Bacon Cure Recipe

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by tjohnson, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lots of guys asking about bacon again, so I thought I would post my Bacon Cure Recipe

    I've made many batches of Belly Bacon & BBB, and this is the recipe I use.

    It's taken some trial and error to get here, but this is what we like.

    I use Country Brown Cure, and follow the instructions

    You can use Cure #1 or Morton's TQ, but follow the manufacturers instructions carefully!




    12# Pork Bellies or Pork Shoulder

    4 oz. Country Brown Cure(.32 oz. Cure/lb. Meat Adjust for Amount of Meat)

    1 Cup Brown Sugar

    2 tsp. Allspice(Optional Ginger)

    2 TBSP Cracked Black Pepper(CBP)

    2 tsp. Garlic Powder

    2 tsp. Onion Powder

    2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

    1 TBSP Kosher or Sea Salt(Optional 2-3 TBSP Salt)

    Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.  If brown sugar has clumps, break them up.

    Spread dry cure mix liberally on all exposed meat.

    Place in ZipLoc bag and in fridge for 10 days & turn daily.

    The meat will “Sweat” as moisture is drawn out.  This will mix with the dry cure and spices to form a brine solution.  If the meat does not “Sweat”, add 1-2 oz. of water to each bag.  I add 1-2 oz. of water upfront.

    Remove from the fridge after 10 days and rinse thoroughly under cold water.  Test fry and if salt is too strong, soak for an hour in cold water.

    Towel dry and place in fridge overnight, to form pellicle.  You can speed up this process by placing slabs in front of a fan, or hang inside smoker for approximately 1 hour without smoke.

    I prefer to “Cold Smoke” Slab Bacon or BBB for 12 hours at temps under 100°, but you can also “Hot Smoke” at higher temps.  I’ve also had great success  smoking BBB at 140° - 160°, to an internal temp of 120°.  Again, 8-12 hours of good clean smoke is necessary.  The color should be almost “Mahogany Red” as it nears completion.

    Allow the smoked bacon slabs to sit overnight, in the fridge, in-order for the smoke to mellow.  I like to slice my bacon thick, so I set my slicer at about 1/8".

    Ends and pieces will have a stronger smoke flavor, and can be used for beans or other foods, where bacon is used.

    • Before the pellicle is formed, sprinkle Cracked Black Pepper(CBP) liberally on one side.
    • Spread Honey or Maple syrup on one side, with or without CBP
    • Substitute 1/2 cup Maple Sugar for 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • Inject slabs with a diluted mixture of Real Maple Syrup and water
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
    beer-b-q likes this.
  2. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

     Todd Awesome ! What's country brown cure? Is that a brand? 
  3. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

  4. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Perhaps I can help in this regard.  Here's a link to a seller:

    And from their ad on the linked page:

    Country Brown Sugar Cure

    Complete-nothing to add. This cure is perfect for those that want a country brown sugar flavor and aroma in their product. This cure can be used for dry curing and for cover pickles that do not require over 7 days to cure.

  5. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Dave!
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thanks Todd,

    I have been using Pops recipe because it's so easy.

    Yours looks interesting though.

    Copied it & filed it for later use.
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No Good---Not Enough Bacon!!!  [​IMG]

  8. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Dave. [​IMG]
  9. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great Todd!!

    I have a bellie thawing and will post the how to with Pops recipe soon..

    I like seeing the different ways to make stuff..

      Have a great day!!

  10. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks for the recipe Todd...  I got it copied.[​IMG]
  11. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I get my Country Brown Cure from a local butcher supply house, in 10# boxes.  It's premixed with brown sugar, Cure #1 and other chemicals to speed up the curing process.  They also have a Maple Sugar Version that's very good too.  I add extra maple sugar to this one and it's AWESOME!

    Midwestern Research carries the very same cure 5# = $12.45;MULTI_ITEM_SUBMIT

    My first bacon recipe came from SMF Member, "CanadianWild."  I tried his recipe and liked it, and his recipe is the base for my recipe.   I tweaked it a little to what it is today, and figured it was time to share my recipe with other members, so they can enjoy my bacon too.

    We tried brine curing side by side with dry curing, and we liked the results of dry curing better.  The flavor of the spices seem to come thru a little more with dry curing method.  I kinda cheat, and add a couple ounces of water at the start, so it's almost like a slurry or very concentrated brine.

    Different strokes for different folks!

    Whether you use Cure #1, a Premix Like Country Brown Cure or Mortin's TQ, it really does not matter.  It's about making bacon "Safely" and adhering to the manufacturer's directions.

    Another very important factor is the choice of wood and the duration of your smoke.  I use Apple Sawdust or Pellets, and smoke for 12 hours.  Those who use Hickory, may find that 12 hours is too much smoke.  It's a bit of "Trail & Error", but once you hit the right combination, you'll know it!!!

    Keep Makin' Bacon!

  12. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yep, since I brought these cures with me on the road trip, this week I hope to do some BBB just to show a certain few people how easy it is.  I personally feel the addition of apple juice to the mix really takes it over the top.  Got this one filed for immediate use.  Thanks Todd.

  13. shortend

    shortend Meat Mopper

    Thank you for sharing your recipe, Todd. Sounds very good. I've used Bearcarvers and liked it, although, I really had to soak it for a good couple of hours changing water every 1/2 hr. to get the salt level down to where I liked it. I must be getting more salt sensitive in my old age. A lot of things seem to be tasting salty to me, whereas, they never used to before. Golden years, my foot! Lately, I've been using Pops brine with good results. It's really easy and I seem to be able to control the saltyness much better with it. I think next time I'll give your recipe a try.

    Many thanks for all your fine products, advice, and contributions to this site. You've certainly helped kick my smoking experience up another notch! Can't wait to try that new Pellet smoker!

  14. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You are right on the money...Todd is an awesome fella!!

    If you want to use less salt with the Pops method it is quite ok...The last bacon I did with it I used 1/2 cup per gallon....

    I have been waiting for Todd to send me some of his local mix..I look at the mail for it every day!!  (hint,hint)

      Have a great day!!

  15. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Todd. [​IMG]
  16. sounds great! thanks for sharing. ordered my bellys Friday from our local butcher (the only one for 30 miles) and should have them with his order this week, your timing is outstanding!
  17. alaskanbear

    alaskanbear Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Todd, actually got my butcher friend to start carring pork bellies, as I have enticed another neighbor, 8 miles away, to start smoking his own bacon..


    PS; such a great time to own a AMZNPS   yeeeehawww..

  18. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks Todd
  19. Pops recipe???   what is it???   please
  20. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011

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