Curing times?

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Jimtillo
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Curing times?

Post by Jimtillo » Wed Jan 27, 2021 23:59

Hi guys,

I'm new to the forum and I'm so glad I've found it, it seems to be such a font of knowledge.

I've been making cured meats and salami for a year or so now, and have a couple of questions that I can't seem to find a solid answer to, sorry if its been answered on here before, but here goes.

With cured whole muscle how long do you guys cure for prior to hanging, Ruhlman and Steve Lamb state 2-3 days per kg for most muscles, and only 1 day per kg for coppa using an eq cure method, (this never seems long enough to me).
Elias cario, from Olympia provisions does an 18 day cure (7 days then overhall then cure for a further 11 days), (possibly two long)
Jason molinari cures for two weeks, (no really variation in relation to size/weight of meat).

What do you guys aim for and why??

Secondly, with salami, I've noticed a lot of members on here cure the meat prior to grinding, and I've read your explanation as too why, originally I thought it was a hurdle in place of a starter culture but you guys have shed a different light on the subject so I'm tempted to try this on my next batch but wanted to ask a couple of questions first, do you add the liquid that would be drawn out of the meat during this process, or do you discard it. And do you notice a difference in texture of the finished sausage or is it purely for meat/fat definition?

Sorry for the long opening questions, and thanks in advance?

James
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Butterbean
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Re: Curing times?

Post by Butterbean » Thu Jan 28, 2021 01:09

Welcome to the forum James.

Your curing time question is a little complex but I'll try and answer it the best I can or at least how I look at it. First of all I think many people get in a rush to make things. I'm guilty of this myself but I think often its best to let the meat cure longer and by all means allow the meat ample time to equalize - this is often overlooked I feel. Also, if you are doing brine curing I think it best to forget whatever salt concentration a recipe may have in it because everyone has a different recipe for their brines. Instead, stick with one brine strength and familiarize yourself with how it does on different meat thicknesses but use their spice recipe (barring salt) and I think you will be better off in the long run.

On pre-curing the meat, this is best for a lot of reasons. Your myosin extraction is much better as will be your color. Personally, I use whatever juices are left because I see no need in changing to a clean lug. I feel sure once you make some sausages from pre-cured meats you will find proper mixing will be easier and your sausages will have a far better texture and flavor. Just my two cents.
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redzed
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Re: Curing times?

Post by redzed » Thu Jan 28, 2021 04:50

James, the easiest and best way to cure is to use the equilibrium method. That way we can be sure that we don't oversalt and have a lot more flexibility as to the curing time. In the EQ method, because we use so much less salt than in the conventional salt box method, the curing time is longer. Cuts like a coppa or lonza will need a minimum of two weeks, three weeks might even be better and if you are busy with other things, you can leave it curing even longer. I am currently curing a 13lb culatello and, it's now three weeks and I will leave it for a couple of weeks longer.

When you precure meat for salami (and smoked sausages) there will be no exudate to pour off because the salt swells the meat fibers and the water is retained. The salt and nitrite slows down the bacteria growth on and in the meat and fat. The salt and nitrite also firm the meat and fat and facilitate better grinding, better meat to fat definition, thus aiding in preventing fat smearing. Furthermore, the salt will lower your freezing point so when you freeze the fat and partially freeze the meat before grinding, you will be able to work at a lower temperature. Another benefit is that the colour development is already well developed by the time you grind the meat. Try it and you will see. Cube your meat, add salt and curing salt, pack tightly into a container, cover with saran wrap and leave in fridge for 2 - 3 days. Precuring is not practiced in commercial salami manufacturing because it takes more time and requires more space for storage. We hobbyists have all the time we want, and don't look for short cuts.
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