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Unread 02-18-2014, 02:51 PM   #1
Chronos
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Default Please advise me on making bacon

I came across a pork belly at the store yesterday and I snatched it up. I've always wanted to make my own bacon - but now that I have the belly I have no idea what to do.

I see the recipes call for pink salt/cure. I was wondering - does jerky cure also work? I have the belly in the fridge and if I need to order some of the cure online I'll need to freeze it or it'll go bad before I get the stuff shipped.

Also, anyone have any advice or favorite recipes to recommend?

Thank you.

Jerry
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Unread 02-18-2014, 03:07 PM   #2
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If I were you I'd get some cure #1 salt, brown sugar and pickling salt. Make up a jar of "curing rub" with 3 parts pickling salt, 1 part brown sugar and 1/4 part cure #1--making sure it was mixed previously very well in a bowl, and shake the jar each use. A one quart jar: 600 grams pickling salt, 200 grams brown sugar, 50 grams cure #1. A one quart jar will last you for 44 pounds of meat.

Put the meat in a zip lock and weigh the meat in grams on a scale. Multiply that by .0425 (4.25%) and get the grams of curing rub to add. Measure out the rub and throw it in the bag and shake it up. Let the air out of the bag and seal it then massage the rub around for a while. Refrigerate for 7 days, flipping and massaging once per day. Give it a quick rinse and pat dry. Let pellicle form on the bacon in the fridge overnight or for a day, sitting exposed on a rack. Smoke at 200F to an internal temp of 140F. Chill then slice and fry.

If you want to get it curing sooner, before ordering the cure #1, you could look for Morton Tender Quick at the grocer, but I have no idea about the recipes using this. The recipe I use above was given to me by YetiDave and it works perfectly every time for bacon, buckboard bacon, pastrami etc.. it has the perfect amount of salt every time and doesn't require soaking the meat at all after curing.. just a quick rinse and pat dry.

A couple links on the buckboard bacon and pastrami I've made using YetiDave's curing rub & method:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=180166
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=181437
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Unread 02-18-2014, 04:49 PM   #3
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Is your jerky cure an all in one seasoning? if so, you will want to but some #1 cure or tenderquick, as you won't be able to get a correct ratio of cure #1 (pink salt) to meat. Some Jerky cures come as kits (I just went and googled jerky cure to see what you are talking about) and they look like they come with a separate package of pink salt. You could use that pink salt if it isn't combined into an all purpose type deal... Long story short, you're probably buying some pink salt.

You don't technically have to use any curing salt to make bacon. You can make bacon with just regular old kosher salt. BUT you will need to be much more careful cooking it. The purpose of pink salt (cure #1) is that it kills botulism in the meat that would prosper in a warm environment known as the "danger zone" By using pink salt, you can slowly smoke your bacon at lower temps, letting the meat be in this danger zone for extended periods of time without fear of getting sick from it. With no pink salt, you will just need to do a quicker smoke. Make sure you bring your meat from 39 degrees to 140 degrees in 2 hours or less and you should be fine.

Here's a thread I did on a large batch bacon a while back. It gives some different recipes and methods etc. I hope this helps.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=174710
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Unread 02-18-2014, 05:04 PM   #4
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Tender Quick which has the Nitrites and Nitrates + salt and sugar is one TBS. per pound. Everything else about time and flipping abovr hold true.
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Unread 02-18-2014, 05:50 PM   #5
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There is great info from thirdeye and cowgirl. You cannot go wrong with these folks!
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Unread 02-18-2014, 09:23 PM   #6
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Thank you for the detailed advice! I'll order the cure and freeze the belly till it comes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqgeekess View Post
If I were you I'd get some cure #1 salt, brown sugar and pickling salt. Make up a jar of "curing rub" with 3 parts pickling salt, 1 part brown sugar and 1/4 part cure #1--making sure it was mixed previously very well in a bowl, and shake the jar each use. A one quart jar: 600 grams pickling salt, 200 grams brown sugar, 50 grams cure #1. A one quart jar will last you for 44 pounds of meat.
Put the meat in a zip lock and weigh the meat in grams on a scale. Multiply that by .0425 (4.25%) and get the grams of curing rub to add. Measure out the rub and throw it in the bag and shake it up. Let the air out of the bag and seal it then massage the rub around for a while. Refrigerate for 7 days, flipping and massaging once per day. Give it a quick rinse and pat dry. Let pellicle form on the bacon in the fridge overnight or for a day, sitting exposed on a rack. Smoke at 200F to an internal temp of 140F. Chill then slice and fry.

If you want to get it curing sooner, before ordering the cure #1, you could look for Morton Tender Quick at the grocer, but I have no idea about the recipes using this. The recipe I use above was given to me by YetiDave and it works perfectly every time for bacon, buckboard bacon, pastrami etc.. it has the perfect amount of salt every time and doesn't require soaking the meat at all after curing.. just a quick rinse and pat dry.

A couple links on the buckboard bacon and pastrami I've made using YetiDave's curing rub & method:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=180166
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=181437
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Unread 02-18-2014, 09:26 PM   #7
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No, the cure and seasoning come in separate packs. Though the cure is pale yellowish/tan in color, not pink.


I'm going to go with everyone's advice not to mess around and go buy some pink salt. I want to feed my family, not kill them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagdog View Post
Is your jerky cure an all in one seasoning? if so, you will want to but some #1 cure or tenderquick, as you won't be able to get a correct ratio of cure #1 (pink salt) to meat. Some Jerky cures come as kits (I just went and googled jerky cure to see what you are talking about) and they look like they come with a separate package of pink salt. You could use that pink salt if it isn't combined into an all purpose type deal... Long story short, you're probably buying some pink salt.

You don't technically have to use any curing salt to make bacon. You can make bacon with just regular old kosher salt. BUT you will need to be much more careful cooking it. The purpose of pink salt (cure #1) is that it kills botulism in the meat that would prosper in a warm environment known as the "danger zone" By using pink salt, you can slowly smoke your bacon at lower temps, letting the meat be in this danger zone for extended periods of time without fear of getting sick from it. With no pink salt, you will just need to do a quicker smoke. Make sure you bring your meat from 39 degrees to 140 degrees in 2 hours or less and you should be fine.

Here's a thread I did on a large batch bacon a while back. It gives some different recipes and methods etc. I hope this helps.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=174710
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Unread 02-18-2014, 09:41 PM   #8
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Unread 02-19-2014, 02:46 AM   #9
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Did a little math. There are 454 grams in 1 pound. If 50 grams of cure #1 cures 44 pounds of meat, then 1 pound of cure #1 would cure almost 400 pounds of meat. So if 1 pound of cure #1 cost you $14 on Amazon--which is kind of expensive--the cost per pound of the cure #1 is about 3.5 cents.

I believe I paid around $2 for a 4 pound box of pickling salt. One 4 pound box is good for 3 quarts jars of curing rub. So 66 cents per jar. each jar is for 44 pounds of meat.. so 1.5 cents per pound in pickling salt.

Brown sugar is around $1 per pound if I recall. A one pound box is good for a little over 2 jars -- 44 cents per jar. So 1 cent per pound for meat cure.

TOTAL: 6 cents per pound to cure meat :) Not bad at all :) Add that to the $1.39/lb I paid for pork butt: $1.45 per pound of bacon that rivals most storebought (not including charcoal and/or wood though--but it doesn't use all that much).
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Last edited by bbqgeekess; 02-19-2014 at 03:03 AM..
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Unread 02-19-2014, 11:34 AM   #10
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No matter how you "slice it" it's 1/5th the cost of bacon now days AND it's better - seems like a no brainer.

I did order the pink salt on Amazon and it should show up tomorrow. I'll update people in about 10 days on whether I managed to pull it off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqgeekess View Post
Did a little math. There are 454 grams in 1 pound. If 50 grams of cure #1 cures 44 pounds of meat, then 1 pound of cure #1 would cure almost 400 pounds of meat. So if 1 pound of cure #1 cost you $14 on Amazon--which is kind of expensive--the cost per pound of the cure #1 is about 3.5 cents.

I believe I paid around $2 for a 4 pound box of pickling salt. One 4 pound box is good for 3 quarts jars of curing rub. So 66 cents per jar. each jar is for 44 pounds of meat.. so 1.5 cents per pound in pickling salt.

Brown sugar is around $1 per pound if I recall. A one pound box is good for a little over 2 jars -- 44 cents per jar. So 1 cent per pound for meat cure.

TOTAL: 6 cents per pound to cure meat :) Not bad at all :) Add that to the $1.39/lb I paid for pork butt: $1.45 per pound of bacon that rivals most storebought (not including charcoal and/or wood though--but it doesn't use all that much).
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Unread 02-19-2014, 02:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
No matter how you "slice it" it's 1/5th the cost of bacon now days AND it's better - seems like a no brainer.

I did order the pink salt on Amazon and it should show up tomorrow. I'll update people in about 10 days on whether I managed to pull it off.
Awesome! Please do :)
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Unread 02-20-2014, 08:23 AM   #12
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GTR nailed it.
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