Brine Vs. Dry Cure

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by plumhollow, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Sorry if this is already addressed elsewhere - new here.

    I have heard good things about both dry cure and brine.   This will be my first time doing bacon.   Any suggestions as to which method?

    We have a Masterbuilt Pro smoker and will be using our own pork bellies (pastured tamworth).
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dry cure will give you bacon like you grandpa and great grandpa ate daily..... When I make it, I need oil in the pan to fry it, and possibly a little water to get the fat moving.....

    Wet brine/cure will give a product closer to store bought.... Most of my bacon is done in the wet......

    I would try both.... when it comes to cooking bacon, we now use the "bake in the oven method"..... 350 for 20-40 minutes depending on thickness..... then the fat is saved.... we cook on a rack, in a 1/2 sheet pan..... use a doubled up sheet pan to keep the fat from burning....
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    One other thing to mention is if you are going to dry Cure, you need a good digital scale so you can weigh the proper amount of cure for the meat. If you are using a brine to cure like Pop's brine then there is no need for the scale.

    I used to dry cure, until my scale broke. Then I started using Pop's brine and never bought a new scale, which I should as there are other things I want to do that require weighing the ingredients!
  4. mds51

    mds51 Meat Mopper

    Although I have only been smoking for about three years now I have had great succcess with the dry cure method. I use Todd Johnson`s Brown Sugar Cure recipe and it is great for Canadian Bacon, BBB, and regular Bacon. I have used the wet cure for Ham Hocks that were over six inches in diameter and I did not inject them and the cure was throughout the entire Hock. They turned out really well and were perfectly smoke flavored with my AMNPS and Hickory Pellets. i cold smoke the Bacons and Hocks but the Pork Loins or Canadian Bacon are finished with hot smoke to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. THe cold smoked items are smoked for ten to twelve hours with Hickory Pellets. All curing both wet or dry is for ten to twelve days. The results have been great both ways but I like the dry cure process the best. i use 2 gallon Zip Loc bags and turn the product every day. I can stack a lot of these bags in my outside refrigerator and fill my smoker each time. I use a MES 40 inch unit and with the AMNPS it does a great job.
  5. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    I've converted to dry cure.  I buy my mix from a local vendor and it's all pre-mixed.  Frisco Spices in Omaha.  I use the maple sugar cure.  I put about 1.25 cups of cure on the bellies and they go into the refrigerator-spa for about 7 days.  After that, I rinse for a minimum of 3 hours and get most of the saltiness out.  Then I put it in the fridge uncovered to form a pellicle overnight.  I cold smoke for 16+ hours with hickory and my ANMPS.  Then I immediately wrap with plastic wrap and back into the fridge for 3 days.  I will put it in the freezer for a few hours to firm it up before slicing.

    It's not the scientific method that some guys do on here.  There's a lot of ways to do bacon and I don't think anyone will claim their method is the way you have to go.  There's a lot of experimentation.  This is my favorite way, though.

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