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not much liquid produced from curing bacon

Discussion in 'Hot Smoked Bacon' started by dfvellone, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. dfvellone

    dfvellone Newbie

    I rubbed my 5lb pork bellies each with 2oz kosher salt, 12 grams pink salt plus sugar and spices, put them in the fridge and after 7 days they've thrown just a very small amount of liquid. My pancetta hasn't thrown any. I haven't taken the temp of the fridge though I don't keep the setting particularly cold. In the past the bellies threw more liquid and I'm not sure what the difference is and if I need to be concerned.

    Any thoughts?
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I love curing bacon.  First question, was the bacon wrapped with plastic while in the fridge.  You may want to check the temp in the fridge if no other reason to make sure the green bacon doesn't spoil before it has a chance to cure.   Could be that the fridge is taking up the moisture, could be that the bellies you started with didn't have a lot of extra moisture in them.  I wouldn't worry as long as your refrigerator is holding a good temperature and you have enough cure on the bacon to properly cure it. 

    Good luck, you can always put it in a zip lock if you want to pull moisture. 

    Don't forget the Qview when you get it in the smoker.

  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I really think it's the piece of meat that dictates the amount of liquid that's given off during the cure. Maybe it has something to do with diet or age, or even the amount of salt we use. If you have them curing in the frig in an open container, a frostless refrig will absorb some of the moister too. Either way don't be to concerned And like Al mentioned check you frig temp you want 35°-39°.

    I also noticed that you cure amount was a little high by USDA standards. Bacon has a lower ingoing nitrite limit then other dry cured meats due to the nitrosamine formation when bacon is cooked at high temperatures. Nitrosamines are thought to cause cancer in humans and thats why they lowered the nitrite amount .

    For 5 lbs I use 6 grams and it comes out fine everytime.

    Looking forward to some Q-view when finished!

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  4. tjohnson

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

    I dry cure my bacon, but also dump in a 1/2 cup or so of water.  Works for me.

  5. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Don't forget the Q-Views...[​IMG]
  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I'm with Dan on this one too. I think that it's the meat that will detetmine the amount of moisture that comes out during curing. Now I would check the temp of your refrig for you always want that to be a good temp for keeping meat. I don't like the buy meat and throw it out because it spoils.
  7. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Can you explain your method Todd? I'm confused how you dry cure but add a 1/2 cup of water. That sounds more like a brine to me.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  8. tjohnson

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

    A "Brine Cure" is when meat, cure & spices are added to a a gallon of water.  A "Dry Cure" is applied to the meat without any water.  I've tried curing bacon both ways, and prefer the "Dry Cure" method.  As part of the process, liquid is pulled from the meat, but I like to add a small amount of water to the bags when I put them in the fridge.

    So I guess it's a "Dry/Brine Cure Method".

    Works for me!

  9. dfvellone

    dfvellone Newbie

    Thanks for the replies. I do have the bellies in ziplock bags so the defrost isn't taking up any moisture. I've got the thermometer in the fridge now and I'll check the reading shortly. If for some reason its lower in temp than 35 should I correct the temp and leave the bellies longer?

    As far as the nitrite content goes I used the amount recommended in Charcuterie which was 12 grams/ 5lb belly. Is that too high?
  10. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    it won't kill ya but it's more then recommended for bacon.  I started  looking up the recipe but found under dry cures, they say, "1 ounce/25 grams of pink salt is enough for 25 pounds/11.25 kilograms of meat."   so thats 5gr for a 5 pound belly.

    Are you using there pancetta recipe? I see it has 12g/5lb. If so I'm guessing since pancetta is sauteed and not fried like amercan bacon then the amount of cure would be fine.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  11. dfvellone

    dfvellone Newbie

    This nitrite issue is frustrating for me. I'm a nitrite convert, having cured meats for many years without it's use and then thoroughly researching the myths and facts to accept it's usage as necessary. But did these guys who wrote Charcuterie and are touted as "experts" in the art make an error like this or think that we readers are too ignorant to measure accurately? Beware the "expert". My grandmother probably knew more than them.
  12. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I sent ya a PM D.

    I'm a hobbiest like most every one else here, but i've been doing some research on the safe use of cure. If I'm wrong someone hopefully will correct me. But one thing I notice is there's the USDA way and old time recipe ways. I tend to go with the minimum that I need to make a good product
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  13. tigerregis

    tigerregis Meat Mopper

    Nitrosamines are produced (in this case) by cooking cured meat at high temperatures. Easy solution; fry at lower temperature.
  14. nick harman

    nick harman Newbie

    Here in the UK Ive just used 25g of prepared salt to .825kg meat as dictated by the people who supplied the salt mix

    First day, an egg cup of brine. Since then nothing. Meat is in an airtight plastic box in the fridge

    4 days to go, hope its ok