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Just one really quick question...I am going to try making bacon on a stick...but I am going to dry cure it with cure #1, and cold smoke it (so it is exactly like bacon, to fry up next to the eggs for Sunday morning breakfast)...Is there any precaution that I need to take with the bones? I don't THINK they would make a difference, due to the thin nature of the ribs, and the cure will be in contact with them for nearly ten days)...but I just need to be sure not to salmonella my family... :)
Bones are not the problem.

The problem I see is that the dry cure method in this thread was done with Tender Quick.  The brine method was done with Cure #1.

If you are going to mix and match curing methods, please do your research before you proceed.

Also, even with cold smoking, botulism enters the picture along with salmonella, e coli and all the other nasties out there if the curing is not done properly. Even cold smoking can create an anaerobic environment which will favor botulism.

Good luck and good smoking.
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I did the brining was delicious, but "hammy"....Tenderquick, is an unknown quantity to me, I have never used it...and it is probably named something else over here. Basically, I am confident, that once I cure, and dry any piece of pork, I will have ham or bacon (although shoulders aren't too good...They make good sausages though), depending on whether I brine or dry cure...My stumbling block on this, though, is the bones...Brine penetrates the bones, and cures the marrow (presumably by soaking through the cut into the porous marrow)

...I just need to be sure that dry curing will work as well...
TQ is basically cure #1, salt and sugar. I'm not sure what you're using but it's best to just find cure #1 or #2 depending on your adventure and then add the salt, sugars & spices accordingly. I use TQ for a few things still, and I've found local meat shops that sell their own version (very similar) of TQ but in the end it's best to learn how to use all ingredients to fit your pallet while being safe at the same time.

Each animal has it's own cure methods to be 'safe' and you'll find that info here and I'm sure others will chime in.

Other than that, how did you think the bacon on a stick compared to normal rib procedures? I haven't done cured ribs yet! Looks great tho!
As I understand it, TQ is nitrite and nitrate combined, so it is a longer acting cure.

For this recipe, the cure times would be the key, as we hopefully are not using long cure times and not cold smoking. This particular recipe uses cure to set color and give cured flavor, more than for preservation, as long as cold smoking is not involved.

Still, when mixing and matching recipes and methods.....

As always, take care.

Good luck and good smoking.
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I have been trying to figure out how much cure to add.....   Cure needs to be added based on the weight of the meat... I am not sure if the bones figure into the weight... I don't know how to do that....  maybe figure the bones to meat ratio at 80/20 or something like that...   Weigh a rack, smoke and eat all the meat and reweigh the bones....  Pretty crude but curing meat needs some resemblance to accuracy....  

Unless I'm all wet on this and the bones actually do absorb cure at the same rate as the meat....  Anybody know about that....

Ok...If in doubt...barge on ahead and see what happens :D
I used the calculator here I used the "Rind on bacon" Figuring that rind and bones would probably have the same "slow cure absorption". I Also left the pleura (membrane) ON. Strange logic I know, but I am thinking the membrane will cause the cure to pool against the bone (membrane side down, in the bag, , with cure rubbed into the meat sitting on the membrane),and increase the bone exposure to it. I am using cure #1 (6.25% sodium nitrite), as I don't think that the curing process will take long enough to allow fermentation/ need nitrates...

Here is what I have so far, 3 days in, just applied the 2nd 1/3 cure... Without, then with flash (so you can see the curing)

I am also trying to get my hands on a petri dish, and swab kit, so I can see if there is any bacteria living inside the bones, before I smoke them...but, so far so good :)
Looks simply wonderful! Great job as always Bear!
I tried jumping through my screen but I ended up just bumping my head and knocking over my monitor. Maaaaaan that looks good. Nicely done!
I have been trying to figure out how much cure to add.....   Cure needs to be added based on the weight of the meat... I am not sure if the bones figure into the weight... I don't know how to do that....  maybe figure the bones to meat ratio at 80/20 or something like that...   Weigh a rack, smoke and eat all the meat and reweigh the bones....  Pretty crude but curing meat needs some resemblance to accuracy....  

Unless I'm all wet on this and the bones actually do absorb cure at the same rate as the meat....  Anybody know about that....

I did not deduct for the bones, because I only cured for 48 hours, just for the flavor.

Then I hot smoked the ribs.

I better clear this up better:

While I was gone, a few of you asked about curing with the bones in, and how much cure to use because of the bones.

You have to read my post a little closer. The TQ cure I used was not to completely cure the Pork Spares. It was to give it the Hammy taste.

After curing for only 48 hours, I hot smoked the Ribs just as if they weren't even cured at all. There was no need to worry about completely curing the ribs.

I hope that helps!!

And thanks again to all the nice comments!!!

BACON-ON-A-STICK  (Smoked Pork Spare Ribs cured with Tender Quick)

Pops got me interested in this a long time ago, when he added a rack of these to some other outstanding Ribs he was doing.

He did it with Cure #1 in a brine, and he told me it would be fine to Dry cure it with TQ, so I went on a search.

I came up with a few threads that didn't go into much detail, but I also found a good thread from Dennis "SmokingD".

Dennis is a nice guy, and he lives hundreds of miles North of North Dakota. I think his neighbor wears a Red Suit, and sports a long White Beard.

Dennis had enjoyed a number of the Step by Steps in my Signature, so I asked him a few questions, made a few small changes, and came up with my plan.

Then awhile back I tried one rack, mixed in with some Beef Dinos. The Spares were Great, but a bit dry. I think they were too thin for the length of time I gave them.

This time I did 2 racks of Pork Spare Ribs, and I did not trim them to St Louis Style first. I think that meant a lot for how moist these were.

These were definitely the best Ribs I've ever had, and were right up top in being one of the best things I have ever smoked!!!


First Day:

Cut 2 racks of Pork Spares into 4 pieces, so they will fit neatly into Zip-Lock bags.

Remove membrane from back of Ribs, and trim excess fat from surfaces.

Rinse well, and pat dry with paper towels.

Weigh each piece, and calculate how much Tender Quick should go in each bag, with each piece.

Weigh the right amounts of TQ for each piece, and put these amounts on paper plates, ready for rubbing.

(One TBS (1/2 ounce) of TQ per pound).

Rub each piece with it's proper amount of TQ, and put them in individual Zip-locks.

I also added one TBS of Brown Sugar to each side, and threw any TQ that fell off into the bag with the piece it fell off of, so the proper amount of cure stays with each piece.

Put these packages in Fridge, laying flat, for 48 hours, flipping & massaging at 24 hours. (Fridge set at 37˚/38˚ F)

Day #3:

Remove pieces from curing bags, rinse well, and soak in ice water for 1 hour.

Slice a couple thin pieces off, note internal color, and fry to test for salt flavor.

If it tastes salty, soak for another hour. Repeat as needed. These were Perfect.

I have never had to soak anything to get rid of salt flavor, except when I used Hi Mt BBB Cure & Seasoning.

I always do a Salt-fry-test---Just in case!!!

Rinse pieces one more time, pat dry, and put on smoker racks.

I also sprinkled both sides with Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder.

Put in fridge, uncovered, overnight, for pellicle to begin forming.

If you don't have a designated "Meat" fridge, you can run a fan over the pieces for a couple hours, just before you put them in the smoker.

Day #4 (Smoking Day):

10:20 AM------------Pre-heat Smoker to 140˚ (I use an MES 40).

10:25 AM------------Fill 2 rows of AMNPS with Hickory Pellets, and light one end real good. Do not put in Smoker yet.

10:30 AM------------Put meat in smoker on top two positions. No smoke yet, to allow pellicle to finish forming.

11:00 AM------------Reset temp to 225˚, and put well lit AMNPS on bars, on left side, at bottom of Smoker.

1:45 PM-------------Stack meat on wire rack in a foil pan, add 10 ounces of Apple Juice, cover with doubled foil.

1:45 PM-------------Also remove AMNPS, and return meat to 2nd position in Smoker.

1:45 PM-------------I also checked internals, and they ran from about 153˚ to 166˚ at this time.

4:00 PM-------------Cut heat back to 140˚, and close vent all but the thickness of my Smoker probe wire.

4:30 PM-------------Smoker Temp is still 163˚, without element coming on.

4:45 PM-------------Smoker Temp is still 143˚, without element coming on. Kill Smoker Power.

4:55 PM-------------Remove meat from Smoker, unwrap, take pics, cut up Ribs, plate, add sides, and enjoy Great TQ Cured and Smoked Pork Spare Ribs!!!

These Really Exceeded my Expectations!



Started with 12 pounds of Pork Spare Ribs:


Exactly the right amount of TQ for each piece:


Rubbing TQ & Brown Sugar on both sides (anything that falls off goes in bag with piece it fell off of):


All ready for 48 hours in fridge:


Soaking 1 hour before taste testing:


Two little slices for salt-fry test, showing outside of slices:


Same 2 little slices flipped over to show inside of slices----Note bright red color inside from cure:


Salt-fry test sampling:


Two pieces for top position in smoker, with Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder sprinkled on:


Two pieces for 2nd position in smoker:


Two racks overnighting in fridge, before smoking (forming pellicle at 37/38˚):


Lighting AMNPS with less than two rows filled with Hickory pellets:


AMNPS smoking perfectly, after blowing flame out.      

Pet cemetery in background:


My set-up inside my MES 40:


Perfect Smoke from AMNPS coming out fully opened top exhaust vent:


All pieces in covered foil pan, with 10 ounces of Apple Juice in bottom, under wire rack:


Pulled AMNPS after more than 3 hours of perfect smoke (Will save unburned pellets):


Fresh out of smoker---Steam rising---Note wire rack under Ribs:


All 4 pieces---My favorite color!!!!


My Sabertooth Tiger "Smokey" smells PORK !!!!!

Run for the hills!!!!


Fresh Cured Smoked Slices:


All of them cut apart.

Have to eat the ones in the plate. No more will fit in the container with lid:


A little BearView for my Buddies:


Another BearView, this time of my plate (and my first helping of Ribs):

Bear... I think you missed your calling.....Great qview

Gotta try this out! Ribs got rubbed with tender-quick, vac-packed, and put into the fridge last night!
That's Great. Chad !!

Did you put the Brown Sugar on too, like I did??

That counters the salt in the TQ.

Sadly I am on a low-carb diet, so I did not add the brown sugar. I will be sure to soak/test the ribs before I smoke them though! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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