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Bacon & Salt Question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have made bacon about 8 times now but had a old age moment last night (not that old but feel it sometimes).  I was using T Johnson's recipe (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/109696/bacon-cure-recipe) but I don't have the Country Brown Cure that is calls for.  I also know there is salt in that cure from towards the end of that post where he posts the ingredients.  The recipe also calls for a little salt.

 

I am religious about using the right amount of cure when I make sausage and bacon.  I use #1 (sure cure this time).

 

For whatever reason, I just completely omitted putting any salt into the dry cure prior to sealing my pieces.  I still know how much each of them weighed prior.

 

Question - do I do nothing or open the bags and add some salt?  If the later, recommendations on how much.  Each piece was bw 1450 and 1650 grams.

 

Another question - does the salt add to the safety of the food (if using cure) or the flavor?...I plan on cold smoking after a soak in maple syrup after 10 days of curing.

 

Thanks in advance.  

post #2 of 6

Open the bags and add 1.75% salt, by weight... that will return 2% salt in the bacon...   

 

Warning on the maple syrup addition...   When frying, it will burn giving an off flavor...  How do I know ??   I've done it...   I now add the maple syrup to the bacon after it is cooked...  More better....  IMHO....

post #3 of 6

What Dave said open them up and add the salt. Since you use cure #1 give this calculator a try. Makes perfect bacon every time. Add whatever other spices you want. I like to add my flavoring spices after the cure process. I shake them on prior to forming the pellicle. My favorite is garlic powder, white pepper, cracked black pepper. I shake it on right out of the spice jars. Just a light dusting. Then I let the bacon rest in the fridge uncovered for 5 days. I cold smoke for 18-24 hours total. Usually 6-8 hours at a time with an overnight rest in the fridge between smokes. After smoking I let the bacon rest another 5 days uncovered in the fridge prior to packaging.

 

http://www.diggingdogfarm.com/page2.html

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Great...thanks for the responses.  I was going out of town and needed to do something before I read your answers so I threw in 2 tablespoons salt into each bag and resealed.  I just did the math and that is almost exactly what I should have used for their weights.

 

Back to one of my questions - if I completely omitted the salt, would that affect the safety of the meat or just the flavor?

 

Also, the funny thing is I did use that calculator for the % of cure but since the recipe I was using called for salt, I didn't put it in from the calculator...but then forgot to add it from the recipe...oh well...getting old!

 

Thanks again for the responses.

 

Mark

post #5 of 6

Cure does the heavy lifting with the most dangerous bacteria. Salt contributes to bacterial control and flavor. Adding no salt is no major safety issue, unless you rarely wash your hands and work area. But the bacon will be more tough than usual and be bland...JJ

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses.  I know I am in good hands with you all!   Tomorrow will be 10 days into the cure.  I will take it out and test it Sat or Sun...so I will know soon!  Thanks again!

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