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My experiences with bacon

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This one is for morkdach who asked I start a thread one my experience's with bacon. I need to start with some background. At the Burlingame Locker Company (which started back in the 1920's 1930's) we did our slaughter on Mondays a heavy kill would be 25 to 35 hogs plus beef and we were state inspected. Our smokehouse (I don't not recall the make or model) was 80"tall and 48"x48" don't know how it rated as far as lbs hence why I mentioned our kill rate. It had a natural gas burner about 8" dia. the chip pan was about 12" sq. and 4" deep two drips pans set over the smoke pan to keep fat from falling on the burner and into the bottom of the smokehouse. We used hickory sawdust we bought in a sack about the size of a 50lb. feedsack. We stored it in a lidded rubbermaid type trash can and kept it damp. Not so damp that it would stick together if you balled it up in your hand but enough you could feel the moisture. We had two cures a brown sugar cure we rarely used most people in that area weren't into brown sugar cure. The other was a pink cure and I dont recall where we got it i'm sure it was a #1 cure. We did our cure on Fridays hams were brine injected at 5 points in the muscle using the pink cure in water then placed in a tub of brine to soak. The bellies were rubbed with pink cure. I cannot give amounts as we would simply rub all surfaces, edges and ends with as much cure as would stick. They were then simply layed out on a stainless steel table this was all done in a cooled cure room. These would be allowed to cure for about 7 days. When we smoked we used what would be equlavalent to a couple cottage cheese containers of sawdust. Our temperature in the smoker was 160' and an internal temperature of 145.
Ok fast forward. I have the small GOSM I use the water pan for my chip pan so I can spread the sawdust out. I two cheap disposable aluminum baking pans for drip pans. I can get bellies from a local meat shop that run about 13 lbs. each 2 to a box. I use 2 cups Morton Tender quick and 1/4 cup white sugar ratio mix as much as you need to thouroughly rub the bellies. I have some lidded rubbermaid lugs I pit the bellies in the lugs and in the fridge for a week. The GOSM is a little short to hang a 13 lb belly properly so I had to fix it so I had a way to hang bars right up at the very top. I use 6 1/2" bacon hanges I got from P&S Seasoning. I usualy just do two bellies because I can squeeze 3 or 4 4" fibrous casings of salami or other sausage in with them. I hang everything before I start the smoker then add the sawdust about two handfulls and let it do its thing. I like to smoke the bellies at least 6 hours. Point of information if you want certified bacon increase the cabinet temperature during the last hour to get an internal temperature of 165 and you will have certified bacon. Doesnt require any further cooking great for BLT sandwiches.
post #2 of 10
thanks been wanten to do some bellies for a while will have to give this a try. do you ever use the sugar cureicon_question.gifpoints.gif
points to ya for the response
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sugar Cure

If your asking do I use Morton Tender Quick Sugar Cure I have not. I have used regular Tender Quick for years. It does have some sugar in it I like it because I can add sugar to my personal taste. I'm sure there are some who will question my choice over pink cure It's just that I have used it for so long (with the exception of using pink cure in the locker plant) and never had a negative result and I can but it in the grocery store no need to order. I have not graduated to pink cure but I am going to try some eventually. Tender quick does have both nitrate and nitrite so I can use it in fermented and dried sausages. The nitrate/nitrite levels are lower than cure #2 so I have to formulate my owns recipes because it cannot be used in the same amounts as cure#2.
post #4 of 10
and 1 & 2 used for diff types of smoking too. prague 1 with heat 2 for cold smoke.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Cure 1/cure 2

All cures labeled #1 are the same just sold under a different name Prague powder#1, Insta Cure #1, Sure Cure(Midwestern Research) they contain 6.25% sodium nitrite, 93.75 per cent sodium chloride per pound of product. These are used for all cured meats and sausages except for the dried kinds like hard salami, pepperoni, etc..

All cures labeled #2 are alike as well yet they contain 1 ounce of sodium nitrite and .64 ounces of sodium nitrite per pound of product. #2 cures are
mainly used for products that will be air cured for long time like: Country Ham, salami, pepperoni, and other dry sausages.

Morton Tender Quick is essentially a #2 cures in that in contains both sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate but at lower quantities .5% each and more salt than cure #1 and cure #2.

It is not the smoke that dictates what cure you use as it is the heat. Sodium nitrite is is effective at low temperatures (36° – 40° F). Where as Sodium nitrate works better at higher temperatures of (46°-50° F) This comes into play when making a product like Pepperoni where it is fermented at a temperatures of 70°F to 110°F then dried to an internal temperature of 131' F.

For all intents and purposes Morton Tender Quick will work just fine for curing bacon. In fact I have used it for years for all the cures i do including bacon,ham,pepperoni,salami,pastrami,corned beef,pancreatic,proscuitto,mortadella,speck,guanci ale,Genoa salami, just to name a few. I have yet to have a bad cure using it.
post #6 of 10
I agree, do you have any recipes for any of the above. EDspecially the Genoa salami or the proscuitto?
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

genoa salami

Heres the recipe I use for Genoa Salami I am looking for the proscuitto recipe. I have a very large collection and there not organized very well.

Salami Genoa
lean pork trim 4.4 lb
beef chuck 4.4 lb
pork back fat 2.2 lb
Salt non iodized 4.9 oz
cure # 2 .42 oz
Dextrose .35 oz.
sugar .52 oz.
white pepper .52 oz.
Garlic granulated .35 oz.
T-SPX culture 1/4 tsp

1.Grind all the meats separately and partially frozen through a 1/2" plate.
2.Grind partially frozen pork and back fat through 3/8" plate. Grind partially frozen beef with 1/8" plate.
3.Mix all ingredients with meat
4.Stuff into beef middles or 46-60 mm fibrous casings. Make links 16-20" long.
5.Ferment at 68º F for 72 hours, 90-85% humidity.
6.Dry at 160-54º F, 85-80% humidity for 2-3 months. Dry until sausages have lost about 1/3rd there weight.
post #8 of 10
Thanks for the recipe, I was hoping that there was an easier way than the dry cure for months.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Genoa salami shortcut

For the Genoa salami you could use this method. Smoking
Hang in your smoker and apply a heavy smoke for 4-5 hours at 140-160 degrees. Then, bring your smoker temp up to 170-180 until your sausage reaches 145 degrees internally.
post #10 of 10


Great info. I have saved to my hard drive. Thanks.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
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