Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 11 hours
- 100 lbs pork
- 8 lbs salt (Note: 1 part salt to 48 parts water)
- 2 lbs brown sugar
- 5 gallons water
Pack the pieces of meat into clean barrels or earthenware crocks, placing them as close together as possible. Now pour the cold brine over the meat making absolute certain the meat is completely covered. Put a board over the meat that just fits inside the container and place weights on it to make sure that the meat is emerged in the brine. When curing larger and smaller pieces of meat at the same time, place the larger pieces on the bottom and the smaller ones on top. This is so the smaller ones can be lifted out without disturbing the larger pieces. The small pieces do not take as long to cure as the bigger ones.
The meat should be cured in a temperature that is just above freezing. If the meat is cured at a warmer temperature the brine may show signs of souring. If this should happen, remove the meat and soak it in lukewarm water for an hour or so. Wash the meat in fresh cold water and be sure to throw out the soured brine. Clean out the container, repack the meat and make a fresh brine in original proportions.
Bacon sides and loins require 2 days per pound in this brine.
Shoulders will take 3 days per pound.
Hams will take 4 days per pound.
After the pork is cured the pieces should be soaked in warm water and then washed in cold water or even scrubbed with a brush to remove any scum that may have accumulated during the curing process.
Hang the meat by very heavy cords in the smoke house and allow to drain 24 hours before starting the smoking.
Hard wood is the best to use for smoking and the temperature in the smoke house should be 100-120 degrees F. The ventilators should be left open at first to allow any moisture to escape. Smoke until desired flavor and color is arrived at.