Bacon Cure

Air dried cured meat and salami recipes

Bacon Cure

Postby deb » Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:11 pm

Does anyone have a recipe they would recommend for a traditional style cure for bacon, (obviously if you don't mind sharing it)?
My first attempt was using Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall's recipe and it turned out a bit on the salty side, admittedly a soak in water for a few hours removed enough salt for it to be palatable but I would like to cure it properly initially. I don't have access to facilities for smoking as yet so would like to make a tasty "green" bacon.
Thanks for any help.
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Postby aris » Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:38 pm

Just buy some of Franco's bacon cure:

http://www.sausagemaking.org/acatalog/bacon_cures.html

Just weigh the meat, rub the required amount of cure onto the meat, put in a zip-loc bag for 4-5 days (dependin on how thick the meat is), then rinse off well, and dry the meat (I leave it for 24 hours uncovered in the fridge).

You can experiment with flavours too - I like rubbing black treacle into the bacon after rubbing the cure in.
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Postby deb » Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:52 pm

I'm probably going to give Francos Smoked Cure a try soon. I would like to put together my own cure. No disrecspect to Franco but I do like to do things from scratch if I can.
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Postby aris » Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:39 pm

You can do that - just order his prague cures and mix your own. Unless you are a chemist, you unlikely to manufacture the mix of nitrate, nitrite, and salt required.
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Postby Fatman » Thu Nov 04, 2004 6:09 pm

Deb

I would go back to HFW recipe and reduce the salt cure by 5 grams per kilo of meat, until you reach the point of EUREKA, yes that's for me syndrome. Remember a recipe is a guide , some are exact and are not to be played with, but in this instance it is down to personal taste. But have fun whilst reaching your aim.

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Postby Oddley » Thu Nov 04, 2004 7:46 pm

Hi deb below at the bottom is a recipe simular to Francos mix

I got it from the top recipe and a little math.




A simple and time-tested dry-curing formula is as follows:

� 8 Ibs. salt
� 3 Ibs. sugar
� 2 oz. sodium nitrate
� 1/2 oz. sodium nitrite (or a total of 3 oz. nitrate available;
remember, excess nitrite is toxic)

oddleys Note: I take the 3oz nitrates to mean saltpetre

Also, a prepackaged cure or modern cure mix can be
purchased from a spice or seasoning company.
One ounce of cure mixture per one pound of pork should
be used.

Full text Here

Right deb the only thing in the recipe to be careful of is the saltpetre as it is toxic. what we want to do is cut the amount of salt and sugar in this recipe to about half but still keep the amount of saltpetre the same so in our new recipe we can say
Reduced salt mix.

4 lbs salt
1 1/2 lbs sugar
3 oz saltpetre

Method mix these ingredients well and rub into your meat
at the rate of 1 oz per 2lbs of meat. Do NOT add any more cure.


If you follow the weights exactly I believe this will be a safe light salt cure. As saltpetre is toxic if you are not sure don't do it. I am not an expert so this is supposition
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Postby deb » Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:01 am

Thanks Guys.
Aris, you mention Prague Cures. I believe there is #1 and #2, am I right? If so which would I use for curing bacon? I assume, if bought from Franco, they would come with instructions on ammounts required. The limited cure recipes I've seen use Saltpetre.
I think I'll give your cure a go Oddley, thanks. Does anyone have the definative answer to the Saltpetre question - how much being the important factor? I'm sure Oddley won't mind me questioning this as he seems a little unsure himself.
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Postby aris » Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:08 am

Sorry - I don't know. I've only used Franco's cure. He told me this included nitrate and nitrite. Saltpetre is Nitrate - and is used for long-term curing. Nitrite is more for shorter curing times. Over time (and i'm not sure how long) nitrate converts to nitrite.

In my opinion, rather be safe than sorry and use a commercially available bacon cure. It's not worth getting it wrong by doing it yourself.
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Postby deb » Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:44 pm

Thanks for the reply aris.
Maybe I'll us a commercially available product, not sure on that one yet. I'll probably have to give Franco a ring and sort out some sausage stuff soon so I think I'll have a word with him about this at the same time.
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Postby Oddley » Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:56 pm

Hi deb I don't mind at all if you ask other people. You are right I am a little unsure the reason being is there doesn't seem to be a difinative answer with saltpetre.

The problem with saltpetre (potassium Nitrate) is part of it is converted by bacterial action to Potassium Nitrite over the course of time. This is the chemical that turns the meat red and also is an antioxidant. There doesn't seem to be a formulea to predict how much potasium Nitrate is converted to Potassium Nitrite in what space of time.

So I can only go by the president of existing recipies. The top recipe in my previous post was from a paper at an american University. The bottom recipe an extrapolation of the top recipe.

Another reason I probably seem a little unsure was my constant warnings these still stand if you muck around with dangerous chemicals you must be fairly sure what you are doing. Saying that I am fairly confident of my second recipe as it probably uses less than HFWs recipe.

Talking about that I'm quite suprised you are still with us if you used all of HFWs cure on that Belly of pork you made. Did you really eat it? because if you did you cosumed far more saltpetre than is reccomended... :lol:

If anybody feels they are an expert please feel free to join this discussion all constructive criticism is welcome.
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Postby Oddley » Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:10 pm

Hi deb I have just had another look at the .pdf file from the university. Below is an extract have a look yourself at

http://osuextra.okstate.edu/pdfs/F-3994web.pdf

according to this my recipe is ok to use.

Partial List of Regulated Substances for
Cured Pork and Beef Cuts



Ingredient ---------------------------------Use

Added Water----------------10 percent in cured smoked hams

Ascorbic Acid or ------------75.0 oz. to 100 gallon
Erythorbic Acid--------------pickle (10 percent pump level)

Sodium Ascorbate or--------87.5 oz. to 100 gallon
Erythorbate pickle-----------(10 percent pump level)

Phosphates-------------------0.5 percent in finished product



Sodium Nitrate or -------3.5 oz. to 100 lbs. meats (dry cure)
Potassium Nitrate--------7.0 lbs. to 100 gallon pickle



Sodium Nitrite or ------------1.0 oz. to 100 Ibs. meat
Potassium Nitrite-------------dry cure) 2.0 lbs. to
--------------------------------100 gallon pickle (10 percent pump level)
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Postby deb » Sat Nov 06, 2004 9:45 am

Thanks for taking so much trouble Oddley. I haven't got time for a good look at all the info at the moment but will do when time permits.
I didn't use all the cure from HFW's recipe! Still got a lot of it left and I didn't make up the full recipe to begin with.
Probably, like me, you find it a bit awkward when told don't use too much of something and then the opinion on how much is too much is so divided. That's life I suppose, we have to do the best we can.
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Bacon Curing

Postby Parson Snows » Fri Nov 12, 2004 9:47 am

Deb please let me know what type of "traditional" bacon cure that you are looking for

a) sweet pickle cure
b) pickle/brine cure
c) dry cure

and then I'll get back to you

Kind Regards

Parson Snows
Last edited by Parson Snows on Sun Nov 14, 2004 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Heavenly Father Bless us
And keep us all alive
There's ten around the table
And food enough for five... Amen
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Postby deb » Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:19 pm

Hi Parson Snows. I was looking for a dry cure. If you have a recipe that you don't mind passing on that would be great. Thanks.
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