New and trying to learn the curing process

Discussion in 'Curing' started by shawbrook14, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I have a 3.1 lb pork belly in Pops low salt recipe. I had bought Instacure #1 from and the directions on the jar said to use 3 oz. per gallon of brine. I had remembered Pops recipe used 1 oz. per gallon. I decided to go with 1.5 oz per gallon. My questions are:

    1. Is the cure time still in the 10 - 14 day window using 1.5 oz.?

    2. Pop said the max. cure is 3.84 oz. of cure per gallon of brine, what is the minimum amount of cure?

    3. What temp should I hot smoke at and what should my internal temp be?

    Thanks for any help. Just trying to get this process down and be safe!
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm going to defer Questions #1 and #2 to those who Brine cure with Cure #1, as I Dry cure with TQ.

    As for #3, that's a matter of choice:

    Many guys "Cold Smoke", below 100° smoker temp & get great results.

    I personally use Smoker Temps of between 100° and 130°, and I get that same Color & flavor in half the time (8 to 12 hours).

    I think Pops Hot Smokes his Bacon, in case anybody there decides to eat some without frying it first.

    The internal temp from smoking doesn't matter if you plan on frying, broiling, or cooking it to 145° before eating it.

    I Smoke my Canadian Bacon & my Buckboard Bacon to 145° IT, but my Belly Bacon usually ends up anywhere between 110° and 125° IT.

  3. Thanks Bear,

    I appreciate the help!
  4. c farmer

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

    1-  Still use the same time frame.

    2- I would not go below Pops 1 oz per gallon.

    3- Bear got ya covered there.
  5. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, Pop's recipe calls for 1 heaping TBS of cure per gallon of water.  That's roughly 1 oz from my recollection, but you'll do fine with the 1.5 oz.

    As for the time in the pickle, let it go closer to 14 than 10, rinse it off, and then slice a couple of pieces and fry them up.  If they are too salty, then you can soak the belly a bit to assist in desalination.  Repeat the slice and fry after the soak.  If it's good to go, let it dry for several to 12 hours in the frig for the pellicle, and then into the smoker.

    I cold smoke my bacon and then slice and package for later frying.  So, I'm not much help on the IT for a hot smoked bacon...
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pops brine recipe is 1 TBS. per gallon.... 1 TBS = ~ 0.55 oz.

    real simple curing brine:

    for every 1 gallon of water, add:

    1/3 - 1 cup sea salt (depending if you're on a lo-salt diet)

    1 cup granulated sugar or Splenda®

    1 cup brown sugar or Splenda® brown sugar mix

    1 tbsp cure no. 1 pink salt
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  7. Thanks for the information everybody! I will let you know how it turns out.
  8. Hey all,

    The bacon turned out well for my first attempt. 12 days in the brine, rinsed, dried then in the frig. over night. Smoked today at about 80 degrees for 8 hours with a 50/50 mix of hickory and cherry pellets. Then I decided to finish this first batch in the oven. Heated slowly to 150*F Sure smells good in here.

    Yesterday, we butchered a (hanging weight) 170 lb. Yorkshire pig. We ended up with whole loin, tenderloin, ribs, pork belly and 50 lbs of pork for sausage and 16 lbs of the creamiest, white fat (I've ever seen)to blend for sausage.

    It was a long weekend, but well worth it!

    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015

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