# The Quest for Bacon

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So to get what I use, you would need to enter 1.75% for the salt value.

diggingdog is fine, but be aware when you enter your salt value, it is combining the salt and the cure as a total salt value.
Ahhh - that's why it was doing that! tbh i'm surprised my math was right

DougE
Heck, once you do it a few times, you can pretty much do it in your sleep. It is also wise to know how to do your own math in the event you, for whatever reason, don't have access to the online calc.

ConrodM
I'd also add that if you are curing more than one piece, calculate each individually rather than mixing a batch of cure for the combined weight. This insures that each piece has the right amount.

ConrodM and tallbm
I'd also add that if you are curing more than one piece, calculate each individually rather than mixing a batch of cure for the combined weight. This insures that each piece has the right amount.
Definitely going to do it piece by piece, that just makes sense.

ConrodM and DougE
Okay - we have the pieces of belly:
Piece 1 is 1314 - 3.29 (or 3.3) cure, 19.7 kosher, 9.86 sugar (white sugar)
Piece 2 is 1190 - 2.975 cure, 17.85 kosher, 8.9 sugar (white sugar)
Piece 3 is 1126 - 2.81 cure, 16.89 kosher, 8.45 sugar (brown sugar)
Piece 4 is 1032 - 2.58 cure, 15.48 kosher, 7.74 sugar (browni sugar)

Are these measurements correct?
EDIT: had to cancel the curing today - our scale only measures to the gram. Had to order one that measures to the tenth of a gram from Amazon, it'll arrive tomorrow.

We want to experiment with one of the smaller pieces and add some garlic, maybe some thyme - would you recommend fresh thyme and garlic? Or garlic powder and thyme leaves? How much?

Last edited:
ConrodM
Okay - we have the pieces of belly:
Piece 1 is 1314 - 3.29 (or 3.3) cure, 19.7 kosher, 9.86 sugar (white sugar)
Piece 2 is 1190 - 2.975 cure, 17.85 kosher, 8.9 sugar (white sugar)
Piece 3 is 1126 - 2.81 cure, 16.89 kosher, 8.45 sugar (brown sugar)
Piece 4 is 1032 - 2.58 cure, 15.48 kosher, 7.74 sugar (browni sugar)

Are these measurements correct?
Looks fine to me.

EDIT: had to cancel the curing today - our scale only measures to the gram. Had to order one that measures to the tenth of a gram from Amazon, it'll arrive tomorrow.
That's why I have 2 scales. One will handle up to 11 lbs, but will only measure whole grams. The other is actually my reloading scale, which weighs in grains and also does grams down to hundredths of a gram. It sees more action weighing spices than powder these days since I have enough ammo loaded in all the calibers I need to last me a long time.

ConrodM
That's why I have 2 scales. One will handle up to 11 lbs, but will only measure whole grams. The other is actually my reloading scale, which weighs in grains and also does grams down to hundredths of a gram. It sees more action weighing spices than powder these days since I have enough ammo loaded in all the calibers I need to last me a long time.
Yup, we ordered a baking scale from Amazon after Harbor Freight didn't have a reloading scale.

DougE
guys got you covered... only thing I will add is that if you have never tried cold smoked bacon (true cold smoke below 70*F) give that a go. Dry cured, then cold smoked will give you an intense bacon flavor that is old world and beats the socks off liquid brined/warm smoked IMO....depth of flavor is incredible. I like 32 hours of cold smoke over 4 nights...8 hours each night with a rest in the frige during the day (I smoke at night because the humidity is high).

Yup, we ordered a baking scale from Amazon after Harbor Freight didn't have a reloading scale.
Tobacco/vape/head shops usually have pocket scales that will do parts of a gram pretty cheap (wouldn't trust them for weighing powder, but fine for spices/cure). I probably would have went that route if I hadn't already had the scale I bought for reloading years ago.

ConrodM
guys got you covered... only thing I will add is that if you have never tried cold smoked bacon (true cold smoke below 70*F) give that a go. Dry cured, then cold smoked will give you an intense bacon flavor that is old world and beats the socks off liquid brined/warm smoked IMO....depth of flavor is incredible. I like 32 hours of cold smoke over 4 nights...8 hours each night with a rest in the frige during the day (I smoke at night because the humidity is high).
Does bacon that's cold smoked like that crisp up better when cooking? I love my hot smoked bacon flavor but would like texture results closer to commercial versions.

Does bacon that's cold smoked like that crisp up better when cooking? I love my hot smoked bacon flavor but would like texture results closer to commercial versions.
Yes. It does. It is also much drier becasue cold smoking is a drying step with smoke. and you are not adding liquid when you dry cure. The bacon usually will lose 15-18% weight if you follow the smoke schedule I use, 4 nights of cold smoke with 4 days of rest in the refrigerator. The refrigerator @30-40%RH really pulls moisture out of the bacon slab.

All this really intensifies the baconny flavor (if that is a word)...it is intense....

Commercial bacon can't come close UNLESS it is made the same way like Benton's is.....

ConrodM and jcam222
We want to experiment with one of the smaller pieces and add some garlic, maybe some thyme - would you recommend fresh thyme and garlic? Or garlic powder and thyme leaves? How much?
Missed this. I just eyeball granulated garlic and black pepper, etc after I have applied the curing mixture. These additional spices will mostly remain on the surface and won't be taken into the meat like the cure mix.

Tobacco/vape/head shops usually have pocket scales that will do parts of a gram pretty cheap (wouldn't trust them for weighing powder, but fine for spices/cure). I probably would have went that route if I hadn't already had the scale I bought for reloading years ago.
ah damn, I should've just walked around the corner to the head shop that opened recently!

guys got you covered... only thing I will add is that if you have never tried cold smoked bacon (true cold smoke below 70*F) give that a go. Dry cured, then cold smoked will give you an intense bacon flavor that is old world and beats the socks off liquid brined/warm smoked IMO....depth of flavor is incredible. I like 32 hours of cold smoke over 4 nights...8 hours each night with a rest in the frige during the day (I smoke at night because the humidity is high).
Cold smoking bacon would be so good, but we're in NJ and it's summer... so yeaaaaaaah, but too hot for that.

So tomorrow we'll apply the cure and let it sit in the fridge for 10-14 days (probably closer to 14)... then we'll smoke it. Probably around 200 for 6 hours, or until it hits an internal of 155 or so

ConrodM
ah damn, I should've just walked around the corner to the head shop that opened recently!

Cold smoking bacon would be so good, but we're in NJ and it's summer... so yeaaaaaaah, but too hot for that.

So tomorrow we'll apply the cure and let it sit in the fridge for 10-14 days (probably closer to 14)... then we'll smoke it. Probably around 200 for 6 hours, or until it hits an internal of 155 or so
I spent 19 years of my life in northern Jersey. Miss a few food items like taylor ham (learned to make my own, which hits pretty close to the real deal).

I'd smoke as low as you can run and pull at 145°. I run my bacon at 160° this time of year, but cold smoke in winter.

ConrodM
I spent 19 years of my life in northern Jersey. Miss a few food items like taylor ham (learned to make my own, which hits pretty close to the real deal).

I'd smoke as low as you can run and pull at 145°. I run my bacon at 160° this time of year, but cold smoke in winter.
Taylor Ham? Don't you mean pork roll?

Okay, thanks for the temp tip.

Taylor Ham? Don't you mean pork roll?
Either works, but it was mostly referred to as Taylor Ham where I was.

Either works, but it was mostly referred to as Taylor Ham where I was.
It's a delicious meat

DougE
It's a delicious meat
That's why I learned to make my own. I can get it from one store in town, but \$12 for a little 1 pound chub gets expensive.

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