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So many bacon questions - Page 2

post #21 of 26

Thanks Mat, but the credit goes to  Pops for sharing the curing brine.   The cure makes it safe to smoke and also sets the flavor.  

post #22 of 26
Geez, I hate to bring in a dumb question. But here we go... I keep reading about the EXACT measurement on mixing the brine in order to keep it SAFE..

What do we refer to in the word SAFE? I may have some clue about food safety but it would be nice to have a full understanding of what the real problems could be.

By the way Matt..I've been reading all of your posts and thanks for asking all of my questions...the bacon you made must have been a big hit.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by knuckle47 View Post

Geez, I hate to bring in a dumb question. But here we go... I keep reading about the EXACT measurement on mixing the brine in order to keep it SAFE..

What do we refer to in the word SAFE? I may have some clue about food safety but it would be nice to have a full understanding of what the real problems could be.

By the way Matt..I've been reading all of your posts and thanks for asking all of my questions...the bacon you made must have been a big hit.

knuckle, morning..... Exact measurements.... cure in meats has a max allowed by the USDA... bacon in a brine is 200 Ppm belly off.... max ingoing nitrite... There is no minimum allowable... The USDA checks all methods to insure the nitrite, after the meat is processed, is at a minimum Ppm depending of the type of meat and storage and expected use..... Some of the criteria of the meat is... Fully cooked, partially cooked, ready to eat, etc....
Some other processes allow up to 625 Ppm nitrite... that process is "time" relative and takes months.... nitrite dissipates over time in that method....
Sooooo, from 100 Ppm belly on in a short term dry rub for bacon...... To 625 Ppm in a long term dry rub for other types/cuts of meat....
Sodium nitrite is a poison..... It doesn't take much to kill you.... So the USDA sets max amounts for our safety..

Sodium nitrite also kills botulism in really low quantities.... as low as, or maybe even lower than 100 Ppm.... So it is a good thing.... when it comes to food safety....

Not sure if I answered your question.... did I miss something.... Dave
post #24 of 26
Whew Dave... Thanks and yes THAT does answer my question. I never knew about the nitrites despite hearing about it for years regarding things like lunch meats. Putting two and two together just tied in years of unknown advisories about nitrite consumption.

Frankly, you've got my attention

Thanks!!
post #25 of 26
Sorry Dave ... Got another one. I assume there is no testing of curing solutions or rubs before use or in the bacon without some elaborate analyzing gizmo?
post #26 of 26
You can use a grams scale to measure the cure #1.... I call that elaborate.....biggrin.gif
0.8 grams cure #1 in a pound of stuff = 110 Ppm....
1.1 grams cure #1 in a pound of stuff = 151 Ppm
1 level tsp. cure #1 in 5#'s of stuff = ~156 Ppm

If you have 3#'s of pork belly and want to make bacon for instance... and want to brine it..... I use an equilibrium brining method..... that's where you mix stuff up and let it sit in the brine for 10-14 days, in the refer, until the brine and meat come to equilibrium.... salt, sugar, water, cure have time to intermingle throughout the container meat and all.... For this to work properly, the brine mix needs to be a strong solution so it works into the meat... I'll explain... use a minimum amount of water...
3#'s belly = 1362 gms...
1 pint water = 1# = 454 gms
2% salt... 1362 gms + 454 gms = 1862 gms x 0.02% salt = 37 gms salt
1% sugar... 1862 gms x 0.01% sugar = 19 gms sugar
now we have 1918 gms total weight... belly, sugar, salt, water..... / 454 = 4.22 #'s of water, salt, sugar, belly.... X 1.1 gms / # for a 150 Ppm solution = 4.6 gms cure #1....
Strong solution.... Since 1.1 gm / # makes a 150 ppm solution, and we put 4.6 gms cure #1 in 510 gms of water + salt + sugar...our brine is 558 Ppm nitrite.... 4.6/1.1 x 150 Ppm x 454/510 = 558 Ppm..... Since the meat is 0 Ppm the strong brine will tend to equilibrate fairly fast and into the meat...... and after 10-14 days, plus a rest in the refer after rinse and drying the bellies the bellies should have somewhere close to 150 Ppm.... Since the accepted range for bacon is 100-200 Ppm depending on the method, I figure it works..

Since the accepted amount of cure by volume measure is 1 level tsp. for 5 #'s of stuff, just under a level tsp. is good for this batch of belly also.....

Dave
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