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I need Help: Bacon question

eenie meenieeenie meenie Posts: 4,393
edited 11:38PM in EggHead Forum
OK, I thought I used Ruhlman's bacon brine recipe to prep some pork belly for bacon last Saturday. I used pink salts, salt, and maple powder. It is now about 10 days later and the pork is not as firm to the touch (see how it bends inthe pics and has no fluid) as I am used to feeling and it never really developed any brining fluid. This should have been done 3 days ago.

Should I throw this out? Now I'm doubting if I measured my rub correctly.... :unsure: What would you do and why?




  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    why throw it out?

    cut some off and fry it up ans see.

    it gets firm, but not rigid. i can't say if you did anything wrong, but at the very least, i can
    't understand why it wouldn't still be safe it were under-cured.

    how did it look when you overhauled it? have you done this before? how much salt do you remember using?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • i find i do not get much liquid out of belly meat as opposed to buckboard bacon curing..
    i suspect it is ok and would certainly give it the smell test.. and if all is ok i would still throw it out.. it is probably over cured anyway. and while you are a certified carnivore [i have the red band raw meat carnivore rating ] you do not have the carion far as i know stike is the only human with the carnivore carrion rating.
    when in doubt throw it out .
  • Stike, it never changed appearance except for the color of the meat darkening some and it getting firmer after the overhauls (if that is what you mean by flipping it over every two days). I have no recollection of my measurements, but I suspect that I measured incorrectly and am short on the salt because no brining fluid of any amount developed. It doesn't smell funny.

    I guess I'll rinse them off and put on some maple powder and let it sit for 24 - 48 hours then smoke it to 150 and see what happens.
  • bill, I almost rinsed it after 7 days, but when I poke it, the meat wasn't very firm, so I thought it wasn't cured enough and let it sit until I remembered it again. This is only my third time with bacon, but the other two times, more brine developed.

    Please explain further about the carion carnivore rating.....would that be grounds to ban someone from a fest? ;)

    I don't know, might have to go with a variation of Stike on this one. Since it doesn't smell, I think I'll fry up some and have my brother give it the "Mikey taste test". He's expendable. :laugh:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i think the "when in doubt..." dictum is what a person hides behind instead of understanding what the heck is going on. if a person doesn't understand how curing/aging/bacon/flying-a-plane works, they shouldn't be doing it.

    i'm notsaying that's eenie meenie, or you, not at all. i just think it allows a person to avoid doingtheir homework

    let's consider some things...
    we know it is refrigerated, assuming properly. if properly refrigerated, the belly could have sat there safely with or without any cure and still been safe to eat.

    if it is overcured, ruhlman and polcyn themselves say it's not an issue. if it's overcured, then it would be salty, not unsafe. the pink salts are in such small amounts, that they cannot "keep going" and somehpw make it dangerous. the issue becomes one of it being too salty. you can soak for a day in water (some do this anyway, to leach some salt back out), or you can blanch the individual slices before you use them.

    i honestly cannot think of any logical reason why the assumption should be made that it is better to toss it.

    i'll go on the record and say that i'm stupid, foolhardy, crazy, dangerous, uneducated, untrained, safe-serv-cert-less, and chef-hat-not-wearing enough to say that if the ONLY reason a person has to throw out food is "when in doubt...", then they should do their best to learn why they are uncomfortable, and never let it happen again.

    hopefully the tone of this won't go over totally wrong. i mean it to sound exasperated, not superior in any way. ...but i honestly think the phrase "when in doubt..." is ignorance disguised as prudence. i don't mean 'ignorant' as stupid, by the way. i mean it as "not understanding". it's shorthand for "i don't know what to do, and i'm letting my imagination run away from me, and i'm afraid of what i don't know"

    just had some squash soup that was left over from thanksgiving. was actually from a heavy enameled stock pot that has been mostly in the fridge, but last week or so in the garage. (fishless will back me up on this storage method :laugh: ). anyone wanna give me a reason why it would be bad? i can think of two. and that's about it. and since there was no evidence of those two things i might be concerned with, why wouldn't it be safe?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    there is no reason to believe it might be unsafe to eat it. your issue MIGHT be oversaltiness (overcured), or conversely, being undercured.

    if the meat is pinked all the way thru, you will know it has been cured by the pink salts. if it isn't, then it's still salt cured anyway. half the recipes out there call for salt alone (kosher, not pink salts).

    other than that, i gotta ask the scaredy cats, what would be wrong with it?

    they do sell aged pork by the way, just to remove the whole "oh my god it has been in the fridge more than three days".

    americans are food-pansies.... :laugh:
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    how big is it? if it is a big belly, that recipe is for 3 to 5 pounds. i have to double that basic cure when i do a full belly (10 pounds)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I don't remember now, however, I increased the measurements for the poundage.
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,675
    It's trash,, total garbage by now :sick:
    You have my address so just send it down and I'll dispose of it properly for you :whistle: No need to thank me that's what friends are for ;)
  • Pat I know I can always count on you for the "Mikey" test. :laugh: :lol: :lol:
  • Well, if it spent last weekend in my garage (75 degrees on Saturday), you wouldn't need a ServSafe certification to know to throw it out! I sure hope you live where it's cold...
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Rebecca: The color of the meat sure looks like cured belly to me, at least as much as I can tell over a computer! The amount of liquid can vary per different cures, and I would not be the least bit concerned about this bacon. Rinse off the cure and smoke it up! Also as a fyi only, I have never gone to 150* per Ruhlman. It is my opinion that is way too high a temp for something that you are going to cook up anyways. I smoke only until the bacon gets enough smoke for my taste. Internal temp is irrelevant at this point, imo.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,739
    i honestly think you need to grow up with that particular storage technique, my parents would not have been concerned with 75 degrees. lots of stuff just sat on the stove top :laugh:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    even at 75 degrees, the issue would be yeasts and mold.

    mold would be a flavor issue, if green. the yeast would mean instead of pumpkin soup, i'd have pumpkin beer. :laugh:
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i should go back and delete all my cr^p and just say i agree with what you said. :laugh:

    but then i wouldn't be 'me'. and ..."i gotta be meeee...."

    i agree with you though.
    cook on!

    (i too don't like to take the bacon to 150. i cold smoke it. but when cold smoking is getting finicky, i will hot smoked, just to maybe 120 or so. i do notice a firmer texture in the meat hot versus cold smoke. don't prefer one over the other. that aid, i totally forgot once, and the dome temp was at 400! bacon was fine.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Michelle, I'll soak in tonight and put on some maple powder and let it sit 24 - 48 hours until I get around to smoking it. I've got that ProQ cold smoker and apple dust and may use it.

    Aren't you glad stike is just being stike? :laugh:
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Stike, you are absolutely correct...You gotta be you!!! :laugh: The forum just wouldn't be 'right' without your wit! :laugh:

    Never have been too successful cold smoking down here, but still need to try the dryer hose method, which looks like a winner! We're getting into our cooler weather now, so I'll have to think about giving it another try.

    I will also add, I do miss the never ending refrigeration space the New England winters afford! Mom's porch was the best refrigerator around the holidays! :laugh: :whistle:
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,739
    i had turkey soup that started fizzing once. a beer that would have been good for flu season :laugh:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i remember fishless mentioning keeping the turkey in the garage. brough back some memories.

    we used to keep the turkey in the garage on the running board of my dad's '35 ford. :laugh:
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I like him most in his Elf suit :woohoo:
    a singin' and a swayin'
  • BigABigA Posts: 1,157
    oh geeze not that img again :laugh: :laugh:
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Awwww DOW....Thanks for the reminder! :S I had allllmost managed to 'un-see' that! :pinch: :laugh:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    (ppssst. don't tell anyone, but it wasn't me :whistle:)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • sorry i am late to gettting back i expected to have time this afternoon .. in essence i agree with you ,but i do have a few points to make.
    first .. refridgeration is no garauntee,, we have all throw out rotten smelly meat properly refigerated and well with in the use by date. stuff goes bad even in the fridge . and 35 degrees retards bacterial growth it does not prevent it . you can leave stuff in the freezeer forever but in my experience there is a limit to fridge time. your squash soup will eventually become in edible if not dangerous imho

    over cured may not be unsafe in terms of disease but it surely could be inedible and upset a few tender stomachs ..rebecca entertains and [ i should have asked who she was serving it too] surely she should not serve anything in question to her elderly parents or to "fangs" business associates. throwing it out has to do with more than safety . ."sorry it is too salty but you won't die??
    personal note.. i got food poisoned twice in the last two years. one was a minor annoyance and the other was from salmon at an expensive restaurant .. i thought i was going to die and at the time would have been happier if i did.. i have become a bit more circumspect since then. call me a wuss if you will but it was an experience i hope not to repeat
    as far as outside,. i currently have 12 lbs of brisket soaking ,, the corned beef spice water i am about to change it into and last nights lamb mixed with tonights lamb stir fry in the breeze way and over the holidays he bed of my truck is where i store much of the food .
    why wouldn't be safe? is a whole lot diferrent than i am sure this is safe.

    guess the bottom line is " i will eat a lot of stuff i would not serve to others" hence throw it out when i doubt
  • Whaddayoutalkinabout? It was you. I can think of at least three guys that will attest to that. Well, except for that enhancement thing you seem to have going on.


    Caledon, ON


  • BigABigA Posts: 1,157
    ya dont say! :laugh:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    the only time my meat ever had to be thrown out was when it was 45 degrees in the spare fridge. ugh.
    not fun.

    i think if you really look at it, you'll realize you never had actually smelly meat. meat will overdry, but not go putrid. i was dead serious when i told CWM i had a leftover steak that at the lowest estimation was a 75 days old. meat goes bad if temps are bad. otherwise it just dries out.

    i don't agree on the "too salty" issue. for one, it is somewhat common and utterly fixable. and if she used the amounts in the recipe, no matter how long it sits there, it can't get saltier.

    we'll agree to disagree, perhaps.

    my point was just that way too many people resort to "when in doubt..." and it's usually because they don't understand what they are dealing with. which means they shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

    we had a self-appointed food-cop here a while ago(even said it in a signature: "Food Police" or somthing) for a while. last i remembered, he/she didn't understand the whys and wherefores, just always trotted out "when in doubt..".

    americans are almost literally paranoid about bacteria, the worry is disproportionate to reality

    there are more bacteria ON you than you have cells in your body. there is fecal bacteria on your toothbrush RIGHT NOW, and i guarantee that sucker has been out in the open air at room temps for months.

    but a piece of meat? people run from it screaming.

    just frustrating to see her work be nullified and the "throw it out" warning come up when the risk of safety is nil, and excellent food quality still achievable.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Sorry dude, you're busted.

    I'd recognize that potato anywhere. :unsure:
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,675
    Hey Doc,,, give me a quick hollar on my cell if you can, thanks
  • CrueznCruezn Posts: 317
    I believe Mythbusters busted the fecal matter on the toothbrush myth. That is unless of course you are using it for something other than teeth ;)
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