Brine tester

Recipes and techniques using brine.

Brine tester

Postby senorkevin » Thu May 01, 2014 2:19 pm

I am thinking about trying to brine a ham. However I am a little worried as most recipes I have seen call for "Morton salt". my questions are:
1. Do I need to use Morton salt or could I make my own?
2. Do I need to buy a brine tester?
Many thanks
An Englishman living in México.
There'e not such thing as a stupid question, just a stupid answer!
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Re: Brine tester

Postby johngaltsmotor » Thu May 01, 2014 5:34 pm

Morton is a brand name of salt in the US, so other salt suppliers could be used. It is more important to use the same type of salt: pickling, table, sea, Kosher (Morton makes all of these types and more.)

A salinometer is not absolutely required, however because you would be using a different salt you want to be extra careful measuring the salt and water. Different salts (Kosher, table, rock, sea) have different grain sizes so the same volume would provide a different mass. This could greatly affect the salinity of your brine.
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Re: Brine tester

Postby senorkevin » Thu May 01, 2014 5:58 pm

Do you know any brine recipes without used a branded salt just making my own mix from scratch?
An Englishman living in México.
There'e not such thing as a stupid question, just a stupid answer!
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Re: Brine tester

Postby Tasso » Fri May 02, 2014 12:58 am

It's always best to weigh your salt, but if the recipe you are using gives volume measurements of a particular common popular brand and type of salt, then you can work out the equivalent weight. What exactly does your brine recipe call for?

Regular table salt, such as Morton's table salt or pickling and canning salt, weighs about 10 ounces per cup. Morton's Kosher Salt weighs about 7.7 ounces per cup. Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt weighs about 5 ounces per cup. So if your recipe calls for 2 cups of Morton's plain pickling and canning salt, you would need 20 ounces.

Also, see this page. http://www.dadcooksdinner.com/2012/02/s ... eight.html

You should avoid using salt with iodine and anti-caking additives when brining, pickling, canning, making sausage, cure blends, etc.
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Re: Brine tester

Postby senorkevin » Fri May 02, 2014 1:54 am

Great thanks. I don't have any brine recipes yet but the one I checked called for Morton. I live in Mexico at it is hard to find things like pickling salt etc. I can't even find curing salt numbers one and two! That's why I was asking if I could make my own.
An Englishman living in México.
There'e not such thing as a stupid question, just a stupid answer!
senorkevin
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Re: Brine tester

Postby Tasso » Fri May 02, 2014 2:49 am

It would be difficult, probably impossible, to make your own curing salts. If you can't buy cure #1 and #2, then it's very unlikely you can buy sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate to mix with salt to make your own cure #1 and #2. It would be dangerous to attempt, as the pure nitrite and nitrate are highly toxic. Plus, I don't think it is just mixed with salt in granular form. I think they are made into a solution that is then recrystallized so that the sodium nitrite or nitrate are in a homogeneous mix with the salt.

Cured meat products aren't all that popular or common in Mexico, from what I've heard. But if you're in a big city like Mexico City or Monterrey or somewhere that has a good-sized foreign community, you might see if you can find a butcher shop that caters to the expats. You might be able to source curing salts from a butcher who makes American or European sausages or hams.
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