Bacon Cure Sanity Check

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by sabatour, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. sabatour

    sabatour Newbie

    So I just got done processing 20 lbs of pork belly yesterday. They were cut into chunks that weighed between 4 1/2 lbs to a little over 5. I have a scale that tells me the kg/g weight and I used one of the online calcs ( ) to get the right weight to weight measurement but I am a little concerned. I could have sworn I read somewhere that the general rule of thumb was a tablespoon of pink salt to 5 lbs of belly and it seemed more like half a tablespoon or a little less per belly chunk.

    Anyway just getting a basic sanity check on this to make sure I am good. 

    thanks in advance for the help guys! 

  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It's a teaspoon of pink salt per 5lbs, or 1/3 of a tablespoon. Sounds like you had the right amount.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  3. Got your answer 1 minute after posting....don't get much better than that.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yep 1 teaspoon per five pounds. Kudos for using the calculator and a digital scale. I can not stress this enough...Anybody that is considering curing anything, read and re-read the info until you know the weights, measures and assorted rules...COLD! Enjoy your Bacon...JJ
  5. sabatour

    sabatour Newbie

    Awesome and thanks for the fast response guys! 
  6. sabatour

    sabatour Newbie

    So each belly has now been in the fridge for 9 days (started at 41 degrees by accident but got it down to 37 on day 2).

    Each one in its own 2 gallon zip lock bag. 

    I added two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and one tablespoon of water to help keep things moist.  

    I have been rubbing and flipping the bellies once a day and plan on going to about 18 days or so. 

    The question I have is it seems like the liquid has been soaked into the belly but from stuff I have read, I was expecting more liquid as the cure pulled out the moisture. This concerns me. Will there be any signs when I hit the 18 day mark if it is spoiled or something went wrong? Will there be any signs that things worked as expected? 

    thanks guys!

  7. trueteam

    trueteam Smoke Blower

    I have never cured a belly that long. I wouldn't worry about the liquid. Sometimes I have quite a bit and sometimes I don't.
  8. trueteam

    trueteam Smoke Blower

    The belly should be firm to the touch when cured properly. I would think you would be able to smell if the meat went bad. It sounds like you measured out the cure properly so I wouldn't worry about that. I use that calculator as well when mixing my own cure. Sometimes I use TQ.
  9. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For belly pork you do not have to leave it that long. Even for Loin I find mine only needs 10 days. For the type of curing you are doing curing for longer isn't a problem though but I think 18 days is significantly longer than you need. Because you added a precise amount of curing salts to a known amount of meat according to Martin's calculator, then you cannot really "over cure" - but I would not leave it any longer than 10-12 days.

    The amount of brine produce by the meat is variable. I find it produces quite a lot in the first few days when the salt concentration on the outside is strongest but then much of it does get reabsorbed. It is similar to the meat taking up water when it is immersion brining - only in this case it is reabsorbing the initial water that it lost. I usually cure loin pork however in my brining tests in another thread the belly pork absorbed significantly more brine than the loin so don't worry that all the brine was absorbed.

    I am looking forward to some photos [​IMG]  
  10. sabatour

    sabatour Newbie

    As always thanks for the great responses guys!

    Well looks like I will get it out of the brine and bags and prep them for some smoke this weekend. Will make sure I snap some pics of the process and post them here to this thread.

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