Bacon curing question

Discussion in 'Pork' started by garyc, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

    I am curing some bacon and have a question about the length of time to cure. I used 1Tablespoon QT per pound of belly. I put them in the fridge on saturday Oct 15. I was going to pull it to smoke after 9 days but I just found out I will be out of town next week. As I see it I have two choices. I could pull it and smoke next sunday the 23rd after 8 days or let it cure for an extra 5 days and pull them on the 29th. I really don't have the time to smoke them on the 23rd but I will make time if it will ruin the bellies to go longer. Is it OK to let them cure longer?

    Thanks in advanced for your answers!
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I would rather go longer than needed rather than shorter
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Remember the cooler it is the slower the cure works.  turn down your fridge and let it go.  Like Piney said, longer is better then shorter.  Normally if you go to long the problem is salt.

    Good luck
  4. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    good advice from above......if ya go longer then just do a fry test and if ya need to, then just soak it.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  5. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

    So the only drawback to going too long is the saltiness? Ok, I can just soak it for a while after I take it out to get some of the salt out. I added some flavorings to the cure. I added brown sugar, garlic, onion and cayenne pepper. Would soaking take those flavors out? If it does would rubbing the bellies again be OK?
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I would do the fry test first as Chefrob said.  To me bacon can be a bit salty, but it is personal preference.   If the bacon is too salty for you to enjoy it the other flavors being reduced is a minor problem,   

    More then likely it will be fine as is, so try it first then make the decision.   You can certainly do another sugar spice rub if you like after a soak but it seems to me that sugar, smoke and spice become more noticeable after a couple of days rest after smoking while salt is salt from the beginning if you know what I mean.
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All good info above.

    I always do a salt-fry-test, and mine (TQ cured) have always been a little low in salt flavor.

    Since you will be letting it in cure longer than normal, just make sure you do that test.

    That way, if by chance it is a little salty, you can soak it to eliminate the extra salt flavor (once you smoke it---too late).

    If it's too salty, just soak it for an hour or 2. Then do another test.

    Do this until you like the flavor.

    I doubt you will have to do more than two hours, if any.

  8. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Just an addition to what the others have said. I do not like salty bacon so If i need to soak i add a few peeled and quartered potatoes to the soak water. The potatoes pull out more salt than just soaking in water. Enjoy your Bacon!
  9. tjohnson

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

    I'm with eman, I don't like salty bacon

    You'll be surprised at how subtle the flavors of your spices will actually be.

    My cure mix has some cayenne pepper and just a hint actually comes thru.

    Soaking did not seem to effect the spices

    Good Luck and Enjoy!

  10. sierra

    sierra Fire Starter

    I agree. The flavor of the onion, garlic, and cayenne should survive the soak. Do another fry test after the soak. If it is not flavorful enough, you can add more spice before the smoke.
  11. garyc

    garyc Smoke Blower

    Thanks for all the advice. I feel a little better about letting it go an extra 5 days now. We are having our Pastor and his family over for dinner tonight and my smoker is occupied with ribs right now. I would be up way past midnight if I needed to smoke this bacon tonight and since I have an early flight tomorrow it would make for a rather long day tomorrow.

    I will do a fry test next friday night when I get home. If it is to salty I will soak the bacon for an hour and test again, repeating until it is no longer to salty. I am glad to hear my seasonings will most likely survive the soak. I really love the flavor that garlic, onion, brown sugar and red pepper gives the bacon! Finding this forum was the best move I have made since starting my true BBQ adventure! Thanks to everyone!
  12. sound1

    sound1 Smoking Fanatic

    Good one with the potato, I have used that trick in cooking, never thought of using it on a cold soak.

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