Sugar Brine Cure is used for traditional meat cure. All formulas for
the sugar brine cure are practically the same
varying only a little in the proportions of sugar, pickling salt and
peter (sodium nitrate).
have a formula that you have tried for years and have
found it to be satisfactory there is no reason you should attempt a
new one. But for those who want to try a different formula or
recipe we will give you this reliable one that is widely used and
indorsed by many meat producers and several agricultural colleges.
container should be scalded thoroughly. Sprinkle a layer of
salt over the bottom and over each layer of meat as it is packed
in, skin down. When full, cover meat with boards and weight down
with a stone so that all will be below the brine, which is made as
Sugar Brine Cure
out for each 100 pounds of meat, 8 pounds of salt, 2
pounds of sugar (preferably brown) or 3 pounds of molasses, and 2
ounces of salt peter. Dissolve all in 4 gallons of water. This
should be boiled, and when thoroughly cooled, cover the meat. Seven
days after brine is put on, meat should be repacked in another
barrel in reverse order. The pieces that were on top should be
placed on the bottom. The brine is poured over as before. This is
repeated on the fourteenth and twenty-first days, thus giving an
even cure to all pieces. Bacon should remain in the brine from four
to six weeks, and hams six to eight weeks, depending on the size of
the pieces. When cured, each piece should be scrubbed with tepid
water and hung to drain several days before smoking; no two pieces
should come in contact.
NOTE: For all curing always use
pickling salt and
not table salt, as the latter contains starch to keep it dry
and this starch may cause the meat to spoil. If you carefully
follow these directions you will have delicious sugar-cured hams
Pickling Salt or Dairy
fine-grained salt that has no additives and is generally used in brines
to pickle foods. Unlike table salt, the lack of additives will help
keep the pickling liquid from clouding.
|Did You Know?
ancestors cured meat for a couple of reasons. One of the most important
was safety. There are many curing techniques that were developed in the
days before refrigeration that are continued today for traditional
reasons. A good example is corned beef. Old-time butcher shops closed
every weekend. Ice, the only refrigerant available, could not
dependably hold fresh meat for two days. To keep unsold meat from
going to waste, the butcher soaked the meat in a strong brine or
covered it with coarse salt to trigger osmosis. The grains of salt were
called "corn" in England, and the name "corned beef" stuck with the
When meat is cold smoked its temperature often stays in the danger zone
for several hours or days. Many environmental factors of this treatment
are such that the growth of dangerous bacteria is greatly accelerated.
The curing of the meat inhibits this growth.
Meat is also cured for
one other reason, color. Using Prague powder is
what gives meat its pink color.