The dry cure method entails rub bing meat with curing ingredients. Check the internal temperature of the largest cut. Be sure it is below 40° F. Federal meat inspection regulations state that the temperature of meat being dry cured should not be allowed to go below 36° F during the salt cure equalization period. Weigh the meat and curing ingredients accu rately. For lOO pounds of meat, use an 8-2-2 mix.
Federal meat inspection regu lations state that the salt (cure) equal ization period for hams and picnics is usually less than about 40 days or 3 days per pound of product (fresh weight). Bellies are commonly cured about 7 days per inch of thickness. The curing pork should be stored in a refrigerated place where a con stant temperature between 36° F and 42° F is maintained. Bacteria grow rapidly in unsalted meat when the temperature rises above 50° F. After curing, soaking the meat will improve its quality and appearance. Soak in lukewarm water (not exceeding 70° F) for approximately 2 minutes for each day in cure. Soaking tends to distribute the seasoning more evenly and draws out some of the heavy salt concentration on the meat surface. Hang cuts up to dry for about 3 hours before smoking.
* 8 pounds salt * 2 pounds sugar ‘ 2 ounces sodium nitrate (dry cure only)