Cures and curing

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by thomask702, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. thomask702

    thomask702 Newbie

    hey guys, i have been looking through this bacon forum and i have decided to give'r a go! i was hoping to use the tenderquick/brown sugar / maple syrup method, but i cant seem to find the TQ anywhere, i havent looked everywhere yet, there is still hope. as far as cures go, i have myself a gift card for, and was thinking i could order the prague 1. can you guys give me a little information on this cure, and how easy is it to use, compared to others. anyway, i am going to pick up the meat from my butcher on monday, and hopefully i will find the cure locally tomarrow, otherwise im going to have to ship it...

    thanks guys! wish me luck!

  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the forums Thomas, heres a link to Morton's product locater , hopefully you can find someplace close to pick it up.
    Morton's locator link

    If you can't find the Morton's look in places like gander mountain or bass pro, they carry cure #1 in one form or another.
    let us know what ya find and we will guide ya thru the process. Prague one is easy to use and some of us prefer it cause it's less salty in the finish product.
  3. Check this thread out
    Also you may want to invest in a book Called Sausage and Sausage recipes. Do Not long term/cold smoke meats without cure. You may get away with out cure 99 times, but the 100th could be a killer!!!!!!
  4. thomask702

    thomask702 Newbie

    i agree 100%! i will definately be using a cure -

    and i am going to have to check basspro shops ( the only real sporting goods store around, albeit a bit pricy ) for the cure #1, they have a big BBQ section, so they must have it, right?!?! i may also pick up the meat tomarrow, which would put me eating my own bacon very soon!

    thanks again, Qview to follow

  5. ol' smokey

    ol' smokey Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thomas, do your self a favor and buy either one of these books. They will explane the procedures for curing as wrll as recipes. They can be found online or in local bookstores. Good Luck on your bacon makin.
  6. thomask702

    thomask702 Newbie

    thanks for the good info smokey! those look like some really awsome books, and a great waste of an amazon gift card i thought i may never use! as far as this thing all goes, i bought some LEM cure from bass pro, which has the exact same ingredients as the other cure #1's. the only problem with this product is the extremely vague instructions - and i quote

    "when using cure with seasoning, mix cure, seasoning and water untill blended and then mix with meat.

    use 4 ounces of cure with 100lbs of meat
    use 1 once of cure with 25lbs of meat
    use scant 1/4 teaspoon of cure with 1lb of meat


    ingredients: Salt, Sodium Nitrite ( 6.25%), FD&C red #3 (for color) and less than 2% sodium silico aluminate added as a processing aide. "

    at first glance when i bought it i didnt find anything wrong with it, but when i went to prepare, it didnt say how much water to use! 100 gallons per pound, or just enough to cover the meat? what if i wanted to do it dry? or semi dry? very vague! so after analizing ingredients, and finding no major difference between this and instacure 1, io used a semi dry rub recipe found in this forums, scaled down a bit to meet my needs:

    3 TBSP cure
    3TBSP brown sugar
    1/4 TSP Garlic powder
    1/4 cup REAL maple syrup

    rubbed it really good, then added the syrup. its been in the fridge 24 hours and has been turned and massaged once. its looking really good.

    how long should i let it cure (another piece of inormation that was left out of the instructions ) i have read 7 days per inch of meat thickness, and i was goign to go buy this method. my meat beeing just a tad bigger than an inch, i was going to go for 10days ( including holidays and weekends...[​IMG])

    if im doing something totally wrong here, or if the instructions on the bag do make perfect sense, please let me know what to do differently!

    thanks again

  7. bustintires

    bustintires Smoke Blower

    it almost always seems to be on the bottom shelf, in the baking goods sections.
  8. marknb

    marknb Meat Mopper

    Emailed this to myself (work email to home email) last month, forget where I got it:

    This recipe/formula comes from Charcuterie, by Ruhlman and Polcyn, and I've found it to be a good substitute for Morton's Tender Quick. For cuts of meat 4 pounds or less, I measure the cure the same way I measured TQ. For cuts above 4 pounds I use 2.25 teaspoons of cure per pound.

    Basic Dry Cure:
    1 pound pickling salt
    8 ounces granulated sugar
    2 ounces pink salt (InstaCure #1; or DQ Powder; or Prague Powder #1; or Cure #1; or TCM)

    Makes about 3 1/2 cups

    1. Combine all ingredients and mix well. It is important to mix this thoroughly to ensure that the pink salt and other ingredients are equally distributed.
    I used a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (do not use the whisk). I mixed the ingredients at speed #2 for two minutes. Scraped the sides and mixed for two more minutes.

    2. For meat up to four pounds measure 1 tablespoon per pound.
    The actual measurement should be 2 ounces per 5 pounds of meat. Which comes to about 2.25 teaspoons per pound, but you don't have to be exact when using a dry cure.

    3. Store in an air tight container away from sunlight, and it will last indefinitely.
    If hard lumps form during storage discard and make a new batch. If the lumps fall apart easily with a little pressure the cure is still good to use.

    4. To use the Basic Cure Mix as part of your favorite curing recipes, measure out the amount per pound that your need, then you can add your additional seasonings such as additional sugar, garlic, onions and/or herbs (do not add additional salt).
  9. WOW,
    3 TBS of Cure #1. Cure #1 is about 10x stronger nitrate concentration then TQ.
    That Dry cure recipe sounds like the typical amount for using TQ to cure 3 lbs of meat, not Instacure #1. You have WAAY too much cure if that is the case.
    How much meat did you cure?
  10. thomask702

    thomask702 Newbie

    MarkNB - thanks for the good recipe!

    Reeko - i am doing 4lbs of meat, i guess i should have diluted the pink stuff with salt then eh? i knew i would get messed up with this cure that i bought. the instructions were vague and i was really thrown off by them.

    any advice on what to do?
    should i rinse and re make my cure? or let it ride out?

    thanks a bunch, if i dont hear anything, i will rinse well and re cure -

  11. Someone else probably needs to comment on whether it is safe given the amount of Instacure you used.
    I am not an expert, but I think I would rinse/soak for a while.
    Then mix up a TQ substitute per MarkNB's directions...

    Basic Dry Cure:
    1 pound pickling salt
    8 ounces granulated sugar
    2 ounces pink salt (InstaCure #1; or DQ Powder; or Prague Powder #1; or Cure #1; or TCM)

    Use this at the rate of 1 TBS per pound of meat with 1 TBS/lb of Brown sugar.
  12. thomask702

    thomask702 Newbie

    thanks reeko - i will mix up the TQ substitute when i get home, rinse well and soak for an hour, it has only been soaking for about 36 hours, so they might be saved, otherwise i may just end up buying some more port belly! no harm there, just hard to find.

  13. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    I think if it were me I'd just start over with a different piece of meat. Too much cure is nothing I'd play with and the consequences if you're wrong to me says a different piece of meat is a cheap insurance plan. Besides if you love the end result, this would be a dangerous experiment to try to replicate over and over to duplicate the end result. Just my 2 cents.
  14. thomask702

    thomask702 Newbie

    Rstr Hunter - good looking out bud. i think im going to bag the whole thing and start over. off to the store now to eyeball some meat!
  15. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    Good luck and make sure to post some pics. This is a project I'm planning to undertake when we get a little warmer weather. I think I'm going to do the #1 cure instead of the tenderquick so I'm really curious how yours turns out.
  16. thomask702

    thomask702 Newbie

    just got back from china town, i figured if anyone would have it, they would. sure enough they had it, and in great quantity! so i bought 10lbs at $1.49 a lb. got some other asian essentials while i was there, and came out happy! going to go mix this stuff up, blow up my kitchen and take some pictures of the aftermath!


    New post added with Qview -

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