Cure Calc Help Needed, Confused for first time bacon attempt

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Markl

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Going to try my first attempt at making some bacon. I have the pork belly, Cure #1, salt, sugar. I found posts that state a good rule of thumb is:
.25% Cure #1
1.5% Salt
1.0% Sugar
What I don't get is the calculator on DiggingDogFarm where I cannot seem to alter the input for cure from it's default 6.5% value and it also shows a 156PPM Nitrate value ( are these linked?). What's the difference between this 156 parameter and the Cure #1?
Basically, I'm not trusting the numbers I'm seeing, if correct, can someone explain the 6.5%?

Thanks, Mark
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DougE

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What Jake said, the 6.25 is just there to tell you that this calculator is based on curing salts containing 6.25% sodium nitrite, which is standard for what is sold in the US under names such as Cure#1, Instacure#1, Prague powder#1, etc. Curing salts sold in other countries often have less sodium nitrite than what we get here in the US.
 
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Markl

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Thank guys! Appreciate the education, never saw anything that explained the 6.25. I like to understand the what and why, rather than blindly follow. Guessing the 156 ppm is another default setting used for this curing process.
 

TNJAKE

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Thank guys! Appreciate the education, never saw anything that explained the 6.25. I like to understand the what and why, rather than blindly follow. Guessing the 156 ppm is another default setting used for this curing process.
The 156ppm is used because that's the regulatory standard for nitrites in cure when referring to a dry cure. When using that calculator all you do is plug in your meat weight in grams, salt and sugar in desired percentage and press calculate
 
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DougE

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Thank guys! Appreciate the education, never saw anything that explained the 6.25. I like to understand the what and why, rather than blindly follow. Guessing the 156 ppm is another default setting used for this curing process.
Pretty much middle of the road at 0.25% cure ...... it insures that you have enough cure to do the job while keeping you safe if you overshoot a little. I just do my own calcs at
0.25% cure#1
1.5% salt,
0.75% sugar
 
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DougE

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200ppm nitrite is the max by FDA standards in a dry cure, if I recall correctly. So 156ppm gives you a little room for error.
 
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DougE

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Do yourself a favor and buy this book: Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages by Adam and Stanley Marianski. It's somewhat in depth, but still an easy read and will answer any questions you have on curing and sausage making.
 

Dave in AZ

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I hate to say it, but there may be some confusion potential in this thread, if read without stating dry or wet cures.. Some only applies to ham... bacon has its own chemical limits that are different. 156ppm is for ham products if immersed, not bacon. Advice and techniques can get confusing and be wrong, if you don't spell out EXACTLY what curing method you're using, a dryrub, brine immersion, or pumped. So 156ppm is fine if dryrub, but if you make a brine and immerse it, the total ppm put into the brine is 120, and that is based off weight of meat PLUS the water.

I constantly see these limits incorrectly exceeded when folks advise making a strong (high cure1 sodium nitrite) brine, which does give 120ppm if exactly 10% of meat weight is injected/pumped into meat... but then they advise to dump rest around meat and let it soak. This usually exceeds allowed ppm with either of the 2 Calculation Methods, pumped or immersion, given in the Inspectors Handbook.

These limits are referenced with their sources in the USFDA FSIS Processing Inspectors Calculation Handbook. You can download it for free, google it, and it is a pretty easy read and gread document to have, because it tells you exactly how to correctly calculate the alliwed chemical amounts in a pickle, dry rub, pumped/massaged method, etc. From that document, page 28, Nitrites used in Bacon, Ingredient Limits:
120ppm required if pumped, with caveats.
120 ppm max if immersion cured.
200ppm max if dry rubbed.
Hope this helps!

Screenshot_20221013-172841_Drive.jpg

P.s.
 
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DougE

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a maximum of 200 PPM of potassium nitrite for dry cure. Is that not what I already said? Actually I said a max of SODIUM NITRITE, but I think you meant the same thing.
 
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Dave in AZ

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a maximum of 200 PPM of potassium nitrite for dry cure. Is that not what I already said? Actually I said a max of SODIUM NITRITE, but I think you meant the same thing.
DougE, your post was good and spot on.. i just posted up the source because no one was stating dryrub vs. Wet. I see diggingdogfarm calc and genuineideas referenced all the time (other forums) for calculating wet brines, and folks seem to leave that default 156ppm in there. When folks make a bunch of posts referring to 156ppm as good, and folks don't explicitly state it is dryrub, then some future reader will see it, and just use it to calculate their immersion brine. When there are 3 widely used different methods, with 2 different nitrite safety standards, I just think its always a good thing to be sure that factoid gets mentioned. 1000 folks will read this later, researching how to make bacon, who never post-- throwing out 120ppm and referencing the source doc can only help folks. ;)
 
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DougE

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156ppm is what we use to remain in the safe zone, Jake, but it is not the maximum allowable limit. We stick here because the cure will be effective at this number while allowing for some wiggle room before reaching unsafe levels of nitrite levels. Lower than 156ppm can still be effective, and somewhat over that is still safe, but it's a good number to get proper cure while keeping within safe nitrite levels in finished product.
 

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