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Drying Rate for Whole Muscles

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 16:37
by jrittvo
I've had my first 3 pieces dry curing for a few weeks now, so I am able to calculate the rate at which they have been losing moisture. I have my chamber set at 75% humidity, but I think that with fluctuations as the humidifier cycles, it is actually a bit below that.

I dried a 3/4 pound pork tenderloin to 65% original weight and it came out very well, I think, with no case hardening. While the perimeter is a bit darker and dryer than the center, it is still "flexible". It lost about 2.4% of weight each day, and took about 2 weeks to dry. Seems too fast.

The other two pieces are pork loin, at 1.5 pounds and at 2 pounds. They are each losing right about 1% a day. At that rate, they will take 5 weeks to hit a loss of 35%, my target for this run.

In your experiences, are these drying rates ok, or should I raise the humidity in the chamber some? Is there a rule of thumb for the best rate of weight loss?

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 17:00
by Bob K
I would raise the humidity level up to 80- 82%.

The pork tenderloin will dry much faster with the smaller diameter, not unlike different caliber chubs. The loins will take much longer as the drying rate will s-l-o-w down.

Drying Rates seem normal. If you can wait that long 40-42% seems to be the sweet spot for drying Loins......

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 18:35
by jrittvo
Thank you for this advice. Your drying humidity is higher than I usually see listed for muscles, but again, I think my 75% setting is going to be too low for larger pieces, so I'm game to bump it up to just above 80%.

My next try is going to be salami, probably in 2.25" to 2.5" casings. I would like to dry them along with the whole muscles in the same chamber. I was planning to run all at 77% humidity, but with your higher recommendation for the muscles, 80% to 82% would likely be a better balance.

(I need to learn how to post pictures here, and I'll do that over the weekend.)

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 18:57
by jrittvo
Testing image linking. If this works, these are of my first dried meat, a pork tenderloin, as noted above:




Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 23:55
by Bob K
That really looks great!

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 00:53
by jrittvo
Thanks! I trust your eyes a lot more than mine, but with help and advice, I`ll get there slowly.

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 01:11
by Butterbean
Looks wonderful