# Bacon Dry Cure

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by rgautheir20420, Dec 23, 2014.

1. ### rgautheir20420Master of the Pit

I picked up 7 lbs of belly tonight and I'd like to get it in a cure tonight also. Can someone suggest a dry cure? Maybe in percentage of dry meat weight? I prefer a dry cure over a wet brine cure. I can't seem to find one using the search bar. Thanks!

2. ### ak1Master of the PitOTBS Member

What cure do you have on hand? I use readycure, 2% by weight. I'm not sure what the amounts are using prague powder(pink salt), or Tenderquick.

Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
3. ### rgautheir20420Master of the Pit

Sorry I should have specified. I'm using cure #1. I can't seem to find anywhere that gives a recipe in a percentage. I'm gonna have to cut up the belly into pieces and measure seasonings like that.

4. ### daveomakSmoking GuruOTBS MemberSMF Premier Member

I use a maple cure my meat guy gave me... It's used at 2% also.... but Cure #1 I calculated it below.....

============================

Cure #1 's use is 0.25% by weight of the meat... so, 1000 grams meat X 0.0025 = 2.5 grams cure #1 X 0.0625 = 0.156 grams / 1000 grams or 156 Ppm...

Cure #1's use is 0.192% by weight for bacon... (120 Ppm brined)

Cure #1's use is 0.32% by weight for bacon .... (200 Ppm dry rubbed)

Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
5. ### atomicsmokeMaster of the PitOTBS Member

How long do you cure with Readycure? Do you soak it before smoking?

6. ### rgautheir20420Master of the Pit

Dave, while the Cassidy calculation for ppm in dry rubbed bacon is helpful, it wasn't what I was looking for. My fault probably for wording the question wrong. My main question is is there a rule of thumb for percentages of salt and sugar when dry curing bacon....similar how the cure is .32% by weight. Thanks again!

7. ### daveomakSmoking GuruOTBS MemberSMF Premier Member

I use 2% salt and 1% sugar, by weight for bacon... Just my preference.. some use 1.8% salt others use 2.5% salt... Bride determines what my preference is....

Cure 0.32% for dry rubbed/cured bacon... Bacon weight 650 grams X 0.0032 = 2.08 grams of cure #1 for a 200 Ppm dry rub (skin off)..

Cure 0.192% for brine cured bacon... Bacon weight 650 grams + weight of the liquid 200 grams (850 gms) X 0.00192 = 1.63 grams cure #1 for a 120 Ppm brine cure (skin off)

The FDA has determined bacon needs 2 levels of ingoing nitrite... 200 Ppm for dry rubbed and 120 Ppm for submerged pumped/brined.... Those numbers are for skinless bellies....
Now, if you leave the skin on, reduce the ingoing nitrite levels by 10%.... since the skin has some weight to it (10% of the belly), and it does not absorb nitrite, (someone figured that out ????) the ingoing nitrite has to be reduced to not exceed the maximums allowed for ingoing nitrite they established..... ??? make sense ???

8. ### rgautheir20420Master of the Pit

Dave, that's EXACTLY what I was looking for. A good starting for salt and sugar levels in the dry rub. The Cure measurements and calculations make sense, and since my belly is skin off, I'll be using that as a basis to go from.

I'll be adding a bit of pepper and garlic powder to the mix, but I wanted to get the Cure, salt, and sugar levels confirmed before I jumped in. I've made a number of cured, smoked, and dry cured stuff in the past, but this is my first stop at bacon. I've got some good looking belly, so I'm excited.

Edit: Dave, I meant to ask....what's your Cure length usually? I'm seeing anywhere from 7-10 days for dry rubbed. I'm planning on flipping and giving it a rub daily also.

Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
9. ### daveomakSmoking GuruOTBS MemberSMF Premier Member

If you are dry rubbing.... in a zip bag..... rub the calculated amounts on both sides of the belly... place in the bag... I always added 2-3 Tbs. of water to the bag to dissolve the mix and keep stuff in contact with the meat... I turned twice daily AM & PM... gave the bag and belly a massage... 7-15 days later, rinsed, pellicle formed and smoked...
When you use proper weights of cure and salt and sugar, there is wide window to length of time to cure.... can't over salt or sugar or cure... cure supposedly penetrates about 1/4" / day... curing from both sides, that's 1/2" day... if the belly is2" thick, supposedly 4 days the cure will reach the middle.... NOW... that is not evenly cured... the outside layer of meat is about 50,000 Ppm cure and about 200,000 Ppm salt... The additives need to equally distribute throughout the meat... until they reach equilibrium....
Remove from the bag after at least 7-8 days, longer if you can..... rinse and set in the refer for several more days... then do the final pellicle and smoke routine......

10. ### rgautheir20420Master of the Pit

Dave, great info and thanks. I've got a daughter on the way and she'll be here in 15 days (planned c-section). My parents are coming up then, so I'd like to have it done then. I'll do a 10 day cure, 2 day fridge sit, and an overnight 8-12 hour warm smoke then.

11. ### daveomakSmoking GuruOTBS MemberSMF Premier Member

I don't s'pose your gonna' have pictures handy at that time...

12. ### rgautheir20420Master of the Pit

Oh I plan on taking pictures of the whole process. The lady knows how much I love doing this stuff and has told me to get in what I can before we're both busy with a new baby.

13. ### chewmeisterSmoking FanaticSMF Premier Member

That seems to be what I've read for dry curing as well, although I wet cure. As an interesting side note, a new meat shop opened up in town here. I stopped in to take a look and see if they had any green bellies. I got to talking with the owner as he wondered if I was going to make bacon with the belly. I told him I was and he asked about my curing method. I explained I wet cure for 10-14 days and then smoke. He told me he only cures his for 3 days. Not sure if he's doing dry or wet, but 3 days sounds borderline dangerous to me.

14. ### daveomakSmoking GuruOTBS MemberSMF Premier Member

He may be pumping/injecting the bellies and using cure accelerators to speed up the process... That's the norm because storing meats for 10 days in a refer is expensive.... that would take 4 time the room and 4 times the cost of running the cooling compressors... etc.... That's why old world meat markets closed up 30-40 years ago.... couldn't compete with modern methods....
I prefer the old world methods.... there is some satisfaction in making stuff the old and slow methods... hanging it to age....

Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
15. ### chewmeisterSmoking FanaticSMF Premier Member

It's a small operation/store. I don't know if he's familiar with old world methods. He told me he used to work in a foundry and "wanted to give this a try." I'm guessing his stuff is safe, however I'll stick to making my own bacon.

16. ### daveomakSmoking GuruOTBS MemberSMF Premier Member

Ask him what the ingoing nitrite Ppm is when he cures the meats.... If his BROW wrinkles up like, "what the heck is that", don't buy his meats...

Last edited: Dec 27, 2014

18. ### wadeMaster of the PitOTBS MemberSMF Premier Member

Dave, as always, has given you some excellent advice. If you are looking for more information regarding salt concentrations you may like to take a look at the comparison here.

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/173060/cure-ingredient-update/20. Following this I now use 2.5% salt and 200 Ppm Nitrite. Adding either ground black pepper or ground juniper berries to the cure really enhances the flavour.

I always dry cure my bacon. Mix the cure well and apply to all sides of the meat. Don't forget that any that does not stick to meat does also need to be added back onto the meat for the cure. I vac pac mine which helps to keep the cure and resulting brine in close contact with the meat.

For bacon I cure for 10 days, turning daily. Take out of the cure and then let it hang in the fridge for a further 4 days to ensure that everything has equilibrated. I then cold smoke for at least 48 hours and hang refrigerated for at least another 4-5 days before slicing.

Good luck with your first bacon attempt and don't forget to post photos