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I would also like to cure and smoke a bone-in pork loin, then cut it thin for breakfast chops. Chuletas ahumadas.
I’d love to hear how your dry-aging experiment goes. I have read that pork should not be dry-aged for as long as beef.
Pork loin went in January 19. I’m going to give it another week. Actually, I’m out of town most of next week, so I’m not going to be processing anything.
A 1/2 brisket went in January 15. And a venison roast went in January 22.
Let me go through your questions one at a time, so I don’t miss any.
Subjectively, I think the pork loin is doing well. It’s only been in for 16 days. poked with a finger, it doesn’t feel as firm as a beef cut would feel at pulling time. So — I’m going to give it another week.
Is it a boneless loin? Yes. And this is kindof a thing for me. This was a boneless loin from Sam’s Club. $1.98 / lb which is very cheap compared to beef. I don’t know what the price would be, but I know that I could buy a bone-in / T-bone / porterhouse pork loin from the local grocery. They have ’em. Sam’s doesn’t. If you have time, take a look at Compart-Duroc — they are selling aged pork chops for — bold — prices. I’m sure they have a great product and I wish them the best success in the world. And I’m looking at their claim that aged pork is superior and I’m kinda trying the same thing. And we’ll see if it makes a significant difference.
Because dry-aging is (at least) two different things. On the one hand, very simply, water is leaving the meat. Which means that the remaining meat has a more concentrated flavor.
The second thing is that, for most meats, there will be a breakdown in fibers and proteins and etc, and the end result will be a more tender meat.
There’s a lot of literature that says both of these things are happening for beef. There’s not as much about pork, but I think the “concentrating” thing will be working and I don’t know about the “breakdown” thing working.
But the people at Compart-Duroc — I’m guessing they are pretty sure, not only that it works, but also that people are willing to pay for it. So I’m willing to give it a whirl, and in a couple of weeks I expect to give you some real-world results.
I would appreciate any pointers you have on the subject of how long pork should be dry-aged. My preference would be to start with the scientific report and adjust for my own preference. I find that this forum is — independent. The conventional wisdom I’ve read calls for 30 days of dry-aging, and yet there are respected members of this forum who prefer DOUBLE that amount.
As for Chuletas ahumadas — I’m not sure of the technique. I can do bone-in. I can “cut it thin” — but I’m not sure I can cut a bone-in thing thinly. I lack the equipment.
And I think this enough for one post. I’ve got so many things happening today. Time to pull the duck prosciutto.