Why brown sugar?

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by inkjunkie, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Why is brown sugar used with Tender Quick when curing bacon?
  2. carter86

    carter86 Newbie

    I'm no guru but from what I have read is that the sugar offsets the salt.

    I'm sure you could use maple syrup or maple sugar in its replacement.
  3. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    You don't have to use brn sugar!! You can use any type of sweetener in any combination!  You just have to or I should say u want to use the recommended amount of sweetener!  Use what other people have worked out to ur advantage!  U can tweek it to ur taste!  Just dont chanhe the amt of TQ
  4. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Thanks, this is what I was after but I poorly worded my question.

    TQ by weight, that much I understand. I poorly worded my question, should have asked why is a sweetener used in the curing process.
    Am wondering how one would go about using, say Maple syrup as the sweetener. How much, how is it applied etc...
  5. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    I'd cut sugar in half and use the same amount of maple syrup! Or u could use a maple flavoring ! Maplelene I think is one sold I grocery store!
  6. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    I don't know from experience but this is what I found with a search for "maple bacon"


    Hopefully this will help some. These guys know more than I do.
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Heres my thought and its just what I think.

    I had thought on it long ago when starting my first bacon. why salt and two different sugars? Well you realize brown sugar is flavored? Store bought brown sugar is white sugar which has either vanilla (light brown) or molasses (dark brown).

    I figure its that small flavor enhancement. white sugar and dark sugar both liquefy and crystalize.

    I have heard folks say it has a different flash point? The point at which it burns? I think its more a sugar % which is random when going thru the process of making the sugar. There is a lot more to making "refined" sugar than you might think. Its not just juice poured in a kettle and cooked down.

    After a bit of head scratching I figured it had to be the addition of an additional aroma.

    Also a pretty knowledgeable bacon maker here once suggested I use maple extract vice maple sugar or syrup to get that taste (aroma) in the bacon. Which worked a lot better than using the expensive syrup or sugars.

    Just my two cents.

    OH and btw, the one time I did a briner full of bacon in which had a load of maple syrup, had it worked I woulda loved it, was the one time I got roping. Never tried it again, never again had a roping incident.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  8. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    What is roping?
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  10. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    One of the reasons I don't know if I will ever brine pork belly again is the risk of roping. Up to now I had no clue what it is...if I get a chance tonight I will read the link posted.. .
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Some say TQ is too salty. I use Brown sugar with mine, when Dry curing, & have never had any Bacon cured with TQ that was too salty.

    I know others say the same thing. I'm sure other sweeteners would do the same if proportioned correctly.

    I usually use between a tsp and 2 tsp per pound, so it doesn't seem to have to be exact.

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I only had the one incident, and I have made a few batches of bacon. Secondly when it happened, I simply rinsed the gel off and went ahead and started the dehydration cycle in the reefer. I ate every piece of it and had I not known it happened, I would have never guessed it had. 

    Its like every other smoking problem once the initial first time shock wears off, its all fine.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No Ropy from Dry curing---That I know of.

  14. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just did a test curing 3 different pieces of pork belly with tenderquick. I did one with Tenderquick and brown sugar, the second with TQ and maple syrup and the third with TQ and molasses all turned out fine but slightly different. See:


    On the other hand, if you are asking why to add a sweetener at all, I believe it is just to give the bacon a touch of sweet that our palates like with the saltiness.


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