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Bacon question

chasenr

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Hi all,
I've got a question on curing bacon.
For the first time, I'm attempting to cure bacon with pink salt. The previous 4-5 time, I've used Bears recipe with TQ.

So when curing 1603 grams (3.5ish lbs) of pork belly, according to the cure calculator, it only needs 4 grams (3/4 tsp) of cure #1 which is what did. I also used the appropriate amount of Kosher salt: 28ish grams.

It is a very noticeable difference between the amount of liquid the salt pulled out between the two slabs and the TQ slab is quite a bit stiffer than the Cure #1 slab.

Am I running into an issue with the Cure#1 slab? Or is this normal, the lack of stiffness and lack of liquids. There is very little liquid, hard to tell in photos..

Meat from same slab. The packages have been curing for 8 days.

Cure #1:


TQ:


Cure #1 on top



Thanks for the help!


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crankybuzzard

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I'm sure all will be fine. I haven't done the TQ bacon, but I have done the cure#1 bacon and it acts like your is.

About 7 more days and you can fry it up.
 

Bearcarver

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I'm going to take a guess here, because I never Dry Cure with Cure #1:

Since both are from the same slab, Maybe there is a larger amount of Salt in the amount of TQ used than there is in the amount of Cure #1` used.

Bear
 

chasenr

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I'm sure all will be fine. I haven't done the TQ bacon, but I have done the cure#1 bacon and it acts like your is.

About 7 more days and you can fry it up.
Alright, good to know that this is normal for cure #1. Thanks


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chasenr

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I'm going to take a guess here, because I never Dry Cure with Cure #1:



Since both are from the same slab, Maybe there is a larger amount of Salt in the amount of TQ used than there is in the amount of Cure #1` used.




Bear
Thanks Bear. You are correct that there is more salt with the TQ but it's a night and day difference between the two slabs.. and the second concern was the lack of stiffness.

But sounds like for the most part this is normal for cure #1.



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Bearcarver

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Thanks Bear. You are correct that there is more salt with the TQ but it's a night and day difference between the two slabs.. and the second concern was the lack of stiffness.

But sounds like for the most part this is normal for cure #1.



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Yup---The amount of liquid varies during curing from Slab to Slab when using TQ, and I never worried about it, except to make sure I keep the packages laying flat, so the whole slab can utilize the liquid.

However if there's not enough liquid in the curing bag with the Cure #1, there's no transport system for the cure to ride, as dry ingredients won't move through meat.

I never had to do it with TQ, but maybe with Cure #1, you should add a little water to the packages. Just enough to be a carrier.???  

Maybe some Cure #1 users have done this??

Bear
 

chasenr

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That was my concern as well Bear. There is a small amount of liquid in the bag but I'm not sure if there is enough to be moving the cure around.
Good thought on adding water, but I will hold off until I know that's a good idea. Not sure if it will dilute everything..


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Bearcarver

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That was my concern as well Bear. There is a small amount of liquid in the bag but I'm not sure if there is enough to be moving the cure around.
Good thought on adding water, but I will hold off until I know that's a good idea. Not sure if it will dilute everything..


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I guess if I were you, I'd add 3 or 4 TBS of cold water, and close the Ziplock.

Then I'd lay it on a flat hard surface, like a counter top, and I'd massage it real good, back & forth.

Then flip it over and massage that good.

Then back in the fridge.

You may see a little more liquid over the next couple days.

I do that flipping & massaging every day anyway---Just give it a little extra to get that one going with the water you put in.

If anybody thinks that's stupid, just blame The Bear!!

Bear
 

chasenr

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I've been massaging and flipping daily.
I decided to add 2 TBS of water this morning and did a good massage. I'll see if this helps over the next day or two.
Thanks for the help! Keep you posted on this one.


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Bearcarver

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I've been massaging and flipping daily.
I decided to add 2 TBS of water this morning and did a good massage. I'll see if this helps over the next day or two.
Thanks for the help! Keep you posted on this one.


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Bear
 

chopjaw

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Hey Dude,

I use Dry cure every time.  I weigh the meat, add the correct amount of pink salt, salt, sugar and anything else you want.  Cure for 13days wash off and let sit for 24hrs then smoke for 12hrs.  I figure after that long they either cure or go bad..  Over the last several bacon slabs I've made, some had allot of liquid and some had very little.  In the end I finished them and cooked them, guess what happened?  They made a turd.......(sorry couldn't resist..:)  Cooked up fine, everyone loved them..    

I've got 4 slabs smoking now (1hr to go:) for 12 hrs.  When I was curing them I had them in Vac bags and some had liquid, some did not have allot at all.  

One thing I had to learn is how to smell bad meat.  To me-from the photos- they look fine.  An ol wise man told me once, cure for no longer then 17days with pink salt.  13days is what I do and it works like a champ..

Chop. 
 

chasenr

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Hey Dude,



I use Dry cure every time.  I weigh the meat, add the correct amount of pink salt, salt, sugar and anything else you want.  Cure for 13days wash off and let sit for 24hrs then smoke for 12hrs.  I figure after that long they either cure or go bad..  Over the last several bacon slabs I've made, some had allot of liquid and some had very little.  In the end I finished them and cooked them, guess what happened?  They made a turd.......(sorry couldn't resist..:)  Cooked up fine, everyone loved them..    



I've got 4 slabs smoking now (1hr to go:) for 12 hrs.  When I was curing them I had them in Vac bags and some had liquid, some did not have allot at all.  



One thing I had to learn is how to smell bad meat.  To me-from the photos- they look fine.  An ol wise man told me once, cure for no longer then 17days with pink salt.  13days is what I do and it works like a champ..



Chop. 
Thanks Chop for the rely. That is good info!


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chasenr

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Well, finally pulled them today on day 18.. uhoh ;). Ended up being gone for the weekend so wasn't able to pull earlier.

Soaked each slab for one hour and did the fry test. With confidence, I chowed down the TQ slice, having done a handful of these in the past.
And then with much hesitance, I finally popped a Cure #1 slice... and boy was it tasty! The flavor is a bit more mellow I found but hard to tell off of only one slice.

I'm excited to get the Amazen smoker going tomorrow to finish these off!

Thanks for looking and lending a thought or two!

Fry test:(larger piece is Cure#1)



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wade

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Soaked each slab for one hour and did the fry test. 
 
Bacon looks good 
. Its a shame we cannot taste it too 
.

You say that you soaked it for an hour before testing... You may need to do this with TQ if it has a higher salt content in the cure (?) however you should not need to do this with the Cure #1. The weights that you were showing at the beginning would nominally give give you 2% salt in the bacon anyway (2% - 2.5% is usually just about right for most peoples pallets) and so there really wasn't any need to soak the slab after rinsing.
 

wade

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Sorry I forgot to say "cure Bacon no longer than 17days."
I can see this being the case with immersion curing but I am not sure about this with a dry cure. With a dry cure you are calculating the precise amount of cure, salt and sugar that you need and theoretically most of this reaches equilibrium throughout the meat during the curing period. Even when you then rinse off any remaining surface cure/brine the cure is still doing its thing inside the meat. This is personal conjecture though as I have not seen anything to say that 17 days is a critical time - but I may have just missed it.
 
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