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Botulism and Bacon

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I had a question concerning botulism and bacon. I'm curious why everyone is so concerned about botulism in pork belly, but not other cuts of pork.

 

I personally could care less about using nitrites - I have a great recipe that uses the pink salts, and it turns out awesome every time. But, my wife wants me to try it without nitrites and sugar, so I'm going to give it a go.

 

Hopefully, I don't catch to much flak for posting this link (via MarthaStewart.com), but this guy seems to be making some serious bacon:

http://www.marthastewart.com/315529/hot-smoked-cured-bacon

 

That seems legit, right?

 

Is the difference that it doesn't sit in the fridge for 7 days? Or the fact that it's smoked for 8 hours? Or maybe it's because he uses vinegar? Or maybe all three? And, finally, why is it such a concern for pork belly when making bacon, but not a pork butt that's going to sit in a smoker for 18 hours?

 

I'd just like to hear what everyone has to say about this.

 

Thank you for your feedback!

 

Matt

post #2 of 6
I am by no means an expert and someone with more knowledge will chime in but the answer is yes, cure is not needed in that recipe for two reasons that I can tell. 1) there is not a long curing time in which spoilage can occur and 2) it is being hot smoked. When bacon is cold smoked it will be at dangerous internal temps for long periods of time. This can increase the chances of botulism.
post #3 of 6

Cure is used when smoking meat at temps under 200°F and with Salt percentages below 10% by weight. 

 

Miss Martha does not need to use Cure with Nitrite because...

1) She is Hot Smoking, over 200°F, 210°F specifically.

2) Coarse Sea Salt is some where around 5+/- ounces per Cup, so with ~8 to 14oz on 5Lbs meat that is somewhere between 10 and 17        Percent. You should note that the most common percentage of salt SMF members use is 2 maybe 3% tops.

3) She is smoking to an Internal Temp (IT) of 150° with a rest until it carries over to 165°F, very Well Done.

 

Frankly, that Bacon recipe would taste terrible unless you love salty bacon. An 18 hour Pork Butt is always smoked at 225°F or higher. If you smoked a Butt at 70 to 120°F as is most common with Cured Bacon, you should use Nitrite Cure because this is the Prime growth temp for Clostridium Botulinum the bacteria that causes Botulism by making one of the most deadly Toxins known to man...JJ

 

@Worktogthr... Points for catching the Hot Smoking...Thumbs Up


Edited by Chef JimmyJ - 6/11/16 at 12:54am
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

Cure is used when smoking meat at temps under 200°F and with Salt percentages below 10% by weight. 

Miss Martha does not need to use Cure with Nitrite because...
1) She is Hot Smoking, over 200°F, 210°F specifically.
2) Coarse Sea Salt is some where around 5+/- ounces per Cup, so with ~8 to 14oz on 5Lbs meat that is somewhere between 10 and 17        Percent. You should note that the most common percentage of salt SMF members use is 2 maybe 3% tops.
3) She is smoking to an Internal Temp (IT) of 150° with a rest until it carries over to 165°F, very Well Done.

Frankly, that Bacon recipe would taste terrible unless you love salty bacon. An 18 hour Pork Butt is always smoked at 225°F or higher. If you smoked a Butt at 70 to 120°F as is most common with Cured Bacon, you should use Nitrite Cure because this is the Prime growth temp for Clostridium Botulinum the bacteria that causes Botulism by making one of the most deadly Toxins known to man...JJ

@Worktogthr... Points for catching the Hot Smoking...icon14.gif

Thanks Chef! I knew you'd be along for the real answer haha. I agree that cooking bacon according to this recipe doesnt sound appetizing for the reasons you mentioned. Is there any truth to my idea that extended periods of time in the fridge without cure could cause spoilage? Only reason I ask is because I wouldn't leave fresh meat in the fridge for 14 days if it wasn't in a cryovac.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your replies!

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by worktogthr View Post


Thanks Chef! I knew you'd be along for the real answer haha. I agree that cooking bacon according to this recipe doesnt sound appetizing for the reasons you mentioned. Is there any truth to my idea that extended periods of time in the fridge without cure could cause spoilage? Only reason I ask is because I wouldn't leave fresh meat in the fridge for 14 days if it wasn't in a cryovac.

 

Absolutely. Normally meat purchased from the average grocery store has a 3-5 days before it starts to spoil. Lots of handling by questionably trained people under conditions with plenty of opportunity for contamination.This applies to Home Vac-Pac meat as well. Commercially Cryovac is done by trained professionals that go to extraordinary lengths to maintain sanitary conditions. This meat can hold 30 days under refrigeration without spoiling...JJ

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