An Unusual Smell

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by kubuton, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. I’ve been curing and smoking bacon for about a year now and I attribute my success to the information I’ve found on this forum. I like the ease of Pops cure, but prefer dry cured bacon, and therein lies my question to the forum. After smoking, my last dry cured slab had an unusual, almost sour, smell that reminded me of yeast. Should I be concerned? It was a 1140 gram slab with 3 grams No. 2 and 31 grams salt, cured in a 40 degree refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'd error on the side of safety and pitch that one. Shouldn't smell sour.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The numbers you have given for additions to the 1140 gram slab of pork belly

    2.19 grams of cure #1 would have been correct for a 120 Ppm concentration of nitrite...  (recommended by the FSIS)

    20.75 grams of salt for a 2% salt final concentration which includes the salt in cure #1 (you are at about 3% which is OK)

    The FSIS does not recommend cure #2 for bacon as it has nitrate in it....  

    As far as the smell goes, the refer temp may have been a little high.... don't know for sure.....  If you had sugar in the mix, it could have fermented.... don't know..  Did you sanitize your equipment thoroughly.....  I try to wipe everything with a straight vinegar solution after cleaning with soap and water etc.....   Sometimes, meat stored in zip bags (if that's is what you did for the curing process) can develop an odor.....  If you used wood that was moldy, during the smoke, that could have an effect......  If you did not preheat your smoker to 275 or so to kill of stuff growing in it, that could have an effect.... 

    I would rinse it well, dry the surface well, and place on a rack in the refer for a few days so it can dry and equilibrate...  do the smell test... If in doubt, throw it out.....

    In the calculator listed below, the Ppm Nitrite number can be changed for different cuts of meat.....  for bacon, change the number to 120 for skin off bacon....  108 for skin on bacon...   that assumes 10% skin weight and cure does not absorb in the skin so the 120 Ppm rate is achieved.....    Now, those numbers are maximum allowed for COMMERCIAL producers including the nitrate not allowed....   Home curing isn't regulated so you are at liberty to cure food however you wish......   That being said, I would recommend following the FSIS regs....

    ............Cure calculator..........

    As you can probably tell, I don't know much.... that's normal....  but trying to give a few suggestions so you can do some more trouble shooting and solve the problem....

  4. Thanks for the insight! I meant cure no. 1 (nitrite) - sometimes I get keyboard dyslexia! Two comments may be right on - I cured in ziplock bags, and after curing I coated the slab with Jamaican jerk spice and sugar. I'll take the other comments to heart as well - could be I got a little careless. Lessons learned - I tossed it.


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