Salt and sugar percentage by weight preference

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Kyleblun

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I am planning to start curing a pork belly to make bacon this weekend. Some members have given me their recommendations on salt and sugar percentage by weight of the pork belly which I appreciate. Please can you let me know your personal preference or experience using certain ratios.

I'm pretty set on using the following which was recommended:

1.5% salt
1.0% sugar
0.25% cure #1
 
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sawhorseray

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I've got a 11.4 pound belly curing in the fridge right now for maple bacon is 7-8 days. I use 2.0% salt and 0.25% Cure #1 for the cure. I added a half cup each of maple sugar, maple syrup, honey, and a ounce and a half of Mapeline. The sodium nitrite and salt is what cures the bacon, the sugars are there for balance and flavor. Oh, welcome to SMF from Gilbert, AZ Kyle. Here's a couple of sites that'll give you the number on the cure, stay safe. RAY


DiggingDogFarm
 
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thirdeye

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I use a 1.5% salt - 1% sugar - 0.25% Cure #1, then add some aromatics to the bellies during the cure, and after the cure Regardless of how you tickle the first two percentages, the 0.25% is a constant.

That said.... I was curing meats before the internet :emoji_astonished: so I learned how to do the calculations manually, and still do. The online or Excel cure calculators are so precise, they take into account the salt used as the carrier in Cure #1. Meaning..... my true salt amount is closer to 2%.
 

Kyleblun

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Aug 25, 2021
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I've got a 11.4 pound belly curing in the fridge right now for maple bacon is 7-8 days. I use 2.0% salt and 0.25% Cure #1 for the cure. I added a half cup each of maple sugar, maple syrup, honey, and a ounce and a half of Mapeline. The sodium nitrite and salt is what cures the bacon, the sugars are there for balance and flavor. Oh, welcome to SMF from Gilbert, AZ Kyle. Here's a couple of sites that'll give you the number on the cure, stay safe. RAY


DiggingDogFarm
Thanks for the info and welcome.

I'm on the other side of the world in Johannesburg, South Africa.
 

sawhorseray

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My dad dropped dead in Johannesburg on a trip around the world, bad luck there for my family. Do you smoke up biltong, good stuff! RAY
 

Kyleblun

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My dad dropped dead in Johannesburg on a trip around the world, bad luck there for my family. Do you smoke up biltong, good stuff! RAY
Sorry to hear about your Dad.

I have never actually heard of smoked biltong. Now that you mention it, it sounds like it could be good. It's a dried meat product, very similar to beef jerky, so do people make smoked beef jerky?
 
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zwiller

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I've played around with the formula a few times and honestly did not find much of a real difference in the final product. I think the real magic to bacon is combination of drying phases and smoke time but have not figured out yet. My bacon and other cured stuff is good but not better than store bought yet. Nowhere near the level of GOOD stuff.
 
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sawhorseray

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I've played around with the formula a few times and honestly did not find much of a real difference in the final product. I think the real magic to bacon is combination of drying phases and smoke time but have not figured out yet. My bacon and other cured stuff is good but not better than store bought yet. Nowhere near the level of GOOD stuff.

I've been smoking my own bacon for over 20 years now Sam and never quite found the maple flavor I've been looking for. I've added small amounts of Mapeline in the past to the bags in the fridge after I've made my slurry cure. This time I dumped 2/3's of a bottle into the slurry mix and will cure for 10-11 days before smoking as opposed to six in a effort to see if the maple flavor will penetrate more. Also thinking of brushing a coat maple syrup right when the belly goes into my smoker to dry for a couple of hours before introducing the smoke. I love maple bacon, the flavor quest never ends. RAY
 
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sawhorseray

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I have never actually heard of smoked biltong. Now that you mention it, it sounds like it could be good. It's a dried meat product, very similar to beef jerky, so do people make smoked beef jerky?

My friends son-in-law is a native of SA and he makes the biltong I've tried Kyle, and that was a few years back, too tough for me to chew these days.
 

SmokinEdge

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I've been smoking my own bacon for over 20 years now Sam and never quite found the maple flavor I've been looking for. I've added small amounts of Mapeline in the past to the bags in the fridge after I've made my slurry cure. This time I dumped 2/3's of a bottle into the slurry mix and will cure for 10-11 days before smoking as opposed to six in a effort to see if the maple flavor will penetrate more. Also thinking of brushing a coat maple syrup right when the belly goes into my smoker to dry for a couple of hours before introducing the smoke. I love maple bacon, the flavor quest never ends. RAY
Same struggles here.
Commercial bacon is all stitch pumped with the cure. We have tried the pure maple extract from Watkins, that just gave a chemical taste. I’m convinced that pumping is the only way to get the maple flavor, but God only knows what those commercial processors use.
Have you tried Fenugreek? That’s about all I haven’t tried.
 
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zwiller

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I've been smoking my own bacon for over 20 years now Sam and never quite found the maple flavor I've been looking for. I've added small amounts of Mapeline in the past to the bags in the fridge after I've made my slurry cure. This time I dumped 2/3's of a bottle into the slurry mix and will cure for 10-11 days before smoking as opposed to six in a effort to see if the maple flavor will penetrate more. Also thinking of brushing a coat maple syrup right when the belly goes into my smoker to dry for a couple of hours before introducing the smoke. I love maple bacon, the flavor quest never ends. RAY
My girls are really into maple lunch meat and stuff and I love maple syrup/doughnuts/etc but not in my meats. That said, I know little bit about this stuff. I am long time homebrewer and judge and if you ever seen these seltzers or beers with fruit flavors these are made with flavor extracts and not fruit. The technology to make these extracts good tasting has really evolved recently. I remember my parents making candy with the old time extracts and they tasted like medicine or chemicals. Those days are no longer and the new flavor extracts are good BUT not so cheap. There are a few companies that make them. I've used both Olive Nation and Natures Flavors and like them. I did some digging and found this. Keep in mind you need to bump the sugar to mimic the sweetness or it might not work as intended. Wishing you guys the best of luck finding your maple bacon solution.

 
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sawhorseray

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Same struggles here. Commercial bacon is all stitch pumped with the cure. We have tried the pure maple extract from Watkins, that just gave a chemical taste. I’m convinced that pumping is the only way to get the maple flavor, but God only knows what those commercial processors use.
Have you tried Fenugreek? That’s about all I haven’t tried.

Nope, haven't tried that one yet Edge. What I've done in the past was after I'd make my slurry cure was wait a couple of days and then dilute a couple of table spoons of Mapeline into a couple cups of water and pour it in the ziplocs, meh. This time I dumped 2/3's of a bottle of Mapeline
DSCN1174.JPG

right into the slurry mix
DSCN3289.JPG

I take the ziploc out of the fridge each morning and night for a massage and a flop. I'll smoke the the belly in applewood in my Pro 100 18-20 hours starting at 110º and slowly raise the temp up to 165º until I hit a IT of 140º, then turn the smoker back down to 115º for a couple of hours to let the bacon bloom.
004.JPG

DSCN0870.JPG

It's worked pretty well for me up to this point, interested to see what the new wrinkle does. RAY
 

SmokinEdge

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Nope, haven't tried that one yet Edge. What I've done in the past was after I'd make my slurry cure was wait a couple of days and then dilute a couple of table spoons of Mapeline into a couple cups of water and pour it in the ziplocs, meh. This time I dumped 2/3's of a bottle of Mapeline
View attachment 509554
right into the slurry mix
View attachment 509555
I take the ziploc out of the fridge each morning and night for a massage and a flop. I'll smoke the the belly in applewood in my Pro 100 18-20 hours starting at 110º and slowly raise the temp up to 165º until I hit a IT of 140º, then turn the smoker back down to 115º for a couple of hours to let the bacon bloom.
View attachment 509556
View attachment 509557
It's worked pretty well for me up to this point, interested to see what the new wrinkle does. RAY
Yes sir, I’ll be watching for your results. Thanks for the insight as well.
 

zwiller

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You guys ever run maple wood for the smoke? sawhorseray sawhorseray I know you are still trying to dial in the maple but are you otherwise happy with your bacon? I have not tried warm smoking yet...
 

sawhorseray

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I've only used applewood or hickory to smoke my bacon, never seen much maple to be had where I live. RAY
 

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