Starting weight and finish weight

Air dried cured Meat Techniques

Starting weight and finish weight

Postby ryankelley » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:44 pm

I'm confused about seeking a 30% drop in overall weight during drying. Is the starting weight based on pre or post cure measurements?

I just made my second pancetta. It's absolutely delicious, but it only dropped 12.3% after two weeks...I'm basing this on the post cure starting weight. I pulled it down because it didn't seem to be losing anymore weight over the last 3-5 days. Maybe if it hung another week or two is might have dropped more, but I didn't want to risk it.

It seems a bit moist inside...definitely drier than I started. I definitely can eat this cooked, but I doubt anyone would advise eating it as is on a butcher's board with cheese and crackers...which is what I was hoping for. I used Ruhlman's recipe with cure #2.
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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby wheels » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:35 pm

Is it flat or rolled? Is it very fatty? Fat doesn't lose weight like meat, so 17 - 25% weight loss for a pancetta is quite normal. Two weeks isn't long; I'd leave it longer unless it's for cooking, in which case it could be OK now.

HTH

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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby ryankelley » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:51 pm

I rolled it. Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/yevfE6QPURVncQcP6

I'm guessing it's 50/50 meat to fat. I didn't consider this as part of the drying variable.

The flavor is outstanding. I used Ruhlman's recipe. Drying conditions were not ideal...50 degrees, 30% humidity. I knew that it might not dry properly, but I was okay with it because I would just eat it cooked if it didn't drop 30% in weight.
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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby BriCan » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:42 am

ryankelley wrote: Drying conditions were not ideal...50 degrees, 30% humidity.


Humidity is too low so it would/will take a month of Sundays to even get close to being dry and will have case hardening -- need to be looking 65% to 70% on humidity
But what do I know
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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby wheels » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:39 pm

I agree with Brican: up the humidity. Other than that, 12.3% seems fine for two weeks in with a rolled pancetta. It just needed longer (at the correct RH)

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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby ryankelley » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:05 pm

I know the humidity wasn't where it needed to be. I just wonder if I'm supposed to base the weight reduction off the pre-cure or post cure measurement.

Thanks
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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby wheels » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:57 pm

FWIW, I've always gone on meat/product weight at the start. I think that as long as you are consistent it doesn't matter too much 'cos after a couple you'll find out what your particular preference is.

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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby BriCan » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:21 am

I always do post cure as this is what is normally required within the trade ...

But as Wheels has stated do what is best for you ... but just make sure you do it the same all the time and most of all keep diligent records of everything you do :)
But what do I know
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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby ryankelley » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:48 pm

Okay. Thanks for the information.

Next month I'm going to take a different approach and see if I can get humidity up where it needs to be. It's dry around here this time of year and I don't have space to make a permanent drying chamber.
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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby wheels » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:24 pm

Over here, the EU Quid declaration/calculation is based on total ingredients weight (meat spice, salt etc) against the finished product weight. It adjusts for fat above 20% VL.

However, thinking about it, post cure's probably easier 'cos of the additional weight of casings, string etc. My spreadsheet automatically compensates for these so I see an adjusted percentage alongside the 'official' one. But I'm a bit of a pedant!

Brican: do you have to state the amount of meat in each kg/lb of product as sold? Over here you'll see statements like "made with 125g Pork per 100g product".

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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby ryankelley » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:01 pm

I assume it's likely to dry out better if I don't roll the pancetta.

I have ambition of trying some other charcuterie this spring: Bersaola and Coppa Ruhlman says these are the easiest whole muscles to cure/dry.

I have a couple venison tenderloins frozen. I wonder what would happen if I treated it as a bersaola. They are small, thin, and should dry easy.
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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby NCPaul » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:48 pm

I don't know if you have ever read Jason's post here:

http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2008/08/ ... f-all.html

I like doing it this way as well.
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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby kil2k » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:41 pm

NCPaul wrote:I don't know if you have ever read Jason's post here:

http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2008/08/ ... f-all.html

I like doing it this way as well.


Sounds almost exactly how I'm making bacon, except I'm using Cure #1. Any idea why he's using Cure #2 for such a short cure?
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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby NCPaul » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:21 pm

I believe he leaves it in his curing chamber for much longer than the 2 week minimum time he gives. When I last did it, I left it in the fridge for at least a month.
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Re: Starting weight and finish weight

Postby kil2k » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:43 pm

NCPaul wrote:I believe he leaves it in his curing chamber for much longer than the 2 week minimum time he gives. When I last did it, I left it in the fridge for at least a month.


Ahhhhhh, cheers. I also got hung up about the bacon angle, so forgot it's going to need Cure #2 if it's to be eaten raw! :roll:
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