Bacon cure question

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by mfeder, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. mfeder

    mfeder Newbie

    Hey all, new guy here. I have a 10 lb. pork belly I want to make bacon with. I plan to follow Rytek's Honey bacon recipe. It calls for 4TBS. of Instacure # 1 mixed with 1 cup of salt. Does this seem like too much cure for a 10 lb belly? I
    wouldn't question this but his Dry box bacon recipe calls for the same amount of cure for 25 lbs. and the honey recipe just calls for 1 belly. I must be missing something.
  2. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I kinda view both recipes as a general guidline. I just used the honey recipe for what was about a 12# belly. I mixed the salt and cure together and sprinkled it liberally all over the belly and rubbed in as much as it would take and would cling. I would guess a 1/4 to a 1/3 was left over or fell off during handling. This might not be right, but I guess I'll find out. You might need more than that for a full 25# of bellies and obviously a little less for what I did. It is a surface cure, and at the end of the curing period the bellies will get washed off. So I suppose think of it as a rub.
  3. mfeder

    mfeder Newbie

    Thank you for the advice.
  4. autoferret

    autoferret Meat Mopper

    I could be wrong here. But from my reading and usage, if u use X cure that calls for u to use X amount per pound your should follow that. I couldnt find any Tender Quick but I found LEM cure so I just used that in place of the Tender Quick and used LEM directions for the amount of cure needed for the recipe and left everything else the same.
  5. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I wouldn't follow anyones recipe for cure unless it was correct in the amount of cure according to the directions for the cure. Cures come with directions for use. Follow the directions that come with your cure and then add the ingredients your recipe calls for less the cure. Can't stress this enough. Cure amounts are very important in that too little will not give you the desired cure leaving your meat susceptable to bacteria, while too much cure will be hazardous to your health. Follow directions on the package that comes with your cure for use of that cure in your recipe regardless of what the recipe calls for.
  6. piker

    piker Fire Starter

    I have searched the web literally days looking for the definitive amt. of cure to use. There are many answers out there,all different to a small degree. I ended up using 1 tps. per lb. of meat in a dry rub. For brining I found a basic brine using 1 gallon of water as a start. so I put whatever I am brining into the container and cover it with water then either weigh or measure how much water then mix in the salt cure etc. in the right percentages according to the recipe like cutting it back1/4 or 1/2. Works good for me. thks Piker
  7. rodbuilder

    rodbuilder Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    There seems to be many unanswered questions concerning cure #1 for use in a brine. Dry cure is cut and dry as far as directions on the amount of cure. But if you research on the amount of cure to use in a brine there are some differences. My understanding is the amount of cure you use in a brine is based on the amount of water and not the weight of the meat used in that brine. If anyone has a definitive answer to the amount of cure for brines I for one would love to hear it.
  8. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I woud do as PIGnIT said and use the amount recommeded by the cure itself. There could be some not so good tinjs happen if you don't.
  9. rodbuilder

    rodbuilder Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I bought PP#1 in bulk... There are only directions for a dry cure... I don't question the amount of cure to use for dry cures... There are NO directions for the amount of cure to use in a brine... If you look at the recipe for Canadian bacon in Rytek's book you will see he uses almost double the amount of cure for his brine than what the directions call for in a dry cure for cure #1...
  10. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I found this chart on brines, it doesn't cover cures but does cover saline content in brines.
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Dave (Pignit) said it best.
  12. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is absolutely correct. When you find a ratio of cure to use for a given product remember it is for that specific type of product,and that specific type of cure. In other words the amt of cure "x" to use for a 10# batch of sausage is going to be different than the amount of cure "x" to use in a brine solution that will be of sufficient volume for a ten lb. turkey, and again a different amount of cure "x" will be required for a dry cure process of about 10# of product. The difference here being the process. Sausage has the cure incorporated all through every part of the meat, whereas a pickling brine may or may not be injected, then the meat submerged. Dry cure only applied to the surface. Osmosis is going to work in all of these processes to some degree. In both dry cure processes and brining there will always be some brine or salt/cure mixture likely left over.
  13. mfeder

    mfeder Newbie

    I think after getting in a hurry and not getting enough info. I'm going to throw out my belly. I assumed that the DQ Curing salt 6.25% sodium nitrite concentration that I used was the same concentration as the Insta Cure in Ryteck's book. I cut the belly in half and rubbed 5 lbs. with 2 1/2 tsp. of cure mixed with salt. Directions on the package say 4 oz/100 lb. So I used twice what I should have if my calculations are correct. Thanks for everyones help. Better safe than sorry.
  14. badfrog

    badfrog Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    The amount of salts, sugars, cures etc. in a brine are in proportion to the amount of water, (ie 1 cup salt and 1/2c sugar to every gallon). you can mix up 1 gallon or 20 gallons and as long as the proportions are accurate you can brine 1 or 100 bellies, turkey or whatever, just use enough brine to keep everything covered (submerged).

    For dry cure, here is a "Basic Dry Cure" recipe I have used many times with excellent results for turning pork bellies into bacon; this comes from the book "Charcuterie" by Micheal Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. (I highly recommend this book! - mine is postied and highlighted throughout!)
    The Basic Dry Cure with granulated sugar
    1 pound/450 grams kosher salt
    8 oz/225 grams sugar
    2 oz/50 grams pink salt (10 tsp)

    The Basic Dry Cure with Dextrose
    1 pound/450 grams kosher salt
    13 oz/ 425 grams dextrose
    3 oz/75 grams pink salt (5 T)

    You can mix as much of you like and store in forever!
    coat your belly with the dry cure, wrap in plastic wrap and a refrigerate for 7 days. take it out rinse and your ready to smoke it. you can add flavorings to the basic rub such as maple syrup, garlic, bay, black pepper etc.

    hope this helps!
  15. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did the package specify whether that 4 oz/100 lb. ratio was for sausage, a brine marinade, or dry cure process. Again, the process is what will dictate this. I have never found a prepackaged cure of what we generically call "instacure", Prague Powder #1 etc, that gives inst. for dry curing. Many only show a sausage ratio, and a lot don't have any inst. on them. If you read through the cure section in Ryteks book it is very specific as to what he is referring to. Double check, but the concentration of your cure is the same as what Rytek refers to.
  16. mfeder

    mfeder Newbie

    The package states "4 oz/100 lbs meat or 24 lbs/100 gallons brine mix for 10% pump" but gives no indication if 4oz/100 lb is for dry cure or for sausage. After double checking the book this is the same concentration Rytek refers to in the recipe using 4TBS Instacure #1 mixed with salt and rubbed on 1 belly. So now I'm thinking I'm ok.
  17. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My previous statement was wrong. here is what I could find. Hopefully this will help.
    Brine with Nitrates/Nitrites
    The USA regulations permit the following amounts of nitrates/nitrites for wet cure:
    7 lbs. of sodium or potassium nitrate (saltpeter) to 100 gallon pickle
    2 lbs. of sodium or potassium nitrite to 100 gallon pickle @ 10 % pump level.
    To stay within established nitrite limits (200 ppm) our brine looks as follows:
    1 gal of water, 5 oz Cure 1 (144 g = 0.31 lb) which corresponds to 1 gal of water and 8 flat Tablespoons of Cure 1.
    If we used only 5 oz of Cure 1 (there is 93.75 % salt in it) and 1 gal of water it will give us 14 degree brine which is an approximate strength of seawater. This is too weak a brine for any practical purpose and more salt has to be added.
    The first question to be answered is whether Cure 1 will be used. If you are going to smoke or cook your meats at 190°F or higher you don’t need to worry about botulism (food poisoning). Remember that nitrates/nitrites (Cure 1 and Cure 2) besides preventing botulism impart a characteristic flavor and color associated with smoked meats. The amount of Cure 1 always stays the same (5 oz or 144 g or 8 Tbs) at different brine strengths as long as 1 gallon of water is used and conforms to the government established 200 ppm maximum limit. By using the above table you can not only control yourself making the brine but you can check whether other recipes conform to the government standards. You should be aware that the table is for maximum amount of nitrites (Cure 1) in the brine.The easiest way to make a curing solution (water, salt, nitrite) is to add 5 oz Cure 1 to one gallon of water and then add more salt until the desired salinometer reading (brine strength) is obtained.

    Bear in mind that when you add Cure 1 to your solution (it contains 93.75 % salt) you will be changing the strength of the brine, especially at higher degrees. Simply subtract this amount from the salt given by the tables. The amount of Cure 1 that we add to 1 gal of water remains the same (144 g = 0.31 lb) regardless of the strength of the brine we are making.
    For example, to make 60 degree brine Column 3 asks for 1.567 lbs of salt to be added to 1 gallon of water. But because we are adding 0.31 lb (144 g) of salt that is inside of Cure 1, we have to subtract that from the salt the table calls for. The result is: 1.567 - 0.310 = 1.257. To make 1 gal 60 degree brine with nitrite we need:
    0.310 lb (144 g or 5 oz) of Cure 1
    1.257 lb of salt
    1 gal of water
    And if we need 5 gallons of the above brine, we simply multiply all ingredients by 5.

    this was found at ^^

    and this was taken from Butcher-Packer

    All pink tinted cures have the same sodium nitrite concentration, which is 6.25%. Prague Powder # 1, Insta-Cure, Modern Cure are all the same. The pink color is not what gives the meat a reddish hue - that is done by the curing process. Using DQ CURE, your sausage will be ready to cook or smoke as soon as you have it stuffed (there is no need to wait). When used in a brine solution, the reason for allowing the product to set for 24 hours is to make sure that all of the curing compounds have had a chance to be distributed evenly into the meat. After the meat has been cured and cooked, it will have a longer shelf life than uncured cooked meat. Use 4 oz per 100 lb.
  18. okie joe

    okie joe Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Know your Cures.
    Read the Book

    Get a copy of
    Great sausage Recipes and Meat Cureing by Rytek Kutas
    Please be safe in use of your Cures.
  19. got14u

    got14u Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is a link that goes very in to detail also way more then I want to try to explain.

    what I got from it is you can actually just cure with salt in your brine. Not as good a color tho. that is where nitrates came in to play.

    more salt faster cure - less salt slower cure

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