Newbie needs help, Nitrite Burn? or bad meat? *Pics*

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by mrracer98, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. mrracer98

    mrracer98 Newbie

    Hey all, forgive my length of post but here is my situation/background.  I am fairly new to smoking/curing. And I have only done one prior pork belly.  I am following the recipe from Rytek Kutas book for honey cured bacon, but this time I deviated slightly.  

    I am on day 6 (its ready to smoke) of curing a pork belly for bacon.

    4 Tablesppons of #1 insta cure 

    3/4 C salt

    12 oz maple syrup 

    1/2 C brown sugar

    It is a slightly modified recipe from Rytek Kutas book. (Which calls for 2 C honey, 4T #1, 1 C salt.)

    I went to flip it last night, and noticed a slightly gray/green tint to some of the fat.  I tried to get pics the best I can, it is hard to show up on the pictures this morning, in fact it does not seem as "green/gray" as it was last night with I flipped them.  The fat side (pics) had been face down in the juices....

     I have googled limited info on "Nitrite Burn"  I am unsure if it is safe to smoke/eat this stuff.  I would hate to throw out 35$ worth of pork belly if I dont need to.  But I want to be 100% sure this is safe, as I have little kids that eat my food as well.  Ths meat does NOT smell bad at all.  In fact It doesn't really smell like anything. the one pic I cut a peice away and you can kind of see the difference.... I dont know if I am over reacting.  The main reason I am worried is I skimped on the salt from the original recipe (one cup down to a hair under 3/4 cup). That said I did NOT skimp on the nitrite....  Thank you all for your help

  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I am a new to curing so I hope someone else can help. It looks as if you are curing in an open container,so only 1 side is being cured at a time if you are flipping it.

    I dry cure using cure #1 in a 2 gal zip lock bag,I flip it and rub it every day.Here is the latest one I am letting this cure for 14 days using TQ on this one.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  4. mrracer98

    mrracer98 Newbie

    Hey Dave, Thanks for the reply!  I wanted to mention it does not seem to look like the irridescent green film that is on sliced roast beef.  It has changed some of the fat, into a grayish/green hue.  The pictures really cannot tell.  It is subtle.... 

    I have learned my lesson as to following a recipe, that said, shouldn't the meat be safe seeing as I did not skimp on the cure...  I realize high levels of salt and or sugar inhibit microbial actions as well... (I do a ton of canning). 

    How do people make their bacon LESS salty then.  As I did the recipie by the book once before and it was edible, but too salty for my liking... Soak it in water before I smoke it (after it is cured?) 

  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I make bacon using a dry rub, I weigh out the ingredients based on the weight of the belly....

    I use ~0.25% cure #1...  1.1 grams per pound...  1 tsp. per 5#''s meat..

    Sugar ~1%

    Salt  ~ 1.7%

    Mix those together and evenly distribute over the meat......

    I looked in my "OLD" Kutas book and could not find that recipe...   The cure amount you have listed will cure 60#'s of meat, if it is 4 Tbs....  4 tsp. will cure 20#'s of meat....
  6. mrracer98

    mrracer98 Newbie

    I was going to upload a pic however it is copyrighted, so I decided not too.  But I assure you this recipe is in his 4th edition of the book. it reads exactly as this (abbreviations are exact)...

    Honey-Cured Bacon

    1 cup salt

    4 Tb. Insta Cure No. 1

    2 cups of honey

    The above formula will cure about one slab of bacon.  further states mix and rub the dry on, and cure for 6 days in 38 degree temp.  Then rinse and follow smoking instructions...etc etc.... 

    Yes it states to wrap in butchers paper and flip every day... I had a huge mess trying that, also tried press and seal and cling wrap... same soupy mess, so I am doing in my covered meat lug, in the fridge, flipping them every day.  

    Thanks for your suggestions... not sure what to say about the recipe... it seems legit?
  7. mrracer98

    mrracer98 Newbie

  8. smokinal

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

    Something is very wrong here. If this is a brine you could use 4 tbs cure #1 in 1 gallon of water and still be safe, but most around here only use one. If this is a dry cure your going to kill yourself unless like Dave says your curing 60 lbs. of belly.

  9. mrracer98

    mrracer98 Newbie

    Thats so weird... I thought it was safe amt of cure because it is in his book, a recipe book nonetheless.  My very first Bacon I used this recipe and like I said, it was more salty that I cared for but I ate it with no ill effects.

    It must be a typo, and meant 4 teaspoons??? His book is hailed as great... so I just figured it was so much, because it all comes out in the meat juices.... that said, its not a gallon of juice in there for sure. 

    Wonder if I should toss my bacon in the freezer from the first batch?
  10. mrracer98

    mrracer98 Newbie

    I see that there is another thread, similar to mine and also question the amt of cure.... I guess I will throw it all out... urgh, what a disheartening thing.  If one cannot trust a recipe book, then why put one out?  I take safety very seriously, but also one should be able to trust a book, especially one that is so long standing and has rave reviews for new people...
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The web, books, forums etc. all have typos...   When a master like Kutas has a book printed...   His notes are used and some transcriber puts it into the book format...    the transcriber has NO IDEA what he/she is reading and has no idea if what is going into print is correct...  
  12. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There is many levels between author and print. Last one should be the proofreader. Which could be the author , or a professional.

    If one can't be sure his/her book with recipes listing dangerous chemicals is free of errors he/she shouldn't publish.
  13. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow I'm not sure how this would even be edible with a pound of salt on it.
    For what it's worth my Kutas book is a 1984 version and it's says basically the same thing, 1 pound of salt and 2 oz of #1 and is good for one slab of bacon. So I wonder why it wasn't caught after all the revisions? It almost sounds like it's meant to be an old fashion all purpose cure, where you'd take a hand full of the mix and use just enough to cover the belly.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  14. whistech

    whistech Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Mrracer98, DaveOmak knows his stuff.     Follow his recipe exactly and you will have a safe, delicious every time.     You can buy the big 2 or 2.5 gallon zip lock bags for your bacon and not have any mess whatsoever during the curing process.     I am glad you came here for help and information.   There are a lot of experts here that will answer your questions and provide guidance.     I know because I have ask a lot of questions and people here have always willing helped me.     You have learned a valuable lesson and you will never forget it; that being said, we have all made mistakes and have learned from them, myself probably more than most.

    Don't let one mistake turn you away from the most enjoyable hobby and great eats that can't be bought anywhere.     Recover and go buy another belly and get started again!     If you want to try a less expensive option, look search the posts here for buckboard bacon and make it.    Pork butts are pretty cheap and make great bacon, with a lot less fat than belly bacon.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  15. mrracer98

    mrracer98 Newbie

    Thanks for the replies all! I appreciate it. I will be sure to give Dave's recipe a try and give it another go! Thanks again, it is great to be able to ask a bunch of experienced folks questions like this.  What a great resource.  Again I appreciate it. 

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