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Maple-cured bacon from Ruhlman & Polcyn

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My first batch of bacon met all my flavor expectations, but the best part was the response I got from friends and family who ate was like I invented bacon. The recipe used really simple ingredients, was easy to follow, and didn't make anyone feel ill so I though I'd share. This recipe is very similar to the one published by Ruhlman & Polcyn (see my previous thread about the nitrite content in this recipe).


5 lb fresh side pork, skin off



50g Kosher salt

50g Pure Cane Sugar

1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup

14g Instacure #1 (others on SMF have suggested this could be safely reduced by half)



Mix cure ingredients (it has the consistency of a "slushy") and evenly coat pork. Vacuum seal entire slab of pork with cure. Place in fridge and rotate and agitate daily.


Remove from fridge, rinse well, and dry (I left mine on a rack on the counter for about an hour).


I smoked at 140-150F (this was the lowest I could get my smoke vault 18 to go at 20F outside) over apple chips for about 10 hrs to 125F internal temp. Others have described this as a "warm" smoke. The fat around the edges did start to turn clear towards the end of the cook, but it was only a few mm thick and once trimmed it looked like bacon. Sorry for the crappy smoker pic, I was trying to be quick.

post #2 of 6

Nice looking bacon. Glad it turned out good.

Happy smoken.


post #3 of 6

great work, i never find pork as good as you started with.


i'm  experimenting with sugar in cures. do you think extra sugar would make it better or worse?

post #4 of 6
Ruhlman and Polcyn.... Their bacon recipe is ILLEGAL for commercial folks to make and sell.....

The FDA / USDA does not allow anywhere near that amount of nitrite in bacon..

That Is 385 Ppm nitrite.... the FDA / USDA only allow 120 Ppm ingoing nitrite in skinless belly...

unfortunately, folks don't know that "authors" aren't experts on meat curing....
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Right, the nitrite issue was noted. Here was my past post on the issue:


Susieqz, I'm lucky to live within 15 min of a fancy-pants butcher shop. At $6/lb for belly it was hard to be greatful at first, but once I saw the final product I couldn't be happier. Given this was my first attempt at bacon I can't say much about the best sugar ratios. With the ratio of sugar and syrup that I used it had a good maple flavor but was not overly sweet and it leaves almost no sticky residue in the cast iron when I cook it. I don't know if it matters, but many recipes call for light or dark brown sugar, which is usually white beet sugar plus molasses, and I used pure cane sugar, which naturally has just a hint of molasses flavor.

post #6 of 6

harl, i bet it matters a lot. sugar quality is more important than i ever realized. i've been using raw cane sugar in anything that calls for brown sugar. it's more expensive, but i can taste the difference, especially in baked goods.

your butcher is a treasure. if  he was here, i'd get all my meats from him. start with quality, end up with quality.

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