My first 'commercial' bacon

Air dried cured Meat Techniques

Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby wheels » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:41 pm

My preference is for 2.25% salt or thereabouts, 0.8% sugar. I use 0.015% Sodium Nitrite (E250) by way of cure #1.

Cure #1 can be bought from the sausagemaking.org shop:

http://www.sausagemaking.org/acatalog/Cure_1.html

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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby exeterfoodie » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:06 pm

Ah so not a million miles off on the nitrite front then! That's good.

Now to figure out how to dry/cook/bake the ham and gammon when its finished curing!

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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby wheels » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:32 pm

Brican's got a whole thread about that somewhere on here. I've got to go out, but if you've not found it by tomorrow PM me and I'll try to find it for you.

I 'wet cook' mine usually, either on a trivet above water with the moist air around it at 75 - 80°C, or in a vac-bag in water at a similar temperature. I'm generally preparing a ham for slicing for sandwiches.

HTH

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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby exeterfoodie » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:32 am

Yep, mine will be for slining and vac pacing and then freezing for little ones lunch boxes etc!

I think I will vac-pac then cook in a water bath. Is there some good guidance of what temperature and for how long? I don't want it to be tough but more importantly not to disintegrate like cooked pork often does.

I think I might take a couple of smaller bit and glaze with honey and flash bake them as an experiment.

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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby BriCan » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:48 am

It seems that bacon became an obsession with me and being in the trade helped fuel that need -- As Wheels mentioned there is one big thread as well as other (maple bacon being one of them)

The tread he was talking about is this one

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9058&hilit=the+quest+for+real+bacon

Any questions by all means bug me :)
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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby BriCan » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:50 am

Here is something on Ayrshire middleback bacon

https://www.facebook.com/Goodricks-Meat ... 9348853234
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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby BriCan » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:52 am

And if you just want to look at bacon :)

https://www.facebook.com/Goodricks-Meat ... 8391644004
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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby exeterfoodie » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:54 am

:drool: :drool: :drool:

Thanks Brican - your bacon thread is the one I am currently working through!

Is there any chance you could offer me any tips on the ham and gammon front?

I'm confused about the curing time needed for the hams (days per inch of thickness?) and of the cooking times and temperatures thereafter for those not being kept as gammon?

Thanks,

Dean.
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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby BriCan » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:15 am

It's gone 2.30 am and I should have been in bed long ago

I will help you where ever I can :)
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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby bacon.uk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:42 pm

A lot of points raised there, but the object of home curing should be to produce a better quality bacon than commercial bacon. My own bacon markedly improved when I stopped using the bag method and simply rubbed 4% of cure (in two stages) into the pork laid into a sloping tray on a shelf in the fridge (not covered). I pour off the liquid produced and leave for 6 to 8 days depending on the thickness. I then rinse and hang in a cool place for two weeks or preferably three weeks. It is much easier to slice when it has lost at least 15% of its original weight. In the UK we do not have the same sweet tooth they have in Canada/USA. If you like your bacon crisp any sugar present tends to burn.The presence of air and a lengthy mature period seems to be most important in flavour development
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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby BriCan » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:29 am

bacon.uk wrote:A lot of points raised there, but the object of home curing should be to produce a better quality bacon than commercial bacon.


100% agree with you on this :)

My own bacon markedly improved when I stopped using the bag method and simply rubbed 4% of cure (in two stages)


Now slow dow here -- we need to define something that most/all reading this being new to curing would get them selfs into a whole load of trouble and could in fact kill people -- 4% cure?? -- thats a lot of cure when we only use 0.25% cure #1

into the pork laid into a sloping tray on a shelf in the fridge (not covered).


I do this all the time -- but on a bigger scale -- anywhere from 10 to 20 bellies at a time (streaky bacon) or the same amount of loins (shortback bacon)

I pour off the liquid produced and leave for 6 to 8 days depending on the thickness.


Because I elevate the meat off the bottom of the containers I can and do leave mine as is for 7 days for the bellies and 14 days for the loins -- then again I am doing a EQ cure where salt and cure along with spices are weighed out as to the weight of the meat which means that I can leave for 6 months without any worry about being overly salty :)

I then rinse and hang in a cool place for two weeks or preferably three weeks. It is much easier to slice when it has lost at least 15% of its original weight.


Now rinse most of the time due to using the EQ method -- hang to dry at 13 degrees C but no higher than 15 degrees C for no less than 7 days (3 days are fine but preferably no less) which will give me 15% weight loss :) -- hanging is to age and mature the meat

In the UK we do not have the same sweet tooth they have in Canada/USA.


Depends -- most bacon this side of the pond is bland and is overcooked (cremated :( ) -- On the other hand Gammon bacon is on the sweet side as it is cured with a good amount of sugar ;)

If you like your bacon crisp any sugar present tends to burn.


Real bacon should not be overcooked and made crisp in my most umble opinion ....

The presence of air and a lengthy mature period seems to be most important in flavour development


This is only part of it -- Pork, spicing, TLC all have a part in this making of bacon

By the way --- Welcome :)
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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby bacon.uk » Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:19 am

Ooops. I should have been more careful.
For the record I use 37 gm of salt and 2.5 gm of cure #1 per kilo of pork. I make my own cure #1 using accurate scales and colour it pink with cochineal. I also elevate the pork in the tray so that it does not lie in the liquid. The only spice I use is black pepper.
After two to three days drying I cold smoke for just 8 hours. For this I have made my own version of a ProQ smoker.
One one occasion I measured the leached brine and calculated that roughly 15% of the salt is lost in this way but since water is lost in the drying process the final salt content is about 4%. A little high I know but I like it that way.
Thanks for your advice on maturing temperature.
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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby Shuswap » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:14 pm

BriCan wrote:
NCPaul wrote:I like three days but seven is BriCan's recommendation.


3 days is the minimum .. I like the 7 plus days as I (and my customers) are after the deeper flavour profile -- most people I have talked into doing it this way have thanked me :)


And I thank you again :!:
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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby BriCan » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:47 am

bacon.uk wrote:Ooops. I should have been more careful.


We all get carried away once in a while, even me ;)

For the record I use 37 gm of salt and 2.5 gm of cure #1 per kilo of pork.


Geez ... salt ..... that works out to be 3.7% --- I guess you like salt :) --- Most people that I know do not go over 3% and the normal is 2.5% -- myself I like to let the meat shine instead of masking it so use 2% salt

I make my own cure #1 using accurate scales and colour it pink with cochineal.


If it is not too bold to ask ... what do you do for a living -- reason that I ask because you said you make your own cure #1 :shock:

After two to three days drying I cold smoke for just 8 hours.


Try for 72 hours over a period of time with good rest in between and then 7 days of aging/maturing :drool:

One one occasion I measured the leached brine and calculated that roughly 15% of the salt is lost in this way but since water is lost in the drying process the final salt content is about 4%. A little high I know but I like it that way.


Osmosis pulls in the salt, cure and spices at the same time pulls out the liquid --- not the salt. The only way to get the salt out of the meat is to soak it in water (repeated changes of water every 4 hours) for 24 plus hours which defeats the purpose of curing the meat (bacon)

There is a simple cure calculator that one of our members (Wheels) has on his blog that is worth pursuing and this will put you onto the road of some very fine bacon :D

http://www.localfoodheroes.co.uk/?p=cur ... alculators
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Re: My first 'commercial' bacon

Postby BriCan » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:49 am

Shuswap wrote:
BriCan wrote:
NCPaul wrote:I like three days but seven is BriCan's recommendation.


3 days is the minimum .. I like the 7 plus days as I (and my customers) are after the deeper flavour profile -- most people I have talked into doing it this way have thanked me :)


And I thank you again :!:


More than welcome -- Next time up your way must stop by for tea and a chat or something stronger :wink:
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