Bacon not firming up?

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by phogi, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. phogi

    phogi Fire Starter

    I've attempted my first batch of bacon. Three tablespoons of tenderquick dry rubbed into three pounds of bacon, just like it says on the package. I put it in an oven bag, because I could not find the two gallon size bags recommended in the ruhlman book. I've been flipping it each day for six days. My understanding is that it is supposed to firm up, which it has done to a small extent. There is not much juice in the bag like I was expecting. There was a bit on the first two days, but the meat must have soaked it back up or something. Anyway, my question is: Do I scrap this batch (meaning just take it out, wash it and cook it), or let it cure longer? I worry, if the cure is not working, that the meat will go bad. Do I have losses to cut? Or do I need to wait longer?
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Phogi, morning..... Is the bacon in the refer ????? If yes, No problem....  Rinse well, and soak in ice water for an hour or more.... Not exactly sure cause I use cure #1 but folks have said you need to soak out some of the salt when using TQ....  Dry real well and smoke for 6-12 hours in Thin Blue Smoke at temps below 90*F...  rinse and hold in the refer overnight and partially freeze the next AM before slicing.....

    Make notes on what you do so you will know how to adjust (if needed) next batch.... Dave
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    What Dave said
  4. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you used the proper amount of TQ that Morton's recommended then there's no need to worry, assuming it's in the frig like Dave asked. If you want to try to firm it up some, let it cure a couple more days, it won't hurt it.

    As far as the liquids go, don't worry about it.  I've had them wet and I've had them dry, not sure what the difference is, but it has to be the meat since I always do them the same way every time.
  5. phogi

    phogi Fire Starter

    Yes, it is in the fridge. I guess I was worried because of the lack of brine, like maybe the oven bag was a problem. Glad to hear it should be fine, I can't wait to try it! Today is day seven of curing, is that long enough for a three pound slab?
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Phogi, As a general rule, 1/4" penetration per day plus 2 days..... If the slab is 2" thick and rubbed with cure on both sides.... the cure has to penetrate 1" in each direction = 4 days + the extra 2... You have it covered with 1 extra day to spare.... Don't forget to take pics during the process... we love pics... Dave 
  7. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Like Dave, I allow 2 days per inch of thickness at the thickest part.  Then add a couple of days and you are good to go.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  8. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Remember you can't "over cure it" but you can "under cure it". If it is cured for several extra days you will just need to soak it a little longer in water but if you under cure it you could get someone sick.

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