Dry cure bacon help

Air dried cured meat and salami recipes

Dry cure bacon help

Postby shanew » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:26 pm

I've searched and read almost the entire day but i just seem to be getting more and more confused. I want to have a go at bacon, im about to order a vac packer from here and anything else i'll need to make it. whats the basic ingredients in a dry cure? i know i need sodium ascorbate and saltpetre but unsure on anything else. Also to go off on a tangent i want to make a ham for xmas, do i need cure/chemicals other than cure#1 for this? i want to get everything at once to save franco on the postage.

Thanks,

Shane.
Save the enviroment, we cant afford to loose more animals, what will we use for variety in sausges, i for one would have liked a dodo banger!
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Postby jenny_haddow » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:56 pm

Hi Shane,

Bacon shouldn't be difficult if you use the dedicated dry cure that is offered here. I use all three just to ring the changes and they are all good. The work really is done for you and the proportions you need to weigh out are on the pack. It is a good idea to have a set of scales that weigh in one gram increments so you can be accurate.

I looked at Paul Kribs tutorial on curing in the Beginners section, and after that it was a doddle. I'll find it for you.

I used Dougal's recipe to cure the few pieces of ham that I have done. I'll leave the experts to advise you on that one though.

Hope this helps



Jenhttp://forum.sausagemaking.org/viewtopic.php?t=1195
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Postby saucisson » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:04 pm

If you want to make your own basic dry cure you will need, in addition to saltpetre and ascorbate only salt and sugar. Diferent sugars and other ingredients can give you different flavours including the addition of smoke powder to give a smoked taste if you don't have asmoker. If you're ordering from Franco anyway I'd start with some of his cure and then experiment later.

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Postby dougal » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:24 pm

Simplest is to use a ready-mix cure as suggested.

But its not hard to DIY.
A really accurate weighing scale (fractions of a gram) makes it easy. (Such things can be well under �20)
People like different bacons. Making your own, allows you to suit yourself. You may want to try lots of different things - hence don't overstock on anything initially.

A vacuum sealer is *not* needed for making bacon.
It could however be damn useful for protecting sliced bacon in the freezer.

PS - Ascorbate isn't needed either. Not saying its not a good idea, though more with nitrIte (Prague No 1) than with saltpetre.
Just that its not *needed* to get started.
For DIY, some saltpetre, a suitable bit of pork and a food grade plastic bag big enough for the pork may well be the only things you don't already have in the house that are really and truly essential.
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Postby Oddley » Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:40 pm

I have to say, that I think sodium ascorbate or ascorbic acid is an essential, if you are cooking at high temps e.g. frying. This antioxidant, will reduce the amount of nitrite in the bacon and therefore the risk of producing nitrosamines.
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Postby dougal » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:38 pm

Oddley, I know what you mean, I understand the point - BUT - in terms of gettlng started, its not actually essential.
In the USA there is a requirement to use ascorbate + nitrIte for bacon for sale. Using saltpetre (as shanew intends) is forbidden in bacon for sale. Over there.
Here in Europe however, saltpetre is permitted for bacon (though very little used commercially), and ascorbate is not legally required.
For example ascorbate is *not* used in curing Prince Charles' bacon
http://www.duchyoriginals.com/meat_bacon_organic.htm

Residual nitrite (minimised by ascorbate) does produce nitrosamines on frying. Nitrosamines are harmful according to test tube work. However, since they are formed in the gut (for example after eating spinach) it has never been shown that bacon made according to the american law is actually any healthier in practice. It could well be. However, I don't know of any epidemiological evidence that eating bacon cured without ascorbate is actually harmful. For my reading, ascorbate is a useful, harmless, refinement - but not truly essential.
Sodium ascorbate is approved as E301, the calcium version is E302 and the potassium salt E303. Other than minor and non-critical adjustments to the ideal quantity, they could be interchanged. Vitamin C itself (Ascorbic acid, E300) is not advised for curing.
I'm not sure that Ascorbate is helpful when using nitrAte (saltpetre), as Shanew seemingly intends.

My advice was (and remains) to start with a commercial ready-mix cure - which would almost certainly be based on nitrIte (rather than saltpetre), and would contain ascorbate - because it accelerates nitrIte curing, quite apart from any health benefits.
But for DIY, all that's really essential in the way of strange ingredients is a little saltpetre.
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Postby Oddley » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:08 pm

Not sure I agree with all your comments for instance:

dougal wrote:Here in Europe however, saltpetre is permitted for bacon (though very little used commercially), and ascorbate is not legally required.


    Image

Walls is one of the biggest commercial producers in this country. As you can see from the label they use both potassium nitrate and ascorbate. Now to my mind a large manufacturer would not use anything that wasn't absolutely necessary. A penny saved on each packet could mean thousands of pounds per week.

dougal wrote:Vitamin C itself (Ascorbic acid, E300) is not advised for curing.


University of Minnesota wrote:USDA now requires adding ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or erythorbic acid to bacon cure, a practice that greatly reduces the formation of nitrosamines.


http://www.extension.umn.edu/distributi ... J0974.html

I have read conflicting views on nitrosamines So my opinion is better safe than sorry.
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Postby shanew » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:23 pm

i dont want to use a ready made cure though, it seems pointless to do it. i might aswell buy bacon if im not going to make it myself, much the same as with anything else. If im making a curry i dont buy a jar of sauce or a packet mix for cottage pie. i already have the scales and intend to get a vac packer for preserving my spices
Save the enviroment, we cant afford to loose more animals, what will we use for variety in sausges, i for one would have liked a dodo banger!
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Postby saucisson » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:29 pm

That's fine Shane, in that case the answer to your question is the only thing you need from Franco to make bacon is the saltpetre, as I don't think he sells ascorbate. I suspect you can get that from a chemist, Oddley: where do you get yours?

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Postby Oddley » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:38 pm

Sodium ascorbate can be got from health food shops. Ascorbate acid (vitamin C ) can be got from the chemist, If in pill form grind in a morter and pestle.
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Postby dougal » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:51 pm

Oddley wrote:Walls is one of the biggest commercial producers in this country. As you can see from the label they use both potassium nitrate and ascorbate. Now to my mind a large manufacturer would not use anything that wasn't absolutely necessary. A penny saved on each packet could mean thousands of pounds per week.

I've been shown that label before!
Walls bacon is mostly (entirely?) vacuum packed and aimed at a maximum shelf life. I wonder if their use of nitrate is to give long term protection in anaerobic conditions? And similarly Ascorbate (and its cousins) have well established uses as anti-oxidant preservatives.
My suspicion is that this is *not* about 'best practice' in high quality curing, rather about dosing with preservatives to maximise shelf life - a vital consideration for the industrial side of the food industry.



dougal wrote:Vitamin C itself (Ascorbic acid, E300) is not advised for curing.

Oddley reports the University of Minnesota wrote:USDA now requires adding ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or erythorbic acid to bacon cure, a practice that greatly reduces the formation of nitrosamines.
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distributi ... J0974.html

I fear that the UMn may have been a trifle sloppy in their writing.

Not least because the USDA themselves *specifically* refer to the salt, Ascorbate (and its mirror image structure Erythrobate) and *not* Ascorbic Acid itself.
for example: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSI ... 0520-1.pdf

I also have it from Parson Snows that the acid form (of both optical isomers) is specifically banned from use in bacon curing in the USA, just like saltpetre!
http://forum.rivercottage.net/viewtopic ... 709#171709
Parson Snows wrote:Current US USDA/FSIS Stds for typical cure accelerators

Ascorbic acid �����������������������..469 ppm 2
(known in the UK as L-ascorbic acid; vitamin C; E300)
NOTE: NOT ALLOWED IN BACON CURING

Erythorbic acid (isoascorbic, E315)��������������..469 ppm 2
NOTE: NOT ALLOWED IN BACON CURING

Sodium ascorbate
(known in the UK as Sodium L-ascorbate; E301)��������..547 ppm 3
Note: 550 ppm allowed in bacon

Sodium erythorbate (isoascorbate; E316) ����������.�547 ppm 3
Note: 550 ppm allowed in bacon


This must seem terribly confusing to to Shanew...
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Postby dougal » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:00 pm

shanew wrote:i dont want to use a ready made cure though, it seems pointless to do it. i might aswell buy bacon if im not going to make it myself, much the same as with anything else. If im making a curry i dont buy a jar of sauce or a packet mix for cottage pie. i already have the scales and intend to get a vac packer for preserving my spices


Shane, you don't have to buy a cure full of artificial flavourings.
If you share Oddley's concerns about Nitrosamines, then you'd be using nitrIte, not nitrAte (saltpetre). And possibly adding ascorbate.

BUT you can't just buy NitrIte on its own.
You get it as 'Prague Powder No 1' (aka Cure No 1). This is nitrite diluted with pure ordinary salt. The dilution means that you don't need such high precision scales.)
Some sugar, probably some ordinary salt, (ascorbate if you fancy), a plastic bag, a fridge and off you go! (There are detailed recipes here for using No 1).
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Postby shanew » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:19 pm

i understand the parts per million and the toxin side of things, my error was that i was in the understanding that i needed both cure #1 and saltpetre. The scales arnt a problem, i keep koi and need acurate scales for measuring out treatments so i got an expensive pair that are acurate to 100th of a gram.
So just to clarify, i can use Cure #1 as a dry cure for bacon, and to make a brine for hams?

Thanks again for your replys and help.
Save the enviroment, we cant afford to loose more animals, what will we use for variety in sausges, i for one would have liked a dodo banger!
shanew
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Postby dougal » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:43 pm

shanew wrote:So just to clarify, i can use Cure #1 as a dry cure for bacon, and to make a brine for hams?

Simple answer: Yes, but watch the quantities. (And cook the result)

No 1 is 6.25% Nitrite. The rest salt.
Use 1/3 or less of the quantity of Nitrite that you would have used for Saltpetre.
Nitrite is much 'stronger'. (And hence mistakes are serious, hence the compulsory dilution.)

Nitrate (saltpetre) has to degrade to nitrite doing/during the curing. The pinking is caused following the next phase of the breakdown.

Using nitrite, you are simply starting one step further down the road...


EDIT: PS For *salami* and other things that are to be eaten *raw* you should have some nitrAte (saltpetre) in the cure. Cure No 2 exists for that purpose.
Added just in case you had strange ideas about brined, uncooked ham (don't fancy that myself).
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Postby shanew » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:56 pm

Thanks Dougal,
I'll get some ordered then.
You mentioned about some recipies using cure#1 but all i can find is brine recipies non for a dry cure, could you point me in the right direction?

P.s Oddley, you come up trumps with fabulous recipies, have you any i should try?

Thanks,
Shane.
Save the enviroment, we cant afford to loose more animals, what will we use for variety in sausges, i for one would have liked a dodo banger!
shanew
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