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Bacon bacon bacon

So I am ordering my first belly today ready for pickup tomorrow or Friday. Belly is e/pensive at $4.89 a pound but is coming from my butcher so I know it will be a quality piece of meat. As posted yesterday I ordered an amaze-n-smoker and should have it next week for a cold smoke of the bacon (after seeing CTs review on cold smoke). Question for me is can you cure without nitrates & nitrites? What cure recipes do you guys have? Excited for the pork fest of 10lbvs of bacon next week.


  • You can cure without nitrites but IMHO you won't be happy with the results. Nitrites are what gives the meat it's colour and adds the flavour, making it bacon as opposed to a fatty piece of pork.. Using salt only will give you a brownish gray finished meat. If it is health you are concerned about, consider this. You would be using 2 teaspoons of pink salt for the 10 lbs of pork you mentioned. 93.5% of the pink salt is just regular salt. 6.5% nitrite. Unless you are eating processed meat all the time and then consume 5 lbs of your bacon at 1 sitting, there is very little if any health risk. If you are from south of the 49th parallell, curing salt is fairly easy to come by.
    I know the voices aren't real, but man, do they ever come up with some great ideas.
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,347
    edited December 2012
    I also post this on the cold smoking thread. I am sure others will chime in. Ruhlman says you can but it effects color. I looked it up on his blog I saw it last night when I was looking at panchetta. I have his book which I reccomend but I haven't read to much in it yet. $4.89 a pound is good. It will be the best bacon you have ever had. Also it may be less than 8 or 9 $/pound premise bacon or be the same price but in the end it's a fun adventure.

    Here is the link
  • hmmm... I hear ya on the health aspect. So where do I find the recipes for curing?

    Try this site. There is a ton of info on this sight or you can Google "Home cured bacon" or U_tarded's link above. 
    I know the voices aren't real, but man, do they ever come up with some great ideas.
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