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Help needed / Bacon from Costco Pork Belly

MickeyMickey Posts: 19,545
Years ago I was given how to smoke Costco pork belly into bacon and store/freeze. I did it and it was great. 
He nor i can remember (go figure). 
It is not using brine. Some spice maybe s&p etc and smoked. 

Salado TX & 30A  FL: Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max when they came out (I'm good for now). 

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Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 36,852
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  • CornfedMACornfedMA Posts: 423
    The Ruhlman recipe is good, but I find it comes out a touch salty. I use this dry brine recipe. Amounts are good for a 5 lb belly. 

    1/2 C salt
    1/2 C brown sugar (I substitute real maple syrup. Gives it a nice flavor)
    1 TBL black pepper
    1 tsp curing salt

    Rub the belly down, wrap it or put in one of those 2.5 gal ziplocks. Put it in the fridge for 6-7 days, flipping every day or 2. Cold smoke for 6-12 hrs with hickory, cherry, maple, apple, etc. 


  • PigBeanUsPigBeanUs Posts: 722
    You can premix as much of the cure as you want, and then dredge the meat in it, all sides. 

    That will give you the right amount of cure. I find it tends to be less salty with the “salt-box” method. 

    It also relieves you of any math, in scaling up (or down) the recipes. 


  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 10,842
    PigBeanUs said:
    You can premix as much of the cure as you want, and then dredge the meat in it, all sides. 

    That will give you the right amount of cure. I find it tends to be less salty with the “salt-box” method. 

    It also relieves you of any math, in scaling up (or down) the recipes. 


    Salt box method?
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • PigBeanUsPigBeanUs Posts: 722
    Just described it

    roll the meat in the salt box (cure)

    whatever sticks is enough
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 10,842
    PigBeanUs said:
    Just described it

    roll the meat in the salt box (cure)

    whatever sticks is enough
    Thanks
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 8,240
    edited June 4
    PigBeanUs said:
    Just described it

    roll the meat in the salt box (cure)

    whatever sticks is enough
    Dumb question, I wanted to try this method ( @Little Steven recommended it too) but couldn't wrap my head around the notion that a slab of wet belly will probably pick up more cure than one that has been patted dry with paper towel, may be I'm over thunking it  :)

    Pink salt is not readily available here, I use Canadian ReadyCure that already contains salt, its label warns not to exceed 20g per kg of meat for dry curing, also suggests 12g per kg for bacon; so I usually go with about 10g per kg since I find bacon too salty in general. That's what I did for the recent MSM, came out just fine for our low salt tolerance.
     
    By the way, do you reuse or discard what's left in the salt box?
    canuckland
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 3,617
    @Canugghead This will last you a long time, they also sell a larger package at a lower $/kg that will last you a lifetime 😂.  I think that I paid 5$ shipping a couple years ago but I ordered other stuff as well so it was well worth it.

    https://www.stuffers.com/collections/meat-cures/products/rcuprague1-stuffers-prague-powder-no-1-454g-35-case



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  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 8,240
    paqman said:
    @Canugghead This will last you a long time, they also sell a larger package at a lower $/kg that will last you a lifetime 😂.  I think that I paid 5$ shipping a couple years ago but I ordered other stuff as well so it was well worth it.

    https://www.stuffers.com/collections/meat-cures/products/rcuprague1-stuffers-prague-powder-no-1-454g-35-case


    Thanks for the link. Here’s the thing, I bought 1 kg of Readycure way back when and have not made a serious dent in it yet; I’m also kind of familiar with it now, old dog would rather avoid new trick  :)
    canuckland
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 36,852
    edited June 4
    PigBeanUs said:
    Just described it

    roll the meat in the salt box (cure)

    whatever sticks is enough
    Dumb question, I wanted to try this method ( @Little Steven recommended it too) but couldn't wrap my head around the notion that a slab of wet belly will probably pick up more cure than one that has been patted dry with paper towel, may be I'm over thunking it  :)

    Pink salt is not readily available here, I use Canadian ReadyCure that already contains salt, its label warns not to exceed 20g per kg of meat for dry curing, also suggests 12g per kg for bacon; so I usually go with about 10g per kg since I find bacon too salty in general. That's what I did for the recent MSM, came out just fine for our low salt tolerance.
     
    By the way, do you reuse or discard what's left in the salt box?

    Health and safety code says you shouldn't keep the cure after you throw raw meat in it.  Biologically speaking, the concentration of nitrite in it will kill anything.  One one hand salt and cure is cheap.  From a practical standpoint, if you picked or sifted out any moist clumps you could reuse it later.

    (just an aside here, but if you put just about anything in a jar of cure, it will be attacked by the salt and nitrites, just try it). 

    That said, however, Clostridium botulinum spores are really hard to kill.  The max allowable nitrite level in cured meats is around 150 ppm and that does not kill spores.  Keeps from from making the toxin tho. But keep in mind the concentration in the cure is many orders of magnitude higher than the meat.

    There is no "water activity" in the cure - nothing will live in it.

    If you want to be sciency about it, weigh your bag and belly, do the salt box thing and bag it up and weight it.  The difference will be the cure.  A quick calculation will tell you if you have around 2-2.5% cure added.  if you are low, throw more on it.  high, remove some.

    (more boring science to ignore by the ahole known as nola...)



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  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 36,852
    math n sh*t that someone did....

    "If making sausage and using Cure 1 you want 156 ppm of nitrite in the final product.  That corresponds to 4 oz for 100 lbs or 1 oz for 25 lbs   (28.35 g per 25 lbs of meat)

    I suggest using weights when appling cures.

    28.35 g cure 1  x  0.0625 x 1,000,000

                      11330 gr                                    =    156 ppm

    Amount of cure   x   the percentage of nitrite in Cure 1 x 1000000 (for parts per million)

                                              weight of the meat in grams                                                             =    concentration of nitrite in parts per million

    for 10 lbs of sausage meat  (4520 grams) how much cure 1 do I add?

    You need 156 ppm, you know the weight of the meat 4520 grams and you know the percentage of nitrite in Cure 1   6.25 %

    Amount of cure  x  0 .0625  X   1000000

                       4520 grams                              =    156

    amout of cure x 0.0625  x 1000000  =  156 x 4520

    amount of cure x 0.0625 x 1000000 = 705120

    amount of cure x 1000000 = 705120/0.0625

    amount of cure x 1000000 =  11,281,920

    amount of cure =  11,281,920 / 1,000,000

    amount of cure =  11.28 grams

    for 4520 grams of meat (10 bs) you use 11.28 grams of cure 1"

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  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 8,240
    PigBeanUs said:
    Just described it

    roll the meat in the salt box (cure)

    whatever sticks is enough
    Dumb question, I wanted to try this method ( @Little Steven recommended it too) but couldn't wrap my head around the notion that a slab of wet belly will probably pick up more cure than one that has been patted dry with paper towel, may be I'm over thunking it  :)

    Pink salt is not readily available here, I use Canadian ReadyCure that already contains salt, its label warns not to exceed 20g per kg of meat for dry curing, also suggests 12g per kg for bacon; so I usually go with about 10g per kg since I find bacon too salty in general. That's what I did for the recent MSM, came out just fine for our low salt tolerance.
     
    By the way, do you reuse or discard what's left in the salt box?
    Here’s another reason I’m hesitant... how does salt box method work for meats of similar footprint that touches the cure but vastly different thickness - eg. 2” belly vs. 3” loin vs. 4” brisket. Guess it’s hard to retrain this old dog  :)
    canuckland
  • PigBeanUsPigBeanUs Posts: 722
    The “old” way to salt box cure was to keep a box of the cure and keep adding to it just like you do a pickle/brine. Getting low, add more. 

    It was done this way as a practical matter. If you are curing a lot of different sized pieces, you really aren’t going to weight them and do math. 

    Dredge one after another. Done. 

    And they didn’t let the stuff sit around for months between uses.

    i can appreciate nola’s enthusiasm with the math here, but no one is making bacon in order to preserve it. Hell, it goes into the fridge the moment it gets the cure added. You *DO* need the nitrite though. Because it changes the meat, physically and re texture. If you leave that out, you have salt pork, not true bacon

    I have a bag of salt and pink salt premixed. I add my sugars in whatever ratio or type (maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses, etc) when I am doing a batch

    so i don’t keep a readymade salt box batch on hand in perpetuity


  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 8,240
    @nolaegghead thanks for the info, have to confess the reuse or discard question was kind of tongue in cheek, considering undiluted cure is like pink gold for me  =)
    swmbo aka health cop would not let me use anything ‘contaminated’.
    canuckland
  • SGHSGH Posts: 27,899
    PigBeanUs said:
    roll the meat in the salt box (cure)

    whatever sticks is enough
    Agree  👍

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 36,852
    The very reason sodium nitrite is sold diluted by salt and not concentrated is to protect the idiot public who generally hates anything math-related from accidentally poisoning themselves.
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  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 36,852
    is that an anus, @SGH?
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  • SGHSGH Posts: 27,899
    is that an anus, @SGH?
    That’s a stuffed bowel 🤪

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

  • SGHSGH Posts: 27,899
    I shouldn’t say things like that on other peoples thread. But I honestly couldn’t resist.  

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 19,545
    SGH said:
    I shouldn’t say things like that on other peoples thread. But I honestly couldn’t resist.  
    BROTHER YOU DO AS YOU WISH ON MY THREAD ANYTIME....

    Salado TX & 30A  FL: Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max when they came out (I'm good for now). 

  • SGHSGH Posts: 27,899
    PigBeanUs said:
    The “old” way to salt box cure was to keep a box of the cure and keep adding to it just like you do a pickle/brine. Getting low, add more. 
    Yep. 

    It was done this way as a practical matter. If you are curing a lot of different sized pieces, you really aren’t going to weight them and do math. 
    Yep. 

    Dredge one after another. Done. 
    Yep. 

    You *DO* need the nitrite though. 
    Agree. 
    Agree 1000%. 

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

  • SGHSGH Posts: 27,899
    edited June 4
    For any of you that do or intend on doing a lot of curing you can get these 50 pound bulk sacks of salt for less than 10 bucks if you shop around. Just thought I would share if anyone is interested. 


    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought, in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 36,852
    SGH said:
    For any of you that do or intend on doing a lot of curing you can get these 50 pound bulk sacks of salt for less than 10 bucks if you shop around. Just thought I would share if anyone is interested. 



    That'll sure save some money as it will cure 1.25 tons of meat.
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  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 36,852
    edited June 4
    *@2% salt

    (rough math for ballpark, beotches)
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  • MickeyMickey Posts: 19,545
    Salado TX & 30A  FL: Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max when they came out (I'm good for now). 

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 19,545

    After maple syrup added
    The vac seal for week in fridge 

    Salado TX & 30A  FL: Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max when they came out (I'm good for now). 

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 19,545
    The sliced pork belly can in about 4lb sliced packages from Costco 
    Salado TX & 30A  FL: Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max when they came out (I'm good for now). 

  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 3,449
    The recipe you are using doesn’t have a ton of salt so maybe fine. But, due to the increased surface area of the sliced pieces, you may need to go heavy on the rinse and soak. Also would recommend doing a test fry piece once you think it has soaked long enough to make sure you are happy with the flavor. 


    Greensboro, NC
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 19,545
    Wolfpack said:
    The recipe you are using doesn’t have a ton of salt so maybe fine. But, due to the increased surface area of the sliced pieces, you may need to go heavy on the rinse and soak. Also would recommend doing a test fry piece once you think it has soaked long enough to make sure you are happy with the flavor. 


    I can see the next time the need to double the recipe. The package had 15 slices and the last 4 were thin. I put those between ones very covered before i vacuum sealed it. Is taste the only problem you can see or something other?  
    Salado TX & 30A  FL: Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max when they came out (I'm good for now). 

  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 3,449
    When I have made bacon it was on a whole belly and the cure largely only hits the top/bottom. As this was sliced pieces you are getting more cure vs the whole belly route. Might be fine, but highly recommend a test fry piece. You can help too salty with extra soak time, but once sliced you are stuck. 

    Learned this lesson the hard way. Still have around 5 lbs of bacon in the freezer that I use in pancetta style adds- it’s way too salty to eat as bacon. So I always test fry a piece now to make sure I’m happy with the flavor. 
    Greensboro, NC
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