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My first cure...

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
This is my first cure. I picked up a 10lbs belly for $15. Measured out 500grams of salt, 250 grams of sugar, and 1/2 tbls of "Sure Cure".
Cut the belly into 5 2lbs pieces and added the dry cure (making sure to press rub into belly everywhere. Wrapped in saran wrap and into a ziploc bags. I will turn the pieces over once a day for the next 5-7 days. I plan to cold smoke them then into sealed bags for the freezer, and one lucky piece will get specail treatment and become Paprika bacon.

I hope it turns out. More pics to come.
post #2 of 24
I am another that plans on but has not tried this yet. Look forward to your future pics and hearing about the end product.

Availability of pork belly here is slim, should I be asking for a different cut in my neck of the woods?
post #3 of 24
sounds like a grand plan, I will be anxiously awaiting the rest of this story!

Bacon is deffinately on my "to-do" list.
post #4 of 24
good looking belly Andy,you might want it to go a little longer-1 in. penatration each 7 days-not long ago I did a 15#r and let it go 10-11 days.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Capt & Mossy, will keep everyone posted on this. ( I am like a little kid in a candy store). So excited when I try something new. I wish I could speed up the process but patients is one of the keys. (well that what I have read here).

Des, thanks for the advise. Will have to see what happens. It has to go in the "Outhouse" a week from today. You had mentioned 1 inch of penatration in 7 days. That would mean that a piece that is 2 inches thick would be ready in 7 days, since it rubbed with cure on both sides and will be flipped once a day. Is this ASSumption correct? I am following a recipe I have found on the web.

NOTE: this recipe calls for NO Nitrites or Nitrates.
The reason I am using this is due to the fact I could not find any cure (tender quick etc) in my area. After talking with local butchers and searching the web for weeks, I finaly found this.icon_eek.gif

Then wouldn't you know I found some "Sure Cure" But used this recipe anyway. Just added the Sure Cure to it.

Are you aching to make bacon? Dry Cure

Like most things in life there is an easy way and a hard way to do it. The hard way can be very hard and mean you just give up, which was what happened to me when I first started to make bacon. As per usual when looking for information on how to make bacon I came across really complicated recipies which to my unexperienced eyes looked daunting.

As with the wet cure I got this recipie from the local butcher and although he likes the wet cure I prefer this dry cure as there are less ingredients and less mess as I never fail to spill water everywhere when making a wet cure.
Again to start with you need your cut which ever you decide on. Personally I remove the rind at this point on cuts that are big enough such as the back meat. For the belly cuts this can be difficult and it may be worth just leaving it on.
The most importnat part is to weigh the meat you will be curing, dont try to judge things by sight alone, a half a kilo will make all the difference to the quantities you use.
Once the meat is weighed measure out 100g of salt (table salt is fine) and 50g of caster sugar although granulated or brown is fine as well. This mix is for every kilo of meat so for a 2 kilo piece of meat your mix will be 300g in total and so on.
Next rub all the mixture into the meat making sure you do all the sides. I use approximately 75% of the mix on the meat side and 25% of the mix on the rind side, making sure to get the mix into the crevices.
Once all the mix is rubbed in place the meat in a sealable bag try and expel as much air out as this will help the fluid to stay in contact with the meat when it drains from the meat. Seal the bag and place on one side in the refridgerator.
I generally leave the meat in the refridgerator for 5 days sometimes up to 7 depending on what work is being done around the place. The longer you leave it the saltier the taste. Importantly the meat is turned over each day as you will notice the fluid will be draining from the meat into the bag. Some folk prefer to drain the fluid off daily but I have always had good results from leaving the meat in the fluid.
Once you take the meat from the fridge rinse it for a few seconds under cold running water and leave to dry for an hour. From here slice and taste every batch. It may be your last taste once friends and family get their orders in!!!!!
Two things to mention are that you may find the bacon too salty in which case the next time leave a day less in the refridgerator. For now though the bacon you have can be cut into slices and soaked in water to remove some of the salt. The sugar content in the mix has always provided a balance to the salt and I have not had anyone complain of salty bacon so far. The second being I dont use salt petre as I feel that the chemicals in salt petre are not things I particularily wish to eat. It has been used to make bombs after all hence the difficulty in getting a source of it.
Well that should be it, once you have produced a few batches you may wish to experiment with black treacle and beer, for me it tastes fine the way it is.
post #6 of 24
Hmmm found this:

The first type is Sure Cure.

It is pink in color and contains, salt, sodium nitrite 6.25%, FD & C Red #3 .00099%. It is typically used with seasoning blends in sausages. Some other names used for this product are Prague Powder, Insta-Cure and Modern Cure.
post #7 of 24
I cure with prague 1-never use the salts,cure dose not penatrate the fat on the belly,just the meat side-so I see 2in. thick would take closer to 14 days.maybe I wrong-but I like to be safe. and ya if you let yours sit that long will be pretty salty.
post #8 of 24
7 days is ususally sufficient for belly bacon. Now the buckboard stuff is different. Alot thicker and more meat.

BB- the 7 days/inch is correct, but as Des said, the fat does not cure. I think he was assuming you have 2" thick meat on one side. I have never seen a belly like that tho. Could be... but more like an inch of meaty area?
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Again, thanks for the info. I WILL master this stuff even if it takes me the rest of my life...icon_smile.gif . The total height is about 2 inches but has quite a bit fat on skin side.

Rich, the Sure Cure was white in colour and manufactered by the Windsor Salt (right here). It can only be purchased in bulk by a business. This is why I could not find/buy it. But if I get in good with this one butcher, I might be able to get some from him.
post #10 of 24
Ahhh probably why it's only for pro sale. The pink and blue colors added to Prague powders is specifically to keep folks from mistaking it for regular salt. Man nice meaty looking belly there! Should be GREAT!
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 

Belly in the smoker

Well it has been 7 days with the 10 lbs of belly in the dry cure. Rinsed it off, sliced a piece, fried it up. Way too salty. So we put them into some pots with cold water for about 1/2 hrs. tried it again, still too salty for my taste. One more 1/2 hrs in cold water and was good. Dried them off in a towel and hung them in front of a fan for hr (to help dry up surface water). Fired up the gosm with 6 pcs of charcol in the chip bin for about 1/2 hr, while doing this took the turkey frier out with cast iron frying pan and pre-burnt some cherry chunks. When chunks were ready, I shut off the propane, added chunks to chip bin along with a handful of Hickory chips. It has now been 2 hrs and still smoking. I hope not to have to light up the propane any more. The hottest it have gotten inside the smoker is 99 deg. F. which is ok for me. Not sure how long I will smoke these but will check on them every hr. These will all get frozen except 1. This will get to be Paprika bacon.
More pics to follow.
post #12 of 24
cool beans Andy,sounding & looking good-man we love that stuff.
post #13 of 24
Lookie that Thin Blue starting off the wood already... yummmm!
post #14 of 24
Looks great chevpro. I like the cast iron pan pre burner too. Cant wait to see more pics as the smoke progresses. I am putting my 3d goggles on...PDT_Armataz_01_06.gif
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well they are smoked. Trying to cold smoke (with no propane) in the gosm is going to take some playing around. Was playing with vents most of the day. I would say that for 50% of the 6hr smoke was thin blue, but the other wasn't. I will try this again another weekend with nothing in the smoker. Or, just do it the easy way and smoke it in the "Outhouse"...........NAH, I'll get this cold smoked (in the gosm) licked before summer.
They are hanging next to the sausage to for a couple of hrs then into the fridge for the night.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 

Its finally Bacon....

Well my first attempt was fairly good. Sealed up 6lbs and into the freezer.
Sliced up 1lbs for breakfast this morning. Fried it up and was gone before the eggs were done cooking. LOL. NOTE: found the smoke real strong on the ends, but nice towards the center of the cut. Took 1 lbs to the neighbours. They called and said, "That was the best flippin bacon that we ever had". So, still have a 2 lbs piece. Paprika bacon (my version). This was easier than I thought. Fill a pot with water to cover piece of bacon plus 1 inch. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer till cooked (you want the meat portion to soften up a little). Once cooked, remove from water and dry extra water off, quickly. At this point, you do not want the bacon to cool yet. I then took 2 pieces of waxed paper, placed bacon on it and generously applied Hungarian paprika to it. Using the second sheet of waxed paper to press the paprika into the bacon. Make sure the bacon in well covered. Wrapped it all up in the waxed paper, then a towel to keep the heat in. Let cool. Remove from towel and waxed paper. Place into fridge in foil until ready to eat. Slice it up, and eat. YUMMY.
This is the first time I make this. But can't wait to try it.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 

On Edit

THIS IN MY OPINION, IS A MUST TRY. But then again I am Hungarian.
post #18 of 24
Looks great Andy!

Forgive my ignorance, but, why paprika bacon? I've never had it, nor heard of it......just curious.....PDT_Armataz_01_18.gif

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
I remember eating this stuff as a child, and loved it. Now trying to share this with my children. Believe it or not, that 2lbs piece that I just made, would sell for about $18. Very expensive and hard to find. But WOW, what a taste. It's a Hungarian thing I guess. I'll try to find some history on Paprika bacon on the net.
post #20 of 24
My hats
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