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Okay, Curing bacon. How much?

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by rohfan2112, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. I just joined the forum yesterday and have been reading up on curing pork bellies for bacon. I have a 5-lb belly but I can't find a consensus on how much cure #1 to use. One article I read said 1 TB per #, another said 1/4 tsp per #. Needless to say, I'm a little confused. Any input would be appreciated.
  2. I cant get the search engine to work.. I ran across it not long ago but I cant remember exactly what it was... I have both cure#1 aka DQ and Mortons TQ , I just did a Loin with TQ...  My print came off the Cure #1 bag, I cant make it out enough to answer with confidence...

    someone will chime in soon enough...
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    rohfan, morning and welcome to the forum.....    Below is the handbook from the USDA FSIS.....  A somewhat boring but important read on curing meat....   http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISDirectives/7620-3.pdf...

    Do you want to dry rub or immersion cure the belly....  skin on or skin off....  

    If you want to immersion cure the belly, Pops has a great recipe.....   http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/pops-wet-curing-brine

    For a dry rub, 0.87 grams / pound of cure #1 for 120 Ppm maximum amount of cure #1 skin removed.....

                           0.80 grams / pound of cure #1 for 108 Ppm maximum amount of cure #1 skin on.......

    The difference is due to skin not absorbing cure and corrections taken due to that situation....

    For your 5# belly, about 3/4 tsp cure #1 is what is recommended...   

    If you use Martin's cure calculator, the Ppm nitrite can be changed for different types of curing....   click on it and enter the Ppm you need and you will be good to go.... 

    I can't get the search engine to work either....  Someone must be fixing it.....   

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  4. Thanks jc, that's a cool little calculator...
  5. Dave, thanks for the calculation. I'll go with 3/4 tsp for my 5lb belly. I am curing it without skin.

    While curing the small test batch last week I noticed a pool of pink liquid in the ziplock bag about a day into salt curing. I assume this is normal but when I do the new batch should I be draining this liquid? I saw in one of the threads mentioned in this thread that the user vacuum seals the meat while curing. That seems right to me, but is there a preference either way?
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do not drain off the liquid.... It is part of the curing process.....    Use a freezer zip bag or Vac-bag in a container in the event of leakage....  turn it daily...
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dave has you covered with a rub cure, he knows his stuff. There is also a brine cure which is quite handy for folks like me.

    You don't need a calculator, you don't need a scale, you don't need to flip it. Its made for folks like me, idot proof.

    You can only do one way at a time, brine or rub. Maybe your next sow belly you'll want to give Pop's a try.

  8. Okay, using Pop's easy bacon recipe I loaded up the bucket with a 5 lb. belly and a 2.5 lb. pork loin. I weighted it down with a ceramic dish, hope that's ok to use. Here's what it looked like:

    Not the greatest pic, but hopefully it's good enough for anyone to tell me what I'm doing wrong! [​IMG]
      Thanks again to all who've given me the input and suggestions. Will post another pic post-cure after it sits in the fridge for a day or two to dry out.
  9. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You got it!
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Put it all in the refer so it stays cold......  38 ish degrees....   Dave
  11. Looking good! I'm wanting to try my own bacon soon! I have some pork tenderloins for CB in pops brine as I type.

    Looking forward to how this turns out!
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now the hardest part, That 10 to 14 days of waitiing.......

    Hey, rohfan woulda do me a favor and go into your profile and enter where you sleep at night. If you don't, you'll get asked alot because geographic location will most definately change the answers you'll recieve when asking a question here. Instead of me just asking and then having to do it again and showing my mental age because of my memory, its so much nicer to ask just to update that profile. Its something to do while the sow bellys make happy happy playing submarine in the fridge for 2 weeks.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  13. Done!
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank ye! Thank ye! Thank ye!
  15. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Did i add too much Cure #1!?

    I am new to the Forum, and also attempting to cure my first batch of bacon. I am very confused about adding cure #1 amounts, because i have found so much mixed info. the most consistant is that you can add 1tsp per 5lb, but then i found another that said that was for sausegas, and that you can add up to 4tsp for 5ld for a dry cure.
    Additionally what is considered the "bible" of curint meats, the Charcuterie book ( ), has a recipe that specifically lists 2tsp for a 5lb bellie.

    Anyway, due to the mix up i did one half (5lbs) of my bellies with the recipe from Charcuterie book, and the other half (5lb) i added the dry rub recomendation of 4tsp. I am very worried that the latter was too much cure for what i have found, and i am considering throwing it out. please help!!!
    As a note, i did a dry rub following a recipe in the book, and put them in plastic bags in the fridge to cure for 7 days, i will massage and flip them daily.