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BACON (Extra Smoky)

Bearcarver

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Hi Bear, I new to making some bacon my question is what is " TQ "

Hi Neighbor!!
"TQ" is "Morton's Tender Quick".
It is a mixture of cure & seasonings, made by Morton Salt, designed specifically for "Home Curing".
I use it to Dry cure Meats, by adding:
1 TBS (1/2 ounce) to each pound of whole meat.
or mixing 1/2 TBS (1/4 ounce) to each pound of ground meat.

Bear
 

Marianne Kehr

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Okay
I did some bacon , this was my First try Pepper Bacon and Maple Peppered Bacon and use Prague #1 Powder (1 tsp per 5 lbs meat )
 

Bearcarver

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Looks Great Marianne!!
You should start your own Thread with that, and give info on what you did, and show those pics, including the sliced, after you slice it.
Then others can comment on your stuff, and give suggestions if they have any.

That's Great, though---Keep it up.
If you never had home smoked before, you're really in for a treat !!

Bear
 

Atl1530

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Hey Bear How did you calculate your curing time with Tender Quick? The packaging says 24 hours. You have eight days. I am not challenging you on your information I am just wondering. I have my pork bellies. Brown Sugar and Tender Quick, I am ready to go. I do not want to make a mistake.

Thanks
 

Bearcarver

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Hey Bear How did you calculate your curing time with Tender Quick? The packaging says 24 hours. You have eight days. I am not challenging you on your information I am just wondering. I have my pork bellies. Brown Sugar and Tender Quick, I am ready to go. I do not want to make a mistake.

Thanks

When they say 24 hours, they aren't curing the meat, and when Morton's does a 24 hour job, the next step they do is cook it at 350° until it's cooked to 145°IT.

This is what I have in my original post, and it hasn't changed:
Calculating curing time:

The thickest place on any of these belly pieces was just under 2".
I calculate there being 4 "half inches" in 2 inches, so that gives me the "4".
Then to that 4 (days), I add 2 more days for safety, the way I was taught.
So that would be 6 days.
I then usually add another 3 days on my own, unless I have scheduling problems that make me want to smoke a day or 2 in either direction.
Note: I Never cure for less than 8 days.
Every day, while curing, I remove the packages & flip them over, and massage them a bit.
Moisture will accumulate in the packages. I leave that in, because some of it is curing juices, and at the end of the curing process, it will nearly all be gone through reabsorption.

On day 9, I removed them from the fridge, rinsed them off in cold water, and soaked them in ice water for 1 hour, to remove surface salt. Then I patted them dry, cut a couple slices, and did a fry test for salt flavor---Just right!


Bear
 

Atl1530

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My pork belly rubbed down with the proper amount of Tender Quick, has been sitting at a consistent 37º since Saturday. Should there be any visual signs that the curing prosses is working? There is a little extra moisture in the bag but not much.

Also, I was planning on smoking the cured pork belly after eight days, but life has changed that plan. Is it better to let it cure for the extra time or soak it in ice water, and refrigerate it until I can smoke it? It should be just a few days longer.

Thank you very much for your help.

 

Bearcarver

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My pork belly rubbed down with the proper amount of Tender Quick, has been sitting at a consistent 37º since Saturday. Should there be any visual signs that the curing prosses is working? There is a little extra moisture in the bag but not much.

Also, I was planning on smoking the cured pork belly after eight days, but life has changed that plan. Is it better to let it cure for the extra time or soak it in ice water, and refrigerate it until I can smoke it? It should be just a few days longer.

Thank you very much for your help.

There's no real exterior signs of curing. The amount of juice doesn't say anything---It varies a lot.

I would keep it in cure for a few more days, if that's what your schedule calls for, but I would try to keep it under 14 days in cure. Then I'd soak it for an hour & give a couple slices a Salt-Fry Test.

Bear
 

Atl1530

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Hey Bear

I just did the hour-long ice soak and fry test. It's a little on the salty side. Will a longer soak help to draw out any more salt

Thanks
 

Bearcarver

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Hey Bear

I just did the hour-long ice soak and fry test. It's a little on the salty side. Will a longer soak help to draw out any more salt

Thanks

That's my understanding.
I only had to do it once, about 8 years ago, but some have soaked it an hour at a time, changing the water every half hour. Just keep testing.
Some say slice up a couple taters & put them in the water to help draw the salt out. I never tried that myself, but that came from reputable guys.

With Dry curing, that usually happens with:
Too much Cure per weight of meat.
Too long in cure.

Bear
 

Atl1530

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I weighed out the salt and meat with a Kitchen scale, so I know that was dead on. Its been curing for 11 days.
 

Bearcarver

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I weighed out the salt and meat with a Kitchen scale, so I know that was dead on. Its been curing for 11 days.
Hmmm, then it should only be very slightly salty. 11 days isn't too long.
I never notice too much salt on my Bacons, and I'm very Salt Sensitive, because I never add salt to anything since my Open Heart Fiasco, 6 years ago.

Bear
 

Bearcarver

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Wow, I am surprised you eat salt at all. Take care of yourself
Thanks,
I can't help but eat some sodium, because it's in everything, but I pick stuff that is low in sodium, and I never add any table salt to anything.

Bear
 

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