1st Attempt Curing and Hot Smoking

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by sgriff49, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. I am in the middle of curing my first batch of Bacon using Backwoods Maple Bacon Cure. Bought my pork belly from Costco, skin off. It was 11.17 lbs and I divided in half. I followed the package directions on the seasoning/cure since the package was for 25 lbs of meat. Today will be day 4 of cure and package states 7 days. Any suggestions to look for the process is curing correctly? Of course I have watched YT videos, read many different examples of this process, but since this my first time I am wanting to know what I should be looking for? Thanks for any advice and suggestions.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you apply the seasoning kit as a dry rub ??   If so, with a belly, 14 days is what I would do for the curing period....  The sugars in the mix are a larger molecule and take longer to penetrate to the center of the meat....  That will give you a better flavor...

    I cure my bellies with a rub, on a wire rack in the refer...  I think the meat ages better and dries out for a more intense flavor...

    Then I rinse the belly and let it age for another 7 days on the rack...  that also allows for the rub to mingle throughout the meat to get a uniform distribution...

    Then I cold smoke below 70 deg. F. for 4-6 hours...  I like more smoke but Bride likes 4 so.......
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  3. smokinal

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

    I agree with Dave on the cure time.

    14 days for me too.

    If it is in a bag you should be flipping and massaging it daily.

    By now you should start to see some liquid in the bag.

  4. Dave and Al thanks for insight. Dave it was a dry rub and package said a 7 day cure but I can see the why 14 days makes sense. Al yes liquid is present in my zip lock bag and I have been flipping daily along with massaging it. Since this my first attemp is there any telling signs to look for that curing process wasn't done correctly? After researching and watching YT videos it can be a little intimidating of a process!
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Meat that has not had adequate time to cure will be normal color in the center....   

    FWIW.....   When you apply cure etc. the outer layer of the meat will be ~ 62,500 Ppm nitrite...  as time progresses, the nitrite migrates throughout the meat...   adequate time is required for a homogenized dispersal of nitrite, salt, sugar and what ever else you have applied..   Time is your friend to achieve a quality product....

    If the center is pink, that does not necessarily indicate adequate uniform distribution of all additions....  only nitrite...  and dispersal is dependent on molecule size of the additions....

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  6. Thanks for the info..From me looking at the meat I am guessing I am on schedule with liquid forming in the bag and I have noticed the meat starting to turn "pink" on outer layer.  I will more than likely pick up more Belly this Friday to start another process.  

  7. Day 5 of curing process appears to be looking good and seems to be firming up. Considering adding a little more seasoning

  8. Other slab.. Liquid is in both bags so getting a good draw of moisture
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016

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