Pork chips

The pork loin is the leanest muscle, containing almost no fat and membrane. When frying the pork loin comes a bit dry and tasteless. Like most of pork cuts it needs to be spiced by a good mixture of spices.
My task was to combine hot smoking and curing. This mixed procedure greatly reduces time of cooking and as a result you got a very interesting product.

Salting was made in airtight bag with the following spices inside:

  • Salt — 2.1%
  • CUR#1 — 0.25%
  • Brown sugar — 0.5%
  • Black pepper — 0.3%
  • Granulated garlic — 0.3%

The meat had been salted for 5 days. Afterwards it was dried and massaged well with the following spices:

  • Red hot pepper
  • Sweet smoked paprika
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Bay leaf

The proportion was 1 teaspoon per a piece of 2 kg (cut in half). After that the meat was placed in elastic net and sent to fridge to get saturated with aromas and dry out, as well.

In a few days came time of hot smoking. 8 hours at 85C until the temperature reached 74C inside the meat. The smoking was done with pecan.

And now the most interesting thing. During all the previous procedures the meat lost 20% of its weight, due to the loss of moisture, and what I had to do was only to place it in chamber (also possible in a cool, dark place) for final drying. Since the pork loin passed heat treatment it meant that the meat was ready to eat. But I was interested in drying it till standard 45% loss of weight.

So this happened during 2 weeks of drying (instead of 2,5 months for a piece like this). By touch the pork loin was very hard and could hardly spring. Of course, I kept it in airtight bag for a week for a standard equilibration (equilibration of moisture in all the piece). I could not cut it with a simple knife, so I had to use a slice machine.

The pork loin turned out nice-looking, with a fine mixture of spice flavors and nut smell.

When cutting slices became curved shaped and looked like potato chips.

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