bacon calculator

Discussion in 'Test Area' started by alblancher, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I didn't think the test area would post as a new post.  This is a basic cure calculator for dry cured bacon based on USDA handbook.  I hope to build the calculators for brine cures and inject/massaged cures but I wanted to see if the format would post on the board first.  This form has been around a while.

  2. biaviian

    biaviian Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks for posting.  I will make it easier next time I make bacon as I wanted to try cure #1.  A brine one would be amazing. 
  3. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Can this be used with BBB and CB or is it just for Belly?
  4. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    for BBB that salt # is pretty high..............never done belly but i've seen a few lbs of bucky.
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Guys, this was intended as a test with the eventual goal of building a Wiki about how to determine the amount of cure required for specific applications.  The only thing kind of set in stone, if done correctly, is the amount of cure.  Salt, Sugar and Spices can be added as desired.  I have recipes for both 3% and 4% salt.  I have to check to see which salt percentage I used in the calculator.  I don't want the Wiki too complicated so I though I would start with basic technique and cure calculators.  I want to describe the math used by USDA so that if a reader spends just a little time reading they understand where the numbers come from.  Still trying to decide on a final design but your comments will be most helpful and included in the final wiki. 

    Thanks to Brian for pointing out that Excel recommends using templates while the forum requires standard worksheets.  You would think I would catch that but I had to rely on the Tech Guy to figure it out for me.

  6. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Ah, OK, a work in progress.  Good luck.
  7. alaskanbear

    alaskanbear Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member


    Dont know if this will help or not, but Bearcarver gave me great directions for the amounts of cure/salt/etc that were helpful--maybe you two could match wits and come up with a great set of numbers for all us dumbies trying to make good like you guys do.  Just a thought..

  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    What kind of cure does BearCarver use in his procedure?

    I did some calculations from USDA guidelines to cure bacon with a standard brine.  USDA recommends mixing a cure that will provide 120ppm Sodium Nitrite to the bacon with a 10% increase in the weight of the green bacon. Using this technique the bacon is cured when it has increased in weight by 10%.   I don't do brine when I do bacon so I am not sure if bacon will absorb that much water but it is the recommendation.

    Cure mixture for a final 3% salt content of bacon.       1172 grams of salt +  80 grams Cure 1 + 2528 grams of water.  Using this brine when the bacon increase it's green weight by 10% there will be 120ppm Sodium Nitrite and 3% salt in the bacon.   The amount of salt added can be reduced for a lower salt bacon.  If you reduce the amount of salt you need to increase the amount of water to where the total weight of salt, cure and water is  3780 grams This recipe accounts for the salt in Cure 1

    Example:  If you begin with 1 kg of no-rind bacon you soak the bacon in the above cure until it's weight when removed from the brine is 1100 grams. If you have a rind on the bacon reduce the final weight by 10% or 1kg green bacon with rind soak until it reaches 1090 grams.

    It will take time for the bacon to absorb this brine so cure accelerators are not needed during brining.

    If you inject the brine or do a mechanical tumbling or massaging the bacon absorbs the brine much faster and cure accelerators are required.

    Please comment if you see any problems with these calculations

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  9. alaskanbear

    alaskanbear Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member


    WOW, I am definately going to write this down, as you seem to have this down to the exact science.  I, being so new, am relying on you gentleman with knowledge to keep me from poisioning myself and those who dare to eat my finished goods.  All the reading of different cure rates by different folks, have dwindled down to dam near the same give or take a gram. And with you using the USDA standards, with all your calculations, I'll be damned if I could, would or should find fault.  Thanks so much from all of us newbies that need guidence.

  10. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    Don't write nothing down yet,  Lets wait for peer review to make sure I am not making some stupid mistakes.  This is still a post in the test section so until I get some of the other members to comment I'm not comfortable with them.  Thanks for the kind words though.   Maybe eventually the wiki will allow people to understand why the numbers are what they are.

  11. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The third option for curing bacon is to inject the cure directly into the belly.  This method is preferred by food processors because bacon can be produced in a relatively short time.  The cure is the same as the solution used for the soak method described above with the addition of a cure accelerator. 

    The most common cure accelerators and recommended concentrations in cured product

    Sodium Ascorbate   550ppm

    Sodium Erythrobate. 550ppm

    Erythorbic Acid    469ppm

    Ascorbic Acid   469ppm

     This cure mix is designed for the two most common   Sodium Ascorbate or Sodium Erythrobate

    1247 g salt + 80 g Cure 1 + 23.6 g accelerator   combine the ingredients with enough water to make 3780 grams of solution

    Inject the pork belly to achieve a 10% weight gain.   There are no guidelines provided for the amount of time the bacon should rest with the cure.

    In addition to cure accelerators manufacturers inject other chemicals to improve water retention, reduce shrinkage and improve color
  12. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  13. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Very Nice . Great thing to have for those wanting to start curing bellies
  14. I think I recall Bear using TQ in his bacon.
  15. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    I am about ready to quit the forum because of that crap,  please don't start this again.

  16. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well gee Al..ya asked for what he used and he answered...kinda sensitive today aintcha???

        Have a great day

  17. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    I stand corrected,  Alelover was referring to an earlier post that I had forgotten about.  Both of you please accept my apologies.   I am offering a dry cured bacon procedure that complies with USDA guidelines.  Bear uses a brine with Tenderquick. 

    We have had many discussions about that and yes I am a bit sensitive today. 

    Again,  my apologies
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Bear has never used a Brine with TQ !

    Hope I'm allowed to say that !

  19. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Again I stand corrected

    Bear does not use a dry cure procedure with Cure 1.  You might want to ask him for a recipe for his procedure

    My apologies

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