Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cured Meat: Observations and questions

I placed my bresaola into my chamber a month ago at a weight of 725 grams. I weighed it today and found it to be 457 grams. It is not covered in, but has a fair amount of, white stuff. The white stuff is not fuzzy, green or black so I am assuming all is good in the world.

% weight loss = 100 * (725-457)/725 = 36.9%

I am shooting for 40% loss so I stuck it back in.

Q1. Is the same way other folks calculate weight loss? It seems straight forward to me but just want to check.

Q2. Is this much weight loss typical for 1 month? I thought this would be a 2-3 month process.

I have been curing a lonzino along side of my bresaola. Both of them were trussed with twine and hung without a casing. The bresaola was trussed with a hemp twine and the pork loin with butcher twine. What I saw some with my bresaola and to a massive degree with my lonzino is that I am getting green mold every place that the twine touches the meat. About every three days I am scrubbing my meat with vinegar to knock the mold down. Today I got disgusted and cut the twine off. My plan is to rest the lonzino on a cooling rack and rotate/flip it every day to avoid prolonged contact of the meat with the metal.

Q3. Anyone else have problems getting green mold when trussing with twine? I know Scott had an issue with this but looking at his picture it seems like the mold was away from the twine.

Another oddity about the lonzino…this guy weighed in at ~3 lbs. I applied a typical cure and let it sit for 11 days. After the first few days it released a lot of water. By the end of the cure the excess water had vanished. When I weighed it prior to hanging it had increased in weight by almost exactly how much cure I added. That it, the loin released the water and then sucked it back up.

Q4. Is it typical for a pork loin to reabsorb its expelled liquid?


  1. I calculate my weight loss based on what it weighs going into the box, cased and all. This has worked well to date.

    Your weight loss is about right for a month.

    What happens with the reabsorbtion would be akin to brining. Nothing to worry about, I've had it happen and everything was fine, may take a couple exrtra days to dry out.

    With regards to your mold issues. When I have had bad mold, it did seem to appear near the twine as well. I typically spray my salumi with M-EK-4, so, I don't usually get bad mold. It happens, just stay on top of it. The mold issue is the biggest reason I use casings. Takes a lot longer to get into the meat when using a casing.

  2. Scott,

    Thanks for the input, it is helpful to get the info. Looks like I might start spraying mine with M-EK-4 as well.