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Bacon Curing Question

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    Bacon Curing Question

    Sorry if this has been answered already. I did a search but didn't find an answer.

    I'm curing a 5 lb slab of pork belly today, I'll be using Meathead 's recipe from the free site. Question: If I leave the sugar out do I have to adjust the amount of Kosher salt? I'm not fond of sweetness in my bacon. I know sugar is also a curing agent so I'm wondering if leaving it out will cause a problem by lowering the concentration of the curing liquid? I will be using Prague powder #1 - amount to be determined from the curing calculator.

    #2
    I wouldn't adjust anything.

    Comment


      #3
      I am guessing it would be okay to leave the sugar out, but I don’t know the science... However, the sugar is not penetrating the meat like the salt...

      With that said I would second what rickgregory said, and follow the recipe the first time. I did not find the classic bacon recipe to be sweet.

      Comment


        #4
        You should be fine without it. I myself like the water activity reducing properties of salt and sugar, you can rinse the slab off after the cure.

        Comment


          #5
          You can leave the sugar out without any adjust ments, but is does amp it up a notch. Keep in mind, sugar does NOT penetrate fat or meat so the only sugar on the finished product is a teensy bit on the outer edges of the slice, almost impossible to measure.

          Comment


          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            I wish more folks would understand that.

          #6
          Thanks for the advice. The reason I'm interested in leaving sugar out is that I detected sweetness on the black pepper bacon that I made last fall. I expected the sweetness in the Asian and Gochujang bacon I made but didn't care for it on the black pepper bacon. I know sugar doesn't penetrate the meat and fat, maybe I didn't rinse it well enough.

          I decided to go ahead and add the sugar, but only half of it.

          Thanks again.

          Comment


          • Jerod Broussard
            Jerod Broussard commented
            Editing a comment
            Celebrating a dodged Tropical Storm??

          • 58limited
            58limited commented
            Editing a comment
            Nope, just out of black pepper bacon. But, the dodged storm is the icing on the cake.

          #7
          I bought another pork belly today (6lbs and the price came down from 2 weeks ago - yay!) so I'm going to make one batch following the recipe as written and one batch with half of the sugar. I'll make sure to rinse it well and after smoking it I'll fry some up and see if I can tell a difference.

          Comment


            #8
            Try different sugar also. I found the recipe as written with the brown sugar too sweet, so I backed off by half on my second round. Nope, too sweet, actually too much molasses flavor. So on my third batch I used turbinado, and only 1/3. Still some sweetness, but I find it to be just right especially with black pepper bacon. I also don't rinse, just remove from the brine, pat dry-ish, put a pepper crust on it, and on the smoker.

            Comment


              #9
              This is my first time using your method. I have previously cured maybe 10 -15 pork bellies to make bacon. They have ranged from 9 - 10.5 pounds, and I cured them whole. I cured them for 2.5 - 3 weeks, and then smoked them, and they were all fantastic. I’m now doing your method with a 10.9 lb belly, cut into 4 pieces ranging from 2.8 - 3.3 lbs. I used the calculator for the ingredients. It is a little scary - only 3 -4 days curing. Am I understanding this whole thing right?

              Comment


              • 58limited
                58limited commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi and welcome to the forum. Yes, an average pork belly of 1.5 inches thick only takes about 4 days to cure. BTW - did you use the cure calculator to determine the amount of Prague Powder #1 to use? It can be found in this article: https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...-meats-safely/

              • RonB
                RonB commented
                Editing a comment
                Welcome to The Pit.

              #10
              Thanks for your reply. I did use the calculator. Smoking on Wednesday!

              Comment


                #11
                I use coconut sugar and i find it to be much more palatable than regular brown cane sugar. Dont know if im just imagining it though.

                Comment


                  #12
                  11 lbs of bacon smoked with oak and hickory, some cherry wood at the end.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Comment


                    #13
                    The pork belly that I cured according to Meetheads recipe, doing it that way for the first time, came out really nice -nice color and all. Having read that some people think it’s too salty and some people think it’s not salty enough, I did not soak it, only rinsed it off quickly before smoking. It actually came out needing more salt. So my question is if I add more salt to the curing solution, will that make any difference in the finished product?

                    Comment


                    • mnavarre
                      mnavarre commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yes, you can add salt. You can pretty much play around with the amounts of everything except the Prague Powder. You can also try leaving it in the brine longer. I usually go 7-10 days in the brine even if the calculator says I only need 3 days. That 3 days is the minimum for the Prague powder to cure the meat.

                    #14
                    OK, thanks! That’s very helpful. I was really pleasantly surprised with the 3-4 day curing time compared to the 3 week time I had been doing with a whole uncut belly, but even a week will be a great improvement.

                    Comment


                      #15
                      I was going to suggest brown sugar until it was mentioned above....
                      but....maple syrup.
                      Maple bacon is all the rage up here in tree sauce land, if your looking for different tastes this may be up your alley.

                      Comment


                      • Ahumadora
                        Ahumadora commented
                        Editing a comment
                        You Canadians would put maple syrup on your steaks if it wasn't for A1.

                      • smokin fool
                        smokin fool commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Just a hint, it can be over powering

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