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Spice Percentages

ricko54

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I was looking up a dry rub recipe to use on my pork bellies. ThirdEye had in one of his posts the following,
A non-sugar dry cure recipe for bacon would be:
1.5% salt*
0.25% Cure #1

I understand that these are two important items to get right. I'm also looking for percentages used when it comes to such secondary spices as coarse black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Thanks for the help.
 

thirdeye

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I was looking up a dry rub recipe to use on my pork bellies. ThirdEye had in one of his posts the following,
A non-sugar dry cure recipe for bacon would be:
1.5% salt*
0.25% Cure #1

I understand that these are two important items to get right. I'm also looking for percentages used when it comes to such secondary spices as coarse black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Thanks for the help.
I don't do exact measurements on my aromatics but these examples below may give you a starting point. Of course if you get exotic, like using cayenne or jalapeno powder use your own judgement. These amounts are for 1# of pork belly.
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4+ teaspoon fresh ground or cracked black pepper
1/2 crushed bay leaf

To put my other statement in your quote into perspective, below is a snip from my bacon write-up. This is a link to the full page with photos. BACON

Mixing The Cure - The percentages listed below are based on the weight of a trimmed pork belly.
  • Salt - The recommended range of salt is between 1% and 3%. I use canning salt, but sea salt or kosher salt works fine. Do not use iodized table salt.
  • Sugar - The recommended range of sugar is between 0% and 3%. You don't actually need sugar in your cure, but it mellows the salt and adds flavor as well as color. A higher percentage of sugar will increase chances of your bacon burning when frying.
  • Cure #1 - The amount of Cure #1 is set by the USDA at 0.25%. Do not increase or decrease this amount, and always measure Cure #1 carefully and accurately.
How To Decide On Your First Curing Blend - First off, consider salt.... how salty do you like your bacon? The typical bacon you buy at the store is 2% to 2.5% salt and uses about the same percentage of sugar. A recipe might be 2% salt, 1.5% sugar or for a sweeter bacon you might use 2% salt, 2.5% sugar. White sugar has a lighter flavor and color, brown sugar is a deeper flavor and will make the bacon a little darker, and maple sugar is a bit sweeter and more distinct.

What Formulation Do I Use? - I favor a lower salt bacon, and use a lower percentage of white sugar. My current favorite formulation is 1.5% salt, 1% sugar and I sprinkle the pork belly with cracked pepper, garlic powder and put a tablespoon of crushed bay leaves into the curing bag
 

SmokinEdge

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I was looking up a dry rub recipe to use on my pork bellies. ThirdEye had in one of his posts the following,
A non-sugar dry cure recipe for bacon would be:
1.5% salt*
0.25% Cure #1

I understand that these are two important items to get right. I'm also looking for percentages used when it comes to such secondary spices as coarse black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Thanks for the help.
These guys have your answer. I’ll just add that salt can be in the range stated but must be present the cure % cannot be adjusted. The rest is completely up to your taste. You have to experiment a few times to lock in what you like. I like my sugar in the 0.75-1.0% range, but I know guys who take it up to 3-4% as for aromatics, I apply black pepper, garlic powder, or onion powder by site just like I would season a piece of meat to cook. That’s how we like it, you may prefer more or less. That’s the cool part of home curing, we create the flavor profiles that we like. You can add maple syrup or honey too, or add some of your favorite preserves. I like peach and apricot. In the end what really matters is that it is properly cured. That’s the salt+cure #1.
 

thirdeye

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One thing I have not tried is injecting anything into a pork belly. A friend gets bacon from a meat market somewhere in Minnesota. One of their flavors is 'garlic' and it is way more garlicky tasting. I've always thought they injected some kind of garlic infused liquid to get that that flavor deep into the meat.
 

SmokinEdge

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One thing I have not tried is injecting anything into a pork belly. A friend gets bacon from a meat market somewhere in Minnesota. One of their flavors is 'garlic' and it is way more garlicky tasting. I've always thought they injected some kind of garlic infused liquid to get that that flavor deep into the meat.
As far as I can tell, all commercial bacon is pumped with curing solution and flavorings. In going nitrite ppm= 120 plus per USDA regs. They add ascorbic acid (erythorbate) also.
 
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