How Long To Cure Bacon?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by tjohnson, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. tjohnson

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

    I followed "Cowgirl's Bacon Recipe" with TQ and am planning on smoking (2) 1.75 slabs this weekend.

    Currently at 5 days curing, but surface of bacon not getting "Firm" yet.

    Will it get "Firm" using TQ?

    Do I have to wait for bacon to get firm?

    How long is too long to cure?


    Todd Johnson
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm really sure that Jeanie (cowgirl) said how long it has to stay in the refrig but I usaully leave my bacon in the frig for atlaest 7 days if not more. You cann't over cure the meat and I have left one buckboard bacon in the frig for 10-11 days once. Now as far as your firmness of the skin has me asking is your bacon in a bag or is it in a brine. Basically how are you telling/seeing that the skin isn't getting firm.???? You need to have the meat in something.
  3. tjohnson

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

    I did read and am following Cowgirl's recipe, except that I used brown sugar instead of regular sugar. The pork sides I received had the skin on them and I removed the skin before curing.

    I'm using Jeanie's dry cure method with TQ, in ziplock bags and in the fridge. Currently on my 5th day.

    Jeanie says to cure for 6-7 days, but other threads I read on SMF, talked about testing the "Firmness" with your thumb.

    Do I wait for the "Firmness" or pull at 6-7 days?


  4. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Todd, you do not need to wait for firmness. Pull at 6 or 7 days and don't forget to wash the slabs and soak in cool water to remove the cure before smoking.
    You also do not "have" to let it rest in the fridge to form a pecille before smoking. You do have to make sure the bacon is dry though or the smoke will streak.
    I've done it both ways (forming a pecille and not) They are both good.

    I do cold smoke bacon though... do not smoke to reach an internal temperture. I do not cook the bacon while smoking.

    I like the uncooked bacon, you have more options on how you want to cook it later.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
  5. bob the noob

    bob the noob Smoke Blower

    I do it the same way... prep it, wait about 7 days, and then rinse. I just hang it in the smoker for a couple hours to dry and then start the smoke.
  6. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Me too. [​IMG][​IMG]
  7. mudduck

    mudduck Smoking Fanatic

    cowgirl where can i fine your Bacon Recipe" with TQ
    and what is TQ
  8. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Mudduck, here is one post

    TQ is tenderquick. I follow Morton's guidelines and use one tablespoon of tenderquick mixed with one teaspoon of sugar PER pound of meat.
    Then I like to experiment with other seasonings. [​IMG]
  9. tjohnson

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

    Hey Jeanie!

    Thanks for the info!!

    I followed your recipe, but substituted brown sugar for sugar and cut back on the cayenne pepper to 1tsp.

    I read somewhere about the outside of the bacon getting "Firm" during the curing process. Is this something that happens when the curing process is done?

    I will take your advice and pull at 6-7 days.

    I just made "Cold Smoker", and the inside temp of my MES does not get higher than 74* inside.

    Your process should really be a "Sticky"!!


  10. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You're sure welcome Todd! The bacon will firm a bit while curing compaired to the raw meat but it won't be "hard" firm. (if that makes sense. lol )
    You'll be fine pulling it at 6 or 7 days.
    On canadian or back bacon I like to slice off a piece on day 5, rinse it good and fry it for a taste test.

    That's great that you are able to keep it at 74, that will work perfectly. I'd like to see pics of your set up if you ever get the time. [​IMG]

    Thanks Todd and good luck!

  11. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    After rinsing I do as they do and hang in the smoker to dry or hang it in front of a fan. Like Cowgirl when doing belly bacon I could care less what the internal temps are because I'm going to cook it later. I only monitor the smokehouse temps
  12. mudduck

    mudduck Smoking Fanatic

    thanks alot cowgirl still new at this

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