HELP! Did I ruin my bellies by using to much Cure#1?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by jak757, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I have 12 pounds of pork bellies curing, which should be ready to smoke come Sunday.  It's been awhile since I have made bacon, and I put together my cure based on my notes from the first time.  I had written down the "basic cure" from Ruhlman's book (my notes say page 39).  Of course I recently let a friend use the book, and don't have it back.

    My notes had amounts for salt, sugar and cure #1, and my note said it was for 6 lbs of belly (now I think that was referring to how much I cured that first time).  So since I was doing 12 lbs this time, I doubled it.  That means I have 4 oz of cure #1 (pink salt) in the batch of cure.

    Honestly, it seemed like a lot at the time.  I have been reading more bacon posts lately, and started to rethink what I did, and looked a bit more online.

    I found a post on Ruhlman's blog that has the same cure mix.  The batch that he has with 2 oz cure #1 he says he uses an amount of cure (salt, sugar, cure#1) that equals 5 percent of the weight of the belly.  For the 12 lbs of belly that would be 9.8 oz.  out of a batch of 28 oz of cure, of which 2 oz is cure#1.

    Hope I have made this too confusing....bottom line, I have 12 lbs of belly curing in a mix that contains 4 oz of cure #1 (pink salt).  Now I am concerned that is to much.  Should I soak it real good and go forth, or just pitch all that beautiful belly?  I don't want to serve my family anything that is not safe or healthy.  

    Any thoughts?

  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Personally, I would toss it. There's no way to tell how much cure you would remove by washing it off and if you really had 4 oz of cure #1 for a 12 pound belly your about 6  times over the legal limit set by the USDA.

    For 12 pounds I'd use 13.2 grams or .47 oz. That would give me a safe 150ppm. waht you have with 4 oz is close to 1300ppm. The max is 200ppm.

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  3. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is an excerpt from the Sausage Maker on cure#1.  It only takes one level teaspoon for 5 pounds of meat.  I agree with Dan and think I'd toss it and start over.

    Insta Cure™ No. 1, a basic cure used to cure all meats that require cooking, smoking, or canning. This includes poultry, fish, ham, bacon, luncheon meats, corned beef, pates and other products too numerous to mention. Formerly Prague Powder #1. Insta Cure™ #1 contains salt and sodium nitrite (6.25%).

    Use 1 level teaspoon per 5 lbs. of meat. 5 lbs. of Insta Cure™ will process approximately 2,400 lbs. of meat.
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I gotta agree with Dan.

    No way to tell how much is in or out by soaking.

    I'm not a Cure #1 user (so far), but I understand that I use 12 1/2 ounces of TQ per 25 pounds of meat, and it only takes 1 ounce of cure #1 for that same 25 pounds of meat.

    I hate to see 12 pounds get tossed, but that way you'll stay healthy.

  5. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Are you using a dry type cure process???

    I will find my Ruhlman book in a few..

  6. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Thanks for the input.  Yes, I am dry curing it.  Looks like it's going to be back to the drawing board, toss and start over.  Better safe than sorry.
  7. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It looks like ya overdid it JAK.

    This why I am totally comitted to the Pops wet cure/brine method.

    Easy to do and it works!!

  8. smokinal

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

    I gotta agree with Craig on this one. Next time try Pops recipe. Almost impossible to screw it up.
  9. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Yup dump it and live to smoke some more. 
  10. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Yes, I screwed up....wasted 12 lbs of pork bellies, but learned a lesson.  I was in a hurry when I threw the cure together, and went from poor notes and bad memory.  At least I had this nagging feeling that it just didn't seem right....and some great input and advice here.  I'm trashing the bellies, and chalking it all up to experience.  Looks like I'll wait a bit longer for my bacon, but that's okay.

    As for the dry cure vs brine...I have dry cured before and had no problems (I paid attention and did it right!).  I don't at this time have the refrigerator space for brine, but hope to in the future.

    Thanks guys -- appreciate the replies.  My smoke plans have changed for tomorrow -- no bacon, but still plenty of tasty food!
  11. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Glad ya caught it JAK..

    I threw out some pork this spring that just wasn't right.. Took it across the street and tossed in the field.

    The turkey buzzards thought it was tasty!!

    Good luck !!

  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    LOL---That's funny!  Buzzards think everything is tasty---even each other!!!

    Had to go help fix some stuff on a Cell Phone tower.

    We found there were two Buzzards that had gotten stuck in the bottom of a tower (Monopole type).

    When we got there, the one was in good shape, and there wasn't much left of the other one!!!  [​IMG]

    We got the live one out & freed him----And yes I do have pics, but I have bored people enough with the story!

  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry to hear of your loss John!

    I'm  not sure what issues, if any, you would have, but it sure isn't worth the chance.


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