Cure Calc Help Needed, Confused for first time bacon attempt

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Markl

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I am doing a dry rub. Mix the ingredients place in a sealed bag and place in the fridge turning everyday for x days. X = 8 to 10 days, still working on x.
 

SmokinEdge

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156ppm nitrite is the maximum for commuted meats (sausage) 200ppm for dry rubs.
Dry cured products that will age for a couple months or more go up to 625ppm nitrite.

Brines are a totally different animal and the USDA recommends a brine strength as high as 1973ppm nitrite, this is to be injected at 10% meat weight and not covered with the same brine.
 
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DougE

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I am doing a dry rub. Mix the ingredients place in a sealed bag and place in the fridge turning everyday for x days. X = 8 to 10 days, still working on x.
I generally do bacon for 14 days. Doesn't matter how thick the slab is. 14 days.14 days is well past the minimum time to complete the curing process, but the extra time allows for flavor development, and it's really not worth rushing it through at the bare minimum if you're going to go through all this work.
 

SmokinEdge

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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!

View attachment 645876
P.s.
Pumped bacon, specifically, is limited to 120ppm nitrite and must also contain a cure accelerator like sodium erythorbate, but this only applies to pumped bacon. The USDA Would like all bacon limited to 120ppm, but if dry cured, the upper limit still applies at 200ppm, and if making pancetta you could go to 625ppm, although that is not needed.
 

SmokinEdge

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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%?
The guys have answered your question.

I will add that the calculator is showing the 6.25% as the amount of nitrite in cure #1. Other cure blends may have a different nitrite percentage, so only use cure #1 with this calculator. This nitrite percentage (6.25%) is the default value for this calculator and cannot be changed to work with a different cure salt.

cure #1 contains 6.25% sodium nitrite and 93.75% sodium chloride (salt). If we apply cure #1 at a rate of .25% to the meat weight we will impart 156ppm nitrite. This is the maximum allowable in going nitrite for commuted products like sausage, but it’s also a safe zone to apply to whole muscle products like belly, loin or even hams. 200ppm is the maximum allowable in going nitrite for whole muscle but it’s generally accepted that 156ppm is sufficient. .25% cure #1 has become a standard in general meat curing. We apply this percentage by weight, 1.1g per pound of meat or 2.5g per Kg (1000g) of meat.

You can always check your math this way.

Meat) 1000g

Salt) 1.5% solve: 1000 x .015= 15g

Cure #1) .25% solve: 1000 x .0025= 2.5g

Sugar) 1.0% solve: 1000 x .01= 10g

Now, the difference between my math illustration and the calculator is that my total salt will be 1.75% (because we have to add the salt and cure #1 together to get total salt) 1.5% + .25% = 1.75% total salt.
However, when you plug 1.5% salt into the calculator it will allow for the salt in cure #1 and will adjust the salt amount to allow for this. So with the calculator if you plug in 1.5% salt this will be your all in final salt percentage including cure #1.

Clear as mud?
 

Markl

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God I love this site and the people on it. Ask for help and get a wealth of knowledge to get on the right path to advance into this area. Can't wait to post photo's and results of my first attempt at this! Odds are very good because of the people here!
 

JC in GB

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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
View attachment 645860

After doing a fair bit of research I came up with my 10% brine method for making bacon.

It is very simple and has worked for me every time.

Meat weight in kg + 10% meat weight in H2O

For every kg of meat and water

25 g sugar
16 g salt
3 g cure #1

Mix dry ingredients with H2O add to meat and seal in bag flip every day smoke after 10 days.

JC
 

Markl

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Well its been 14 days in the fridge curing. Cut and fried a couple pieces to test. Tasted pretty good, back in the fridge uncovered now and tomorrow will give it a 4-6 hickory cold smoke. Waiting to see what I end up with in a few days.
 
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TNJAKE

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It's gonna be tasty. Finished my beef bacon yesterday. 12hr cold smoke. Probably slice it up Monday. Can't wait to see yours
 
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DougE

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It'll be delicious. I don't recall ever having bad bacon, but what I cure myself is above and beyond what you buy at the store. Everyone I've given it to agrees. A few have started bringing me meat to turn into bacon for them.
 
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Dave in AZ

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After doing a fair bit of research I came up with my 10% brine method for making bacon.

It is very simple and has worked for me every time.

Meat weight in kg + 10% meat weight in H2O

For every kg of meat and water

25 g sugar
16 g salt
3 g cure #1

Mix dry ingredients with H2O add to meat and seal in bag flip every day smoke after 10 days.

JC
Glad it's working!
It is probably important to point out to folks, if you are going to post cure recipes, that this would not pass a USFDA FSIS inspection for any bacon for sale in the US. You can of course do what you want in your own kitchen, but I believe you should note when you personally choose exceeding govt allowed nitrate levels, so you can allow readers the knowledge to make their own informed decision as to whether they want to follow the USFDA health and safety guidelines or ignore them...

Immersion cured bacon is limited to 120ppm sodium nitrite. This comes to 1.9g cure#1 per kg of meat and water.
 
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SmokinEdge

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Glad it's working!
It is probably important to point out to folks, if you are going to post cure recipes, that this would not pass a USFDA FSIS inspection for any bacon for sale in the US. You can of course do what you want in your own kitchen, but I believe you should note when you personally choose exceeding govt allowed nitrate levels, so you can allow readers the knowledge to make their own informed decision as to whether they want to follow the USFDA health and safety guidelines or ignore them...

Immersion cured bacon is limited to 120ppm sodium nitrite. This comes to 1.9g cure#1 per kg of meat and water.
Dave, you need to relax. You have posted this many times, and while I agree generally with what you are saying, you are hammering on brine cure, but the original poster here has clearly stated that he is dry rubbing, and as such is well within USDA regulations. To go farther, if you are going to push FSIS, USDA regs for brine cure at 120ppm nitrite then please include their additional regulations on using a cure accelerator such as sodium erythorbate, that’s an equal regulation. Please educate yourself and have some fun, I’m happy to go as deep as you like on this subject, so if you are confused, please ask.
 
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Markl

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Cold smoked for 5.5 hours, how's it look?
20221030_152535.jpg
 

DougE

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Looks great! Like SE said, give it a few days in the fridge for the flavors to meld.
 
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