Please take a look at my bacon process so far

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by nicefly, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. nicefly

    nicefly Fire Starter


    Just joined the forum.  Got a COS for Christmas.  Trying my hand at bacon.


    Got a 4# slab of pork belly.  I used 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 2 tsp pink salt.  Rub, wrap with cling wrap and fridge on a cookie sheet.

    Next day there was alot of liquid on cookie sheet. Unwrap slab, apply new cure (same amount) and back to the fridge.  Left there 2 days flipping occasionally.  More liquid on sheet.

    Yesterday (day 4) I removed, added more cure, wrapped and back to fridge.  Today there is no liquid on pan, just a little on bottom side of slab inside the clingwrap.  Some soft areas where it is thickest, 2"or so, but getting pretty hard all over.

    After 7 days I plan on rinsing, drying and smoking to 150F internal.


    The more I read I see people do not remove the liquid.  I dont think it is inherently wrong is it?

    Adding new cure the whole time.  Not too much pink salt? seems I am way below what I have read as high levels but I did keep applying new cure.

    One think I saw in some of these bacon threads here and not anywhere else I read is resting after smoking.  What is the thought process behind that?


  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi NiceFly,

    I don't use Pink salt, I use Morton Tender Quick, so I'm not the one to explain everything about using Pink Salt.

    However if I'm not mistaken, you are only supposed to use 1 tsp of Pink Salt for 5 pounds of meat, and only one time, so I would think you're using too much.

    Hopefully some of the Pink Salt (cure #1) users will step in here to help you out.

  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    From what I read your initial rub wold be a little high, now that you have added more pink salt you may be over doing it.

    when you say Pink Salt is it instacure #1  cure #1 ? What does it say on the package

  4. Here is are the proportions for the salts to cure bacon. These percentages are percentages of meat weight:

    2.25% kosher salt

    0.25% pink salt (Cure #1)

    You can also add other things, like pepper, brown sugar, even maple syrup depending on how you want to flavor the pork belly. Once you smother the belly, put it in a sealable plastic bag so you can flipit in your fridge and rub the juices around once a day.

    What you describe is too much pink salt. You only need to apply the curing rub once.

    After around 10 days, you can rinse it and smoke to an internal temp of 145 degrees, if your plan is to slice it and fry it in a pan. Some people go higher for internal temp if they don't plan on frying their bacon, I believe.
  5. nicefly

    nicefly Fire Starter

    Thanks for the replies.  I do not know what kind of pink salt I used.  Rookie mistake I did not know there was more than one until reading more.

    They gave it to me at the meat shop, 4oz in a bag and charged me 99cents which I thought was pretty nice of them at the time.  So I do not have the original packing to check.

    I will have to look into these #bered cures.  Cruising around this forum and reading some of the replies I see I was supposed to pay more attention to salt by weight of meat.

    Thanks again, learning already.  I am sure I will be back with more questions.
  6. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You used alot more cure than you should have. Could be dangerous. Also keep the liquid in the container. That helps the cure and salt get into the meat.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Fly, evening......   Very good questions to have....   It's smart to question what's going of....  

    First of all the are several curing agents out there....  Here's a sort of list with some suggestions...

    For future reference, get a grams scale that weighs out to tenths of a gram...  maybe 100 gram maximum....   That will help and improve your curing and smoking recipes a bunch...  you can weigh spices, herbs and cures accurately for repeatability....  that is important....

    cure #1 is generally used a 1.1 grams per pound of meat and is acceptable for whole muscle meats as well as ground meats...

    Beware of recipes on the web etc. as numerous folks can have misprints...   especially when it comes to cure...

    Stop in here and have any recipe you find verified by our members...   it's worth the time....   Dave
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I would suggest buying your cure in the original container so you know what you have.

    It always has instructions on the label for use.

  9. nicefly

    nicefly Fire Starter

    Thanks again for the replies.  Based on your comments and other research I am way over USDA recommendation. I am not moving forward with this lovely meat.

    I did try a bit.  Did not smoke it but cut a slice from the end and one from the middle.  Fried in a pan.  Had to use self control not to eat it.  I prefered the salty end piece.

    Seems I got some decent belly, I changed my avatar to the pic I took on the cutting board.

    Back to the drawing board, I will post my next cure recipe before moving forward.

    Thanks again everyone!
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There are any recipes folks have put together on this forum...  

    I use a basic...   get a gams scale to weigh out the stuff .....   salt, sugar, cure #1, black pepper, garlic....  what ever you want to add so you can reproduce it in the future of make subtle changes to your liking...

    I use 2% salt...  1% sugar....  0.25% cure #1.....  all based on the weight of the meat....    mix them together and rub into the meat...   place the meat in a zip bag or pan and refrigerate for 2 weeks turning every couple days....    rinse and dry the meat....  place on a wire rack in the refer uncovered for 1 week.....  form a pellicle on a wire rack in front of a fan for an hour or two...  cold smoke at ~70 ish degrees for 4 to 36 hours depending on how much smoke you like...  I smoke for 6 ish hours per day with an ~18 hour rest before the next smoke addition...  

    When the smoke step is done, back on the wire rack, in the refer uncovered for another week....  

    Partially freeze the belly (for 2-3 hours) and slice....

    That will get you a basic, very good bacon....   additions or adjustments can come with the next belly if you choose....

    Bride cooks our bacon on a wire rack in the oven......

  11. nicefly

    nicefly Fire Starter

    Thanks Dave!

    I am going back to the meat shop asap and will use your recipe as a starting point.  Maybe more salt since my wife loves salt.  You could serve her a plate of salt and she would put salt on it.

    I will get a scale. I really should have one already for my salt additions for brewing water, I homebrew beer as well.  Water profile can really make a difference for the style of brew.

    Anyway, pumped to get some more belly!
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For a grams scale, 0-100 grams range ....  about $8-10.... 
  13. m00se

    m00se Fire Starter

    Hey NiceFly,

    Here is a little thing I put together in imgur. I put the YouTube of the recipe in the last panel. It's the URL for the Test Kitchen's recipe. Note that I cold smoked this bacon. Trust me when I tell you it turned out fantastic!

    Agreed, you need a scale for your measurements (even though you don't need one for this particular recipe). Here is *a* scale (I have this one and one that's less sensitive but goes up to 1000g. This one only goes to 100g. There are other scales of course.

    This is the one I have with the higher capacity:

    In case you were wondering, I have aquariums and I use these scales to measure fertilizers for the plants ;-)

    For measuring meats and other kitchen ingredients I use this:

    Keep Smokin!

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