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How do you determine the (minimum) curing time?

This topic is very complex and the greatest challenge, especially for beginners. Because a well-cured piece of meat requires a lot of patience. What counts: it is better to brine longer than too short!

There are smokers who generally cure for several weeks regardless of the weight of the meat. There is nothing wrong with that, as long curing times make the meat pleasantly tender.

There are different curing methods and each one takes its own time, as the salt balance takes place at different speeds. It also depends on the section used. A lean piece is cured faster than z. B. a piece of pork belly with rind, as the salt pulls much more slowly through the rind and fat.

In the following you will find rules of thumb for the different curing methods Minimumfind curing time. Yes, you read that right. These rules of thumb only serve to avoid curing that is far too short.

I pick z. b. in a vacuum never less than two weeks, even with thin and lean pieces. I usually even give myself three to four weeks.

But now to the rules of thumb:

Rules of thumb for minimum curing times

With these formulas you can easily determine the curing times for the respective method. If that is too complicated for you, use the curing time calculator on our website. As a reminder: The calculated values ​​are in each case the Minimumcuring time. In addition to curing is i. d. Usually no problem:

Curing in a vacuum / curing in your own brine

1 cm meat thickness = 1 day curing time

The diameter at the thickest point counts. To do this, simply lay the meat flat on the table and then see where it is highest. If meat is cured with rind, two days should be added to the result. If you want to be sure, never brine for less than two weeks.

Wet curing

1kg meat weight = 7 days of curing time

The heaviest piece in the curing vessel counts. Wet curing is particularly suitable for larger quantities from approx. 10kg. Alternatively, you can use the rule of thumb for curing in your own brine. Old hands generally set at least 3 weeks for wet curing, even if the largest piece does not require this time according to a rule of thumb. See also the article Can you brine for too long?

Spritz curing / quick curing

The curing time is always 2-3 days, regardless of the meat weight.

Real dry curing

1 cm meat thickness = 20 hours of curing time

The diameter at the thickest point counts. To do this, simply lay the meat flat on the table and then see where it is highest. If meat is cured with rind, two days should be added to the result.

More information about the curing methods

We have explained the different curing methods in a separate article: The different curing processes

Ronny

Graduate meat sommelier and author of the book "Praxisratgeber Schinken & Speck" (ISBN: 978-3-200-04960-4). Co-author and technical advisor of this website.

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