First time making bacon.

Discussion in 'Curing' started by fatboy-bill, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. fatboy-bill

    fatboy-bill Newbie

    Doing bacon for the first time,
    I'm using MTQ
    Thickest part is 2"
    Used a temp prob in a potato, and the coldest I can get is 38/39 degrees.
    December [email protected] 10:00pm it went into the fridge, turning every day.
    MTQ states 1"/week, so this would bring it to January 12th.
    Would it be safe to smoke this Sunday, removing it and washing it Saturday morning?
    If not the next time that I would be able to smoke it would be Sunday the 17th. I will be cold smoking.
    Thank you for your help.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bill, afternoon....   Waiting until the 17th will give a product with better flavor...    Sugar is the slowest molecule to travel through the meat and will help to insure a product that is not too salty.    38-39 deg, is a perfect temperature...  the curing process works excellent at that temperature...
  3. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    As you have posted twice, I will also.

    The following was learned from the USDA and a few universities. Important as you are intending to cold smoke.  The semi cures are fine if you intend to hot smoke. How you cure is entirely your choice but, the forum does encourage sticking to the USDA guidelines.

    Posted in  another forum. Very simple math.

    Having nearly 60 years of smoking foodstuffs and 40 years of curing pork bellies, I in no way consider myself an expert at either and far from perfect. After much research on the proper amount of time taken to fully cure pork belly using Morton Tender Quick.  It was decided to talk to the USDA directly. After doing so, I was reassured, once again, that my method of curing pork belly was spot on.  The USDA representative I talked to recommended when curing pork belly with MTQ, using the dry rub method, that the 7 day per inch thickness guideline is used (14 days for two-inch thick slab).  This guideline is the same recommended by Morton. As I only use the dry rub method on pork bellies, no other method, cut of meat, or cure was discussed other than time sequences.

    Notable notes:

    1. The main determination in cure timing is the method in which pork bellies are cured.  Core injection being the fastest, then brining or immersion process, while curing with a dry rub takes the longest amount of time to achieve a full cure.

    2.  Nitrite reacts with myoglobin or muscle cells only, not fat. 

    3.  Salt in a cure adds flavor to the fat while reducing the water activity (aw). 


    USDA phone number  1-800-233-3935

    Additional information:

    Fully cured pork bellies provide a long shelf life at room, refrigerator and freezer temps.

    For dry-cured products, cure 7 days per inch of thickness.

    A belly two-inches thick should cure in 14 days.

     "Effect of Frying and Other Cooking Conditions on Nitrosopyrrolidine Formation in Bacon"

    Further information: 

    Mr. T's "Sugar Cured Bacon"

    Salt vs Sugar Absorption Rate?

    Calculating bacon cure time using Morton® Tender Quick® or Sugar Cure® (Plain or Smoke Flavored)
  4. fatboy-bill

    fatboy-bill Newbie

    Thank you for your help. It's very much appreciated.

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