Is my belly okay.?

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SixShooter

Newbie
Original poster
Aug 23, 2023
11
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I have been lurking in these forums for years. Smoked a lot of meat and made fresh and smoked sausages with moderate success; however, the threads on the true dry bacon has had me drooling for weeks. I finally had to give it a try. I did the calculations mixed up my cure, salt, sugar and rubbed it on a belly. When I applied the rub I should have put it directly on my grate, but I put it back on the cutting board. The mixture had already started pulling moisture out so that some wet mixture was left on the board. Now I'm all paranoid that the belly didn't get enough cure. Is there a way to tell? Am I worrying about it too much?

-Sue
 
I'd say yes... you could have scraped as much off the cutting board and added it back to your meat but doubt you lost much. After your curing time is up do a fry test, the color will be a definite clue if it was fully cured.

Ryan
 
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I'd say yes... you could have scraped as much off the cutting board and added it back to your meat but doubt you lost much. After your curing time is up do a fry test, the color will be a definite clue if it was fully cured.

Ryan
Awesome! My husband keeps telling me I worry too much.

Thank you!

-Sue
 
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I have been lurking in these forums for years. Smoked a lot of meat and made fresh and smoked sausages with moderate success; however, the threads on the true dry bacon has had me drooling for weeks. I finally had to give it a try. I did the calculations mixed up my cure, salt, sugar and rubbed it on a belly. When I applied the rub I should have put it directly on my grate, but I put it back on the cutting board. The mixture had already started pulling moisture out so that some wet mixture was left on the board. Now I'm all paranoid that the belly didn't get enough cure. Is there a way to tell? Am I worrying about it too much?

-Sue
Nope. Just carry on. I think you will be just fine. I do understand your situation, but still I would roll with it as is. Let me know how it turns out. I’d bet you are happy, happy.
 
Nope. Just carry on. I think you will be just fine. I do understand your situation, but still I would roll with it as is. Let me know how it turns out. I’d bet you are happy, happy.
My fingers are crossed. I know how much everyone likes pictures. I will post my results!

Thank you!
 
My fingers are crossed. I know how much everyone likes pictures. I will post my results!

Thank you!
Curing can be done in a range. It’s not one recipe or nothing. As far as cure #1 goes, the USDA sets upper limits of 200 ppm nitrite but there is no minimum number listed by them. It is generally thought that about 50 ppm nitrite as a minimum are required to have any meaningful curing. The recipe you applied has 156 ppm nitrite. So you see the range and see where you are. Now let’s go wild and say you lost 10% of the cure, that would still leave you with about 140 ppm nitrite, let’s go really wild and say you lost half of the cure #1, that would leave you with 78 ppm nitrite, still within the range. You actually lost very little cure over all but I hope this helps you better understand the process and why what you currently have is still perfectly fine.
 
That does help. That you!
The reason we use .25% cure #1, or 156ppm nitrite is because:
1) it’s very effective
2) the math is easy at .25% to meat weight
3) 156 ppm nitrite is also maximum allowed in sausages.

So by learning to use .25% cure #1 you can safely and effectively cure any meats you want. Once you have your legs under you you can branch out and explore different curing methods and amounts, until then just stick to the .25% cure #1 in all of your curing adventures.

Btw, the upper limit for whole muscle meats is 200ppm nitrite, but we will save that for a different day.
 
Smoke day today! Currently doing the drying process prior to smoke. Quick question though. I'm not sure what this spot is on the belly. I'm assuming I can just cut it off later if there is a problem. Everything smells fine. Any ideas?
 

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If you had it on coated wire racks those are probably “rust” spots from some exposed wire in the rack. Stainless racks are best.
 
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