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Bacon Bummer

rustypottsrustypotts Posts: 265
My first foray into bacon curing was not up to my expectations.  It is too salty.  It taste more like country ham than bacon.  All is not lost as this stuff will be great as salt pork used in cooking.  My problem is that I have to figure out where I went wrong.  I did cure it for 9 days.  It never looked "cured" to me so I kept it curing.  I even soaked it for a couple of hours before I smoked it.  I cold smoked it for 6 hrs or so with the amazin smoker and that seemed to turn out well. 

Comments

  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Wish I could help...my first batch is coming out later this week.  One thing I read was if a soak wasn't enough then to blanch it.  Did you try that?
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • billybonbillybon Posts: 181
    Before you give up on your bacon, rinse and soak it again in water.  Dry the soaked slices with a paper towel and then fry as usual. You will lose some of the flavor but you should get rid of the excess salt. It will still be better than store bought.
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590

    Likely too long in cure, but doing as other suggested should work. I think it depends some on the belly itself too. My last two were both 5 pound pieces (10 lb cut in half). One half was more salty that the other.

    I am out of my 10 lbs now so about to go another round. Ate store bought bacon this weekend, and I will never buy it again if possible. There is absolutely not comparison in flavor.

    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    @chubbs...sorry to squat on the thread but I did mine in 2 lbs slabs.  Do you think they will cure quicker?  Juices are definitely in the bag and I have been flipping every other day since Wednesday of last week.  I just want to make sure I don't leave them in too long.
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • billybonbillybon Posts: 181
    r270ba said:
    @chubbs...sorry to squat on the thread but I did mine in 2 lbs slabs.  Do you think they will cure quicker?  Juices are definitely in the bag and I have been flipping every other day since Wednesday of last week.  I just want to make sure I don't leave them in too long.
    The thickness of the slab, rather than the length and width, with have the major impact on curing speed. For convenience, I cut my bellies into pieces about 3 pounds each.  I generally dry cure for 7 to 10 days.
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Thanks @billybon!  Can't wait to pull these suckers off in a couple of days!
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • makismakis Posts: 79
    I have been into curing for three weeks now and I love the new hobby!

    i have come to realise that if you do an 'equilibrium Cure" then it is impossible to "overcure"any piece of meat.
    Last bunch was 7lb of Maple cured and & 7lb cured with pepper corns. Both were only rinsed after curing for 9 days and after smoking they are great. i dare to say that the pepper ones are nutral in saltiness. The only affect curing for a long time will have on a piece of meat is to make it very very firm.

    I tend to believe that your scale might have a problem or it was the meat itself! any how the good thing is that you will try again....After all bacon makes everything better !!
    and-the-seventh-day-bacon-fsm-heaven-god-adam-demotivational-posters-1343121485.jpg
    640 x 438 - 67K
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,173
    You can blanch it to remove the excess salt. When soaking after the cure make sure to change the cold water about 2-3 times every 20-30 mins.
  • rustypottsrustypotts Posts: 265
    I'll do the rinse or blanch thing.  I have already cut it up in 1/2 inch slices so it will be a bear to slice thin, but I'll give it a try to see how it comes out.  I've got to figure out what to do different on the next batch.  My pork belly was not real thick so I thought it might be ready in 6 days but after six days it just didnt look that "cured" to me.  I obviously don't know what I'm looking for.  Maybe I can find a You Tube video or something showing how much cure to put on it. 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,131
    I don't bother putting the cure on the ends, just on the flat sides.  it cures more evenly that way.  I weighed out just enough cure mix to do the weight I had, then rubbed all of it on the flat sides of the belly.  I then used a foodsaver bag to seal it up.  Turned it over once a day, but very little moisture came out of it.  Turned out less salty than commercial bacon and completely delicious.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    makis said:

    I have been into curing for three weeks now and I love the new hobby!


    i have come to realise that if you do an 'equilibrium Cure" then it is impossible to "overcure"any piece of meat.
    Last bunch was 7lb of Maple cured and & 7lb cured with pepper corns. Both were only rinsed after curing for 9 days and after smoking they are great. i dare to say that the pepper ones are nutral in saltiness. The only affect curing for a long time will have on a piece of meat is to make it very very firm.

    I tend to believe that your scale might have a problem or it was the meat itself! any how the good thing is that you will try again....After all bacon makes everything better !!
    Exactly....stop getting too salty cured bacon--
    http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2013/02/equilibrium-cure-vs-excess-salt-cure.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/qBJhl+(Cured+Meats)&m=1
  • 500500 Posts: 1,209
    I've yet to start my first belly cure, so take my advice with a grain of salt.  Get it, salt.  But, in doing research I found this site to be helpful in deciding proper amounts.  Lots of info here;
    http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/sausage-making/curing
    Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
    I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
    "Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."
  • rustypottsrustypotts Posts: 265
    I have been into curing for three weeks now and I love the new hobby!

    i have come to realise that if you do an 'equilibrium Cure" then it is impossible to "overcure"any piece of meat.
    Last bunch was 7lb of Maple cured and & 7lb cured with pepper corns. Both were only rinsed after curing for 9 days and after smoking they are great. i dare to say that the pepper ones are nutral in saltiness. The only affect curing for a long time will have on a piece of meat is to make it very very firm.

    I tend to believe that your scale might have a problem or it was the meat itself! any how the good thing is that you will try again....After all bacon makes everything better !!
    Exactly....stop getting too salty cured bacon-- http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/2013/02/equilibrium-cure-vs-excess-salt-cure.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/qBJhl+(Cured+Meats)&m=1
    I read this page with all the responses.  These are a few thoughts:
    My belly was a thin one but was very lean.  The lean absorbs more salt than the fat.
    I surely let it cure too long, but The belly was not really firm and I couldn't really see the "red" color.  It was probably just the color of the meat and being so thin it didn't seem firm.  That refrigerator seem cold.  I need to check the temp.  It might have been too cold.

    The rule says use 2.5 to 3.5 percert salt to weight.  I am assuming that this is the salt/nitrite mixture. 

    Quin......what ratio of nitrite to salt do you use?  There were 2 in the book.
  • NDGNDG Posts: 857
    @nolaegghead  . . i see you used a foodsaver bag for your cure.  That same approach crossed my mind, but I was concerned about how the liquid would distribute in such a tight sealed bag.  Have you compared a Ziplock cure vrs a Foodsaver cure?  Thanks.

    ALSO, I still cant get my damn AMS smoker burning consistently without re-lighting every couple hours.  I have tons of pellets and didnt have any luck "crushing" them to mimic the sawdust (most people say this works better).  I love charcuterie, but the cold smoking part is making it such a hassle!  Anybody have any new suggestions?  
    Columbus, Ohio
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,131
    @NDG  The liquid distribution in is better in a foodsaver bag than a ziploc, at least for me, because I can seal it up with zero headspace and I can't achieve that with a ziploc.  Maybe it's because the Duroc belly I used had more fat than average or because I used less salt, I didn't get much free liquid at all, so I don't think it really mattered that much.  However, the foodsaver bag did a good job keeping the solid cure mix in contact evenly with the belly.

    Have you tried drying out the pellets you're using in the AMS in an oven first?  Is it getting enough air flow?  Maybe try mixing up some crushed up lump with the pellets.  I'm just guessing here.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • NDGNDG Posts: 857
    @nolaegghead . . . thanks for the response and I will try a foodsaver for a small 2lb slab of bacon belly I just purchased.  

    As for the AMS, i tried putting the whole unit (stainless steel AMS unit already stuffed with pellets) in the over for 30 minutes, but perhaps I should spread the pellets out on a baking pan to dry?  I currently keep them in my shed, so maybe they are absorbing some moisture.  Also, I just thought of something . . . could I plug in my DIGIQ to improve air flow when using the AMS?
    Columbus, Ohio
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,131
    @NDG   Wouldn't hurt to try the DigiQ.

    I use the expandable foodsaver rolls for big stuff.  No problem fitting a 11.7 pound belly in one bag.  http://www.foodsaver.com/product.aspx?pid=12843


    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • billyraybillyray Posts: 1,116
    I keep my pellets in the bag in a sealed plastic tub. Fill the AMS to the max and light through the small hole in the end with my Mapp torch until I get a good flame. Let it burn for 5 to 10 minutes or so and blow it out. Place in my large with the vents wide open and the top off. I've never had one session go out. If you are doing the same, it sounds like a moisture problem FWIW.
    Felton, Ca. 2-LBGE, 1-Small and waiting on a mini
  • 500500 Posts: 1,209
    To get sawdust, you have to saw the wood.  I picked up two sticks of hickory from a local barbeque joint, and cut them in 1 inch chunks with my table saw.  I saved all the hickory sawdust from this and put it in lunch bags.  I figured I could just dump the dust on the Egg for some quick hickory smoke, but now I think I'll save them for the bacon smoke.  Worth a shot.
    Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
    I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
    "Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."
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