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1st Attempt at Bacon

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello folks,


Pictures to come, its only day one.  Haha.  I think there is more than enough pictures of fresh raw pork belly on this site.  I wanted to run this past all of you and please point out if you think I've done anything wrong.


Step One - My son and I split 30 pounds of pork belly.   Came boxed and frozen.  We cut one in half and he was on his way.  So I had approximately 15 pounds of pork.   I trimmed it up a bit.  Cut the skin off (actually let my son do this since he is the sous chef...).  Let it thaw in the refrigerator over night.


Step Two (Last night).  I did a final trim on all the pieces.  I cut them down a bit since my smoker isn't huge.  (Smoke Hollow Electric).  Spent a fitfull day watching you tube videos, reading, researching....getting good advice, bad advice etc on use of cure.  Ended up following the instructions on my packaging of cure.  1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of meat.    I ended up with 12 1/2 pounds of meat to cure.   So 2 1/2 teaspoons.    1 1/2 cups of salt.  1 1/2 cups of brown sugar    2 1/2 Tablespoons of cracked black pepper.  Mixed that up really well, it had the consistency of wet sand.   Took my first piece rubbed all sides, top and bottom and sides.   Wrapped that up tightly in saran wrap and stuck it in a gallon ziplock bag.  I ended up with two pieces in a ziplock bag.  So now I have 9 or so ziplock bags in the refrigerator.   Checked them this morning and there is a couple tablespoons of liquid in each package.  Tonight when I go home I will flip over all packages (I have them stacked on top of each other) so that the one on top is flipped and on the bottom.


I was on line talking to a friend, who scared me immediately and said his dad tried homemade bacon, but it was too salty and not edible.  Grrr...


Do you think I used too much salt in my mix?   I have a small bag that I also rubbed and wrapped.   I saw that after the ten days, some people soak the meat in cold water for a couple of hours.   Is that neccessary and will I lose alot of flavor doing that.  Anyway, its really exciting so far.   And I will have pictures for you later this evening.  Not sure if that will help much, a picture of it wrapped in plastic wrap. Haha.


Let me know what you think  Some of you guys are masters at this stuff, and I know you must get tired of some of the same old questions.  I appreciate your insight and help.   "Said Grasshopper to the Master".  (If you know what that means then you are about my age, 53 this year....lol)


Thank you ~ Scooter

post #2 of 8
Scooter, morning..... Let me recommend...... using the same salt you used in the curing mix, weigh out the same 1 1/2 cups of salt...

12.5 #'s of meat.... I would add from 1.75% salt to 2.5% salt... personal preference.... I use 2%.......

Soooooo 12.5#'s meat = 200 ounces or 5675 grams...... at 2%, you would have added ~113 grams..... ~ 4 ounces....

If your initial salt addition was close, you are good to go.....

For the future.... It is always a good idea to weigh spices and herbs for consistent results and easily being able to adjust recipes in the future.....

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you Dave!  Will do that tonight to double check.  Thanks for the advice!

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 



Yikes....it appears that I used 12 ounces....that's really bad.  3 times the amount of salt....Since its day one....should I rinse off and and re-do or am I screwed?  I did however use the proper amount of cure....   :-)   One has to stand up for ones self...lol.


~ Scooter

post #5 of 8
Yes you got the amount of cure correct.... Since it's day 1, you could remove, rinse and soak in ice water until tomorrow or in the refer.... That should remove the cure, rub that soaked in the meat over the last time period.... or it will be close.....
Then I would apply 4 ounces of salt, and apply 2 1/2 tsp. of cure #1.... plus your other spices etc.... When applying a dry brine/rub to bacon, the 2 1/2 tsp. of cure is well within guidelines for cure #1....
post #6 of 8

Since it's been just one day I think I would rinse and soak for about an hour in cold water then start all over. Using correct measures by weight

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks gentlemen, just called the wife, and she is going to do just that.  (rinse everything down) and put in a ice water bath in the fridge until first thing in the morning when I will re-apply correct amounts of cure, salt & spices.  Thank you so much for your help.   Hopefully I can save it that way!

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

All good.   I think the quick action saved the day!  Thank you gentlemen!  Keep on smokin'  ~ Scooter

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