slab bacon curing how stiff?

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by akern, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. I bought 5 lbs pork belly . Before i saw the cure calculator i found a cure recipe in the book Charcuterie. Using 50 grams of kosher salt and 50 grams of brown sugar with 12 grams of pink salt. Been turning it over every other day. Here is my7 question how stiff should it be and how much moisture will extract? I am on day 5 of the cure and am curious should i end the cure after day 7 let it dry and cold smoke it?
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Go by the directions in the book you are using.  If the bacon is not wrapped in a zip lock and you are allowing the moisture to drain it will firm up pretty well.  I would think that if you put all the cure on in one application you can get by with 5 or 6 days minimum but you can always coat with additional sugar and allow to draw more moisture with more time.  Once it is cured and still refrigerated you have a good deal of flexibility with time.

    How did the cure amounts compare to the cure calculator?
  3. The cure calculator and the recipe in the book are very different im going to finish this slab per directions then the next slab i do will be with the cure calculator.
  4. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    12 grams of cure #1 for 5lb's, dry cured?
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yea it's pretty high isn't it   330 ppm    Every one should do the math before using a new recipe 

    Remember   200 ppm max and 120 ppm min for dry cured  bacon
  6. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    simple minds should use simple calculators..............................dry cure for me is 1 gm for 1 # of meat. 

    my mind is so simple that 1 + 1......... is like calc.
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Akern,  I want to respond to your pm on the forum because I think that it is helpful for everyone to know how to do the calculations.  If you are not comfortable with the bacon calculator or can not use it because you do not have Excell you can do them by hand.  Any questions just ask

    I would not go any lower then 120 ppm  I am using 200 ppm in the calculations

    200 ppm = 0.000200

                                   amt of cure * 0.0625

    0.000200 =                       453.6                         453.6 is one lb of meat in grams

                                 0.000200 *  453.6

    amt of cure =                .0625

    1.4508    grams of cure 1 for one lb of rindless bacon

    this is to small a number to weigh on a scale so make enough cure mix for maybe 20 lbs add salt and sugar. The number I have (using the calculator at 200 ppm) for 20 lbs of bacon with no rind, 3% salt are

                           272 grams salt

                             29 grams Cure 1

                           136 grams sugar

    Make this mix, shake very well to evenly distribute the ingredieants This makes a cure mix for 20 lbs. Now you can determine how much cure mix you need for the amount of belly you have

    21.8 grams of mix per lb of belly           Check my math

    Remember this is using Cure 1.  If using a different type of cure you may need to adjust the calculation for the different amounts of Sodium Nitrite in the cure.   I.E.  Cure 1 is 6.25 percent or 0.0625 Sodium Nitrite of Cure 1 (Prague Powder 1, Instacure 1)
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Chef Rob's example  1 gram per lb would be

                                                 1 * 0.0625

    amt of Sodium Nitrite =            453.6

    amt of Sodium Nitrite   =   0.000138  or   138 ppm   within the recommended range
  9. pinksalt

    pinksalt Fire Starter

    1/4 tsp. of cure #1 per pound of meat is the mfg's amount I use, that's the recommended amount per USDA. 
  10. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    The reasons I recommend using weights instead of volume are:

          More often then not a new cook will use a mounded spoon instead of a level spoon.

          Measuring multiple spoons tends to introduce error

          Grams are more easily scalable  i.e   the amount of cure mix required for 7.55 lbs of meat is    21.8 grams of mix * 7.55 lbs of belly is  164.6 grams of mix instead of 

                         1/4 t * 7.55 lbs is     7.55/4 =  7    1/4ts + 1/8t

          It's just easier (in my opinion) to pour a cure mix onto a scale then it is to measure it out with measuring spoons

    Just a note:  If using rind on bacon reduce the amount of cure by 10 percent.    Multiply the above quoted amounts of cure by 0.9 to get the accurate amount of cure required.  I recommend adjusting the amount of cure mix (cure, salt and sugar combination) used instead of the amount of Cure 1 in the cure mix so the cure mix can be used for both rind on and rind off bacon.

    One more thing,  using a scale will impress your kids and family.   HeHe
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  11. Thanks Alblancher, i just did the numbers for 5 lbs of pork belly like what i have and found out i used too much cure. I came up with 7.25 grams of cure 1 now i know and will surely breakout my scale and calculator to impress people with this lol.
  12. phelpskip

    phelpskip Newbie

    I just joined the forum. I am having difficulty opening the cure calculator. My laptop says it is encrypted and password protected. My question is the differnce between rind on or off in amount of salt/cure.
  13. Rind-on requires 10% less cure.

    You can also use the following calculator.

    Set it at 120 to 156 ppm nitrite for short term dry cured rind-off bacon.

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  14. We use a curing salt (Moguntia supacure for info) at a ratio of 45 grams per kilo of pork (for both streaky bacon from the belly, cured with the skin on, and back bacon, which I think is Canadian Bacon in the US, cured without the skin and only as much fat as you want on the finished product).  So for a typical bag of three pieces of loin we're looking at 2.5 kilos, so around 135 grams of salt.  I add the salt to the bag, hold the neck closed and shake it around to get the salt everywhere (sort of like those plain crisps you add salt to) then vacuum pack it and leave for 10 - 14 days, turning once or twice during that time.  When it's done it's slightly less floppy than before it went into curing, but still malleable.  If you're having trouble cutting it when it's too floppy (either by hand or on a slicing machine) just pop the whole piece in the freezer for an hour to firm it up.  Frosting it up also makes skinning cured bellies easier, if you're taking the rind off that is.

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