Bacon Confusion

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by smokeitifugotit, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. Curious as to why there are so many different ideas regarding curing ingredient ratios. I'm getting a belly that weighs approx. 10 pounds. I don't have any scales and just plan to cut it in half by eyeballin' it. Isn't there just a simple guestimate formula? I'm using #1 cure and salt, etc. what difference if I'm off a pound or 2 one way or the other? Will I go to smoker's hell? :)
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  4. Thanks guys, but I saw that. I should have been clearer. I want to use the rub, ziploc, refrigerate for a week method, not a brine. Thanks for your quick replies, though.
  5. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    >>>>>  I don't have any scales and just plan to cut it in half by eyeballin' it

    Once you find the will need a scale...
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Like I said, if I was going to use Cure #1, I would use Pop's wet curing brine (above).

    I would not personally dry cure with anything but Tender Quick.

    If you want to dry cure with cure #1, someone else will have to help you.

  7. There's something wrong with cure #1, Bear?
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Cure #1 is fine if used properly.

    I would just not use it for dry curing. TQ works perfectly for me.

  9. I feel like I'm missing something. Now, I'm not the hottest coal in the fire, but, I feel that if I do the dry cure and then smoke it to 150IT, and then fry it, botulism doesn't have much of a chance. Am I wrong?
    Just made up my mind...I'm going with pops brine....thank all for the advice. Do I still shoot for internal temp of 150?
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  10. One more bacon question please...if I use the brine method, can I use an aluminum pot, (from my turkey fryer), to cure the belly in? Thanx again for the help,
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you're talking about belly bacon, I wouldn't take it to 150, but if you do, you won't have to fry it (No sense cooking it twice)---just warm it up a little. That's what I do with my BBB and CB.

    And yes, if you cure it properly, and take it to 150 IT when smoking or cooking afterwards, you don't have to worry about botulism, providing you continue doing the right things, like refrigerating & freezing.

  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would not use an aluminum pot-----I'd use plastic.

  13. Once again, thanks for the help all. For something that's supposed to be the easiest, bacon certainly has a multitude of different theories and techniques. I'm still, after yet some more thought, maybe gonna proceed with the dry rub technique using cure #1. I'll follow up in a couple weeks with the results. If y'all don't hear from me, you'll know I screwed up big time.. :) Thanks again and be well.
  14. Well, here I am, back again with an update on Fred's bacon adventure.
    Here it is ready for the smoker:
    All cured and pedicled up. (I wouldn't know a pedicle from a pedicure.). In any event, the salt test panned out ok and I think we might be on the right track. More qview to follow. Thanks for all the good advice.

    Here's the final product;
    Don't know if it's supposed to look like that, but it tastes absolutely fantastic.
    I'm going to cold smoke next time to see how I like it that way.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  15. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    So what method did you use for curing?

    I had never used the brine method for curing, until my scale broke. I haven't used the dry method since and wont until I replace my scale. You mention wanting to cold smoke. If you don't have a scale to properly weight the meat and ingredients for curing then use Pop's Brine as mentioned above. The cold smoking method exposes the meat to air born nasties that can get to your meat even with smoking. So you want to make sure you have a properly cured product before going to the smoke.

    You also mention not knowing how to tell if a pelicle has formed or not. The surface of the meat will have a shiny sheen and will be slightly tacky to the touch. I give mine a good 24 hrs in the fridge with air moving.
  16. Hi there Dirt,

    I ended up using a savory dry cure with cure number 1 and it turned out great..  Cured for 10 days and then air dried in fridge for 24 hours prior to smoking.  I kept my MES at about 170 degrees for about 3 hours.  I had to briefly pop it to 180 to relight the chips a couple of times, but that wasn't a problem.  I then took the bacon to 140 IT and let it sit in fridge for a day and the pics tell the rest.

    My wife took some to work fried up and her employees all asked if they could buy some, so I guess that means we did something right.  Right?[​IMG]

    One thing I did find during this whole process that may help some folks.....

    You should really shop for pork belly.  Our popular meat market here wanted 4.65 a pound skinned.  I called around and got a grocer to order one for me, skinned, for 2.19 a pound.  Only drawback was is that I had to wait a few days to get it.   Since this whole process is about waiting, that didn't bother me a bit.

    I think I'll stick with the dry cure, now that I know it works well.  I just ordered one of the Amazin Pellet smoke boxes to try some cold smoking in my MES.  Looks like I may be too late, as the weather is starting to warm up here.    

      Well, it's Labatt Blue time  [​IMG]
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks Great !!!

    Tip: I never took my Belly bacon higher than 130 IT, but if you're going to take it to 140, you might as well go to 145 IT.

    That way you don't have to fry, bake, or broil it to at least 145. All you have to do is warm it up. That's what many of us do with our BBB and CB.


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