Bacon Curing......... does it need to go into a bag of some sort?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by hondabbq, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. I work in a commercial kitchen and have access to large sheet pans, inserts, and of course walk in fridges etc.

    When curing bacon, can I just use inserts wrapped in plastic wrap and flipped daily an re wrapped,  or does it need to go into ziplocs or food saver bags?
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Better to use ziplock bags. With either a wet or dry cure.

  3. thanks, but can you elaborate why bags need to be used? Is there a reason?
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You don't want any air touching the bacon, if your using a brine it needs to be completely submerged, you can hold it down with a bag of ice in a bucket or pan. If you are dry curing it, the liquid it will produce needs to be in contact with the bacon with no air in between. I brine my bacon & I can put a whole belly in one 2 1/2 gallon bag with 1 gallon if brine. No need to turn it, just let it go for 2 weeks.

  5. Thanks Al,

    You say if dry curing it the slab needs to be in contact with the liquid released form the belly. If it is sitting in an insert it would be sitting in its own juices so no air gap at all between meat and liquid. I would still as previously done, flip daily.

    I can lay plastic film tightly over the top of the belly and over wrap the entire insert so no air is in contact with the  belly. Will that work?

    I have put them into food saver bags for the 10 day dry cure in the past but this time instead of cutting the bacon into slabs and measuring out 3 different weights and seasonings for each slab I wanted to just to do it whole, thus putting the slabs into inserts instead of bags.
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It sounds like it may work, but I think this should be answered by Chef Jimmy J. If he doesn't see this thread then please PM him. He will be able to give you a definite answer. Sorry, but I don't want to say something that I'm not sure about. Especially when safety is an issue.

  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Should be no issue. Flip frequently. I have Dry Rub Cured bacon in a food grade plastic Fish Tub that is common in restaurants. I did have one batch get funny tasting but I neglected to turn and massage the slabs frequently enough...JJ
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Is your smoker big enough to put a whole slab in it in one piece? I thought you had a BGE.

    I cut my Slabs in 3 equal pieces & put them each in their own Ziplock. That makes them just the right size for 2 on a rack in my MES 40.

    The smaller pieces are much easier to handle too, unless you have a big smoker & can just flop it in or hang it in a Smoke House.

  9. I ordered my bellies from the same supplier but this time I received a different pack size and cut. They called it Japanese cut and they are already squared up and are average 55 cms long and 30 cms wide.  Hence my conundrum as I don't want to cut 6 bellies into 3 and have to weigh each one individually and then scale up the appropriate seasoning and cure for each., so I was hoping to just cure and season and cover and put on a baking sheet or insert and over wrap loosely. I would just flip daily as I always do.

    I do have a LBGE plus I purchased a Smoke Vault 24 that has served me well. I am going to measure but I think its long enough to hang 4 bellies the width is plenty enough.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK---Depends on the smoker. I believe 55 cm X 30 cm (12" X 22") would be too big for my son's Large BGE.

    I could fit it on one of my MES 40 racks, but that would cover the whole rack, not allowing enough air flow around it.

  11. The LBGE is only 46 cms (18") in diameter so it would never work, unless you put it over a rib rack but then you are only able to do 1 at a time. No good.

    I didn't get around to measuring the Smoke Vault yesterday for the length to hang them, but worst case scenario, ill just cut the bellies down and offset them on 2 racks and hang them that way.

    I just finished putting them into cure. 50 lbs total. 1x Honey Chipotle, 2x Double Applewood Smoked ( basic Ruhlman with a twist), and 1 x Sriracha and Garlic.

    I had 1 belly that came in that was quite thin, so I decided to make a pancetta with it. Never made that before so it should be interesting,

    Going to do a 3-4 hours of smoke on the Sriracha, then remove and leave the others in for a few more hours and remove the Honey Chipotle, then leave the last 2 in for 12-14 hours
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds Great !!

    Don't let me miss the Pics!!

    I hate missing good ones, and I miss so many!!

  13. Here they are. I just went and bought some large ziplock bags to accommodate the size of the bellies instead of cutting them down.
    I also measured the smoker and I will be able to hang them with about 7-8 cms to spare.
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ready Now!!!

    Thanks for the Pic!!


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