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Making Pancetta.....but having a hard time of something that should be easy...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

This is crazy.


My pork belly only weighs 2.26 pounds.   36oz or   1025 grams.


Trying to make a cure for this....but the amounts (going by what I have learned here are very very low)


1025 x 2.75% = 28 grams....thats about 7 teaspoons of salt.....   + a heavy 1/2 teaspoon of pink salt + 4 teaspoons of sugar?


I watch all these videos, and these guys are saying pound of salt, 2 oz cure, 8 oz of sugar.....you can barely see the meat...


I am totally confused now......I just wanna make some good stuff to eat.....lol


I've been here:




and here:




but still don't get it?   Does anyone else find this crazy?



post #2 of 12
Are you saying your mix doesn't look to be enough? That's the way it is, or should be. It will seem like not enough to cover it but it will. Use about 90% on the flesh and 10% on the fatty side.
Follow Kyle's (Our Daily Brine) recipe and you'll be happy.
Be sure to measure the cure and not a heavy spoonful, and if you're planning to dry cure it use #2.
Good luck and enjoy it.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Okay so I looked at this in the morning, with new eyes:


  PORK BELLY = 1025.10 grams or 2.26 pounds  
  SALT 2.75% 28.20 grams or 2 T + 3/4 t  
  CURE #1 (SEMI DRY) / CURE #2 (DRY) 0.25% 2.56 grams or 1/2t  
  BROWN SUGAR / WHITE SUGAR 1.75% 18.81 grams or 1T + 3/4t  
  BLACK PEPPERCORNS 1.80% 18.45 grams or 1T + 3/4t  
  ANISE SEEDS 0.90% 9.22 grams or 2t  
  CORIANDER SEEDS 0.90% 9.22 grams or 2t  
  FENNEL SEEDS 0.90% 9.22 grams or 2t  
  THYME DRIED 0.25% 2.65 grams or 1/2t  
  BAY LEAF DRIED 0.15% 1.54 grams or 1/4t  


I would think this would insure I don't kill myself or my family......did I get it right, what do you all think?


I think this sounds like awfully small amounts, but you all have been doing this longer than I have and I'm just surprised that they would publish recipes in books out there that could really harm us?


~ Scooter

post #4 of 12
Scooter, morning.... Looks good to me.... Are you rolling the belly ??? Make sure it is rolled tight, so there are no air pockets inside the roll..... I'm not sure but air pockets may provide a home for mold to grow....
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Yes sir.   I am going to leave it in the fridge flat to cure for 10 days (flipping daily and keeping weight on it).   Then roll it up super tight, surround with cheesecloth tie it off and hang for 3 weeks or more in the reefer.   Thats the plan at least.   Thats why I'm going with such a small piece of belly, to make sure I'm doing it right.  I wasn't pleased with my bacon several months ago, great flavor, but it doesn't fry up well at all (heat in smoker must have been too high).  So we've used it for seasoning for baked beans and other dishes as well.   I figure a small piece of pancetta now, work out the kinks and understanding, then move forward for the holidays as gifts for the family scattered all over the states.   :-)    

post #6 of 12
If you are using cure #2, reread the instructions about curing at 50-70 degrees F after the first refrigeration step.... Cure #2 needs warm temperatures to properly cure... bacteria NEEDS to grow to convert the nitrate to nitrite.... and the temp and humidity need to be in range for the meat to dry out... there may even be a % of weight loss you will need to measure during the process......
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Actually this one, I am going to stick to Cure #1!   Thanks for the info ~ Man I love this place.  ~ Scooter

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

So, my son the Sous Chef, decided to pull out his old Le Cordon Bleu text book.


Get this recipe:


Pancetta can be prepared in a natural shape, known as stressa, or it may be rolled and tied before air-drying, referred to as arrotola.


5 Fresh pork bellies, skin on (10 lb / 4.54 kg each)


Pancetta Dry cure


2 lb 8 oz / 1.13 kg salt

10 oz / 283 g brown sugar

10 oz / 283 g cracked black pepper

5 oz / 142 g juniper berries, crushed

20 bay leaves crushed

5 tsp / 11 g grated nutmeg

1/2 oz / 14 g thyme leaves

20 garlic cloves, mashed

2 1/2 oz / 71 g tinted curing mix (TCM)  maybe you all know, is this different from our instacure #1?



1) Weigh the pork bellies and adjust the cure as necessary, using a ration of 8 oz cure for every 10 lb / 4.54 pork belly.

2) Combine the cure and the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

3) Cure the bellies as for Basic Bacon (page 210) through step 4

4) Rinse the bellies in cool water.  Remove the skin.


Now, basically I stopped right there.   Thats a text book......8 oz cure for every 10 lb / 4.54 pork belly.    now if I am correct, 2 oz is 10 tsp of cure.....40 tsp of cure?????


Yikes!!!!   Teach our children well.    I guess not huh?   A freaking text book.

post #9 of 12
In Europe, their cures are different %ages... Could have been 0.5% nitrite... a combo of nitrite and nitrate... Heck, who knows... Good thing you have a "somewhat" knowledgeable place to go to.......

I buy a premix cure from my meat guy that is 0.75% nitrite... As long as you know, you are good to go.....

post #10 of 12
Evan did a thread on his pancetta.....

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you Dave! Wow....all that works makes my little 2 pound pancetta seem obsolete....haha!

post #12 of 12
Hey... gotta start somewhere..... You are waaaaay ahead of me.....
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