# Bacon Cure Question

#### Joel123

##### Newbie
I hate to ask a potentially dumb question but I've got to ask anyway! Probably has been answered before but I couldn't find anything. So I'm dry curing my first belly using the calculations from Digging Dog Farm Calculator. Why is it that the ratio of cure #1 is 6.25% and salt is 2% but once you calculate off of the weight of the belly, it shows to use so much more salt than cure? My guess is that the amount of salt in the cure is somehow calculated in but I'm sure that one the experts here can teach me something. Thanks for the help!

#### bregent

##### Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
You are correct. The salt in the cure is part of the total salt calculation.

#### Brian Trommater

##### Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
I see what you are saying. 6.5% is more than 2%. When I plug same numbers in yours they are about same as
the calculator I use.

Found this:

Cure #1 or Pink curing salt #1 contains 6.25% sodium nitrite and 93.75% table salt so the 6.25 is amount of nitrite in cure.

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#### daveomak

##### SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joel, evening..... I am a little salt sensitive...
What I use is 1.75% kosher salt and 0.25% cure#1.. Dropping the salt by 0.25% lowers it enough so the bacon doesn't taste salty.... The 1% sugar is perfect... Not enough to burn when cooked.... just enough to kill any salty taste.....

#### thirdeye

##### Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
I like less salt like Dave. When you do the calculation outside of the Digging Dog Farm or the Greg Blonder spreadsheet, your math doesn't account for the salt carrier in Cure #1, which is small.... but it's still salt. Both of those spreadsheets do account for the salt carrier. So, if I calculate 1.8% salt longhand at the kitchen table, the actual result is a tick higher because of the salt in the salt carrier.

Now, if you use Tender Quick, you must account for the salt carrier.

#### Fueling Around

##### Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
... Why is it that the ratio of cure #1 is 6.25% and salt is 2% but once you calculate off of the weight of the belly, it shows to use so much more salt than cure? My guess is that the amount of salt in the cure is somehow calculated in but I'm sure that one the experts here can teach me something. Thanks for the help!
The ratio of sodium nitrate nitrite in "pink salt (#1)" is 6.25%
You are not going for 6.25% in the dry brine rub.
You are going for around 150 parts per million (PPM) of nitrate nitrite penetration in the bacon slab.

Look at the calculator from Brian Trommater reply
3.4 grams of #1 or pink salt plus 24.04 grams of canning salt or kosher salt is what it takes to achieve a desired 2% salt brine with a 156 ppm nitrate nitrite dose.
Here's what is all come out when you turn the crank.
0.2125 g of sodium nitrate nitrite
27.2275 g of sodium chloride

The final ration of sodium nitrate nitrite to salt is 0.78%

Curing agents, be it pink#1 or #2 or Tenderquick blend sodium nitrate nitrite with regular salt.
Why?
So you don't overdose on sodium nitrate and/or nitrite, which is are both toxic.

I hope this makes sense in the big picture.

EDIT. Corrected sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate references.
#1 cure use sodium nitrite
#2 cure and Tenderquick both use sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate.

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#### Brokenhandle

##### Master of the Pit
These guys have you covered. Just want to say there's no dumb question to ask on this forum...especially when it comes to curing meat.

Ryan

#### Fueling Around

##### Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Thanks to daveomak for catching my error on sodium nitrite versus nitrate
Just so you know

#### Joel123

##### Newbie
Thanks guys!! These explanations helped a lot. Being a total rookie to curing meat, when I mixed up the cure last week, I was expecting to really coat the belly thick with the cure, almost like a rub on a butt. Turns out after using the calculator and woth help from some of you, it was just a very light coating. Bellys have been vacuum sealed with the dry cure for a week. Planning on a cold smoke next Friday and Saturday with my pellet tube in my smoker.....cant wait!!