Bacon Cure Question

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by truenorth71, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. truenorth71

    truenorth71 Newbie

    Hi Guys,

    Making buckboard bacon for the first time, and since the quantity is a little bigger than when I have made it with belly before, I need some help.  Here's a little background:  I have a really nicely shaped shoulder from Costco that weighs just less than 16 lb.  I plan to quarter that, which should give me 4 pieces close to 4 pounds each.  I planned to make Pop's wet cure, which should give me a gallon...or 1/4 gallon for each piece.  The problem is, that really would only mean that each piece is getting 1/4 of a tablespoon (3/4 teaspoon) of cure (using Prague Powder).  Is that enough, or do I need more?

    Thanks for any help you can give me!
  2. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Thats a good question. I would think once everything is dissolved into the liquid you should be able to divide it up.
    But I've been known to be wrong before, so hopefully someone with a lot more knowledge than me will chime in.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are you talking of pork butts...  there are probably 2 in that package...

    Excellent question about Pops brine/cure....

    Is the meat boneless....  Costco usually is...   If not, since you will be de-boning it anyway, remove the bone so you have approx. 2 1/2" thick hunks of butt... cut in half along the shoulder blade....   cures better, smokes better....

    Using 1 gallon of water, add the sugar, salt and 2 tsp. of cure #1 for the weight of the water, and 1 tsp. of cure #1 for each 5#'s of meat you add...

    1 gallon of water, with appropriate salt, sugar etc. weighs in real close to 10 #'s...

    Because of the thickness of the meat, you might inject the curing solution also...   leave in the brine for approx. 14 days in the refer for good penetration...   sugar penetrates meat 5-10 times slower than salt and you want the sugar to penetrate..  

    If you want to insure the meat is not too salty, add  2--2 1/2% salt to the brine...  water + meat X 0.025  and you can leave it and it can't take on too much salt..

    If you use brown sugar or maple syrup etc. those can add stuff to the brine cure causing it to get "ropy"...   processed white sugar doesn't do that if everything is sanitized... on pics to enlarge...

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It doesn't matter how much meat you put in the gallon of water. Pop's brine calls for 1 tbs of cure#1 per gallon. You are allowed up to 5 tbs per gallon. Personally I use 2 to 3. There are big zip lock bags that will hold 2 1/2 gallons. Like Dave said there are probably 2 butts in there & when you butterfly them & take out the bones, you may be able to fit all the meat in one bag with 1 gallon of water. If not then use 2 gallons of water & 2 bags. You can also put some spices in with the brine. I like granulated garlic, onion, & pepper.

    Good luck,


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