Discussion in 'Bacon' started by chopz1, Nov 20, 2015.

1. chopz1Newbie

I put this loin in a dry cure (0.50% cure#1, 0.20% salt, 1/8 cup brown sugar to 2lbs meat). It has been in 10 days. I am washing off the cure and noticing a significant variation in color. Should I be concerned by this?

Last edited: Nov 20, 2015

3. chopz1Newbie

The instructions on the jar of cure #1 from sausage maker.com say 1 tsp / 5 lbs meat. My loin is ~2.25 lb. or ~ 1 kg. I am assuming 1tsp = 6 grams. So 6/1000 puts me at ~ 0.6%. I want to err on the side of caution, but would appreciate input on how close I am to the upside limit of the cure #1.

0.20% salt is based on my experience with a belly that was slightly saltier than I'd prefer at 0.25%, and my understanding that salt content does not impact safety provided cure#1 is within safe limits (upper and lower).

Brown sugar was a quick guesstimate based on my experience with a belly, and the same understanding as above, that sugar content does not impact safety assuming cure#1 is used appropriately.

4. daveomakSmoking GuruOTBS MemberSMF Premier Member

1 tsp. per 5#'s of meat is correct... 1 tsp. ~ 6 grams is correct... ~ 0.6% per kilogram is correct....

My error/mistake.... most of the numbers folks use here is based on pounds of meat... 0.25% cure per pound makes your 0.6% per kilogram right on the money... When I saw you were using pounds of meat to calculate the salt and sugar, it didn't dawn on me you had calculated the meat weight in kilos for the cure.... Sorry about my confusion...

I normally use 2% salt and 1% sugar when curing... suggested amounts are up to 2.5% salt and sugar 1-2% depending on preference...
Soooo I found it weird/strange/different you are down at 0.25% salt.....

FWIW, some curing "experts" think the salt and sugar, being hygroscopic, are necessary for the "penetrating" action to suck cure into the center of the meat... Darned if I know... some sort of "action" is necessary for the equilibrium process to take place...

Anyway, you are good to go... You might let the loin sit in the refer, on a wire rack for a few more days for additional equilibrium to take place.... Let me explain that thinking....
When you put cure on the outside of the meat, the outside was at approx. 62,500 Ppm nitrite.... the center was at zero Ppm... over time and equilibrium, the outside and center should get to approx. 150 ish Ppm nitrite... It's not a fast process, it can't be speeded up unless you add some curing accelerators that commercial establishment use... Most home curing doesn't use accelerators...

So.... thanks very much for listening to me rant on.... enjoy the perfectly cured loin and humor all us old f-rts with pictures (q-views) when done.....

Dave

5. chopz1Newbie

Just to confirm with someone who knows better than me, would you be comfortable 0.6% cure #1? At what % would it become dangerous?

How many days would you let is rest in the fridge if you were me? I was planning on 24 hrs to allow drying before cold smoking, but I was not accounting for any additional eq time.

Following the smoke(s), I plan to bake to an IT of 150 deg. But this is only because I was advised to do so when curing a belly. Is this step necessary or advisable? (Hot smoking to precise temps is difficult with my current equipment)

Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
6. daveomakSmoking GuruOTBS MemberSMF Premier Member

Final internal temp of 145 is safe.....

I would switch my calculations to be in #'s for everything just to avoid confusion... so, 0.25% of a pound ( 0.0025 x pounds ) for the cure #1...

As far as a LD50 (Lethal Dose where 50% of a population dies) you should read up on it... Nitrite ties up the blood so no oxygen can be transported to the organs... If enough blood can't transport oxygen, bad stuff happens... Without nitrite, food is not as safe as using it... There's a happy medium, the USDA and FDA have done extensive testing... Recommended levels a fine.. Probably 2X or 3X are safe... I don't know... I'm not willing to test it....

7. chopz1Newbie

Cold Smoked 4 hrs then let rest overnight. Turned out wonderfully, but this is my second project and I can't seem to get the smoke flavor to carry through to the finished product. Any recommendation on types of sawdust / smoking technique that I may be overlooking?

8. daveomakSmoking GuruOTBS MemberSMF Premier Member

What was your smoker temp during the cold smoke.... Was the surface of the meat dry... did you form a pellicle before smoking.... what smoke generator did you use... what kind of wood.... and anything else you can think of.....

9. chopz1Newbie

I use a pro-q cold smoke generator inside of a weber kettle grill, burning alder wood dust. I didn't measure ambient temp, but it was 35-40 degrees outside last night so my guesstimate is 40-45 in the kettle. The surface of the meat was dry and became tacky after resting in the fridge for ~12 hrs yesterday. On this attempt, I minimized air flow vents as much as possible without impacting the smoldering. There was a good smoke for ~4 hrs.

Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
10. daveomakSmoking GuruOTBS MemberSMF Premier Member

I don't have a clue as to why you can't get smoke flavor now....

11. chopz1Newbie

It seems strange, when I take take cold loin off the kettle it smells like a very rich smoke. Then I rest it in the fridge overnight. In the AM I open the refrigerator and suddenly my kitchen lingers with the scent for a few minutes. I get so optimistic, but I cut into thick slabs and fry on the stove, suddenly I can't even taste it when they come out of the pan. Perhaps my pallet is dulled.

I just ordered 5 lbs cherry dust from sausage maker. This morning we took a family trip to the local butcher and picked up 2 three-four lbs bellies to make bacon and I'm defrosting a 3 lb loin roast to start another round on Canadian Bacon.

I'm comfortable with recipes for the cures, but I think I'll try to apply multiple sessions of smoke this go around. Maybe 3 sessions of 4hrs smoke followed by 24ish hours of rest. I can't think of anything else to improve the smoke other than to apply more of it.

12. chopz1Newbie

By the way, you were correct that my salt seemed off... It was a typo. The correct value was 2.0%, not 0.2% as I had originally typed.