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Dry Curing Bacon ~ How Long Is Too Long?

thirdeye

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All, I've been visiting via email with a guy new to curing bacon. He is using the dry cure method and Cure #1 on a skin-off belly (I believe from SRF). The amounts of all ingredients are correct and double-checked. His refrigerator is 34°, and he has been overhauling. Due to unforeseen circumstances he is 17 days into this curing cycle. My curing times are 11 or 12 days. I'm sure I've gone 14 days a few times, but never any longer.

What is the consensus of the group? How long is too long?
 

chopsaw

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I've gone a few days over 14 but if 34 is an accurate reading for his temp my opinion is that it's to cold . 38 to 40 for curing is what should be used in my opinion .
 

pc farmer

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EQ cure? Overhauling? That dont sound like a EQ cure.
 

sawhorseray

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Rich is right, 38º is ideal. What the heck, he's a few degrees under, and a few days over. I'd put it on the smoker, probably going to be just fine. RAY
 

thirdeye

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I've gone a few days over 14 but if 34 is an accurate reading for his temp my opinion is that it's to cold . 38 to 40 for curing is what should be used in my opinion .
I'm good with a low of 36°/ 37°, but would 34° work in his favor because the curing process slows with colder temps?

EQ cure? Overhauling? That dont sound like a EQ cure.
Yes "Equilibrium" curing method. And to me, overhauling means turning the zipper bag over each day or two.

Rich is right, 38º is ideal. What the heck, he's a few degrees under, and a few days over. I'd put it on the smoker, probably going to be just fine. RAY
I'm leaning in that direction too, but anytime someone is second guessing themselves on a food safety issue.... the final decision is their call. And I'm with 'em. Likewise, when I break a rule, like grilling my burgers to somewhere's south of 160°, I admit that "I'm breaking the rules".
 

daveomak

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YEP, rotate the meat in the EQ brine...

Soaking the ham

  • 2 The ham is then immersed in the remaining brine for a period of 10-16 days depending on weight. The ham and the brine are inspected daily. The brine is overhauled, or turned over, every three days. Overhauling prevents the brine from becoming weak on top and heavy on the bottom. A large wooden paddle is used to remix the brine.
 

pc farmer

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I would have no issue then. I have done 3 weeks no problem.
 

chopsaw

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I'm good with a low of 36°/ 37°, but would 34° work in his favor because the curing process slows with colder temps?
I would agree with that .
 

noboundaries

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I've done 3 weeks also due to an unexpected trip.
 

chef jimmyj

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Regardless of time on cure, there is very little Safety Issue as the meat is Refrigerated well below 40°. Beyond 3-4 weeks, there is a risk of Spoilage Bacteria, that are unaffected by Salt, beginning to grow. This would be a Quality issue rather than a Safety issue. The meat would Sour...JJ
 

thirdeye

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cure #1, wet or dry, is good for 30 days or less. Hot smoking or cold smoking? (80° or 145°)?
It appears he will be hot smoking this batch. Which in my eye is another layer of safety since the smoking time might only be 4 to 6 hours.
 

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