!!HELP!! Did I use too much Prague Powder #1?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by stewie-q, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. In the process of curing 20 lbs of belly for smoking bacon.  

    I found this recipe @ Amazingribs.com

    http://amazingribs.com/recipes/porknography/making_bacon_from_scratch.html 

    Maple Bacon with Prague powder #1


    Time.  2 hours prep, seven days of curing, 2 hours of smoking.
    Makes. About 25 thick slices

    Ingredients
    1 pound of pork belly
    1 1/2 teaspoons Morton's kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon Prague powder #1
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
    3 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
    1/4 cup water

    For 20 lbs I used 10 teaspoons of Prague Powder #1 per the recipe instructions. 

    .5tsp X 20lbs = 10tsp 

    After doing further research I've found that you are only supposed to use 1 tsp per 5lbs of meat which is leading me to believe I have used WAAAAAYYYY too much cure.  

    Is it a foregone conclusion that I should toss $80 of pork belly in the trash?  

    Thoughts / In-site?  

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    After doing further research I've found that you are only supposed to use 1 tsp per 5lbs of meat which is leading me to believe I have used WAAAAAYYYY too much cure.  

    That is what is recommended

    When did you start it?
     
  3. Yes you've used WAY too much cure. As above, it's 1 tsp of Cure to 5 lbs of meat. Does the cure bag not have a recommended usage amount on the bag? As that recipe is written, it's still too much cure for a 1 lb piece of meat! Oh the wonders of the internet and it's recipes.....
     
  4. Sunday night 1/25/15
     
  5. The cure bag does not have any recommended usage.  It just says Prague Powder#1. 

     
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  6. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sorry I can not really answer that someone with more experience is going to have to help.
     
  7. Ok so using the DigginDogFarm calculator I input the 20 lbs of meat shooting for a 156 ppm for the bacon and come up with 22.64 grams of Cure (.80 oz/4 tsp). Seeing as you used 10 tsp for your cure, you are more than double the 156 ppm (what I cure to for bacon) so something like 390 ppm. Smarter people than I will come along and give much more info, but that's just to give you an idea.

    Here's the link to the calculator...not sure if it's the most up to date as far as design because it has some missing pieces

    http://www.diggingdogfarm.com/page2.html
     
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You are FINE! The recipe if for a WET BRINED Bacon, so the 1tsp per 5lb does not apply. That measurement is only for Dry Cure Rubbed Bacon. The recipe is fine. If you wish to verify, add the weight of the meat AND the weight of the Water and Maple Syrup together and insert that in the space for the weight of the meat in DDF's Calculator...JJ

    Do Not mess around with Curing Meat until you have done A LOT of homework on the subject. In the referenced article there are highlighted links to other articles that would have explained why the authors recipe does not match the 1tsp/5lb guideline. Following a recipe or process without understanding WHY it is done that way is Dangerous!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
    stewie-q likes this.
  9. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As you are using Prague Powder#1 as opposed to (Insta)Cure#1 just make sure that the Nitrite is at 6.25%. It is almost certain to be the case but there are sometimes different formulations of Prague Powder out there depending on who you bought it from. It should say on the packet.
     
  10. Ok so I just tried to compute this...it may be off. So the weight of 1/4 cup of water is approx 59g. If we multiply that by the 20 lbs of belly then that's approx 1185 grams of water plus approx 9072 grams of belly (20 lbs) which makes it 10257 grams. Putting that amount into the calculator gets us 25.6 grams of cure to reach the 156 ppm. 25.6 grams is .902 oz of cure needed with the water weight included. He used 10 tsp of cure and 1 tsp of cure weighs .20 oz which would mean he used 2 oz of cure.

    With that math, he used a little over double the amount of cure. Again, this is with adding the water weight before using the diggingdogfarm calculator. If anyone care's the check and if it's wrong do say. 

    Edit: Ooops I see I didn't add the maple syrup weight...no way for me to tell that. Gonna have to trust it then.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  11. Thank you & duly noted. 
     
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    " Edit: Ooops I see I didn't add the maple syrup weight...no way for me to tell that. Gonna have to trust it then. "

    No worries my friend. This is the reason that we stress doing the research before curing meat. The calculator is a great tool but you have to already understand how to use it regarding the difference between adding just meat weight for dry cure mixes and adding the liquids to the meat to get the amount of cure for wet curing. Now add that different amounts of cure, in ppm, can be used with min and max amounts for safety and that there are things that can inhibit or accelerate the process. Lastly there are thousands of recipes online and even in books that are just plain dangerous or include the words, " This is the way my Great Grandfather did it..." 

    To All...Any recipe you would like to try, please post it in the Curing Forum for review by or members. Opinions may vary but the bottom line is, information will ALWAYS BE SAFE...JJ
     
    old bones likes this.
  13. When dealing with Sodium Nitrite or any other harmful chemicals, I would strongly recommend the use of a precision digital scale rather than relying on tea- and tablespoons. To further make your life easier use the metric system ( grams, kilos etc.) instead of ounces and pounds unless you are a mathematical genius. 

    After all, Sodium Nitrite is being used in pest control throughout the US and Australia and will KILL YOU, if administered in too high a dosage.

    Prague Powder #1 contains 6.25% Sodium Nitrite, 12-1/2 times higher than what is deemed safe by the European Food and Drug Administration, namely 0.5%, yes that's right: ZERO POINT FIVE PERCENT.

    Therefore always mix your Prague Powder with regular salt at a ratio of 1 to 12.5 or

    80 grams of Prague Powder to 1 Kilo (1000 grams).

    So be safe and Happy Smoking !
     

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