Quick Curing

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Butterbean
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Quick Curing

Post by Butterbean » Sat Jan 12, 2019 17:51

Lately I've run across several recipes for whole muscle meat curing where you cover the meat in salt for 12-24 hours then remove the meat and give it a gentle rinse in white wine then season and hang to dry. This caught my interest as I've never cured meat this way and normally do equilibrium cures or brine cures which may take days if not weeks to complete but was wondering if anyone has tried this and if they liked it.

While I can see where this will not give precise control of the salt content my curiousity got the best of me and I've given it a try on some coppa and a loin just to see for myself. I hope it won't be a train wreck. Anyone try this method before?
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redzed
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Post by redzed » Sat Jan 12, 2019 19:06

Might work on small cuts, but I think trying it on a coppa is risky. It takes longer for the the salt and nitrite to penetrate through the honeycomb pattern of fatty connective tissue.

When it comes to dry curing, I am a disciple of the equilibrium curing. And while you might be able to speed up the process, I think 12-24 hours is not enough time. You want the curing ingredients to penetrate thoroughly and then also have time to even out inside. Nitrite also requires time to do its magic. It will be interesting to see how your experiment comes out.
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Post by Butterbean » Sat Jan 12, 2019 19:54

I'm in total agreement with you on the equilibrium curing. I like the precision and control this gives and I don't think you can screw up if you do your math right.

I can see how this other way could work but I believe a lot of variables will come into play.

First, they say to gently remove the excess salt so if done properly. This is subjective to say the least. I suspect the remaining salt and cure would continue to do its thing during the hanging time but knowing just how much salt to remove is a guessing game and I think you will either come out with a salt lick or something without enough salt to do the job. I don't know.

I just thought I'd give it a go for heck of it. One thing that surprised me was the amount of moisture that was revoved from the coppa meat in one night when the meat was totally submerged in salt.

To further test this I took two loins and did a side by side experiment with them. One equilibrium cured and the other smothered in tenderquick. The EQ loin looked about the same this morning but this one I plan to cure for three weeks but the TQ smothered one had released a lot of moisture probably four times that of the other and was much firmer by comparison.


I removed this loin from the cure and wiped it off but didn't rinse with wine (another experiment) My thought was this would leave more salt on this one to insure there was ample salt to continue the curing process in case I may have rinsed the other meats to well with the wine.


Lot of uncertainty here, lot of variables which may result in a salt lick and some rotten meat. Gonna be interesting. Just hope I'm not a cat because you know what they said about curiousity killing the cat. :lol:

I'll keep you posted.
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Re: Quick Curing

Post by Butterbean » Tue Feb 12, 2019 06:07

I sliced into one of the "tests" using the quick cure method and it turned out very good I thought. Though I fell I think still feel equillibrium curing is better because it gives you more control over salt level I do see where this method could be useful if someone had to rely on weather or didn't have sufficient refrigeration space such as if you were butchering pigs on site.

Using this method, I think, requires more thought and understanding and would be something that is more easily shown than explained. I'm not implying that I am some skilled artisan or anything like that but there were some things I kept in mind when I was handling the meat such as the step where you "gently wash" the salt off the meat. What does gently washing mean exactly? I don't know, but what I kept in mind was I didn't want to wash all the salt off the meat just the better portion of it since the salt still had a ways to go to properly cure the meat. This could easily prove problematic to someone and could lead to either having too much salt or too little salt left on the meat when it is stuffed. In my case I'd say I got lucky because this turned out really nice. Maybe a hair more salty than what I would normally make but its pretty good.

At the moment, I wouldn't be afraid to do it again and probably will since I'll soon be raising and butchering my own hogs again and I think this will work out well. However, I still have a few test subjects in the works which may bust my balloon.

No matter what, I was impressed at how fast meat would dry when fully buried in salt. It seemed that in just a few hours of being fully buried in salt the meat was as firm as meat EQ'ed for two weeks. But again, with this speed there is a loss of control and I suspect it would be very unforgiving if you got sidetracked on another project or forgot to pull the meat when you are supposed to. I think this would explain why some who cure longer using this method will soak the meat in tepid water for so many hours which seems contradictory to what you are trying to achieve when you are trying to dry the meat.

So far, the jury is still out but its been interesting thus far. Here is some capicola I sliced today.
I sliced into one of the "tests" using the quick cure method and it turned out very good I thought. Though I fell I think still feel equillibrium curing is better because it gives you more control over salt level I do see where this method could be useful if someone had to rely on weather or didn't have sufficient refrigeration space such as if you were butchering pigs on site.


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Re: Quick Curing

Post by Butterbean » Sat Jun 01, 2019 14:32

I wanted to revisit this thread and let everyone know the jury's verdict of my little experiment. The short of it is the equilibrium curing is the best but I have to confess I was pretty impressed with the quick curing and think with some practice could use this method to make a comparable product to that which was EQ'ed. The differences in the final product wasn't much other than one thing which was the quick cured product seemed to have a saltier outer layer therefore it lacked the uniformity the equilibrium curing offered.

Personally, I think this could be overcome with some practice since in this process it calls for gently rinsing the excess salt off the outer portion of the meat before you stuff and hang. Obviously, I was too GENTLE with the rinse and to be fair I don't think the average person would have detected much if any difference between the two. Both were cured completely through and both had uniformity in color it was just that hint of extra saltiness on the outer rim of the product that shed any difference.

Reflecting on this it reminds me of how my mentor first taught me how to brine cure meat using saltpeter and a strong 70 degree brine. His system worked wonderfully as long as you stuck to a strict schedule which was based on meat thickness. However, if you had a brain fart and forgot to remove the meat at the proper time and did not thoroughly rinse it then the result was an overly salty product. I feel his method - like this method - relies on a quick and heavy salting of the outer portion and relied on this equalization of the salt through the product during the hang time. I've made some great products this way but have also had some failures where I forgot to remove the meat in the proper time. So again, the equilibrium curing wins out on this because it gives you an insurance policy for those with forgetful minds.

In summary, I have to say I was actually surprised at how well things worked. And yes, I'd do it again if I was in a bind for time but I believe in all the EQ curing wins out.
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Re: Quick Curing

Post by Ferlizh » Thu Jun 06, 2019 13:56

Interesting way of curing to be honest. But for some reason I think it works on small pieces.
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Re: Quick Curing

Post by Butterbean » Thu Jun 06, 2019 20:30

Ferlizh wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 13:56
Interesting way of curing to be honest. But for some reason I think it works on small pieces.
In the experiment I used coppa and loin so it wasn't too small.
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