Bacon cure from local butcher, advice please.

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by berninga87, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. berninga87

    berninga87 Smoking Fanatic

    I picked up a belly to make my first bacon. After a ton of reading I have my cure amount figured out. Well the butcher I got the belly from sold me a 1/2 pound of cure with the belly. I asked just to verify it is just sodium nitrite and he looked at me like he didn't even know what that is. He said it's a premixed sugar cure, just rub it down and let it sit for a couple weeks and it will be fine....
    So I have no idea how much or even what kind of cure I have right now and I couldn't even see a label for my own verification. They sell a ton of their own bacon and i used to buy a lot of it....now I'm uncomfortable about the whole situation. It will take about a week to get DQ cure #1 at my door. I'm thinking I may just freeze the belly for now and wait for a cure I can identify.... I could have hounded the guy more but everyone in the room stared at me as soon as I questioned the cure so I just gave my $2 for it and left. Any advice/opinions or am I just over thinking this?
     
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm betting it is a custom curing blend.... the stuff I get from my butcher, the rate of mix is 2# of mix per 100# of meat... it has sugar, salt, maple sugar and nitrite at 0.75% if memory serves me correctly.... With todays supply houses, butchers don't need to know anything about curing... pour it on, rub it in, wait, rinse and smoke.... If you can go back and get a look at the label on the box, that will tell you a lot .... They are good rubs... that's what I use on my bacon now....
     
  3. berninga87

    berninga87 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Dave. I accidentally posted this twice and on the other thread I got Bear's recipe using TQ so I'm using that currently with some #1 on order. I'll go back eventually and try to get a look at that label, I still have the stuff he gave me. I didn't grow up around any of this stuff and most of what I know about food safety comes from USDA literature, servsafe training, and you wonderful folks here at SMF. The knowledge I do have told me to be skeptical especially considering my whole family will be eating this bacon. I do know some of the people who work at the shop personally so maybe I can get one of them to get me a label off their cure. The guy who helped me was the owner/head butcher and he's one of those old timers(no offense anyone) who just doesn't care to be questioned about anything. Maybe I was wrong in thinking that someone who's spent their lifetime working with cured and raw meats of all sorts would be more knowledgeable and eager to spread that knowledge to a younger generation. I hope I can get this sorted out but for now I'm going with something I'm comfortable with.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would have to know a guy personally real good before I would trust an unlabeled curing mix from him.

    I fact I still probably wouldn't use it without a label on it.

    Maybe that's just me.

    Bear
     
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The Butchers I use, I know and trust. If they gives me a bag of their cure and says that is what I need for the Belly they sold me, I can trust they gave what will get the job done. These guys don't stay in business long poisoning customers...JJ
     
  6. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    It is so easy to find a good recipe on the internet to mix the cure I prefer to control it myself.  I mix the pink #2 with sea salt and brown sugar.

    It's comes out well.

    Good luck.
     

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