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Thread: Montreal Smoked Meat (Flavor Brine Cure Pumped)

  1. #11
    TVWBB Emerald Member Shawn W's Avatar
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    Kevin wrote in this thread:
    Prague #1 (Insta-Cure #1, Modern Cure, DC #1, DQ #1, et. al., all the '#1's) is 6.25% sodium nitrite and 93.75% salt. It's used in dry cures and in brine cures, primarily for meat that will be smoked (though not necessarily) and cooked for service. It's used at the rate of 1oz/25lbs meat or 1 level teaspoon/5lbs meat.

    Prague #2 (Insta-Cure #s, et. al., all the '#2's) is for dry-cured meats that require long aging (weeks or months) to cure and/or develop flavors and for products that do not require cooking, smoking, or refrigeration. It contains 1oz of sodium nitrite and .64oz sodium nitrate per pound of salt. Sodium nitrate acts as sort of a time-release cure and slowly breaks sown into sodium nitrite and then into nitric acid. It is also used at the rate of 1oz/25lbs meat or 1 level teaspoon/5lbs meat.

    Some #1 and #2 products are colored pink so that they can easily be distinguished from plain salt because large amounts of nitrite/nitrate can be dangerous. If you look at the figures above, very little nitrite or nitrate is needed per pound of meat to achieve the best cure, shelf life, and reduction of potential bacteriological activity. Just 6.25% of that single level teaspoon is sodium nitrite and this is enough for 5lbs of meat. This is why prague powders were developed in the first place. Because the amount of chemical(s) needed is so small manufacturers pre-mixed salt with the appropriate chemical(s) in the proper balance so that they could be more easily and correctly measured.
    I used this as a baseline for the back bacon, Kevin wrote in this thread:
    It should have been 12 ounces of salt/gallon of water. This ratio will provide preservative effects (though the typical amount is actually much more--1.3 to 1.6 lbs/gallon for commercial pump brines; I find this too much). If preservative effects aren't desired you can go lower.
    To put it together, though I used 2T prague/12oz salt/1 gal water as baseline for back bacon cure brine, based on the above I think I'd try 1t prague#1/12oz salt/1 gallon water for 5 lbs of brisket. Let it go say 4 days and go from there. That should be enough salt to cure and enough prague to pink the meat.

  2. #12
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    Shawn, I used 5ozs. in 2.5 gals of water for my cured Turkey breasts here.
    "When I die, I'll donate my body to science too see how big my smoke ring is "
    Lump, It's what I'm cooking over. Chris A, Thanks for letting me play here.

  3. #13
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    Let me clarify a couple or three points: In the paragraph quoted above I was trying to describe the nature of TQ, #1 and #2 and their uses. The rate I note (1 level tsp/5 lbs of meat) refers to an application where thorough direct contact is assured from the get-go, specifically, ground mixes for sausage.

    As we've discussed in other threads, cure ratios are dependent on techniques used. Direct application in a ground mix is different from direct application to an exterior of an intact cut, like belly, and, depending on cure time, direct application to a thick cut, like butt, might be different from the thinner belly. Curing brines are different from dry cures. Though 'direct', they're diluted. If you'll note the recipe that Tom posted, especially the ratio (1 quart water: 1.33 tsp prague) and then note the commentary:

    Most important thing that we found we had to do in order to approach the smoked pork chops you can buy was that we injected the loin in many places so as to get the brine uniformly throughout it. Our first try without injecting resulted in smoked pork chop taste only on the outside and that disappeared overnight in the fridge.

    you can see this clearly. Though that amount would have been enough were the butt ground for sausage, it was not enough for a curing brine alone, but was when the brine was injected. Ratios are, clearly then, different between straight curing brines and injection cures.

    Hope this helps.
    Kevin

  4. #14
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    Just to jump in as well with a few changes I have made (although as Shawn posted is excellent!).

    I did prefer a straight dry cure. I added the wine the first time I tossed this together but found it almost overpowered the other ingredients. The spice rub as posted is wicked. The only changes I made were to add some green peppercorns, a little cumin and some allspice. I have also since cut out the crushed red pepper. Like I say no reason really just personal tastes. I also let it cure for a long time (about three weeks for a good size packer).

    The next time I do this (probably not for a couple months, I have to run down to Seattle to get decent priced brisket) I am going to try and inject the cure into the brisket. Not sure how that will turn out but what the heck!

    Clark

  5. #15
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    Hi everyone, I recently had quite a bit of success with a combination of techniques listed here.

    I first brined the 4.5 lbs brisket for 5 days in:

    - 1 gallon water
    - 6 oz. kosher salt
    - 1 tsp Prague #1


    I then rubbed it with Shawn W's (fantastic) spice blend. I subsequently smoked it at 250 to 275, for about 10 hours until the internal temp was 180 to 185. I let it rest for an hour then sliced against the grain.

    The meat is tender, smoky and delicious. It has a nice pink colour. I am going to try steaming it today to reheat it, to see what effect this has.

    I will be playing with this recipe over the summer... I think I'll try adding some wine into the brine.

    cheers,
    MarkP

  6. #16
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    I am new to this group and I tried the smoked meat dry rub. totally awesome. I was wondering how to make the smoked meat more tender? Would leaving it in the fridge an extra week with the spice rub/morton tender quick help? I smoked it to 170 degrees.

  7. #17
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    No, curing longer won't do it. You have to cook til tenderness is achieved. For something like this I'd treat it like I treat pastrami: I'd cook to the point you did then would steam to finish.

    Welcome to the board!
    Kevin

  8. #18
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    I will have to try the steaming method with the leftover smoked meat. Someone on the board had suggested injecting the meat. Was wondering if they injected it with the dry rub mixture (mixed with water) and if it improved the flavor at all.
    Thanks for the tips. I learned a lot from reading everyone's comments.

  9. #19
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    Alan Corey, welcome to the board, from Corey Alan in Arizona... your name caught my eye for some reason: My first name is Corey, my middle name is Alan...
    My apoligies to Chris for wasting bandwidth on something so trivial and off topic.. this is however an interesting thread with great information, and I can't wait to try this recipe myself
    1990 22.5" Bar-B-Kettle, 1991 Performer, 1992 Master Touch, 2008 22.5" OTG, 2010 22.5" WSM
    People Who Don't Drink.. When they wake up in the A.M., That IS the BEST they will feel all Day. I WILL feel BETTER, as the day wears on!

  10. #20
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    Corey S. So unusual with the reverse name. Try the recipe. it is really good. We typically get smoked meats when we visit Montreal. But that is too far to go for a sandwich. Good to know that I can make my own. Take it easy Corey Alan from Alan Corey. :P

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