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Slightly Salty Bacon - Adjustments

jceroli42

Fire Starter
57
14
Joined Mar 22, 2017
So I've been doing bacon for few years now. Recently, I have found it slightly salty, most likely becuase I use little salt during normal cooking. That said, I EQ Dry cure and know that I can always soak the bellies in water after, but wanted to "get it right in cure" per se.

I use 2% Kosher Salt, 1.5% Sugar, and .25% Cure #1.

Should I decrease the Kosher Salt percentage to 1.5%? Does that throw off the curing process per say or just the seasoning/salting?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

thirdeye

Smoking Fanatic
536
447
Joined Dec 1, 2019
So you want to lower the salt, and eliminate the soak-out... Yes, you can lower the Kosher salt without any change in the curing process. In my experiments, when I lower the salt, I also lower the sugar. Canning salt dissolves easier, and I like using white sugar over brown.

My lower salt recipe is:
1.8% canning salt
1% white sugar
.25% Cure #1
Garlic powder
Black Pepper
Crushed bay leaf
1 to 2 tablespoons of water in the zipper bag to give the process a head start. I overhaul daily.
Cure time is 10 or 11 days, and I do a 3 to 4 hour soak-out depending on thickness, then equalize overnight.

Smoking is either single or double cold smoked, or hot smoked.
 

jceroli42

Fire Starter
57
14
Joined Mar 22, 2017
So you want to lower the salt, and eliminate the soak-out... Yes, you can lower the Kosher salt without any change in the curing process. In my experiments, when I lower the salt, I also lower the sugar. Canning salt dissolves easier, and I like using white sugar over brown.

My lower salt recipe is:
1.8% canning salt
1% white sugar
.25% Cure #1
Garlic powder
Black Pepper
Crushed bay leaf
1 to 2 tablespoons of water in the zipper bag to give the process a head start. I overhaul daily.
Cure time is 10 or 11 days, and I do a 3 to 4 hour soak-out depending on thickness, then equalize overnight.

Smoking is either single or double cold smoked, or hot smoked.
Thanks, So I have to lower sugar along with salt, since I have 2% salt and 1.5% sugar, lowering salt I inturn have to lower the sugar, (not 1.8% salt and 1.5% sugar) and that will lower the salinity altogether? Doesn't make sense, but if that's how it works...

I used 2.5gallon bags, I was considering vac sealing them too, not sure that would make a difference, i know not for salinity just in general...
 

thirdeye

Smoking Fanatic
536
447
Joined Dec 1, 2019
Thanks, So I have to lower sugar along with salt, since I have 2% salt and 1.5% sugar, lowering salt I inturn have to lower the sugar, (not 1.8% salt and 1.5% sugar) and that will lower the salinity altogether? Doesn't make sense, but if that's how it works...

I used 2.5gallon bags, I was considering vac sealing them too, not sure that would make a difference, i know not for salinity just in general...
The reason for adding sugar to a dry cure formulation is to offset the bitterness of the salt, and secondly add a sweet back-flavor. Some recipes call for using maple syrup in addition to sugar. Some people use turbinado sugar, and the use of fenugreek will give you a maple flavor without adding any additional sweet. I rarely make bacon without cracked pepper, but that is optional as well.

Back to your question.... No, it's not a requirement to lower the sugar as you lower salt, I did it in my experiments and like the results, but taste is subjective, and you might like a sweeter flavor on your bacon. Just be sure to calculate and measure the correct amount of Cure #1, (or Tender Quick) because that is a constant based on the weight of your slab(s).

At one point in time I did vac-seal the slabs, but never pulled a full suction on them, I didn't want to interfere with the mobility of the liquid brine formed in the bags. Now I use the 2.5 gallon zipper bags and just force as much air out as I can.
 

Brian Trommater

Smoking Fanatic
535
317
Joined Aug 1, 2018
There nothing wrong with soakig that I know of. I become salt sensitive and soak all my cured meats in cold water for a hour now.
 

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