Bacon Steps Confusion

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by lonestarag05@gmail.com, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. So, been reading for a couple days trying to suss out how I want to proceed on my first whole belly bacon project (have done a couple small belly pieces w/ ok results).

    I have read bear's step by step but also seen a lot of references to equalization time and dry aging after smoke.

    So, I have a 12b belly that has been in a dry cure for 7 days. I'm going to wash and put back in the fridge for equalization time. Recommended times seem to vary for this step and that is one of the clarifications I am looking for. 

    My questions are below and I appreciate any help or thoughts:

    1. Equalization time, how long is ideal?

    2. After smoke, beneficial to dry age? (have a room around 60 deg F and 50% humidity and was going to hang  in there)

    3. Oddball question, any safety issues using metal coat hangers for bacon hanging?

    Thanks for helping a new guy.
     
  2. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you are doing a semi or partial cure you should hot smoke and then treat it as you would fresh meat, refrigerate or freeze as it is not fully cured.  There are no safety issues with this method but you risk your product going rancid if you leave it in the 40° - 140° range.

    If you wish to do what you speak of doing, the USDA recommendation is cure for 7 days per inch of thickness, 14 days for a two inch thick belly.  Then it will be fully cured and able to withstand the warmer temps.

    T
     
  3. Just curious, why do you say I'm doing a "partial" cure? I thought 7 days was sufficient for fully curing.
     
  4. At it's thickest, my belly is just a hair over 1.25"
     
  5. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    7 days would be fine for a belly 1 inch thick.  Yours would take a minimum of 9 - 10 days.  There is no harm in going longer. Take your time the rewards will be worth it.

    T
     
  6. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic

    Mr. T is correct don't hurry the process.  I have used both Bears dry cure and Pop's wet brine method, 10-18 days.

    I just prefer the taste using Pops brine (1/2C sugars, 1/2C salt).  I cold smoke until I get a good color, usually 12-24

    hours total time over a few days. 

    Definitely let it rest in the refer.  I just put it in a brown paper bag for 2-4 days before cooking or vac-pack and freeze. 

    I wouldn't use coat hanger wire IMO, you just don't know it's origin or content. 

    SS wire, hooks hangers are available for reasonable prices. 


    RG
     
  7. jeff 1

    jeff 1 Smoke Blower

    I second that. The sodium nitrite and salt in the meat will eat the metal. Stainless bacon hangers are the only way to go. Same with anything else that is going to be in contact with it. I have used nails in a piece of wood, it was a bad idea and I could see how the cure in the meat was eating away at it after 1 use.
     

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