Curing Large Cuts of Meat - Cured Whole Muscle Meat 103
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Curing Large Cuts of Meat
Challenges of Curing Large Cuts of Meat
Curing Large Cuts of meat can be a challenge, as no matter how you do it, you are going to have more concerns about even distribution of the cure. This is why when curing larger cuts of meat, an injection process is generally recommended. If you try to brine or pickle something the size of a ham, you could run into an issue where the cure is going to gas out. You also have the issue of not being able to control exactly how much of the cure and seasoning gets into the meat.
What Does Gassing Out Mean?
Gassing out happens when the cure converts to gas and escapes the water before it is able to fully penetrate the meat. The problem with trying to cure larger cuts like a ham with just a pickle or brine is that you are relying solely on osmosis, so the skin and fat need to allow the sale, seasoning, and nitrite to pass through them to the center of the ham.
How To Overcome These Challenges
Injecting can help you with both of these issues. First, injecting can get your cure deeply and evenly distributed in the meat right away, so you aren’t wasting time waiting for the cure to penetrate the meat. This means that the cure is not converting to gas and escaping the brine solution as we are waiting for our meat to cure. It also allows us to be hyper-accurate with the amount of solution that we are getting into our meat. If we need a 10% pump and we have a 20 lb ham, we know that if we pump the ham until it weighs 22 lb, then we will have the exact amount of cure required.
Even if you inject, you will still need to hold the product overnight and cover it in a 50% solution to allow the cure to equalize in the meat. The best way to create a 50% strength solution is to measure the amount of solution you have left over and add that much weight in water to it. Or you could follow the initial mixing instructions and just add twice as much water as is recommended.
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