Getting ready for my first try at bacon !!!!

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by bobdog46, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. I found a pork belly yesterday and am getting ready to dry cure it to make some bacon. I used alblanchard's calculator then converted from weight to tablespoons & teaspoons and this is what I came up with. I have a 9.6 lb belly with the rind still on and will cold smoke it with the rind on.  

    My calculations are showing  7 1/2 Tablespoons salt -  2 teaspoons cure (pink salt) -  3 3/4 Tablespoons sugar.

    Does this sound right ? I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing before I get started. I paid 2.49 lb for the belly- Is that a good price ?   Thanks in advance for any help 
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would say $2.49 is about average, but I buy mine without the rind.

    Probably not much difference.

  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    We paid $ 2.00 lb for the bacon we made at SELA but I bought by the case so I am sure there is a good bit of difference.  Without doing the math I guess you are about right for 10 lbs.  If you followed the calculator and made the conversions as described you are ok.    Remember you are using maximum recommended amounts of cure so just don't go over the recommended amounts.   I normally use 1/3 of the cure mix applied at 3 day intervals but you can dust the belly with 1/2 the cure mix, let rest in the fridge for 3 or 4 then dust with the rest of the cure mix and wait another 3 or 4 days before either smoking or adding additional sugar and spices. The amount of sugar and other spices you use is up to you.   I did a heavy sugar coat applied 4 days after my final cure mix application and let it rest for 5 more days.   I think the SELA bacon held on to the sweetness.

    Good luck, let us know how it works out.   Most of the people that have tried the dry cured bacon really like it,  I hope it works out well for you.  I am available for taste testing if you need a second opinion!

    I just pulled out a packet of your gator sausage for dinner,  boy that's some good stuff.

  5. I will do 1/2 wait a few days and do the other half. When you say heavy sugar coating, how much do i use. I want it as close in flavor as yours at SELA. Did you add any other spices. Do I rinse with water after curing ?  Glad you liked the gator sausage.

    Thanks BD
  6. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I used the 3% salt calculator by Eman's request.  The 4% calculator is a bit saltier obviously but I still wouldn't consider it salty.  I doesn't hurt to do a quick rinse after curing. Pat with paper towels to get the majority of water off but the surface of the bacon should still be damp. I don't soak because we are trying to draw the moisture out of the curing bacon.  

    I coated it with sugar.  Didn't weigh it, just put it on thick enough that there was a good thick layer on it,  maybe 1/16 inch thick.  Store rind side down at all time during the cure process.  You can always add additional sugar during the resting time,  you just don't want to waste it, falling off into the bottom of the pan.  The sugar will also help draw moisture from the bacon, further concentrating the flavors. 

    You can add any spice you would like but the SELA bacon was just cure mix and sugar.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  8. Got it cured as per alblanchard's recipe. I hope it comes out as good as his.[​IMG]
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice looking belly,  thanks for the compliment   Is this day one after the first cure mix application?

  10. Yeah - I put the first application on last night.

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