# Correct Amount Of Cure #1?

#### Mike1190

##### Newbie
Hi Everyone,

I've been successful in making bacon a number of times previously using dry cures that I calculate using the digging dog farm calculator. However, I wanted to experiment with some liquid in the brine to see if I could impart some additional flavors.

From what I've read, when adding liquid to an equilibrium brine, you need to include the weight of the liquid along with the weight of the belly in calculating the amount of prague powder to add to the brine. Is this correct?

I have two pieces of belly curing currently, calculated for 156ppm of nitrite. Do these look ok?

belly weight 2420 grams
Franks Red Hot 225 grams
Salt 2.5% 59.94 grams
Sugar 1.5% 39.63 grams
Cure #1 6.6 grams

belly weight 2469 grams
Maple Syrup 171 grams
Bourbon 56 grams
Salt 2.5% 61.09 grams
Sugar 2% 53.92 grams
Cure #1 6.73 grams

Also, I'm a bit curious if there's any concern in having the vinegar from the hot sauce, or the bourbon in the cure. Not sure if there's any weird interactions that might occur with the meat.

Any opinions are appreciated. Thanks in advance.

#### SmokinEdge

##### Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Hi Everyone,

I've been successful in making bacon a number of times previously using dry cures that I calculate using the digging dog farm calculator. However, I wanted to experiment with some liquid in the brine to see if I could impart some additional flavors.

From what I've read, when adding liquid to an equilibrium brine, you need to include the weight of the liquid along with the weight of the belly in calculating the amount of prague powder to add to the brine. Is this correct?

I have two pieces of belly curing currently, calculated for 156ppm of nitrite. Do these look ok?

belly weight 2420 grams
Franks Red Hot 225 grams
Salt 2.5% 59.94 grams
Sugar 1.5% 39.63 grams
Cure #1 6.6 grams

belly weight 2469 grams
Maple Syrup 171 grams
Bourbon 56 grams
Salt 2.5% 61.09 grams
Sugar 2% 53.92 grams
Cure #1 6.73 grams

Also, I'm a bit curious if there's any concern in having the vinegar from the hot sauce, or the bourbon in the cure. Not sure if there's any weird interactions that might occur with the meat.

Any opinions are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
You have the cure #1 calculated correctly, however, it’s not a good idea to mix acidic liquids like wine and vinegar with curing salt because they act as a cure accelerator and burn up the nitrite often before it can penetrate through the meat and do its job. Some dried sausages and salami call for a small amount of wine in the mix which works out because it is a commuted mixture where cure is mixed all through the meat. In a surface rub on whole muscle this isn’t a good idea. The bourbon can cause issue as well.
Its best to cure the belly first, then apply these flavors as a glaze prior to smoking. You could also apply these flavors after the curing process is complete and let the belly rest for an additional week in the fridge before smoking.

#### Mike1190

##### Newbie
Thank you for the reply. I wasn't aware of that.

Is there any way to save these? Can I pull them from the cure they're in and reapply without the acidic components?

I'm guessing there'd be no way to know how much nitrite the belly picked up, so my guess would be no, but thought I'd ask.

#### zwiller

##### Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Pretty much my take on it too. That said, I've successfully used small % of acids in cured stuff but not bacon. I think the bourbon one is probably OK but too much Franks in the other one. I use 1-2% acid max. You are around 10% Franks... Also consider the sodium contribution of the Franks or your results might be oversalty. I have a spreadsheet that I use to calculate the percentage of salt from the sodium content on the label that helps me tweak the salt in the mix. Still working out the kinks but it appears Franks is around 10% salt (9.5%).

#### SmokinEdge

##### Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Thank you for the reply. I wasn't aware of that.

Is there any way to save these? Can I pull them from the cure they're in and reapply without the acidic components?

I'm guessing there'd be no way to know how much nitrite the belly picked up, so my guess would be no, but thought I'd ask.
First let me say welcome to SMF.
No way to change it now. You are just going to have to let them ride. You applied 156ppm nitrite, we need something north of 50ppm to have any meaningful curing effect. This gives about 100ppm could get burned up and you will still have the pink color inside the meat. Worst case scenario on the one with Frank’s is maybe a pale pink on that center muscle sandwiched between 2 layers of fat, or it could be gray with little cure. This is the worst that will happen. I’m guessing it will be fine and certainly not dangerous so let it ride.
I agree with zwiller that the bourbon one is likely fine. Distilled products aren’t as bad on nitrite, but as a rule they should be used sparingly or not at all in the curing process. This doesn’t mean you can’t use them for flavor though, after the cure is complete. I’m sure this will work out fine, it’s just not optimal.

#### tallbm

##### Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Thank you for the reply. I wasn't aware of that.

Is there any way to save these? Can I pull them from the cure they're in and reapply without the acidic components?

I'm guessing there'd be no way to know how much nitrite the belly picked up, so my guess would be no, but thought I'd ask.
Hi there and welcome!

I think the guys are giving good info.

For now I think you just ride it out THEN when the curing time is done slice a center piece and fry it in the skillet to see if it looks good and is cured all the way through. You can visually, texturally, and taste confirm this when you cut and eat that piece.

Also you are correct that when you do a liquid cure or brine you add the weight of the water + weight of the meat and then use that total weight to calculate. The diggingdog calculator is great for this, just punch in total weight and it will tell you all the cure, salt, and sugar you need.

I've gotten good flavor with adding some cracked black pepper, dehydrated onion flakes, and granulated garlic with my liquid cures and brines (brine with no cure#1).
I also got decent results with clove and star anise when making hams from pork shoulders. These can be strong so getting the amount correct will be an experiment but know that for 25 pounds of pork and 2 gallons of water that a 1.5 large star anise and 1 clove gave a small amount of flavor for the ham. I may double it next time I do the same amount as the flavor seemed to go away quite a bit after I vac sealed and reheated.

I hope this info helps :)

#### Mike1190

##### Newbie
Thank you all for welcomes. I've lurked around this site for awhile, learned a lot, but never posted.

I appreciate all the info. I'll let them finish and check out the center to see that they're cured. Glad to know I might not have to throw them out. I'll definitely keep acid out of cures moving forward. Glad to know I'm doing the nitrite thing correctly though.

Thanks again.

#### thirdeye

##### Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
You have the cure #1 calculated correctly, however, it’s not a good idea to mix acidic liquids like wine and vinegar with curing salt because they act as a cure accelerator and burn up the nitrite often before it can penetrate through the meat and do its job.
Pretty much my take on it too. That said, I've successfully used small % of acids in cured stuff but not bacon. I think the bourbon one is probably OK but too much Franks in the other one.
Just so I'm straight on this.... you guys are talking about not recommending the addition of wine, vinegar, or hard liquor into the bag when DRY curing meats? In other words, don't treat these things as a flavoring agents like you would aromatics like pepper, bay leaf or fenugreek?

I'm curious because on the wet curing brine side (especially my corning brine for beef and porkstrami).... I add beer to my water base at the rate of 104 ounces of water and 24 ounces of beer. Then I add Cure #1, AmesPhos plus typical corning aromatics like pepper, mustard seeds cloves etc., and use the combination curing method (injection plus a cover brine). Here is a snip from the NCHFP document that mentions acidic and alcohol.

2.4. Combination Curing
Some current recipes for curing have vinegar, citrus juice, or alcohol as ingredients for flavor. Addition of these chemicals in sufficient quantities can contribute to the preservation of the food being cured.

#### SmokinEdge

##### Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Thank you all for welcomes. I've lurked around this site for awhile, learned a lot, but never posted.

I appreciate all the info. I'll let them finish and check out the center to see that they're cured. Glad to know I might not have to throw them out. I'll definitely keep acid out of cures moving forward. Glad to know I'm doing the nitrite thing correctly though.

Thanks again.
YMMV, but 2.5% salt is great for curing, but to salty for my personal taste. 1.5% salt is the minimum And anything above 3.0% will not be good on the palate. So that’s the salt range.

Here is what I apply to bacon and hams,
Sea salt) 1.5%
Cure #1) 0.25% (156ppm)
Sugar 0.75% (just enough to balance salt taste)

The combined salt, and cure #1 bring my total salt to 1.75%

#### SmokinEdge

##### Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Just so I'm straight on this.... you guys are talking about not recommending the addition of wine, vinegar, or hard liquor into the bag when DRY curing meats? In other words, don't treat these things as a flavoring agents like you would aromatics like pepper, bay leaf or fenugreek?
Correct

I'm curious because on the wet curing brine side (especially my corning brine for beef and porkstrami).... I add beer to my water base at the rate of 104 ounces of water and 24 ounces of beer. Then I add Cure #1, AmesPhos plus typical corning aromatics like pepper, mustard seeds cloves etc., and use the combination curing method (injection plus a cover brine). Here is a snip from the NCHFP document that mentions acidic and alcohol.
If you are injecting it’s fine.
Im not sure the effects of watered down beer, or any alcohol really. In this case you are diluting the 24 Oz. Beer with 104 oz. water. At any rate acceleration of cure is not a problem if injecting. But when relying on the salt diffusion alone to get salt and cure into the meat, cure accelerators are not a good idea For whole muscle non injected meats.

In comminuted products like sausage. wine, vinegar, hard liquor or sodium erythorbate is fine because the cure is all mixed through the meat. The acceleration effect here just produces nitric oxide faster from the nitrite, making the cure happen faster. I do this and can stuff then go straight to the smoker. I usually don’t because the flavor is better if I wait until the next day, but I have gone into the smoker same day when I have to time wise, and the sausage is perfectly cured.

#### zwiller

##### Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Said waaay better than I could have! Back when I got into it in the past there were even discussions that it was actually harmful to mix acids and cure/nitrite and created poison. Almost the same kind of discussion about heating cure. I could never find much about it.

#### thirdeye

##### Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
If you are injecting it’s fine.
Im not sure the effects of watered down beer, or any alcohol really. In this case you are diluting the 24 Oz. Beer with 104 oz. water. At any rate acceleration of cure is not a problem if injecting. But when relying on the salt diffusion alone to get salt and cure into the meat, cure accelerators are not a good idea For whole muscle non injected meats.
Thanks for that, it makes perfect sense. In my example of the corning brine, I'm treating beer as one of the flavorings in the bucket, not as a chemical or other additive (like Cure #1 or AmesPhos) that I use for a certain effect on the finished product.

#### daveomak

##### SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Back when I got into it in the past there were even discussions that it was actually harmful to mix acids and cure/nitrite and created poison. Almost the same kind of discussion about heating cure. I could never find much about it.
Z, morning... Do you have any questions about heat and/or acid, when it comes to curing meats ??

#### zwiller

##### Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Z, morning... Do you have any questions about heat and/or acid, when it comes to curing meats ??
What's your take on the OP's bacon with the Frank's Hot Sauce. Think he will be OK?

#### indaswamp

##### Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Cure the meat with salt and cure #1, then when you pull it out of the cure you can coat it with your franks hot sauce once the cure has gone into the meat.u