Looking for direction on amount of Cure #1

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by chopjaw, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. I was at Costco and the butcher came out and saw me looking at belly.  He offered me 8bls of sliced belly in (roughly) 2.5" x 2" strips that someone was supposed to pick up and did not.  So I decided to give making bacon a try.  Now I know it's prolly easier to just use a slab of belly but the price was just too good to pass up. 

    So now I want to turn them into bacon.  My thought is due to the belly being sliced it will effect the amount of cure now that I have 9 strips of belly.

    Here is my receipt for tomorrow, can any of you help suggest me with the right amount of Cure...
    • 5lbs of sliced belly
    • DQ Curing Salt #1 (not pink) = 2 tablespoon
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoon bourbon
    • 1 tablespoons coarse salt  (do I need more?)
    • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    Again I'm somewhat confused about the amount of cure to use.
  2. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    I'm someone with alot more experience than me will come along, but with those smaller piece's, I'd be putting them into pops brine.
    I've never heard on DQ cure #1. The only #1 cure I've used is instacure #1 (pink salt). Also known as prauge powder #1.

    Ok, just did a google search for DQ cure #1, and as far as I can tell, it IS instacure #1. If so, 2 tbsp for 5 lbs seems like way to much.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Your title is confusing Cure # 1

    are you looking for info on Tender Quick ?


    Check Bears page he uses TQ all the time


  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You can dry cure the strips. You will want to follow the guidelines for making jerky though. If the slices are 1/4" or there about a 24 hour cure would suffice. If it is cure #1 that you are using then you'd want to use 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds. It would be best to weigh the strips and then weigh out the proper amount of cure in grams. 1 teaspoon of cure is 5.6699 grams. For the additional 3 pounds you'd need 3.401 grams.

    Once again this is for cure #1

    Here's a good read on cures and the amounts needed:

  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The additional salt, I would weigh it and add 2% of the meat weight... that way it is not too salty....

    DQ curing salt is cure #1..... use 1 tsp. per 5#s of meat.... The label should read... 6.25% sodium nitrite...

    other names......
    CURE #1
    Some Other Names:
    Pink Salt;
    Tinted Cure Mix (TCM);
    Tinted Curing Powder (TCP);
    Prague powder #1;
    InstaCure #1;
    Modern cure;
    D.Q. powder;
    L.E.M. cure;
    Sure Cure;
    Fast Cure;
    Speed Cure

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  6. This is what I have.  When I ordered the Cure Salt #1 I assumed it was pink.  The Cure in the bag (pictured) is not pink.  Thou on the label it says it is.  What I want to know is this.  I will be using 1 table of cure, due to the belly being sliced, will that effect the amount of cure to use?  I'm thinking no but I wanted to ask some of you that have done this before..


     I don't have room for a brine so I would rather just dry cure then smoke.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The correct amount of cure #1 to use is 1 tsp. per 5#'s... I would not use the cure you have... It is NOT what it says it is... I would send it back for a replacement that is pink and packaged properly with the correct writing on it....

    What you have may be cure #2 or "take a guess".... Just sayin'....
  8. Hey Dave,

    Thanks for the suggestion.  I  did not use the cure that had.  I just ordered some #1 that's pink and used it.  I'm shocked at how little you use...   1 TSP does not seem like allot. 

    You know I'm anxious to see how the 2x2 strips of belly will turn out.  Most applications call for a 5lb slab.  NOT precut strips.  The cure is on all sides of the strips..   Since I've never done this before, what do you think of using strips of belly  (yes the obvious answer is not to use but....)  will turn out? 
    • How do you know the meat is good?
    • How can you tell it's working?
    Yes I am a newbie at making bacon.  BUT you gotta try somewhere.  My next batch will be on a slab that's not cut..

    Thanks for the help.
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Chopjaw, morning.... Because you use so little, I mix 2% salt and 1% sugar with the correct amount of cure... Then the mix is applied "uniformly" over the meat... then placed in a zip bag and refrigerated for 10-14 days, turning daily... ( I found 14 days to be a "magic" number giving the best flavor).. Then rinse and dry the meat and place on a wire rack in the refer for 7 days... (That, so far, is a magic number also... Next batch of bacon I may try 10 days)... The bacon needs time to develop a rich flavor and homogenized uniformity... Then I cold smoke (below 70 def. F) for 6-40 hours... depending on what my mood is... then back in the refer (unwrapped) for up to a week for flavor development again... Slice to desired thickness..... Then bake on a wire rack in the oven... 350 until done....

    Those strips you have will work just fine...
  10. OK... SO you will pull the bacon and let rest (without being covered) in the fridge for another 7 days then smoke..   I have read that you only need to do this for 24hours.  Is there any reason you do this for so long?  (Dave I'm not arguing just trying to understand)  How long does it take for the pelacue to develop?  I'm going to cold smoke on my smoker with mix of Apple and Hickory for 12hrs.

    Sir thank again for all the help.
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The longer rest before and after that Dave is talking about is not for forming the pellicle. It's for aging the meat, which develops a deeper richer flavor. Keep in mind that he/we are doing this with the whole cut not slices. I think for your slices if you did this they would dry out to much.

    As I mentioned I would handle your slices more like jerky as fas as cure times and drying times (forming the pellicle). Also for smoking times it's not going to take the longer times mentioned. I probably would cold smoke them for 2-6 hours tops. I would eat the slices for 2-5 days in the frInge prior to packing.

    Okay have to edit this. Somehow I missed in your original post that your strips are in fact 2" slabs. This makes a difference. By slices I thought you had slices like you get in the store. My apologies. Follow what Dave has said.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  12. No worries, I plan on keeping the cure on for 10 days.  In the fridge for 3 days and then smoke.  How much smoke?  I can light the amnps from both ends for heavy smoke (3-5hrs) or from one end for a long 6-8hr smoke?  Will the cured meat take smoke, how much penetration does it get? 
  13. Hello Dave,

    I hope all is well with you...

    Ok I have now pulled the belly out and have rinse them.  For the most part they feel like they have firmed up.  There are some places where the meat is still semi pink but for the most part the belly strips look grey and not rosie in color like other pictures I have see here.    SO that leads me to my  question, what color is the meat supposed to be with a dry cure?    They have were in water for an hour and then dried and placed on a rack in the fridge.  

    I have attached some photos.

    This is no flash.

    This is with flash

  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It looks as if the cure didn't work... I'm bewildered at how your belly turned out... Do you have a picture of the NEW bag of cure you are using..

    Belly was rubbed and dry brined in salt 2%, sugar 1%, and cure #1 at a rate of 1 tsp per 6#'s for a ~120 Ppm ingoing nitrite.. fridge was 36 deg for 14 days...
    In the smoker




    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  15. I bought it from Amazon and it is Pink #1. I used 1 teaspoon of Pink Salt #1. 1/2Cup of Brown Sug and 1 Table of salt.  Mixed all together and then rubbed the belly strips.  Stuck in the bag, sealed, placed in the fridge and turned every day for 11 days..I cut a piece off and fried it.  It tasted like Pork.  Here's the thing, the meat did not smell at all..   I'm wondering if the belly being in strips may have something to do with it.. 

    I'm going to continue on with my plans...
  16. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    That seems a little low on the salt.

    I suggest getting a small scale and go by weight. They truly don't look cured like mine have come out. I use this site for my salt sugar and cure weights


    It has never steered me wrong and is the work of a member on this site. I normally use 2% sugar, 2% salt and 120 ppm cure #1.
  17. Yes you are correct, low on salt but just right on cure#1.  since I started this I have bought a scale.  I just went thru my cure mix and salt is the only one that's off.  How does less salt affect the curing?  So now it's my time to either proceed with smoking or throw away and start over...    Part of me says to push on with the smoke but then again I don't want to make anybody sick.  The meat does not smell at all, it is sitting in the fridge now for 2 days and you cannot smell it.    I cut a piece off to taste test, it tastes like pork.  How would I know (apart from smell of spoiled meat) if the strips are bad?

    Now I'm officially confused........

    Thank You
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  18. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    Botulism contamination is both odourless and colourless. If you want to take your chances, I would smoke the bacon to 140 degrees. It won't be the best bacon because fat will render during cooking...but it should still be safe. Personally I would start over because I like to cold smoke my bacon for 11 hours minimum.

    At any point did your cure #1 get warm? There is a temperature, somewhere around 130f, can't remember the exact number, but if the cure reached that temp at any time then it would no longer be effective.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  19. ndkoze

    ndkoze Smoke Blower

    If the choice is throw away verses warm smoke and have a little bit less than stellar product, I would smoke it to 140 and see how it turns out.

    I cold smoke too. But, I know some people that warm smoke their bacon and swear by it.
  20. jeff 1

    jeff 1 Smoke Blower

    I know it is a bit late but just because the outside of the belly is not pink does not mean a whole lot. If the belly had gotten a lot of oxygen and then set in it own juice for a while before curing it then it can and will cause the outside to turn that color. If you cut it open and it is pink and you cook some and it turns pink then you know the cure took. Another thing to keep in mind is the temperature of you fridge. If it is to cold then the cure won't take properly. I keep mine at 39 degrees when curing.

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