Dry Curing.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rabbithutch, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I couldn't figure out where to post this; so if it's in the wrong place I trust the admins will put it where it belongs.

    I want to make some bacon and some Canadian bacon and some pastrami. I have never done any dry curing. I have no idea where to start other than coming here where I know there are so many friendly, helpful, knowledgeable people. I'm not looking for hand holding, but my search arguments having turned up the articles that will tell me how to get started and what steps to follow. I read and captured the susanmiller.org sheet explaining the various chemicals used. What I'm looking for now is a step-by-step or recipe that covers each of the above.

    As always, thanks for any help . . . .

  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What cure do you want to use? If using #1, Diggingdog has a cure calculator on here to get the right amount of cure, salt and sugar.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  3. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you, c farmer!

    Hey, I don't even know enough to answer your question. I have no idea how the different cures affect the end product. So, I guess I need a very basic primer on dry curing, if there is such a thing.
  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Rabbithutch. I can help you with the bacon but I will leave it to others to help with the pastrami.

    Dry curing is actually very simple for bacon and, in my opinion, produces a much better tasting result than immersion curing.

    For Canadian bacon (or back bacon over here) you should use pork loin. A little fat on it is good for flavour. Tastes vary however I have found that a bacon with about 3-3.5% salt gives a good balance.

    The cure required for each 1 Kg of bacon:

    Cure #1 (6.25% Nitrite) - 2.8g

    Salt (for 3%) - 27.2g

    Sugar (50% weight of salt gives a good balance) - 14g

    Flavourings - Fresh ground black pepper works well, as do bay, juniper, szechuan pepper. For black pepper use 5g/kg of meat.

    This will give you a theoretical maximum Nitrite of 175 Ppm - however in reality it ends up at around 150 Ppm

    Mix all of the cure ingredients well - if possible blitz them together in a spice or coffee grinder.

    Rub over all surfaces of the meat, catching any that does not stick.

    Place in ziplock plastic bag or vac pack bag and add in any remaining cure. Seal.

    Place in fridge and turn daily. It will produce its own brine so by turning it daily the brine will be in contact with all surfaces of the meat. Do not pour off any of this brine during the curing period.

    10 days is usually sufficient, however I leave mine for 14. Within reason you cannot over cure when dry curing.

    After 10-14 days unwrap and wash off all the cure under a cold tap. Pad dry with paper towel and then leave to dry for 24 hours in fridge before smoking.

    Cold smoke fir 18-36 hours - depending on the smoke flavour you require. Oak and fruit woods are great but I usually use Hickory.

    After smoking leave to rest for 4-5 days before slicing.

    I hope this helps
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have used and like this one for "Canadian Bacon".  I tweaked the spices to my own taste, but it is good as it stands:


    An easier way to figger the curing time is to allow two days for each inch of total thickness of the meat at the thickest part.  The math works out the same but easier for me to remember and calculate.  Many people, including myself, will allow a couple of extra days just for general purposes. Less danger in a LITTLE over-cure than to under-cure. At least time wise.  Measure the amount of cure carefully to the weight of the meat.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can usually tell with pork loin bacon if it is under cured as when you cut it in half there will be a distinct light pink ring in the middle with a dark pink coulour on the outside. You really don't want to see this in yours - especially if you have already smoked it - so an additional couple of days in the cure will make sure that it does not happen.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  7. kihler

    kihler Smoke Blower

    I have made all my bacon and Canadian bacon for many years. As a newbe to curing and smoking bacon I would use a Morton product called tender quick. Morton also has a booklet on using their products. You can find the products online, and some stores carry tender quick. Tender quick has all the curing items already mixed, and if you follow the directions the end product will come out great. Smoke low and slow, 270 for about 3 hours. Get the IT to about 160. After smoking let the bacon rest in the frig over night, this lets all the smoke flavor into the meat. I leave the skin on my pork bellies, but some take them off before smoking. I use the smoked skin for bean soups.   

    Good luck, you will love the end product. Be sure to get meaty pork bellies. 
  8. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you very much for the information and tips!

    I'm going to give this a try before Thanksgiving!
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

  10. kihler

    kihler Smoke Blower

    I may not have been clear, but if you smoke your bacon with the skin on remove it before slicing.
  11. Hey @rabbithutch,

    Please PM me if you have any questions.

  12. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Martin - Surely it is better to encourage the questions in the thread rather than in PM. That way we can all contribute / learn,
  13. I addressed rabbithutch.

    He's free to do as he wishes.

  14. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes he is - but that kind of defeats the purpose of a forum. Especially as that was your first contribution to the thread.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  15. Ahhh! I see! So what exactly should I tell the many folks who PM me?
  16. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Martin.

    The issue I was raising was that you contribute nothing the the thread and then the first thing you do is suggest that Rabbithutch PMs you - instead of continuing in the room.

    Unfortunately, other than your own words, there appears to be little evidence on the forum to suggest you actually have any greater practical experience of bacon making than many other members on here - yet you often seem to be trying to promote yourself as an ultimate authority. OK, I may not know, and you could possibly have decades of experience producing bacon commercially (?), but I cannot find evidence of any that you have actually made on here.

    Maybe you could start another thread and post some photos up of your own bacon making for us all to enjoy. As one of the smileys on here says "No pics, Never happened!!"
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
    bbqbrett likes this.
  17. Wade,
    Please, please, refrain from spewing your HATE, it contributes nothing to this thread or the forum in general.
    You've gone off on an irrelevant tangent.

    Here's a reference earlier in the thread from one of the Super Moderators here....

    In light of that, and totally relevant to this thread, if rabbithutch, or anyone else who's serious, has a question...please feel free to PM me!
    I've posted the offer simply because I don't always get back to check every thread!!!

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  18. hank2000

    hank2000 Smoking Fanatic

    I think what wade is saying is when you do read a thread and have something to say that will help not only the OP but could help us all instead of asking the OP to PM you put it on the thread for us all to see. And then if someone wants to PM you for what ever reason that's great to. But we all might learn from what you have to say. And I don't think wade was hating on you or anyone else. If I'm wrong about any of this please fill free to tell me so. I know I've learned a lot from wade and other on SMF. I hate to see a thread take the turn this one has. My $.02
  19. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Martin.

    There is no hate here. I also point members to your calculator http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/235995/first-attempt-at-bacon/20#post_1472983  as it is clean, simple and easy to use. It would be good though to see some of the bacon that you make so please post up some photos sometime when you can..

    Anyway I have said what I felt needed saying and will leave things there.



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