help: bacon dry cure bag leaked out all juices

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by mitch lane, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. mitch lane

    mitch lane Newbie

    Dry curing bacon in ziplock. Bag leaked out all juice on day two. At day seven, was goin to smoke in four more days when off shift for work. Should I be concerned about losing that liquud? The salt appears to be a little crystalized on the side of meat.
  2. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Personally, I would rinse and start over.  Not knowing what you are using for cure or the thickness of your bacon, your curing time seems to be a little short. 

    If you are using Morton Tender Quick, the following may help.  Calculating bacon cure time using Morton® Tender Quick® or Sugar Cure® (Plain or Smoke Flavored)

    If you are curing for a length of time shorter than recommended by any cure manufacturer, treat your bacon as you would fresh. 

  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do not try to re-cure with Nitrite as you will not know what has already been taken up - but don't throw it away either. Proving you kept it in the fridge while it was curing, take it out and rinse off all the remaining cure, re-add only the 75% of the salt and continue to cure as before. Although it will not be the bacon you expected it will be more like salt pork but it should still taste OK. Keep it chilled throughout the cure and it will need to be eaten fairly soon afterwards unless frozen.

    For your next batch consider investing in a vac packer. The side suction ones are fairly inexpensive and will prevent future leaks.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  4. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    As we don't know what formula you are using, I was waiting for a response before continuing on.

      I could live, pun intended, with Wades advice, but we really don't know how long it was actually in the cure.  If you are using a curing period shorter than what is recommended by the cure manufacturer then two extra days in the cure shouldn't matter as it is most likely not getting the full cure anyway.  If using the manufacturers curing recommendations , shorten your curing time by the two days it was in the cure. 

    As for vac packing, I personally do just fine using the two gallon zip bags as I can massage the sides well each day, but I understand for some vac packing works well also.

  5. mitch lane

    mitch lane Newbie

    Using instacure #1, weighed out to bag recommendations, only a one kg piece about inch and a quarter to inch and half. In the fridge the whole time. You figure a little extra salt, eh? Would be 9 days in cure when I was planning on smoking it up. Thanks for all the replies, I was at work so I couldnt get back right away.
  6. mitch lane

    mitch lane Newbie

    Ya I think ill do the extra shot of salt, then maybe try using it for a fattie, havent attempted one of those yet. Thanks again guys!
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The way I read the post was that it had been in the cure only for 2 days before all of the liquid drained out and the remaining description was what Mich was intending to do in the future. Unfortunately as the liquid drained away it would have taken an unknown percentage of the surface salt and cure with it - so unfortunately from that point on, with whatever cure he was using, he would have no idea how much of the cure is still in/on the meat. 

    Being dry cured, knowing the total amount of cure (Nitrite) added to the meat it critical and re-adding the cure again at the manufacturers specified rate would certainly result in too much cure being added in total. Trying to then vary the time in the cure to compensate for this just adds more to the uncertainty.

    By simply washing off the remaining cure and then proceeding as if it was salt pork at least guarantees that you will not exceed the maximum nitrite levels in the end product. By adding back only salt, the only real uncertainly then is will it be too salty for his personal taste. 
  8. mitch lane

    mitch lane Newbie

    Sorry I wrote that up a little weird. I noticed the bag leaking at day two but continued to let it go as is in the fridge. I am now at day 7. And was intendin to go until after the weekend, making 11 days total. I took the piece out an hour ago, sliced a quarter inch slab out of the center most part and fried it in a pan just to see how far the cure had penetrated. It was quite salty so I dont think ill add anymore salt. It seems the cure had made it through as it had that pink ham like colour throughout, but was definitely a little weaker in the center. Did the smell test, before cooking, doesn't smell at all, thinking (hoping ) I should be safe to push it until tuesday when shift is over.
  9. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What was the % salt you started with? If the salt has not had time to equalise throughout the meat then it will likely be quite salty around the edges. Once it has equalised, if it is still too salty you can cut it into lardon size chunks and use in cooking.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  10. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How much liquid was there after 2 days? couldn't have been to much.
    As long as you have it under refrigeration I'd go the couple more days and see what you end up with.
  11. mitch lane

    mitch lane Newbie

    Wasnt much liquid. I wrote down the amounts at home but back at work. I think I did .8kg meat, 15 gram salt, 10 gram white sugar, and 2 or 2.5 gram #1 cure. Cure measurement I based off the package which had a gram/cure per kg/meat. The salt and sugar I just read a couple posts and on weight of meat and amount of salt and winged it
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds good to me.....   right on the money....  19% salt.... 13 % sugar....   cure, 150 - 200 Ppm nitrite...
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you are talking a couple of Tablespoons of liquid, there is nothing to worry about. The bulk of the curing with Belly Bacon is done with the cure contacting the surface. There is very little liquid released anyway. Think of it this way, if you had 5+ rubbed bellies stacked in a container...Is only the bottom one in the liquid getting cured? NO...Swapping the bellies around helps with even distribution of the seasonings but all the bellies are curing at the same time, not just the bottom one. Cure and salt distribution from the surface to the inside the meat through diffusion is what counts. As far as Nitrite killing the bug that causes Botulism, the cure has already done it's job day one. The rest of the cure time is for the nice pink color all the way through. Keeping the brine that forms in the bag in contact with the meat has a bigger impact on thicker cuts like Loins, speeding the process of cure penetration but here you should be fine...JJ
  14. mitch lane

    mitch lane Newbie

    Awesome, good to hear. I feel much better about it. I can live with not getting the full hamlikeness my only concern was making sure noone gets sick. My smoker cooks full tilt all the time (cheapo brinkmann electric) so ill be fully cooking the bacon for smoking, thanks for the advice.

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