Pancetta Question

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Jul 8, 2007
Wentzville, MO
Hi all. I purchased an 11 lb pork belly and followed the Umai recipe for pancetta, altering the amount of salt and cure for it being an 11 lb belly instead of 10 lb as in the recipe. Where I’m second guessing myself is that I cut the belly in half and coated all sides on each and then divided the remaining spice mixture that fell off into both of the ziplock bags. Should I be ok from a cure and salt perspective or should I have coated the full 11 lbs and then cut in half or treated each piece separately when determining the correct portions of salt and cure, ie salt and cure for a 5 lb and salt and cure for a 6 lb for example?

Any info is appreciated. Thanks.
The proper technique for that process would be to ...
Cut in "half".... weigh each piece.... and add the correct amount of stuff to each piece... Treating them as independent, separate hunks of meat....

Can you post the UMAI recipe you used... that would be good...

Sure, no prob.

For the dry cure:

  • Pork belly 10 lb. (4.5kg)
  • Garlic, minced 4 cloves
  • InstaCure #2 (0.25% of meat weight) 2 tsp (11g)...Adjusted to 13g for the 11lb 1.2 oz belly
  • Kosher salt (3% of meat weight 3/4 cup (120g)...Adjusted to 152g for the 11lb 1.2 oz belly
  • Dark brown sugar 2 tbsp (30g)
  • Black pepper, coarsely ground 4 tbsp (8g)
  • Juniper berries, crushed 2 tbsp (10g)
  • Bay leaves, crumbled 4 (4g)
  • Nutmeg, freshly grated 1 tsp (2g)
  • Fresh thyme 4 or 5 sprigs
I realized I should have treated them as separate pieces of meat after I threw them in the ziplock and in the fridge to cure for 2 weeks. If I have to trash them to be safe, I'm not opposed. Rather safe than sorry.
If the weights are close, 4#'s and 6#'s as an example, one will be saltier than the other.. spices will vary... The amount of nitrite in each piece will be "close enough" to not cause a problem.. "+/- 20% it OK"... 156 Ppm = 125 Ppm and 187 Ppm... 120 Ppm is a minimum and 200 Ppm is maximum for a meat cured by a rub...
Even after all that, when you hang the pancetta to dry age at 50F ish degrees, the remaining nitrate will take care of any situation.. it will convert to nitrite at that temperature...
You can hang the UMAI cured meat if you so choose... It has all the ingredients one would use for a "normally" made pancetta...
Thanks for the info Dave. The weights of the two pieces are within a 1/2 lb of each other, I just don't have the exact numbers in front of me at work. Sounds like they'll be ok sans the amount of saltiness and level of spice. I think I'll let them go and see how they turn out...just another lessons learned in the book. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.