Debating on bacon and ham options


  • I have been going back and forth on which cures to order for my hams (6 roughly 10 lb hams) and bacon. Store-bought-wise on bacon, I don’t care for really strong maple or sweet flavors. Just a good solid smoked flavor and what I would call a traditional bacon flavor. I was thinking about getting some of the dry bacon rub and maybe the blue ribbon maple, because I read that the maple is pretty subtle on it, just to try. But I am curious about first hand accounts on the two. Also, is the bacon taste booster really a necessary thing?
    For hams, we absolutely love ham. Every year for Christmas my mom buys us two Kretschmar hams and they never make it to the next December. Flavor wise, it depends on what we are using it for. For sandwiches, I like some sweetness. For breakfast, I prefer just a smoky ham. What do you recommend? Also, is the California ham spice worth it?
    Thank you for the help.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Big Green Egg Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Canning Power User

    chrispbrown27 I have used both bacon seasonings and enjoyed them both. I don’t remember a strong maple or sweet flavors. I have two bellies getting ready for this weekend. The bacon taste booster helps give/bring out the flavor closer to old style bacon, but also helps reduce the chance of rancidity.

    As for the hams I haven’t made them w/o the California Ham Spice and my hams have always turned out great. Just make sure you get enough cure throughout and deep inside the muscles.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    chrispbrown27 The Bacon Taste Booster is an additive people can use to use modern curing techniques (injecting and tumbling) and get old world flavors, like Dry-Rubbing. California Ham Spice is absolutely worth it, the ham cure doesn’t have much taste without it in my opinion.


  • What are your experiences with the Dry bacon rub? Does the flavor penetrate as deeply as with injection/brining?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    chrispbrown27 Yeah, it just take a good amount of time. Normally when I am doing something I want to be able to go to the smoker right away if possible or 1-2 days at the most, so I normally use an inject and then hold in 50% overnight or 24 hours add some Bacon Taste Booster (depending on size of belly and if I want it salty) and Dry Rubbing is one of those things you just cant speed up. It is osmosis so it has to slowly penetrate the cell walls of the meat and be drawn in further and further.


  • So you add the taste booster after the injection/brining?
    I am fairly patient so the dry rub probably won’t both me much. Thank you for the help.


  • One more question, I see the tutorial in making whole bone-in ham, is there anything different in making boneless hams?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    chrispbrown27 No, if you were to add it during dry rub then you’d add it when you rub the outside, sort of mix it in with your seasoning. Now, I used to tell people only to use it when you are injecting bacon BUT I then used it on Imitation Bacon and it was excellent, so then I added it to bacon flavored snack sticks and again it was excellent, so who knows? But, in all seriousness I probably wouldn’t add it. Dry Rubbed Bacon doesn’t need it.

    chrispbrown27 Are you removing the bone? If so be really really careful with sterilizing everything that is around while you are doing it. Other than that no, not anything different, it might cure a few days faster since it will be able to penetrate where the bone was easier but that’d be too hard to reliably figure, so stick to same schedule.


  • Explain to me what you mean with the sterilization?

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors

    i think that Jon is saying is to make sure that all of your surfaces are sanitized because you are opening up the meat to bacteria when removing the bone as in ground meat or anything restructured and with the cure process time with the ham sanitizing is very important


  • Placed my order this morning. I went with the dry rub, sweeter than sweet, bacon taste booster and some California ham spice, along with Suregel, sodium erythorbate, and finally cold phosphate. Thank you all for the help.

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