First attempt at Back Bacon complete

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by wellsy, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. wellsy

    wellsy Newbie

    Hi Gents,

    I have 2 pork loins in a nitrite brine for back bacon.  Decided to check the brine temp today as it is an older fridge, we've been having some warm weather and my fridge is in the garage.  The brine temp was 47 F.  The loins have been in the brine for 6 days and I'm not sure now what temp the brine has been at although I for my question I'll assume it's been constant at 47 F.  I think I am okay from a safety standpoint because I did not inject the loin and I have the nitrite, based on some other previous comments I have received and what I have read.  Am I correct?  I have turned down the temperature in the fridge to try to get to 38 F.


  2. smokinal

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

    This is a good question for Chef Jimmy J.

    I'm sure he will be along shortly.

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    By the book that was 5° high, there is a potential for bacterial growth. Would I personally worry? Probably Not. The meat was not injected, Cure and Salt is an effective bacterial growth inhibitor.The biggest worry would be Toxin from bacteria the Cure does not eliminate. However, this toxin will be in extremely small amounts and very dilute in the brine. I would finish the cure, verify all smells well, wash the meat thoroughly and proceed, warm smoking to an IT of 145+. Make sure to heat the Back Bacon before consumption...JJ
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I cure all my meats at 37°, but plus or minus a couple degrees won't hurt.

    I know Hi Mountain's Buckboard Bacon instructions say to use 40° to 45°, but I wouldn't intentionally go above 40°.

    I'd listen to JJ as to whether yours is OK, and what to do.

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    USDA Recommended temps should be followed but it is also important to understand, Growth Temps like those in Daves Table were determined in Lab studies where the Bacteria, in peak condition and vitality, was grown on a high protein medium, often Beef Broth. This contained all essential nutrients for " Optimum Growth " in the cold conditions. There certainly was no Salt or Sodium Nitrite Cure in the medium that at best kills Bacteria and at a minimum inhibits their growth. While yes, various Bacteria may grow at temps above 40°, this is under the most perfect conditions...JJ 
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  7. wellsy

    wellsy Newbie

    Thanks for the replies.  I just checked the brine temp again and it has come down to 41 F.  I lowered the fridge temp again to try and get under 40 F.   I rinsed off the loins before I put them in the brine and I also trimmed off the fat as well so that would remove 1/3 to 1/2 the surface area that had been previously exposed to bacteria.  I will rinse throughly, smoke throughly to 145+ IT, and cook prior to eating.  I'm learning a lot.  Keep it coming.  I'm planning on going through the 5 day e-course in the near future.


    Here is the brine I used:

    1 gal water

    10 tsp of 5% sodium nitrite cure

    1 cup pickling salt

    1 cup brown sugar

    .5 cups maple syrup/honey mix

    2 tbs ground sage

    2 tbs thyme

    5 cloves garlic
  8. essexsmoker

    essexsmoker Smoke Blower

    That's a very handy table, can I ask where it came from?
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  10. wellsy

    wellsy Newbie

    So yesterday I finished up my back bacon and I'm pretty happy with the results.  No smell at all when I pulled the loins from the brine.  It has a mild smoky flavor and not too salty.  

    I rinsed the meat thoroughly and scrubbed with paper towel.  I then soaked it in ice water for 3 hours before setting it on a rack in the fridge overnight.  

    Here it is ready to go on the offset smoker

    I had the smoker at 200F to start.

    I smoked for 2 hours at 200-225F.  The IT was 130F when I moved it to the BBQ over a water pan.

    I basted with a maple syrup/apple cider vinegar/garlic/pepper juice and brought the IT to 160 F to be safe.

    And here is the first cut.

    And sliced up

    Thanks for all the direction!

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