First Buckboard bacon

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Nefarious

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Here is the main piece, has cured for the full 14 days and is now drying in the refrigerator. Is there any specific reason I can't cure it for longer to allow it to dry more?

PXL_20221105_010149091.jpg
 

DougE

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Nope, I have left my cured bacon on a rack in the fridge for several days. With cure#1, you have about a 30 day window from the time you applied the cure.
 
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Nefarious

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It's still curing during the drying phase. That's why I leave mine in the fridge for extra days
Nice, it is raining every day until Tuesday. Maybe I'll wait till then. I really do need to buy a canopy to cover the smoker, well actually me, when it rains like this.
 

Nefarious

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Nope, I have left my cured bacon on a rack in the fridge for several days. With cure#1, you have about a 30 day window from the time you applied the cure.
I just started my beef bacon, inspired by TNJAKE TNJAKE and I have a question. If I have a 30 day window, why does everyone stop at 14 days?
 

TNJAKE

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I just started my beef bacon, inspired by TNJAKE TNJAKE and I have a question. If I have a 30 day window, why does everyone stop at 14 days?
Because it's fully cured plus some after 14 days. No need to continue. Mines 14 days and then 2 days for drying and pellicle. Then a couple days of cold smoking. Then 3-5 days mellowing. So technically it's curing more than 14 days
 
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DougE

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I just started my beef bacon, inspired by TNJAKE TNJAKE and I have a question. If I have a 30 day window, why does everyone stop at 14 days?
Good question, and I don't have a sufficient answer other than maybe the rule of diminishing returns. Once 2 weeks have passed, you're likely not going to get any more flavor development beyond that point. It also allows plenty of time to get it smoked and finished if you have something come up.
 

Dave in AZ

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I just started my beef bacon, inspired by TNJAKE TNJAKE and I have a question. If I have a 30 day window, why does everyone stop at 14 days?
Mostly because it is done curing, and we like bacon! ;)
From Marianski's book Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages:
Basic rules for applying dry cure: When curing times are short, up to 14 days, use Cure #1 according to the standard limit of: 1 oz. cure for 25 lb of meat. For longer times use Cure #2 that contains Nitrate which will keep on releasing nitrite for a long time.

Same rule of thumb I see everywhere for making salami etc: if start to finish/cook is < 15 days, use cure1. If you'll >= 15 days, use cure2 to be sure there is some nitrite still there, being converted from the nitrate.

I'm sure cure1 is still working at 15 days, but I just go by what Marianski recommends to be safe. That may ne why you see folks stop at 14 days and smoke.
 

Nefarious

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Because it's fully cured plus some after 14 days. No need to continue. Mines 14 days and then 2 days for drying. So technically it's curing more than 14 days
Well, I guess this should be considered a failure. It cured for 14 days, dried for 2 days, and I hot smoked it to 155°f. Mush of the interior is not the pink one associate's with cured pork. I guess the piece was too thick. The smallest dimension was 2.5" and I should have cut it in half.

PXL_20221107_051515545.jpg


Lesson learned.
 

Nefarious

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I don't mind the mistake, I just need to try to figure out what went wrong. I went through my notes and calculations and the only thing I can think of is that i measured the cure wrong. I'm not sloppy about these things, i don't really understand, but will assume that and try again.

I assume I can eat it, maybe it will have a partial cured taste.
 

Nefarious

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So, what do you do when something goes wrong, try a new alternative. I figured I would make some German pork chops with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. I cut 2 pieces at 3/4 inches and was going to fry it up like a pork chop. When I cut it I saw that the cure did in fact work and it was only the end piece that was a bit problematic

PXL_20221108_031230076.jpg
 
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DougE

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The end piece looked to be mostly fat, and cure doesn't really have any effect on it. It still looks like fat when cured.
 

Nefarious

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The end piece looked to be mostly fat, and cure doesn't really have any effect on it. It still looks like fat when cured.
Thanks for your thoughts. Unfortunately it isn't the case. I cut several, over an inch into the piece and it was still gray. I ate them all, mostly, and we're not fat, mostly.

What I think happened is I mixed the cure, salt, pepper, and garlic together and my guess is that the cure did not distribute as evenly as intended.

Next time I will either use less pepper and garlic, or none, in the curing phase to allow me to get the cure more evenly distributed.

The meal tonight, slabs of buckboard bacon sauteed with sauerkraut was absolutely delicious. Wife didn't like the pork cured and smoked with the sauerkraut, but we will work on that.
 
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DougE

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Best way to go is mix your cure#1, salt, and sugar. apply that to the meat, then dust on the pepper and garlic. You don't really need to measure the garlic and pepper .... just eyeball it. That way, you get a good distribution of cure on the meat first. The secondary spices then go on top of that.
 

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