Bacon curing and flavoring questions

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by smokeamotive, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Just picked up a belly and am going to make some bacon and have a couple of questions.

    1. Is cure #1 sutible for making bacon with? With respect to TQ. (In thier proper proportions)

    2. Was wanting to do some in a maple/brown sugar flavor. I have some 100% pure maple syrup. How do I get the flavors well into the meat after curing?
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Hope this helps. [​IMG]
  4. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    1.) Cure #1 is the safer option than TQ but the recipes cannot be substituted. AlBlancher has posted a great tutorial on how to make bacon using cure #1.

    2.) Maple syrup is ok but I have had better success using maple sugar. I use Al's calculator plus I add 1 cup of maple sugar per 10lbs of belly. I use exclusively brown sugar when making bacon.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cure #1 or Tenderquick will both work nicely and be safe for this application.  People do both and both are fine if you follow the right instructions.  No substituting!

    After that, it is up to you try different methods and different recipes to see what you like.

    The only rule here is safety.  After you have that in hand, your taster is the guide.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  6. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    P.S. remember to go by the MFG'S amounts of cure. TQ is made by the Morton Salt Company which has been around for over 150 years. [​IMG]
  7. simple

    simple Smoke Blower

    Explain #1, please.  Why and sez who?  Not being combative, just looking for background on this statement.
  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think Solar is referring to the fact that TQ contains nitrates and the USDA sez not to use nitrates in bacon to lessen the chance of nitrosamines being produced when cooking. that being said, many people do use it, and personally I'm tired of arguing the point.

    Back to the original Questions, I use #1 and brown sugar but as far as the maple flavor goes I've used maple syrup and maple sugar with the cure and after the cure and never really got the flavor I was looking for.

    Good luck with you bacon Smoke! And don't forget the Q-view
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  9. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yep, don't forget the Q-view!
  10. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    As far as adding sweetness to bacon I have found that a coat of sugar or syrup rubbed on the bacon a couple of days prior to smoking helps. Dry the bacon dry completely (air dry), cold smoke and then let the bacon rest for at least a couple of days before eating.  The flavors and smoke seem to develop better.  I am using vacuum packed bacon out of the freezer that I smoked this spring and I definitely notice the difference.

    Hope this helps,  whatever you decide to do post some Qview so we can get a look at it

  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As for the sugar & maple flavor adding.

    I add one or two tsp of Brown Sugar to my Tender Quick, when I cure Bacon, BBB, CB, and Dried Beef, because that is the way I was taught to counteract the sodium in cures. I don't taste the Brown sugar or the salt in my finished Products.

    I have not had good luck with adding Maple flavor:

    I tried Maple syrup in the cure------No added flavor.

    I tried injecting Maple syrup---------Very little if any added flavor.

    I did not try adding Maple syrup to the bacon right before or after smoking, because I don't want it sticky, and the Maple syrup will likely burn in the pan.

    I have not tried Maple Sugar---That might work good.

    As to the TQ being unsafe, I asked the USDA if it was unsafe to eat my TQ cured Bacon with the small amount of nitrates in it.

    He replied, "Enjoy your Homemade Bacon".  Take that however you want---That was all I got from them. Like Dan, "I'm tired of arguing about this".

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  12. simple

    simple Smoke Blower

    I appreciate the replies concerning TQ/#`1 issue.  The unsafe comment appears to be about the nitrites, not about the product's ability to cure the meat, correct?

    Evidently I've not been around long enough, or dug deep enough to be totally in the loop.  What I have read appears to be just a basic difference of opinion.  Any links to background threads on the issue?  

    I figure we're all gonna die sooner or later, and according to the "experts", whatever causes cancer changes weekly. Based on what little knowledge I have on the issue now, it seems to me that this is one of those areas you educate yourself on to the best of your ability, decide which camp you're in and go with it...
  13. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I have had bacon cured w/ TQ and bacon cured w/ #1. I like the bacon cured w/ #1 much better. Not because anyone says one is better over the other .It was because when following the directions on the TQ bag for dry curing the bacon was WAY to salty for my taste.
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  15. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for the info guys. Will be starting the process as soon as the belly thaws out. And of course the Q-view. I guess as far as the maple flavoring goes, I guess the commercial producers use some kind of artificial flavoring method. Not something I'm looking for. Perhaps sometime in the future one of us will come up with a reliable flavoring method for the sugar based flavors. 
  16. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use Country Brown Cure and a Commercial Maple Cure.  Both are used by butcher shops and commercial processors.

    I also found a Maple Sugar Pellet that's awesome!

    Not overpowering, or artificial tasting like "Maple Flavored Syrup", but sweet like real maple syrup.

    When Are you curing your bacon and how many pounds?

  17. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Todd, I plan to start the curing today. Hoping to smoke it next Sunday. My belly is 14+ odd lbs with the skin on. By the time I remove the skin I figure @12 lbs. Where do I get these products at? PM me if you like.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011

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