have gone as low as 1/2 cup per gallon and it was still fine.


    The beauty of wet (or brine) curing is that you can easily control the saltiness to your liking by adjusting the strength (salinity) of the brine and it will work for any size roast/ham/bacon, etc. (within reason of course). This is because you are working off of equalization. If the brine is saltier than the meat, then salt/sugar will continue moving into the meat until they have equalized.

    So, once you figure out what salinity level you like, it won't matter if something happens and you have to leave the meat in the brine a few days longer. Once equalization has been reach, the meat won't get any saltier.




    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by TentHunter; 12-23-2018 at 06:06 AM.
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  3. #43
    Hi Cliff,
    You are the "man" when it comes to makin' bacon! I have read all that I could find on curing bacon and I want to put my MAK 2 through its first cure. However, I have recently been diagnosed with Diabetes, too. Do you have a recommendation (recipe) I could use that has no sugar in it, please? Thank you.
    MAK II Star #1605

  4. #44
    Onionhead, you can simply omit the sugar in any bacon recipe, HOWEVER, the bacon will have a harsher salt taste. It's best to simply cut back on the sugar.


    Since I was diagnosed with Diabetes what I've done is basically stuck with two recipes: My low carb/sugar Cider Mill bacon recipe, or the German style which has only enough sugar to balance the harshness of the salt, with no real detectable sweetness.

    Either of these recipes will do around 10 - 12 lbs of pork belly, and are both so low in sugar that you really don't have to worry about it!

    Low carb/sugar Cider Mill Bacon:

    4 Quarts Water
    2 Quarts Apple Cider (This is the only source of sugar, which is not much at all.)
    1 cup Pickling Salt
    6 tsp. Curing Salt #1


    Mix the ingredients into a brine. Either submerge in the Brine for 10 - 14 days (rotate/flip every couple days), or inject at a 30% rate and brine for 3 - 5 days. cold/hot smoke as normal. Allow to sit for 48 hours before slicing to allow the smoke to penetrate.

    Note: I prefer Applewood smoke for this, as it reinforces the cider and gives a very good deep penetrating smoke that will fill your house with a wonderful aroma when cooking it up!







    German Style Bacon or Ham:
    Wow is this stuff good - very different from typical American style bacon!

    6 Quarts Water
    1 cup Pickling Salt
    6 tsp. Curing Salt #1
    1/2 Cup Sugar
    1 TBS whole Peppercorns
    4 TBS Juniper Berries - slightly crushed
    1 1/2 tsp whole Coriander Seed
    2 large or 4 small Bay Leaves


    Slightly crush the juniper berries and simmer them, along with the peppercorns, coriander seed and bay leaves, for about 15 minutes in 2 - 3 cups of water. Allow to cool and add this as part of the 6 quarts of water. Mix in the rest of the ingredients into a brine.

    Either submerge in the Brine for 10 - 14 days (rotate/flip every couple days), or inject at a 30% rate and brine for 3 - 5 days. cold/hot smoke as normal. Allow to sit for 48 hours before slicing to allow the smoke to penetrate.

    Note: Beachwood is a traditional wood of choice for German ham/bacon, but if you can't find beachwood, just use oak.






    Best of wishes in dealing with your new lifestyle changes!
    Last edited by TentHunter; 11-23-2019 at 07:17 AM.
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  5. #45
    Thanks Cliff. I will try it both with Apple Cider and no sugar at all. I am not into any sweetness, so I'll see and let you know. Take care.
    MAK II Star #1605

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