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# How long to dry cure

It seems I've searched and studied a million different bacon curing & smoking recipes. Most seem to agree that the length of time to dry cure depends on the thickness of the slab you are planning to cure & smoke.

One will say the following, "Flip the curing packages once a day. Keep in fridge from 7 to 10 days, depending on the thickness (14 days if it's really thick)".
How does one know when the bacon has been curing long enough?

### SmokingMeatForums.com Top Picks

Most of us go by this book which is the best on sausage making.
Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas

You want the 4th edition which is the latest edition. You can find it at the sausage maker
http://www.sausagemaker.com/71200gre...ytekkutas.aspx

or you might want to check Amazon to see what their prices are...
I have only made bacon a couple og times and all the instructions do say 7-10 days and 2 weeks for thick but think about it if you cure it for 2 weeks or more the better it will be. I took it from a friend who let his go for 3 weeks and he said it was great so i try to let it go as long as I can stand it.
This is what I do. Total thickness of the meat top to bottom, as it rests in the pan. Divide this by 2 and now you have the radius. Radius / .25 = sum in days + 2= total days cure.

Translation LOL: Lets say radius is 2.50 inches. Divide this by .25 = 10 + 2 for saftety = 12 days cure. 10 days would be the absolute minimum for this thickness of cut.

### Thanks, but:

Is there an answer to my last question?

When I am on my 7th, or 8th, or 9th, or 37th day, how can I tell if my bacon has been curing long enough?

I guess I could keep it in there plenty long like was mentioned, but isn't there an actual way of knowing---Like signs---firmness?----color?

If I want to cold smoke it for 4 hours, before I hot smoke it, how do I know it's safe?

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I've been searching this for many hours.

Thanks,
Bearcarver
The answer is no, you can't.

You COULD cut a hunk out of the center and check it for the characteristic "pink"...fry it up and not see white in the meat.

The deal is...keep yer hat on. If using the correct amout of cure...you cannot over-cure- only under.

### What is the Cure

We need some information to help here
What cut of meat, belly, loin, sholder?

How thick is the meat?
What is the Cure, that you are useing?
How thick is the meat?
Are you useing intacure ( pink salt?) or
Morton Tender Quick?
Is it a dry Cure?
are you Brine cureing?

### Richtee & okiejoe

Thanks Richtee.

okiejoe,
pork belly
don't know how thick until this afternoon (picking it up)
Tenderquick--brown sugar--maple syrup
Dry cure

Thanks again,
Bearcarver

### Okay "Beer-B-Q"

Not 10 minutes ago, UPS dropped off my copy of the 4th edition of
"Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas" as you and many others have suggested.

Gotta go do some reading now.

Thanks,
Bearcarver
It is the Bible of Sausage Making in my opinion...

Has tons of important information and recipes in it...
Great Book and good read......Now if ya check on the back of the The package of Morton TenderQuick...It will tell ya how much to use per lb...for dry cure....and how to make a pumping pickle....

I use 1 Tbs for each Lb of meat....Now the Sugar and other stuff is nice but it is the cure that Cures...
Other wise it it just sweet meat....My 2 cents.
\

What Okie said for TQ. Good to hear from ya OJ!
I do pork belly time to time-my cure time with Hi. Mtn-I go 1 inch of thickness per 5 days with fat cap on,as cure will not penetrate the fat.and yes I do flip every other day-as Rich states with right amount per #,you can't over cure-as for knowing when cure time is up I find that reading the firmness of the meat is a clue-but times are what u want to go by.
The instructions I've always gone by is for a dry cure app. 1/4 inch per day. For example..... if it is a piece of meat that is 4 inches thick you would figure 2 inches to the middle so it would take 8 days. I've always used this formula and it has worked well for me.

### Thanks to all

Thanks to all of you. I just finished 11 pounds of bacon yesterday. I'll be slicing it tomorrow & giving it a serious taste test. I'll let you all know how good it is & post some Qview soon.

Bearcarver
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