Bacon far to salty.

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Bacon far to salty.

Post by markjass » Fri Aug 03, 2012 01:16

I bought a 2 pound piece of pork belly with skin on. Using the suggestions I used a 60% SAL cure (rind on for bacon). I wet cured it for five days. Washed and soaked the pork for an hour. Dried it at 50 degrees C for 1 1/2 hours and then cold smoked it for 3 hours. I then baked it in the oven at 55 degrees after 3 hours I realized that it was not going to reach an internal temperature of 55 degrees C (132 F). I then turned the oven up to 100 degrees C for a further 2 hours (5 hours in total) until it reached 55 degrees C internal temperature. It looked good, smelt good, but way, way to salty for me.

Should I cut down on the brineing time to about 3 days?
Should I cut down to a 50 or 40 SAL and cure for the same length 5 days?

Anyone have any suggestions
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Post by Butterbean » Fri Aug 03, 2012 01:55

I did some in a 3 day 70 brine and it was really nice.
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Post by JerBear » Fri Aug 03, 2012 02:49

I'd say reduce the time but leave the percentage as is. Also, I soaked my pieces for two hours twice before proceeding.
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Post by ssorllih » Fri Aug 03, 2012 03:03

One of the concerns that I have with brine curing bacon is the large number of variables involved. The thickness, the width, the length, the fat lean ratio. Then we have brine strength and cure times. If we go with dry curing we can apply a know percentage of salt, sugar and cure#1 and any spice. Time is still a variable but extended times won't result in too much curing and too much salt. We all agre that 1.25 to 2 % salt in our meat is about right but I can't figure out how to determine that with brine curing.
For dealing with simple shapes of meat dry curing seems practical for me for whole poultry brine curing makes good sense.
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Post by markjass » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:47

Thanks for your comments. Hearing success stories and other peoples ideas spur's me on. I decided to use a wet brine for bacon after using info from this site and their book to wet cure, smoke and poach a part shoulder (a boiled ham is what I grew up with). This was stunningly lovely. I understand the fewer the variables the more consistent the results will be. However, I will give the 60 SAL wet cure another go, I will reduce the length of brineing and may be the 5 hour time in the oven by increasing the temperature to about 100 degrees rather than start it low and increase. I do not know if the 5 hr baking resulted in the increase in saltiness due to water evaporation.

If this does not work or another time I will try to dry cure the bacon. Any other comments are welcome.

Thank you
Mark
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Post by markjass » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:59

Great blog JerBear. Thanks for the link.
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Post by Butterbean » Fri Aug 03, 2012 14:12

Another thing you could consider doing is to do a test of the bacon.

This is how I did it. I had a barrel full of hams I was curing for "city hams" and I noticed I had some extra room in the barrel so I tossed some bellies in there as well. After three days I pulled one belly out and sliced a few pieces off it and rinsed them and tossed them in the frying pan. I found them to be spot on so then just pulled all but a few of the bellies out and and rinsed and smoked them. I did the other bellies a day or so later and they were good but saltier than my wife likes.

Personally, I'm beginning to lean more toward brining stuff because I have found its much easier for me to test the flavor and saltiness when I'm messing with a brine and this simple test gives you a good approximation of what the end product is going to taste like. I'll admit it does sound too simple to be effective but it does work well for me. Oh, and I did the same to the hams and pulled them earlier than recommended and they were perfect.
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Post by Cabonaia » Fri Aug 03, 2012 15:34

I've had trouble with over saltiness in dry cured bacon, which is the only kind of bacon I've done. The solution for me has also been to taste test, and if it is too salty, soak for an hour or two. This has worked well. I've done this both before and after smoking, usually after. Has not harmed the smoked flavor at all, which I was worried about at first.
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Post by JerBear » Fri Aug 03, 2012 17:08

markjass wrote:Great blog JerBear. Thanks for the link.
Thanks!
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Post by Baconologist » Sun Aug 05, 2012 02:23

Research equilibrium brining, it eliminates the over-salting problem.
Godspeed!

Bob
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Post by JerBear » Sun Aug 05, 2012 05:32

I was actually thinking about giving that a shot myself but I get the impression it takes longer.
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Post by markjass » Sun Aug 05, 2012 07:49

Thanks Bob, just done a quick look. Sounds interesting, looks like I will have a good time searching on line.

Thanks

Mark
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Post by markjass » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:59

I have been thinking while I am making a cold smoker chamber out of a couple of terracotta pots. The logic behind equilibrium brineing is logical. The osmolatic process means that at some point the salt content of the brine will equal that of the meat. However, as there is no cure #1 in the meat would the osmotic pump drive a very high degree of cure into the meat? Now if you worked out how much cure and how much salt you wanted in the meat and then made a brine out of this ratio would all be well? I am not sure.

The big question is will osmosis equalize and how long would it take?
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Post by markjass » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:10

Found a good local butcher who specialises in NZ free range pork, organic lamb and beef. I tried his bacon and loved it. He dry cures his bacon. His prices are not cheap, but the quality of the meat is fantastic. Any way to cut a long story short I bought a 1.3 kg boned loin of port (will use the bones to make stock). I followed the suggestions on this site to dry cure the pork. It is skin on. I am four hours into the process and surprised at the amount of liquid that has come out of the pork. I assume that this will slow down. When I spoke to the butchers trainees he suggested curing it for about 5 days. He was young and a bit shy, but was very keen to help. What do you people recon about 5 days. I will taste test it on Sunday morning. This is 3 1/2 days down the track.

From the book: Dry Mix for 1kg of Bacon using cure #1 for 1 kg of bacon
3% salt = 30g
Cure #1 =2.88g (I have a set of scales that measures 0.01g increments)
I wanted to add sugar, I looked at other sites and they suggested from 2 tablespoons to 200g. I went with 50 grams (any thoughts).

I then broke out my calculator and worked out how much of everything I would need for 1.3 kg.

I will use manuka to smoke it. Manuka is an amazing NZ shrub. The honey made by bees from it is lovely and many claim that it is therapeutic, the early European settlers made tea from the leaves. Hence its common name Tee tree. Foods from Cheese thru lamb and salmon and bacon are smoked in manka. It is also a very effective antiseptic. Fortunately it is very common, grows grows quickly and is sustainably harvested. It is also a very important part of forest regeneration and is very iconic.

Ps. will continue my research on equalibrum curing.
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Post by Baconologist » Thu Aug 09, 2012 21:34

markjass wrote: From the book: Dry Mix for 1kg of Bacon using cure #1 for 1 kg of bacon
3% salt = 30g
Cure #1 =2.88g (I have a set of scales that measures 0.01g increments)
I wanted to add sugar, I looked at other sites and they suggested from 2 tablespoons to 200g. I went with 50 grams (any thoughts).
Salt content is a bit high IMHO, over 3%, I use no more than 2.5%, the level of sugar is also a matter of personal preference. I don't like my bacon very sweet.

Please let us know how it works out for you.
Godspeed!

Bob
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