Thanks to all the SMF members giving tips for curing bacon, they have made for great reading.
I started curing my first batch of bacon yesterday using the Ruhlman & Polcyn (2013, p. 81) maple-cured smoked bacon recipe. I trusted that their book's popularity meant the recipes were safe to use, which now appears to have been a mistake given that the recipe far exceeds any of the USDAs sodium nitrite recommendations (120-200ppm). Others have already noted this error on SMF, but I'll include it here to setup my questions.
Their recipe calls for 14g pink curing salt (6.25% sodium nitrite) per 5 lbs side pork (skin on) = 2.8g pink cure per 454g pork = .175g sodium nitrite per 454g pork = 385ppm.
First, how dangerous can this much sodium nitrite in bacon cure be if a second edition of a cook can put out with these ratios? If people were really getting sick from it wouldn’t there be litigation?
My second question is about the different values recommended for curing bacon with different methods, 200ppm for “Dry curing” and 120 for “Immersion cured” (wet cure). The method I used was to apply the dry’ish cure (salt, sugar, & maple syrup) and zip seal. As others have noted, this ends up more wet than a dry cure because the liquids drawn out of the pork mix with the cure but it’s drier than a wet cure. So, should I be shooting for 120ppm (0.87g pink salt per lb pork), 200 ppm (1.45g pink salt per lb pork), or somewhere in the middle using this approach?
Thanks in advance for any helpful comments,