Bacon Cures

Air dried cured meat and salami recipes

Bacon Cures

Postby Topdog » Wed May 14, 2008 2:31 pm

Hi everyone, this is a fantastic forum and although it's taken me some months to get registered I'm here at last :D
I have been making bacon for a while now using a 3 day cure from another forum, the time curing depends on the thickness of the loin, my cure is made up with 1kg of salt 650gm sugar and 5gm of sodium nitrate (saltpeter) and is applied at 150gm per kg of meat, but after reading the various threads here it seems that only 30gms per kg of meat is the usual mix. The bacon I produce is ok ish but a bit salty so today I put a small piece to cure reducing
the cure to 100gms per kg that I will cure for about 6 days.
My questions are (after all that) is any of the above correct and if not can someone give me a tried and tested recipe for british style bacon. Also I read that brine curing is thought to be better than dry curing in that it give a more consistant result, is this true and if so can you give me a recipe for that.
Thanks in advance, and sorry about the ramble :oops:
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Postby Batman » Wed May 14, 2008 3:32 pm

I'm a relative newby so my comments are from limited practical experience but quite a lot of reading of these forums.

The general recommended curing agent for foods which are subsequently cooked eg british type bacon, is Sodium NitrIte, whereas Sodium NitrAte (or saltpetre) is recommended for air dry curing over weeks/months and is normally mixed with Sodium NitrIte in commercially available cures.

I believe that the NitrAte compound breaks down into the NitrIte compund as a result of bacterial action and that both then breakdown into nitrogen oxides which is the actual curing agent.

I doubt that 3 days will be sufficient to cure bacon using saltpetre particularly if the curing takes place under refrigeration.

Also assuming you have a 'perfect' mix I think your original dosage rate of 150g per 1000g of meat is substantially more than the recommended input level but I'm not confident of my maths so I would suggest you wait for a response from someone more competent on the calculations. I think that even the new lower level is above the recommended limit.

The other issue I see is the difficulty of mixing such a small volume of compound with such a large volume of salt/sugar. I think you have little chance of getting a good mix particularly if the crystal sizes are substantially different.

I would suggest that if you want to use a curing agent in addition to salt you purchase one of the commercially available NitrIte cure mixes, there are several available on this site.

I have never used a wet cure so I don't feel I can comment on the pros/cons.

As I said at the beginning I am a relative newby, so please take my advice accordingly, I am sure more experienced curers will answer your question shortly.
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Postby Oddley » Wed May 14, 2008 3:57 pm

Hi Topdog welcome to the forum.

I have broke down the recipe you are using, and I'm not surprised the bacon is salty at 9% of the meat.



You wrote:Your recipe

60.423 % - 1kg of salt - 9 %
39.2749 % - 650gm sugar - 6 %
0.3021 % - 5gm of sodium nitrate (saltpeter) - 453 mg/Kg

Usage weight 150 g or 15 %


Here is a simple bacon recipe that works well for me. I normally use a combination cure but as you are using Potassium Nitrate then that is what I calculated this cure for.

I have calculated it two ways, the first so you can make up the exact amount of cure per piece of meat. The second so you can make up a batch of cure and use it as and when. I have to say, that the batch method is not one I would recommend, because of the different weights and particle size of ingredients will cause it to separate.

I wrote:Simple Bacon

Per Kg Of Meat
30 g Salt
15 g Sugar
0.7 g Saltpetre (Potassium Nitrate)

653 g premixed
429 g Salt 3 % of meat
214 g Sugar 1.5% of meat
10 g Saltpetre 689 mg/Kg

Usage 45g or 4.5% per Kg meat

Method:
Rub meat with cure 10% on skin side, the rest on the meat, making sure to get into any cracks or crevasses. Put into a bag and Store meat in cure at, 6�C or 42.8�F ( top shelf of fridge), for at least 14 days.


For more info on why these amounts and timings etc read the following.

http://forum.sausagemaking.org/viewtopi ... 7183#27183

http://forum.sausagemaking.org/viewtopi ... 0145#30145
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Postby Topdog » Wed May 14, 2008 4:31 pm

TonyB, Thanks.
Oddley, I have read your many threads with interest and thank you for putting me right. In your recipe do you mean 7 hundreds of 1 gram sodium nitrate as my scales only weigh down to 1gm, and can I add other spices to this as in your post for Trad bacon, also do you have any info about brine cures again for fairly small pieces of pork 1-2kg
Mike
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Postby Oddley » Wed May 14, 2008 4:54 pm

I chose 7 hundreds of a gram ie 0.7 g because it is the recommended amount of the American FDA. saying that, saltpetre is prohibited for commercial bacon making by the FDA. You can safely use 1 g per Kg of meat, as expressed in the link I gave you.

If you make the cure up, for the weight of meat you have, then you can add to that any herbs and spices you wish.

I don't calculate brine cures anymore, they are far to dangerous for those that don't know how they work. The only precise way I have found, is to calculate the cure specifically for each piece of meat. Sorry!
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Postby Batman » Wed May 14, 2008 5:31 pm

I think Oddley means 7 tenths of a gram not 7 hundredths
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Postby Topdog » Wed May 14, 2008 5:46 pm

Hi TonyB My mistake in the beginning but I guess it's where you put your decimal point.
Oddley, thanks again, I have pulled out the piece I was curing gave it a good rinse and re-applied cure to your recipe so in a couple of weeks or so bacon sarnies are the order of the day!! :D
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Postby Oddley » Wed May 14, 2008 7:00 pm

Batman of course you are right, you can work in 10ths of a gram if you want too.

I find it more helpful to work in weight. There are 1000 milligrams to 1 gram therefore 0.7 grams in weight would be 700 milligrams.

I find it best to work in milligrams because it is the equivalent of the American Parts Per Million (PPM). 1000 milligrams X 1000 grams = 1,000,000 mg/Kg so 1 milligram would = 1 PPM.

This helps me better understand the American documentation.
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