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Bacon cure without sugar

Killa J

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I have been planning on making my own bacon for a long time, so I finally bought a pellet tube, curing salt, and a pork belly.

I am on a zero carb diet, so I don’t want to have sugar in the cure for bacon. Is this safe, or is the sugar necessary for the curing process? I know it will change the flavor, but I’m used to no sugar in anything now.

If it’s safe, do I keep the salt and curing salt amount the same and just omit the sugar? Or should I bump up one or both of them?
 

Steve H

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Check this thread:
 

bregent

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I don't know your specific dietary requirements, but consider that most cures call for around 1% of sugar. So 1 lb of bacon would have 4.54 grams of sugar. At 20 slices to the lb, a slice would contain 0.227 grams of sugar. 0.227 is more than zero, but not much :)
 

Killa J

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I don't know your specific dietary requirements, but consider that most cures call for around 1% of sugar. So 1 lb of bacon would have 4.54 grams of sugar. At 20 slices to the lb, a slice would contain 0.227 grams of sugar. 0.227 is more than zero, but not much :)
It’s more about not using any added sugars than the amount that would end up in the bacon. I’m literally on the anti-vegan diet. If it’s not from an animal, I don’t eat it.

Now that I see it’s not essential for curing, I’m going to try it with no sugar and see how it comes out.
 

chef jimmyj

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Sugar in Cures is to help balance salt flavorwise. Old school methods used Sugar and upwards of 10% Salt with no Nitrite. Sugar binds moisture, helping inhibit bacteria growth. Sugar Tastes Good. Is it a Mandatory part of Safe Curing? NOPE! Just ask about 20 generations of Italians if Sugar is needed in Pancetta or Prosciutto...JJ
 

tx smoker

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Jimmy hit the nail on the head. Sugar is NOT needed in any way to cure bacon. It is only used to offset the saltiness, of which the salt IS needed as part of the cure. There are probably a ton of options out there to negate the saltiness. You may just want to take a minute and visit my best friend....Google and see if there are alternatives. No doubt somebody here will give you a good alternative but if you need a quick answer it's out there. I just don't know what it is and am not going to even attempt a solution :emoji_wink: Don't know if maple syrup is within your dietary constraints but that may be a great alternative. I make a maple and brown sugar bacon that is to die for but certainly respect that you may need different options.

Robert
 

chef jimmyj

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If you were planning on Brine Curing your Bacon, use Pop's Brine, No Sugar, with 1 Tablesoon of Cure #1 and no more than 1/4 to 1/2Cup Kosher Salt per Gallon. For Dry Rub Cured Bacon, use 0.25% Cure #1 and 1.5 to 2% Salt. Both Formulas work giving good Salinity without needing Sugar to balance the flavor...JJ
 

jcam222

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I have been planning on making my own bacon for a long time, so I finally bought a pellet tube, curing salt, and a pork belly.

I am on a zero carb diet, so I don’t want to have sugar in the cure for bacon. Is this safe, or is the sugar necessary for the curing process? I know it will change the flavor, but I’m used to no sugar in anything now.

If it’s safe, do I keep the salt and curing salt amount the same and just omit the sugar? Or should I bump up one or both of them?
I have been on keto diet with no sugars and carbs (around 25 net daily) for over a year. I use the Pops brine recipe for all of my bacon. I substitute in either Swerve Brown or Lankanto Golden Monkfruit for the brown sugar. I give it to friends and they dont know the difference. It is delicious. I would highly recommend you give it a shot. Overall I prefer the Swerve Brown.
 

Killa J

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Ok, so I have the pork belly split into 3 pieces and in the fridge curing. I made 2 without sugar and 1 with for the wife and kids. I have one question though. How much does the cure “migrate” through the slab of pork belly? I tried as best as I could to spread the cure around on the surface, but I’m worried that I may have missed spots. Will the cure spread into any areas that may or may not have gotten cure on the outside?
 

smokin peachey

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Ok, so I have the pork belly split into 3 pieces and in the fridge curing. I made 2 without sugar and 1 with for the wife and kids. I have one question though. How much does the cure “migrate” through the slab of pork belly? I tried as best as I could to spread the cure around on the surface, but I’m worried that I may have missed spots. Will the cure spread into any areas that may or may not have gotten cure on the outside?
If you give the belly a message daily it will help with migrating the cure into the the the areas that may have not gotten cure on.
 

tx smoker

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Yep...just flip the bags over and massage them every day or two and you'll be fine.

Robert
 

zwiller

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+1 but admit it does not bode well with my OCD. Wet cure and injecting keeps me for worrying. I hope you can cheat one day and do a shoot out!
 

Killa J

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+1 but admit it does not bode well with my OCD. Wet cure and injecting keeps me for worrying. I hope you can cheat one day and do a shoot out!
I’m having a cheat day on thanksgiving, I’ll try the one with sugar that day.
 

Killa J

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I ended up hot smoking the bacon. After 10 days of curing, I was still a bit nervous about the cure being spread evenly. When I cut a slice off of each slab to taste the salt level, it didn’t look pink all the way through. I’m going to wet cure using Pop’s brine next time.

Since I’m cooking desserts today for Thanksgiving, I decided to try the end pieces of all 3 types of bacon I made. Man, the regular one with sugar is definitely the best. I pretty much can’t taste the jalapeño or garlic/pepper at all on the flavored ones. The jalapeño is a tiny bit spicy and the garlic/pepper bacon just has a hint of garlic aftertaste. I will stick with the regular recipe.
 

fishwrestler

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I am on a zero carb diet, so I don’t want to have sugar in the cure for bacon. Is this safe, or is the sugar necessary for the curing process?
Let me recommend two things, first off use an Equilibrium Curing, or EQ Curing, it allows the meat to cure perfectly without the fear of over salting.
Here is the ratios I use
IngredientQuantity (g)% of Meat & Fat
Belly Blss/Rind on1000100%
Salt202.00%
Cure #12.50.25%
The other is to vacuum seal bellies after rubbing the cure and salt mixture. With this method there is no need to flip, massage, rub, just leave in a refrigerator, I leave in cure for 2 weeks, nice thing about EQ Curing is I have left a belly almost a year and it is still fine.


We us an EQ cure for bacon and our long term dried meat. Once we get the meat in cure it gives us plenty of time to work with it. we just started curing over 100 lbs of meat on the 23
 

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