Bacon question's Dry rub or wet Brine

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by chef brando, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. My question is pro's and con's of dry curing vs a wet brine. What is the final result? I have a 40" Masterbuilt smoker and I cook my bacon to 135 to 140 degrees F. I use apple wood for smoking. I am considering other fruit woods, Cherry, Pecan, Oak, any thoughts?

    Also I am wanting to try a maple and or a honey cured bacon. Any tips and or references anyone would like to share? I would love to learn from other peoples learning experiences vs me making the same rookie mistakes.
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use a dry cure for bacon. Tender Quick.

    I use pecan or hickory,maple and cherry mix.

    Cook to a IT of 120 in 12 hours.

    Rest in fridge for 2-3 days the freezer for 2-3 hours and slice then vac seal.
    chef brando likes this.
  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I prefer a dry cure method, but others prefer a wet brine

    Try it both ways and see for yourself which method you prefer

    chef brando likes this.
  4. bill ace 350

    bill ace 350 Meat Mopper

    Up until recently, I had used a dry cure. Decided to give pops brine a try. Just fried some up this morning, and although very good, I felt something was lacking compared to dry cure. I will do another try using pops brine though, won't decide for sure based on only 1 attempt.
  5. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just finished dry curing some BBB for 14 days and cold smoking it today

    I add about 2 oz. of water to each bag when I dry cure, so it's more of a slurry

    IMHO: Dry curing transfers more of the flavors of the spices into the meat

    It's all about personal preference........
  6. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dry or wet, it is still a whole lot better than commercial bacon!  Enjoy!  And, my wet brine is just a basic recipe, add anything else to it to enhance it that you like!  Zillions of possibilities!
    hoity toit likes this.
  7. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can't go wrong with Pops wet brine recipe!
  8. mark bacon

    mark bacon Fire Starter

    I'm with Todd on the dry cure and adding a little water,  I also use a liberal amount of steak seasoning on my cure, also a dusting of granulated garlic, fresh course ground Malibar/tellicherry pepper as well as some McCormicks Smokehouse Maple seasoning and then used my trusty Jacard, and stabbed the crap out of both sides after seasoning.  Flipped them Saturday morning and re-Jacarded them.  Bought 135 lbs of bellies tuesday 11/25 and cured that night.  This will be in cure until 12/7.

     Will be soaked for 1 hour, with a change of water during that time.  Dried in the fridge overnight and then I get to try out my NEW A-Maze-N pellet smoker for the rest of the week as it will take me 5 solid days to cold smoke all of that bacon.   Looking forward to the long smoke times I should get from the A-Maze-N pellet smoker.  In the past, I'd have to add more chips or chunks to my offsett barrel every 2-3 hourse, so being able to load it up  and smoke for 8-11 hours between fillings will be great !!!!

     I will use a pecan hickory mix to start with.  about 60% pecan, 40% hickory, then I will use more pecan, plus cherry and apple ( about 1/3 each ). Cherry gives nice color and mellower flavor. I will do a couple bellies where I do a hickory cherry mix which will have a really nice exterior color, but no one notices that once it gets sliced up. 

    I use Pops wet for Canadian bacon, and add either a bunch ( 3 tbs) of juniper berries or if my brother in law didn't drink all my Gin, then a few shots of Bombay sapphire.  Pops is right, it is simply a base to start with.  Try some smoked paprika, or the montreal steak, and or garlic to add more flavor.  
  9. What rubs do you use other than the ones mentioned. Does anyone use Ribs within, Dizzy Q, Traeger, John Henry, Cookshack, Slap yo moma, ..... I could go on. Anyones you recommend to stay away from. I am looking to learn from other's mistakes. Thanks again for all of the tips and comments.
  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The most important rub when making bacon is the cure. The type if cure depends on the process you are going to use. As far as the flavoring rubs, I like to keep it simple. Garlic and pepper.

    If you decide to do a dry rub cure you will need a good way to weigh your ingredients.

    If you don't have a good digital scale, then your best bet is going with a brine like Pop's.

    With both methods I've always found that it's best to cure then add the seasoning rub later right before smoking.
  11. I do a simple dry cure .. 2% salt .025% cure #1 .. rub all sides (bellies have skin on ) dust lightly on the meat side with spices followed by maple sugar .. leave for seven days then rinse and hang to dry for about an hour

    Re-dust (meat side) with the maple sugar and leave for a further seven days .. hand to dry prior to smoking ... I only cold smoke .. 2 days for eight hours then rest for 1 day after which do one more day of cold smoke for eight hours

    Hang to dry/mature for up to seven days at 38 degrees F ... skin and slice

  12. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Why cook it?
    I do a dry cure, then cold smoke and let dry in a cool place. multiple smokes like Brican mentioned really does add depth to the smoke flavor
  13. I just did 80 lbs of pork bellies 12 day wet cure,

    then cold smoke it for 6 hours pulled it let it stand for 12 hours,

    1/8" thick slices and packaged it in 1 lb packages. you can  see my pictures on general discussion  I think its on top.  
  14. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What are the beneifts of cold smoking the bacon? Will it be a different texture, flavor?
  15. mds51

    mds51 Meat Mopper

    I second or third or fourth the motion about Todd Johnson`s comments on dry curing. I use his Country Brown Cure recipe and have excellent results with Bacon, Canadian Bacon, and BBB. I  cold smoke the Bacon and BBB only with his hickory and apple pellets for 10 to 12 hours until I get a rich mahogany color.  The Canadian bacon is also cold smoked but then hot smoked or finished in the oven to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. I have used both dry and wet cures and prefer the dry due to flavor and smoke penetration. When I due Ham Hocks I use Pop`s wet brine due the thickness of the giant Ham Hocks I get down here. The dry cure has always penetrated even the thickest Pork Loins that I have cured that are approximately three inches thick. I let them cure for 12 to 14 days and turn the bags each day. The Canadian Bacon has the best flavor from Todd`s recipe and there is nothing in the store that comes close. We do thirty to forty pounds each time and it is never enough for family and friends.

  16. Is insta cure the same as tender quick?
  17. NO. Insta cure is the Sausage Makers trade name for pink salt. Tender Quick is the Morton Salt company name for a curing mixture that contains salt, sodium nitrite, and sugar.
  18. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No, and they are not directly interchangeable
  19. I totally agree Dan ... why cook it twice??

    Hot smoking cannot match the depth of flavour produced by cold smoking  ... plus one 'must' remember to dry/mature for at least seven days  .. some say "I cannot wait"  ... sorry all my customers will gladly wait for cold smoked aged bacon 
  20. bill ace 350

    bill ace 350 Meat Mopper

    When you dry/mature the cold smoked bacon, is it covered or uncovered in a cool place?

Share This Page