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Bacon Curing Question

Buckeye FanBuckeye Fan Posts: 50
edited 5:57PM in EggHead Forum
Hey fellow Egger's, I just started a cure yesterday on about 6 pounds of pork belly for bacon. I used coarse kosher salt, brown sugar, maple syrup and black pepper. I just read about Morton Tender Quick here on the forum. I bought the Tender Quick this morning, should add this to the cure I started yesterday or just leave it as is this time? Does it make a big difference to the cured product?

As always, this is such a great site I have learned a ton about my Egg and made some fine meals on it.




  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Hopefully someone with more knowledge than I will chime in for ya...
    I have used Thirdeye's Tenderquick cure which is basically the TQ mixed with brown sugar and a little black pepper. It works very well. Alot of folks use either "Hi Mtn" buckboard cure or a mixture including "Pink Salt". All of these 3 contain nitrites/nitrates as a curing agent.
    I think using salt primarly will work but not sure.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Nitrite physically chNges the texture of the meet and adds a sharpness that salt alone cannot.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Buckeye FanBuckeye Fan Posts: 50
    Stike, I have read many of your posts great stuff. I just don't know if I should add it to the cure I started yesterday. If I add it to the Kosher salt I used will it make it too salty? Or does it give the meat a better quality or taste in the end product? What do you think?

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Tenderquick is a premixed cure, like all the himountain cures.
    But TQ is a flavorless base. It's what CURES the meat, but it's added to for flavor (maple, pepper, etc)

    It is salt (in large amounts), sugar in large amount, a small amount or nitrite (for curing like you are doing, in the fridge for a week), and a little nitrate for longer dry curing. If you used it all by itself you'd have sweet, salty, cured meat. No maple, etc

    Himountain is essentially the same thing, but the added flavors are the difference and don't contribute to the cure. Think of hi mountain like a cake mix. Everything you need in a box.

    Problem is, if you add TQ for its nitrite (which is what we are used to in cured bacon) you will be adding extra salt and sugar To the salt and sugar you already included

    Better this time to let it ride I suppose. Salt does effect a cure of sorts, it's just a different cure. The meat will firm up (salt draws the water out), and of course it will be salty. It just won't be quite the same as what you may be used to. And you may not even notice it, to be truthful

    Best thing to do if you like curing is to skip the prepackaged cures and buy the nitrite in the form of pink salts (called DQ#1, among other things). Then mix it with you own kosher salt, sugars, and flavorants.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Buckeye FanBuckeye Fan Posts: 50
    Stike your observations a much appreciated from a fellow Egg Guy

  • TurkTurk Posts: 114
    strik, where do you get the pink salt?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • JeffersonianJeffersonian Posts: 4,244
    What about just adding the pink salt at this point? It won't cause it to be that much saltier.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    that would be fine. he just doesn't have any
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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