Tasso of Cured Pork

This experiment did not turn out well but some lessons learned. See links and comments from SMF about curing as good stuff there.

Mary bought a boneless 3.83 lb. pork shoulder the day before and the meat has not been frozen.

10/1/2016 – 6:30 AM Trimmed off loose and large fat and it weighed 1690 gms (3.7 lb.). Covered loosely with the water–both weighting 2594 gms. Using cure calculator at  http://www.diggingdogfarm.com/page2.html for 156 PPM nitrite mixed into the water.

  • 7 gms Cure #1 – Calculator said 6.47 but new Taylor scale is only to the nearest gram.
  • 46 gms Kosher Salt – Calculator said 45.81 for a 2% solution
  • 12 gms Sugar – Calculator said 25.94 for a 1% solution but that look like too much for us.

Put it all into The Briner Jr. and into the refer. Stirred every evening.

10/8/2016, Saturday, 8 AM – Dumped meat into colander and let drain for ~30 minutes.

There seemed to be a lot less free water so submitted inquiry to Smoking Meat Forum and got into several conversations about cure methodology. Became concerned that I had too much nitrite in the meat but finally found DirtSailors post about equilibrium curing and then DaveOmak responded about how many pounds of meat one needed to eat to get a toxic load of nitrites and that the heat of the planned hot smoke will also destroy a lot of the nitrites. Dave referred to a great site on this issue that is here.

In the afternoon, submerged the meat twice to remove any surface salt and cure. Back into colander to drain again. Fried a small piece and it did not taste salty nor like it needed salt.

5:00 PM – Placed on a baking pan and seasoned with the mix below based on Chef John Folse’s recipe. The quantity of rub left the meat well covered but you could still see the meat as it was not nearly caked on.

  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Louisiana Gold Pepper  Crystal Hot Sauce as Louisiana Gold is tobasco based
  • 1/4 cup fresh cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup salt   Reduced to 1/8th cup as the pork has been in the cure for a week. Plus what it tasted like when I fried a small piece and it was not overly salty but could use a little more.
  • 1/2 cup granulated garlic

Chef Folse said to work the Worcheshire plus hot sauce and let it marinate. Then add the dry seasoning but I did it backwards as I forgot the liquids go first. Back into a bowl, covered with clear wrap and in the refer until 2 PM the next day.

20161009_20062010/9/16, Sunday, 2:15 PM – Some water had seeped out of the meat-maybe a half cup. Spread the meat on wire grates at 2:15 and put on kitchen table with floor and ceiling fan moving the air gently.

3:00 – Put the trays into the MES that was preheated and set to 150 but had coasted up to 175. Loading cooled the box thermo down to 160 and 144 at the air probe in left front on the third grate down. Amazn tray is going well with CookinPellets Perfect Mix.

4:30 – Temp is down to 150 +- and door glass has some moisture. It is less than in the past. It was less in yesterdays CSR smoke and maybe due to the first time I had the chip tray pull out 1.5″ per Amazn’s instruction. That allows more air flow that removes moisture. The many small pieces of meat are surely evaporating a lot more water than the large CRSs yesterday.

5:00 – MES temp is 153 and at door is 133. Reset MES to 170. IT on a thicker piece is 123 up from 122 30 minutes ago.

6:00 – MES temp is 179 and at door is 159. IT is 133.

7:30 – MES had timed out and I found it luke warm. Removed grates and found the thicker pieces (3/4″ or so thick) without the fat rendered, tough and stringy. They were also very spicy. Put the grates into the convection oven at 350 to complete cooking them.

8:30 – Removed it from the oven and the pieces looked much smaller. A lot of the fat had rendered and moisture baked out. It was tough and very spicy but not too salty. Disappointed! Put the pieces into zip lock bags and into the refer.

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