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Unread 01-25-2013, 03:23 PM   #1
MStoney72
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Default Curing Bacon:

To the Brethren who have had their hand at curing homemade bacon, I am just wondering if 7 days would be enough cure time? I used Morton tender quick and tomorrow will be the 7th day, and its gonna be up in the 30' temps tomorrow and it would be great if it was ready. I don't have a problem waiting till next week if needed. Thanks for reading and any insight is greatly appreciated.


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Unread 01-25-2013, 03:29 PM   #2
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I do dry cure at least 10 days for 2 kilo pieces,I like to firm it up a bit.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 03:37 PM   #3
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I did mine with TQ for 5 days before I smoked it and it came out great, however a little more time might have firmed it up a bit for slicing, still came out great. Be sure to soak in fresh water before you smoke to draw some of the saltiness out.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 03:42 PM   #4
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i've done mine anywhere from 5 to 8 days and all have been fine. i'd say i prefer about 6 or 7. i usually prepare mine on a friday and the following weekend i rinse, leave in the fridge overnight, then smoke the next day. so to answer your question, 7 should be enough, but you could leave it a little longer if you want.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 04:51 PM   #5
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I would say it really depends on what cut of meat (loin, butt, belly?) and what size.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 04:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeyokie View Post
I did mine with TQ for 5 days before I smoked it and it came out great, however a little more time might have firmed it up a bit for slicing, still came out great. Be sure to soak in fresh water before you smoke to draw some of the saltiness out.
Belly, 34.9 lbs. Three bellies;)

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Unread 01-25-2013, 05:10 PM   #7
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Oops! Quoted wrong thing there

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Unread 01-25-2013, 05:43 PM   #8
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I did two 5 lb chunks with TQ. Five days wasn't enough to get the cure all the way through the meat (fry test); I extended the cure for three more days and it was perfect.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 08:17 PM   #9
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Using a skinless belly,... and a ratio of 1T of Tenderquick per pound (plus spices), and overhauling daily.... here is my timeline for bacon:

* Cure belly for 6 days..... 7 days if it a thick one.

* Soak-out for 8 to 12 hours

* Rest (equalize) for 12 to 24 hours

* Smoke for about 5 hours or until internal temp is 150°.

For a weekend smoke I'll start the cure late on a Friday evening, or a Saturday morning.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teamfour View Post
I did two 5 lb chunks with TQ. Five days wasn't enough to get the cure all the way through the meat (fry test); I extended the cure for three more days and it was perfect.
Did it still have the skin on?
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Unread 01-25-2013, 10:38 PM   #11
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I go by the rule of 2 1/2 days for every inch of thickness. However, I use pink salt and not tenderquick. But, I will say that you don't want to skip the air drying step in the fridge for the 12 to 24 hours before smoking.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 11:16 PM   #12
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I believe it it time we all modernise our brining techniques and use the "Equilibrium Method". By doing this one knows exactly when the required amount of salt has been absorbed into the meat. It stops all guesswork. I provide a brief description (not mine) of how you creat an Equilibrium Brine:

Creating an Equilibrium Brine

Weigh water and food together, subtracting any bone weight, since salt will not diffuse into bones.

Multiply the combined weight of the water and meat by the desired finished salinty you want your protein to contain at the end of the brining process (usually .5-1% by weight).

Dissolve the appropriate amount of salt into the water and place food in the brine.

Use a salinity meter to take readings throughout the brining process. When the brine’s salinity drops to the desired finished salt percentage, you can conclude that your brine and food have reached a state of equilibrium and the bringing process is complete.

I hope this helps and gets others thinking/discussing.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 04:55 AM   #13
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I like strong flavours, so I cure (loins) for at least ten days with fourteen being optimum.
Then soak overnight, changing the water regularly to leach some of the salt out.
Dry and leave uncovered in the fridge on a rack overnight for the pellicle to form.
Cold smoke with hickory for 12 hours every other day for five days.

Comes out something like this....
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Unread 01-26-2013, 05:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnHB View Post
I believe it it time we all modernise our brining techniques and use the "Equilibrium Method".
Thanks John, I might give that a try sometime soon with a loin, but I could see issues trying it with belly due to the unknown amount of fat.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 07:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanMcG View Post
Thanks John, I might give that a try sometime soon with a loin, but I could see issues trying it with belly due to the unknown amount of fat.
You are correct except that you have the same issue when using traditional brining i.e. do you reduce salt in brine when you have more fat?
Equilibrium brining still takes out much of the guesswork. I'd suggest you estimate (take a rough guess) at fat content then target the equalibrium on protein and brine volume. When the brine solution stops reducing that is the equalibrium of your brine & protein. If the salt content is higher than intended then the fat content was higher than estimated. I am sure if the brethren practiced this method we would get a much better idea of what real salt content is needed to produce the optimal product.
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