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Post cure, pre smoke q for bacon

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  • tdimond
    Club Member
    • Jun 2018
    • 103
    • Poway, CA
    • Cookers
      Weber Genesis II (4-burner) with GrillGrates
      Pit Barrel Cooker
      Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium with SnS and Drip N' Griddle

      Thermometers
      Maverick XR-50
      Thermapen MK4
      Random, but accurate, pit and leave-in meat thermometers

      Other toys
      PartyQ for Weber Kettle
      BBQ Vortex

    Post cure, pre smoke q for bacon

    So I'm trying out some of the bacon recipes on the free side, and I have a logistical issue. The bacon has been curing for about 4 days now, and it should really come out and be smoked today. However, we're under a red flag warning - there's already a 1500 acre+ wildfire about 20 miles from us that's still burning. I don't want to risk embers under these conditions.

    So here are my questions:
    Can I remove the bacon from the cure, freeze it, and smoke it later?
    How long can I sit refrigerated, cured, and unsmoked?

    Tomorrow looks like it's going to be significantly cooler, so I may be able to get it done safely tomorrow morning. I probably still need to do fire watch to be on the safe side.

    Thanks in advance.
  • webwolff
    Club Member
    • Apr 2017
    • 21

    #2
    When I made my bacon (Meathead's recipe) I was strapped for time when it was done according to Meathead's curing calculator. The same article says you can leave it in cure a little longer, but not to exceed about 25% longer. If your really strapped I think you should be able to give your slab a quick rinse and store in fridge until you can smoke it. My three pound pork belly, about two inches thick, smoked to internal temp of 150 degrees in less than an hour on my Pit Barrel Cooker. Hope this helps and stay safe!

    webwolff

    Comment

    • ecowper
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 3642
      • Maple Valley, WA
      • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
        Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

        Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
        Thermometer = Maverick ET732
        Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
        Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
        Thermapen Classic = Grey
        PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

        Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
        Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
        Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
        Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

        Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"


        Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

      #3
      You can go as much as 7 days in the cure, you will just have a bit higher nitrates in the bacon than at 4 days. Not a big deal. If you cannot smoke it, you can always do it in the oven until it hits 150F. It won’t have that smoke flavor, but will otherwise be the same.

      I would also think you could freeze it and smoke at a later date, although I’ve never done that. But I don’t see why that would be a problem.

      Stay safe .... my cousin and his family are in Northern California and keeping me updated on the happenings there.

      Comment


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        Last thing, I wouldn’t keep the bacon out of the cure, in the refrigerator, for more than 48 hours or so.

      • rickgregory
        rickgregory commented
        Editing a comment
        Curious... why not? I can't imagine cured meat spoiling that fast. Not that I'd keep it around for a week or two

      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        rickgregory it wouldn’t go bad, but I think the flavors would start changing.
    • rickgregory
      Founding Member
      • Aug 2014
      • 1124
      • Seattle, WA

      #4
      Leave it until tomorrow. It will be fine. The 4 days is a guideline, not a bright line. Sure, there are limits (3 weeks would be... beyond the limit) but a day extra won't matter at all. So, if you think you can smoke it tomorrow, do that.

      If you can't and think "wow, can't smoke it anytime soon" because of the fires (Stay safe!) then I'd remove it from the cure, rinse it, dry it off and set it in the fridge over night to dry a bit more. Then wrap tightly or vacuum pack and freeze it.

      Comment

      • RichardCullip
        Club Member
        • Feb 2020
        • 156
        • Poway, CA

        #5
        As a fellow Powegian I fully understand your reluctance to fire up the outdoor smoker today. I have revised my plans for a boneless chicken thigh BBQ dinner tonight and will be moving that cook inside to a cast iron skillet.

        Thanks for being wild fire safety conscious.

        Comment

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