Help.. Curing bacon in vac pack bags

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokebandit, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. smokebandit

    smokebandit Newbie

    im doing my second run of bacon and I have some questions

    On the first bacon run I let the bacon cure in vac pack bags for 7 days.  Then my wife rinsed it off before I threw it in the smoker.  The bacon was SO salty it was almost un edible.  I figured I cured it too long, but now I read that you can't over cure.  

    I am guessing by curing in vac pack sealed bags it made more cure get into the meat?  

    Or my wife did not rinse off the meat like she said she did.

    Right now I have more bacon curing in the fridge in vac pack bags..  How can I tell its cured?  I heard the bacon should be as firm as a well done steak.  Is this a good way to tell?  Should I just try yanking it at 4 days?
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    What kind of cure are you using?

    Cure for 7-10 days usually then  rinse well and cut a small piece off and fry it up to check taste. If it's salty soak in water for 60 minutes changing water after 30 minutes and fry test again if still salty soak some more
  3. smokebandit

    smokebandit Newbie

    I forgot the cure I used..

    First time I used "Halfords" brand "Maple cure"..  Its a dry rub.

    This time I used this recipe

    2.5kg (roughly 5lbs) cut of pork belly
    12g of curing agent, Pink Salt is the most common - we use sure cure
    ¼ cup of kosher salt
    ¼ cup of brown sugar
    ¼ cup of Maple Syrup
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Maybe cut the amount of salt in half if still too salty skip it all together
  5. smokebandit

    smokebandit Newbie

    But the first time I made bacon I used a store bought rub.  So I dont know if its the salt they added or???  

    I'm thinking something to do with the vacum packing bags
  6. smokebandit

    smokebandit Newbie

    anyone else?
  7. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Soak it. Once it's cured, it's cured. The salt only serves to season the meat and draw out the moisture, which isn't really an issue with the kind of bacon you're making. As Pineywoods said, taste it and if it's too salty soak it. The length of the soak is not as important as the number of water changes. So if you soak it for 2 hours without changing the water, it's not as effective as soaking for 1 hour with 3 water changes.

    Also, pre-packaged cures are notoriously salty, as are things like Tender Quick, since salt is cheaper than most other flavorings. Your current batch may well be less salty than your first since you used what I assume is a nitrite cure similar to Cure#1 and your own amount of salt.

    By the way, vacuum packing will quicken the process by which the cure/liquid travels into the meat, but it won't make it any saltier. You want complete absorption anyway, so if the mix is too salty, the bacon will be too, whether or not you vacuum pack it.
  8. smokebandit

    smokebandit Newbie

    Thanks guys!

    I took one slab of belly out of the vac pack bags tonight and sliced off 3 bacon thickness slices, rinsed them off and fried them up.  All three slices had a good amount of saltiness.  Not to salty, but I'd say almost at the right saltiness for me.  

    Should I cure for one more day and throw in the smoker?  Or has it not had enough time to cure?
  9. shtrdave

    shtrdave Smoking Fanatic

    If you like the way it tastes and it looks like it has cured through, which it probably has using the vac bag, then I would just smoke it.
  10. smokebandit

    smokebandit Newbie

    How would I tell if it "looks cured"?

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