Belly Up!

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by pit 4 brains, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow, I thought $1.69 per pound was expensive!!!
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I wonder where I got the idea that you think dry curing bacon is unsafe?
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    So ---You missed this part?

    The guys who dry cure with cure #1 are still alive, so I guess it won't kill you if you're careful.

    Where does it say I said, "Dry curing Bacon is unsafe".

    How could I say "Dry curing Bacon is unsafe"? 

    All of my Bacons are Dry Cured!

    I recommend what I think is best, I state what I think is best, and I also do what I think is best.

    These are all my opinions, backed by some reasoning (also stated).

    People can read all of the posts, and do what they want to do, but I think you and I both said that they can dry cure with Cure #1, if they are careful. The only difference is I state that you have to be even more careful if you dry cure with cure #1 than with TQ.

    That is my opinion, and I stated some of my reasoning for that opinion.  [​IMG]

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  4. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Actually, because of the nitrate/nitrite combination, you'd have to be much more careful with TQ, than with Cure#1
  5. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good reading fellas!

    I went ahead and did the wet brine thing with the following ingredients.

    1 Gallon water

    3/4 or just a bit less of kosher salt

    2 cups turbinado sugar to take the place of 1 cup brown and 1 cup plain

    1 level tablespoon of instacure

    I have a 10 lb belly cut into three pieces in the brine.

    If I was to go with the label that the SaugageMaker put on the package, it would require 3 tablespoons of #1 for a gallon of water.

    In Ryteks book, he mentions that only #1 should used for bacons due to thier short cure time. Tenderquick has a 50/50 blend of nitrite and nitrate. I came to the conclusion, based on everything I have read in this forum and everywhere else, that the nitrate should not be used for short cures but for long cures like salami, ham etc.. So what happens to the nitrate in TQ if it doesn't have a long enough time to change to nitrite then dissipate?
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Pit 4 Brains

    If you are using a cure with specific instructions you need to follow those instructions.  It is not uncommon for manufacturers to combine different ingrediants in different proportions.  If you are using Cure 1 then the amounts should be close to the same as Rhytek.  If you are using a Cure Mix all bets are off and you need to follow the recommendation on that cure mix for the specific technique.

    You can always look at the percentages of Nitrite, Nitrate and Salt in the mix and compare to a standard Cure 1   6.25% Sodium Nitrite and 93.75% salt

    Everything else should be fine,  good luck. 
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    On the contrary:

    If you use TQ, you only have to use the proper amount that is specified, because they already did the mixing, and because of the ingredients & their manufacturing process, it will stay mixed.

    Now if the amount of Nitrates & Nitrites they put in doesn't suit you, or worries you, you can either not use it, or give Morton's a call & tell their Chemists who have been mixing TQ for many many years to change their formula, because you think it is wrong.

    If they don't agree, and refuse to do as you say, you can call the USDA, and have them all locked up & shut the place down.

  8. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Calm down fellas...

    The stuff I have is from and it is standard pink instacure #1 6.25%. I am just finding different amounts called for in different recipies and methods. I'm sure i'm safe with one TB for a gallon of brine and ten lbs of meat.
  9. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't have a problem with TQ in itself. I'm sure it's a very good cure. Where I have a concern, is that TQ is a proprietary product and as such is not a substitute for any other cure. That could cause problems for someone not familiar with the difference between TQ & Cure#1.

    Basically, if you're happy with TQ that's fine. But not everyone feels the same. You don't need to get so condescending with your posts!
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you have a problem with a discussion between Me, Al, and best of all (bbally), which is the kind of serious discussion that is good for people to read, just ignore it, or read it. It's your prerogative. We do these now & then.

    I'm sure many people learn a lot from these discussions, because I know I learn a lot from Al & Bob myself.

    As for my being condescending, all of my posts were about being careful using cure #1.

    None of them said cure #1 itself was unsafe.

    None of them said anyone should not use cure #1.

    Now your comment comes in and actually tries to tell people that Tender Quick is unsafe, due to the amount of nitrites/nitrates in it. If someone doesn't stop such a statement quick, people might actually believe that. Nobody else replied to you. I guess because of my avid use of TQ, they figured I would handle it. I replied to your attack on TQ the best I knew how. I don't consider what I said to be condescending---It was exactly what was needed to inform others that if there was something wrong with TQ, as you stated, they would not be selling it.

    Now coming back & telling us how you think it is a very good cure, and the fact that you can't substitute it for other cures, doesn't change your original statement about a problem with their ingredients.

    If that isn't what you meant, perhaps you should have made that comment a little more explanatory, so people would know what you meant, because I still read it as saying "Because of the wrong amount of nitrites/nitrates in TQ, people have to be more careful using TQ than using other cures". 

    Oh yeah, before I forget, a statement like, "Basically, if you're happy with TQ that's fine. But not everyone feels the same." should only be used against me if I said I wouldn't use other cures. If you read my posts, you will see that I often say I would use Cure # 1 cures, and I never said others should not use other cures. I would use them in a wet/brine cure method, so I don't have to worry about the distribution problem I see. That problem being either a real possible problem, or a figment of my imagination, is still a problem in my mind.

  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If that's what Al & bbally say is right, I would bank on it. I have no idea, because so far I have not used it.

  12. mfeder

    mfeder Newbie

    Why do so many people use Tenderquick to cure bacon when the USDA states the following:

    "Because of problems associated with nitrosamine formation in bacon, MPI Regulations, section

    318.7(b)(1) and (3) prescribe the amounts of nitrite and sodium ascorbate or sodium erythorbate

    (isoascorbate) to be used in pumped and massaged bacon. For the immersion curing and dry

    curing of bacon, maximum amounts of sodium and potassium nitrite are prescribed in section

    318.7(b)(5) and (6) of the MPI Regulations.

    Establishment management must submit pickle formulas and the method(s) of preparing pumped

    and/or massaged bacon to the processing staff officer at the appropriate regional office. The

    pickle formula and targeted percent pump or pick-up must meet the limits listed below. Once the

    procedure is approved, production may begin.

    Regardless of the curing method used, restricted ingredient calculations for bacon are based on

    the green weight of the skinless belly. For rind-on bacon, e.g., where the skin is sold as part of

    the finished product, a restricted ingredient conversion calculation is necessary. Nitrate is no

    longer permitted in any curing method for bacon."


    Does that only apply to commercial production of bacon?
  13. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    More than likely.. The USDA can only suggest or recommend what you do personally.

  14. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The two of you have found the core of the discussion.    Morton's says it's OK to use Tender quick for Bacon.   AK and others (me included) say it may be OK but we prefer not to, based on the USDA guidelines and other discussions about using Nitrates in meats subject to high temperature.  I will have to look at what temp is considered dangerous.  I believe that is where the discussion ends, that frying bacon does not generate a high enough temp to convert the Nitrates to Nitrosamines.  It is clearly stated in most of the research I have done that the USDA does not allow the use of Nitrates when curing bacon.

    It is an ongoing battle between Big Business and Big Govenmant, between the little guy and da Man, between the Yanks and the Rebels,  no just kidding about that stuff.

    Can't wait to see the rest of the discussion, going to put my motorcycle helmet on, find the flack jacket, maybe the steel toed boots and safety glasses.

  15. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    pete, i got this @ target and the read out pulls out...............
  16. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    mine is close to that.......

    85 g salt

    50 g sugar

    10 g cure 1

    what kind of salt are you using pete............weight by volume differs.......need to get a scale!
  17. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here is the one I have for my classes:  Click the pick to go to the seller.

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  18. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I used Mortons Kosher salt. Going by Pops recipe, he calls for 1/2 to 1 cup salt and I assumed he wouldn't use table salt. i almost used sea salt but I want what I have left for cooking. Scale=$$ and I gots none righ now..

    Thanx for the link Bob!
  19. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    not all brands are the same weight by depends how fine or coarse the grind is. and you can always use mine.........i'm right with ya on the $$ scene right now!
  20. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I may take you up on the offer of the scale.. If you need to use a stuffer or a grinder let me know..

    I just dug up my old ammunition reloading scale to see if it might be handy in fine measurements since it weighs in grains. I can easily weigh out small amounts of cure with a grain/ounce conversion so all i need now is the scale to weigh larger amounts of dry ingredients and bulk meat. I'll be researching this quite well. I only wanna buy once..

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