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Old World Bacon... My Way....

daveomak

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To those that miss the flavor of "slab bacon" that was readily available in the meat markets up until the 1960's, here's my adaptation to that great flavor...
It's still available at niche markets at a ridiculous price....

The commercial mix I have been using is nowhere to be found.... I did find a suitable substitute at Walton's.. Their Turkey cure is a reasonable facsimile to my "old" cure mix....


Ingredients
Salt, Cane and Maple Sugar (100% Maple Syrup), Sodium Nitrite (1%).

As best I can, I will explain how to use this "Turkey cure" as a dry rub to your bacon.....

cure#1 is 6.25% nitrite... This stuff is 1% nitrite...
Therefore 6.25/1 = 6.25 X the amount of Turkey Cure is necessary for the proper amount of nitrite to cure the meat..
cure#1 is used at a rate of ~1.1 grams per pound for ~ 150 Ppm.....
Dry rub bacon can accept up to 200 Ppm nitrite according to the USDA....

So, knowing that, to get the correct amount of cure for your bacon, 1.1 X 6.25 = ~6.9 grams of Turkey Cure / per pound of meat will satisfy the cure needs...
My bellies are ~5#'s each and ~6.9 grams will return ~ 150 Ppm cure...
200/150 X 6.9 = ~46 grams of Turkey cure for ~200 Ppm nitrite...
Minimum amount of nitrite = ~120 Ppm nitrite would be .... 120/150 X 6.9 grams = 5.5 grams of Turkey cure to meet the minimum requirement for nitrite, according to the USDA...
There is a lot of leeway to keep the bacon in the safe zone.... No worries....

The Maple adds a nice flavor to the bacon....

I have requested the %Salt in the Turkey Cure from Walton's, and will report their response when I receive it..

Each slab is sitting on a wire cooling rack, so they can equally lose moisture on all sides, while in the refer....
1622573059201.jpeg ...... DSCF0288.JPG


I added just short of 50 grams the each of these slabs... Sprinkled "uniformly" to the meat side and left the fat side bare.... Then I used a silicone brush to try and evenly distribute the Cure Mix.....
In the refer the moisture will evaporate and moisture will be removed from the bacon slab, intensifying the pig flavor......
At the ~14 day mark, I will gently rinse and pat dry the slab.... Form a pellicle on it and cold smoke for about 4-6 hours per day for several days....
I use pellet dust in a tri-mix Cranky Buzzard developed.... I modified it to use the pellets I had on hand....
40% corn cob
40% Alder or Pitmasters choice
20% Mesquite....
I like the flavor of the mix....

How I make "dust" from pellets...


I'll be back in a couple 3 weeks to finish this thread....
Dave

...
 
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Wurstmeister

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Dave, Homemade bacon is always a gift of beauty to the senses! Looking forward to seeing the finished product.🍻
John
 

Hamdrew

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As soon as they are thawed (tommorow), I will be doing my second dry cure ever, on a very streak-y full slab of spares. Their thickest parts are about the same as a pork belly, which leads me to my question: Is that 2wk time frame necessary when hot smoking (as I will be doing), or on the other end, is it 100% long enough/not rushed? I see many people curing for less time, yet I know those expensive new bacon-makers cure for several weeks or more. Again, though, that is cold smoking.. so.. (?)

[Thanks in advance!!]
 

daveomak

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Sugar molecules are HUGE and take time to penetrate the meat... Longer times allow for flavor development.... Meat to "tenderize".....
Commercial establishments have ruined the flavor of cured meats....
A 1 year aged ham tastes much better than a ham that takes only days.... even MORE BETTER than a canned ham that takes less than 24 hours...
Today's "bacon" is watery and shrinks..
My beef sticks take 24 hours in the smoker... Smoked butt takes 30-36 hours... I don't believe there is ANY reason to hurry the smoked meat process... Unless, of course, you like the flavor of commercial products...
 

Hamdrew

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I do like hot and fast sometimes, it changes the flavor. Not necessarily for better or worse, just different. I have been noticing sugars length of time to penetrate the meat, the same wet brine will taste salty to me after 2 days but too sweet after 7. I wonder if complex sugars like maltose might speed it up? Have something to research tonight, now, LOL.

I didn't think you would be rushing it, just making sure 14 days wasn't only to account for the several day. I have plenty of stuff to smoke in the mean time. (Back bacon, a now 16 day cured butt "ham", and another rack of spares (wet cured), an eye round pastrami.. i think that's it lol)
 

daveomak

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The 14 days came from trial and testing... 6 then 8 then 10 then 12 then 14 then 18.... To my taste, the flavor seemed to peak around day 14... No great improvement between 14 and 18 days.... Could have been the cut of meat.... Could have been a lot of things but I, in my selfish way, decided it was a DAY 14 thing....
 

Wurstmeister

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Great discussion gentlemen. Ya'll are like therapy for me teaching to be patient. Something that I am not good at!! LOL! I'll need to read and reread this thread to get my bacon elevated to a higher level.

BTW- daveomak, I read the times you posted to Mrs. Wurtz, and she told me that I need to do the same. Guess this is my first lesson in patience?! And for grips and grins, Mrs. Wurtz thought 11 days for our German Bacon to dry brine was too long?! Go figure! LOL! 🍻
John
 

Hamdrew

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The 14 days came from trial and testing... 6 then 8 then 10 then 12 then 14 then 18.... To my taste, the flavor seemed to peak around day 14... No great improvement between 14 and 18 days.... Could have been the cut of meat.... Could have been a lot of things but I, in my selfish way, decided it was a DAY 14 thing....
Thank you!! That is exactly what I wanted to know. Similarly I'm of the opinion wet brining spares finish within a week max, and more like 3 days for STL trimmed. Then, the issue of sugar taking longer to absorb comes into play, sometimes making it a little too sweet, since I often take an extra day or few to get around to smoking them (be it weather or otherwise).

In any case, they are all pretty tasty experiments, and most pork is thankfully cheap as can be around here. That said I do want to splurge on some belly soon, and want to make sure it's as perfect as I have the means to make it. Thanks again!
 

daveomak

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Here we are.... 24 hours into the curing step.... All the cure stuff has penetrated the belly and starting it task of making safe to eat, delicious BACON !!!!

DSCF0289.JPG


DSCF0290.JPG
 

daveomak

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Okay, I forgot 1 test result in the 14 day curing step.....
I daily weighed the belly to determine moisture loss... After 14 days, the belly significantly slowed down when it came to moisture loss... May have just been that belly or my refer or the phase of the moon or pellicle formation.... Anywho, it was my test and I'm sticking to my final analysis....
 

daveomak

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The fridge I'm using is a dorm fridge with NO freezing compartment...
I've added a blower for air circulation...
DSCF0293.JPG


1622642381716.jpeg
 

chopsaw

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Along for the ride .
I started mixing in mesquite pellets or chips after I saw you doing it .
Really adds to it .
 

daveomak

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I think it adds that "That's a unique flavor" thingy....
We have to give credit to Charlie... The Cranky Buzzard...
If you read the story on how it happened, you'd chuckle.... alcohol was involved... That's how I remember it, anyway....
 

chopsaw

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We have to give credit to Charlie... The Cranky Buzzard...
If you read the story on how it happened, you'd chuckle.... alcohol was involved... That's how I remember it, anyway....
I do remember that . He had a thread on it . Lol .
Used to go to a lot of meat shoots when I was in my 20's . One round was slab bacon . Rind on , heavy smoked . It was dense , even when sliced . Not greasy and stretchy . The edges were dark colored . So good .
 

daveomak

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The meat shoots were fun, to say the least...
 

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