This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 5 pages for free. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Pitmaster Club Information | Join Now | Login | Contact Us ]

There are 4 page views remaining.


No announcement yet.

Bacon curing question

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Bacon curing question

    I cured some pork belly last week, and smoked and sliced it into bacon last week. I followed the basic recipe from the free side, but did scale it, using the calculator, for the fact that I had cut a 9 pound belly in half, ending up with two 4.5 pound chunks. It dawns on me that the curing calculator defaults to 125ppm, and that might be a factor. I don't remember today how much Prague powder went into the mix for each slab when I mixed it up last Monday or Tuesday night. Anyway, the pork cured until I smoked it Saturday evening, so 4 or 5 days. I flipped it and massaged it several times a day, every time I went past the fridge.

    What I noticed when slicing was that some of the lean of the bacon is darker. In fact, the portion that is darker is the lean towards the top of the bacon, the way the slab was on the smoker, while the lean towards the bottom (fattier side) of the slab is a lighter pink. See below:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_6947.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	3.57 MB ID:	1118158

    Does this lighter pink for some of the lean inside the bacon mean the cure did not work all the way through in 4+ days?

    I was curing in two gallon zip locks, that were folded over partially, with most of the air squeezed out. On the flips, most liquid tended to be around and below the belly it seemed, about level with the thickness of the slab.

    I’ve cured bacon a few times myself. I don’t think what you’re talking about is terribly abnormal, or even low on the curing salt. Pretty sure I’ve seen the same thing in my bacon. If you think about it, if the fat stays white and doesn’t turn pink or red, it makes sense that the fattier parts of the meat would also be lighter in color (pink) than the leaner parts of the meat (red)

    But just to be safe, you should send me your bacon. This is very dangerous. I am a professional and I have some sophisticated equipment that can test this type of thing out …


      Yeah, jfmorris I'd be happy to take that stuff off your hands, there no sense in risking it. I can even make a special trip next time I'm passing through N Alabama. I won't even charge a pick up fee. :-)

      It looks like great bacon to me - it seems like color variations are typical in store bought bacon. But it's a very good question in terms of curing recipe to weight ratios...


        This is not abnormal at all. The bacon is cured all the way through. The color would be grey if it was not cured all the way through.

        It is lighter because the cure concentration is not as high in the areas that are covered in fat. The cure takes longer to penetrate those areas. You can see on the bottom of your slab, where the is no fat, or almost none, that the meat is darker. Two things, smoke penetration and the cure has had more penetration into the meat in those areas because it does not have to go through a fat layer. .


        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks! That makes sense. Cooked to 150F internal WOULD be gray all the way through without the nitrite, now that I think about it.

        Agreed it's ok. But I cure for longer than 4-5 days, usually 7-10. OTOH I dry cure, so...


          You can see a similar variation in some professionally made bacon:


          https://www.nueskes.com/assets/1/6/D...on_Duo_Feb2018 _RT.jpg?2321

          Last edited by Murdy; November 1, 2021, 11:39 AM.


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks! I feel better about it now! I was just looking at it as I sat there slicing and vacuum sealing bacon for 30+ minutes, and got to wondering...

          I have seen similar results. I think that looks great! Will look better once you drop it on your flat top!


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Great minds think alike! I kept a small zip lock of "scraps" from trimming the bacon out and cooked them and ate them with a salad for lunch today!

          • DavidNorcross
            DavidNorcross commented
            Editing a comment
            Every salad needs some good protein!

          Had to test it by eating the scraps from last night's bacon trimming and packaging....

          This was a 1 burner cook on the Camp Chef flat top, haha! But less cleanup that if I did it inside on the stove with the skillet. It was quite tasty on a lunch salad.

          Three hours later and I am still alive, so the cure must have worked!

          Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6951 (1).jpeg
Views:	96
Size:	128.2 KB
ID:	1118318


            Your bacon looks great! If it doesn't please you, feel free to send it to Uncle Strat for analysis...


            • Spinaker
              Spinaker commented
              Editing a comment
              bet you could use some bacon up there! Winter was already setting in when I was there in late September.

            • Strat50
              Strat50 commented
              Editing a comment
              Naaaah, that was just a tease, foreplay if you will...lol


          No announcement yet.
          Rubs Promo


          These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

          These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

          Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

          A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

          Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

          Green Mountain Grills Trek smoker

          Green Mountain Grills Trek smoker

          Green Mountain’s portable Trek Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Trek from your smart phone or laptop.

          Click here to read our detailed review and to order

          The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

          The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

          Click here to read ourcomplete review


          Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

          Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
          Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

          Click here to order.

          The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

          Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.

          Click here for more about what makes this grill special

          Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One

          The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

          Click here to read our detailed review and to order

          Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

          This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.

          Click here to read our detailed review

          The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

          kamado grill
          Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

          Click here for our article on this exciting cooker