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Unread 11-14-2013, 03:45 PM   #16
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I belive thirdeye addresses pink salt in his blog when discussing bacon
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Unread 11-14-2013, 05:29 PM   #17
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I typically find the 7 days to cure in Ruhlman's recipe about 2 days too long. If I'm doing 4-5 lb slabs of even thickness then I usually take them out and rinse after 5 days. Pop it in the fridge on a rack overnight to form the pellicle and onto the smoker or leave in fridge up to a week. I do hot smoke at 180* until the bacon is 150* IT.

Always helps to slice off a bit and cook it before you smoke the whole thing; this helps determine if it's overly salty and needs a post-cure soak.

Have done both ways (soak/no soak) with stellar results. YMMV
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Unread 11-14-2013, 08:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just BS View Post
I got me a slab of pork bellie and I have pink salt in the cupboard but all of my research shows using Morton's Tenderquick, which I do not have. Can pink salt be used to cure bacon? If so, what is the ratio of salt to a pound of bellie? Additionally, does anyone wet cure their slabs? Feel free to share any recipes you might know of. Thanks Brethren.
I did not read all of the other posts, but your concern should be that your "Pink Salt" is a curing salt containing sodium nitrite. It is usually called "cure 1" "Instacure 1" ect. Cure #1 and cure #2 are NOT interchangeable...

If your pink salt is something like Himalayan Pink Salt or Hawaiian Pink Salt, these are not curing salts....

Cures should be stored safely out of the reach of children. This is particularly true with cure #1 & #2. The pink candy like color is attractive to children.

All cures should be kept in their original container, and away from ingredients such as salt and sugar that they could be mistaken for and accidentally used.

.
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Unread 11-14-2013, 08:31 PM   #19
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I'd personally stick with TQ for dry cure and pink for wet
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Unread 11-15-2013, 07:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtr View Post
I like country ham, so I'm probably not the best person to ask about what's too salty.

That said, the Ruhlman recipe is a good one for a pink salt cure IMO. I've had good success with it in the past. Throwing on some crushed bay leaves, garlic cloves, some cracked black pepper etc. certainly wouldn't hurt.

Fair warning - you probably won't go back to store bought after you do this. The stuff from the butcher case is good, but I definitely prefer home made bacon to any other that I've tried, esp. packaged bacon. Homemade just has better and deeper flavor IMO.
My wife and I always add herbs or spice of some sort as well, we've done bay leaves, rosemary, cayenne.....

My wife doesn't want anything to do with store bought anymore. We bought a pack the other day. Man is that some slimy wet bacon.
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Unread 11-15-2013, 10:14 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamMadMan View Post
I did not read all of the other posts, but your concern should be that your "Pink Salt" is a curing salt containing sodium nitrite. It is usually called "cure 1" "Instacure 1" ect. Cure #1 and cure #2 are NOT interchangeable...

If your pink salt is something like Himalayan Pink Salt or Hawaiian Pink Salt, these are not curing salts....

Cures should be stored safely out of the reach of children. This is particularly true with cure #1 & #2. The pink candy like color is attractive to children.

All cures should be kept in their original container, and away from ingredients such as salt and sugar that they could be mistaken for and accidentally used.

.
I did not even think of this confusion! This is good, sound advice. "Pink" salt for curing is dyed pink and contains nitrites/nitrates (depending on the salt) and can be harmful or even deadly in quantities. It is dyed pink so it is not easily mistaken for regular salt, sugar, or whatever (as stated above).

Himalayan or Hawaiian (or other ) salts are naturally pink because of the minerals they contain and do not contain nitrites/nitrates in quantity. You can use these to cure things (or any salt), but if you need(for food safety)/want to ad nitrates, you need to use the cures above.
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Unread 11-15-2013, 10:27 AM   #22
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Great thread. Just subscribing :) Thanks for all the great info. Especially about omitting the pink salt. Wife wants "nitrite free" bacon lol
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Unread 11-15-2013, 10:36 AM   #23
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Great points about the pink salts. I am using Prague Powder#1. It is left over from the ham a cured last Easter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fwismoker View Post
I'd personally stick with TQ for dry cure and pink for wet
I am under the impression that using TQ wont give me that "cured bacon flavor" and the color won't be as appealing. Any thoughts?
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Unread 11-15-2013, 10:39 AM   #24
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I use TQ for a rub on my bacon all the time. Pretty pink color and its cured.
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Unread 11-15-2013, 01:29 PM   #25
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Was always curious about this, so I did a little research -

The difference between Prague Powder #1 and Tenderquick is that Tenderquick contains Sodium NitrIte AND sodium NitrAte, along with some sugar. Sodium NitrAte is found in Prague Powder #2. here's a couple snippets I found surfing around the internet -

Insta Cure #1 (Prague Powder #1) is used for any type of cured meat product that will require cooking, such as bacon, hams that are not air dried, smoked but not dried sausages etc. It is 93.5% table salt, 6.5 % Sodium Nitrite. 2 tsps of insta cure #1 is enough to cure roughly 10 lbs of sausage or bacon.


Insta Cure #2 (Prague Powder #2) is used for meat products that will be air dried and not cooked, such as dried salamis, pepperonis etc, and some air dried hams. It contains Both Nitrates and nitrites.
The reason a cure with the addition of sodium nitrate (Insta Cure #2) is used for such long curing products is because it breaks down very slowly over a period of time into sodium nitrite. In the words of the great sausage maker, Rytek Kutas, the sodium nitrate works like an extended release medication for meats that require very long curing times, like dry cured sausages.

Sodium nitrite, even in small quantities, is very dangerous, and can kill. The lowest known lethal dose of sodium nitrite is 71mg per kg of body weight. At this level, about a tsp of pure sodium nitrite could be enough to kill an average sized adult.

Not trying to scare anyone, but it seems like a lot of people have very high amounts of curing salts in their bacon cures, and they are really unnecessary. The point of using the nitrites/nitrates is just to prevent spoilage (preservative) and kill unwanted botulism. 2 teaspoons is enough for 10 POUNDS! Regular salt will do the rest of the work. Using cups and cups of curing salts to make bacons or hams is just a waste of expensive salt and potentially harmful for you.
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Unread 11-15-2013, 03:30 PM   #26
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2.5g per Kg of meat for cure #1 / Prague powder
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Unread 11-17-2013, 12:45 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YetiDave View Post
2.5g per Kg of meat for cure #1 / Prague powder
How much is that in teaspoons?
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Unread 11-17-2013, 12:48 PM   #28
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2.5g = 1/2 tspn
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Unread 11-17-2013, 01:44 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Woody View Post
From Charcuterie:

Basic ratio for a dry cure is 2 parts salt to 1 part sugar plus 10% of the combined salt/sugar weight of pink salt.

I use this basic dry cure all the time for bacon (Ruhlman's):

1 lb. kosher salt
8 oz. table sugar or brown sugar
2 oz. (10 teaspoons) pink salt

I like mine with a heavy dose of black pepper, so to this I will add a 2-3 tbsp. of fresh coarse grind black pepper.
I went with this.... How long is the cure?
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Unread 11-17-2013, 02:12 PM   #30
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I usually do 5 days for slabs that are around 5#, flipping the meat each day. I feel for how firm the slab is at the end - it should be nice & firm. Allow time for the slab to sit on a rack in the fridge uncovered at least overnight to allow the pellicle to form.
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