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Scratch bacon. Too sweet.

silver00silver00 Posts: 22
edited 5:55PM in EggHead Forum
Bought a couple pounds of pork belly, made a cure of pure maple syrup, brown sugar, and sea salt (basically equal parts).

Cured for 7 days, dried in the fridge for 24 hours and smoked for about 3.5 hours with some hickory chunks until 145 internal (160 for first half, 190 for second half).

It turned out beautiful:


Good texture, color, etc. But I thought it tasted horrible. Waaaayy to sweet. I think I will try Alton's wet cure next.

Does anyone else have a good cure that I can try? I love pepper bacon, and I'm looking for something that is less sweet.


  • I have done the maple syrup and salt cure - no brown sugar. Mine tastes really good with just a touch of sweetness. Maybe the brown sugar was just too much.

    You can always add pepper to the top of your bacon right before smoking or put some cracked pepper in your cure. I have done that with brines and it does add some pepper flavor to the meat.

    Bacon looks really good anyway. Better luck next time.
  • AzScottAzScott Posts: 309
    Next time do 2 parts salt to 1 part sugar. This should be more along the lines of what you are looking for. To give it the pepper go ahead and add 1/2 part pepper or any other seasoning you want.
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Silver: Two parts Kosher salt, 1 part brown sugar or maple sugar. No need to double up with maple syrup. You can get pure maple sugar at Technically the cure should also include pink salts, 2 oz pink salt for every pound (16 oz)of kosher salt, to 8oz sugar. You can add savory flavors as well....kind of experiment with flavors, but the above is your basic cure.
  • Lawn RangerLawn Ranger Posts: 5,466
    You guys have got me itching to make bacon. Gonna clear my plate and do some soon. Very nice job.

  • Thanks for the help guys. I'm going to re-up and try again this weekend.

    Lawn Ranger, I think I need to talk to you about a handle or two. :-)
  • I just tried Daves bacon and it was wonderful. Not too sweet. Loved it. Thanks Dave.
  • LC,

    Are all pink salts created equal, or do you prefer one over the other? I'm seeing them from a few different sources.

    UPDATE: I think I've answered my own curing salts are not the same thing as, say, Himalayan or Hawaiian pink salt, the former containing nitrates and simply dyed, the latter being colored naturally and used for seasoning. Or am I all wet again?
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    Dave is a MASTER! ;)
  • Not sure if I am the Dave you are referring to, but you are very welcome. I am glad you enjoyed the bacon, no matter which Dave you meant. :lol: :lol: :lol:
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    You are absolutely correct. Pink salts No 1 (aka Prague Powder) contain nitrates, and is artifically colored true 'pink' so there is never any mix up. There is also Salt Petre, but it can be very dangerous if not measured correctly. Prague powder is much more forgiving.
    Himalayan, etc, that is of a natural pink color, is a whole different thing, based on minerals and such that occur naturally in that salt region.
  • Thanks, LC. From what I've read, you can't even buy the nitrates/nitrites unmixed anymore given how dangerous they can be if mixed too richly with the salt.

    My Ruhlman's is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow, and I'm excited to get started on my first cure. I'm relieved to know that my pink salts A - aren't going to cost an arm and a leg, as I initially thought and B - are going to be killing the bacteria they are supposed to.

    I might get some Himalayan pink salt anyway...I'm intrigued at all the varieties there are and want to give them each a taste.

    Again, thanks.
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