Now today I picked up a 9 lb belly. Just looking at it, and from cutting it in half I can tell it is going to be quite a lean belly.
For this formulation I am using cure #2 since I will be aging the bacon after smoking it and I'll aim for about 15-20% weight loss.
Step 1: Day 1
So today I applied 2% by weight of sugar, 2% by weight of salt and 120 ppm of Cure #2. Seeing as Cure#2 has 6.25% sodium nitrite, I just used the digging dog farm cure calculator to get my numbers.
Here are the 2 slabs in their ziploc bags with the 2% salt/sugar and the cure #2. Tomorrow, once everything dissolves, I will be opening up the bags and added in a rub.
Step 2: Day 2
I added the spices today, the rub used bulk recipe is as follows
125gm White pepper
25gm Ground nutmeg
25gm Ground mace
15gm Ground cardamom
200gm White sugar
Here are the spices I ground for the rub. Then 1 slab rubbed to give you an idea of my heavy dusting. For the 9 lb belly, I used 100 grams of the rub.
I returned the belly to the fridge in their ziploc bags. It will be there for 13 more days. I am using the 7 days for 1 inch rule. So it will be on cure for 14 days. Sugar penetrates meat at a rate of about .4 of an inch on each side per week. So my 2 inch slab will need 2.5 weeks for sugar to fully penetrate. Once it is done curing, I will be reapplying sugar and the rub for an extra week.
Step 3: Day 14
Remove the belly from the cure, rinse it of all cure and spice. Pat dry. I then dusted it with 25 grams of the rub. I used a mesh colander to give a light dusting as if the spices were icing sugar. Then I added about 1 Tbspn per pound of brown sugar to give it a moderate coating to allow the sugar to finish penetrating the meat. It will stay this way for a week in ziploc bags the fridge before I smoke it.
Step 4: Day 21
Remove the bacon from the cure and pat dry. If you want to do a test fry now is the time. I did not. The meat should be fully penetrated by the sugar so I did not soak either.
Then wrap in cheese cloth / muslin or even a cut up game bag. Form pellicule however you do. Due to the current weather being around 50f and 80% humidity, I just left the bacon outside on the deck overnight. You will see that there is still a good amount of spices on the meet since I did not rinse.
Step 6: cold smoke
Time to apply as much cold smoke as you would like. I will be applying two trays of blended Cherry pellets in an amnps. Apparently by blending the pellets they burn for longer, and provide a thinner smoke. These two trays will be over the next 2-3 days.
Going in for round 1 - I am hanging them from the smoking racks...would be easier if I had ham hooks, note to self get some.
Edited by gibsorz - 1/11/16 at 11:20pm