Bacon mistake Instacure #2 used instead of Instacure #1


  • Good morning, I am making home made bacon from a pork belly. I used 1 teaspoon of instacure #2 per 5 lbs of meat in my dry rub. After 48 hours of brining the belly, I discovered through research that I should have used Instacure #1 for bacon and Instacure #2 is for dry curing such as salami etc. I immediately removed my pork belly from the refrigerator and rinsed the dry cure from the belly. I made a new dry rub just using salt and sugar and no pink cure at all. I am planning to stop brining the belly on Saturday which is day 6 of brining and smoking on Sunday. If I hot smoke this belly after 6 days in the brine will it be safe to eat after being exposed to the instacure #2 for two days? Thanks for any help.

  • Regular Contributors

    Robertdochler said in Bacon mistake Instacure #2 used instead of Instacure #1:

    Good morning, I am making home made bacon from a pork belly. I used 1 teaspoon of instacure #2 per 5 lbs of meat in my dry rub. After 48 hours of brining the belly, I discovered through research that I should have used Instacure #1 for bacon and Instacure #2 is for dry curing such as salami etc. I immediately removed my pork belly from the refrigerator and rinsed the dry cure from the belly. I made a new dry rub just using salt and sugar and no pink cure at all. I am planning to stop brining the belly on Saturday which is day 6 of brining and smoking on Sunday. If I hot smoke this belly after 6 days in the brine will it be safe to eat after being exposed to the instacure #2 for two days? Thanks for any help.

    Cure #1 and Cure # 2 are very close in composition with one exception, Cure # 2 also has additional Sodium nitrate.

    I would expect you obtained at least partial curing of the belly in the first couple of days in the Cure #2 rub.
    My only concern would be whether you exceeded the permissible levels of total sodium nitrite with the second addition of Cure # 1 rub.
    Some one else may have some input on that potential issue.

    Cure #1 and Cure #2 Composition

    Cure No.1
    Salt 94%
    Preservative: E250 6% (Sodium Nitrite)

    Cure No.2
    Salt 90.7%
    Preservatives: E250 (5.7%) (Sodium Nitrite), E251 (3.6%) (Sodium Nitrate)


  • Paul thank you for the response. To clarify, after rinsing, I made a new rub of salt and brown sugar with a little black pepper and did NOT include any Instacure #1.

  • Regular Contributors

    Robertdochler said in Bacon mistake Instacure #2 used instead of Instacure #1:

    Paul thank you for the response. To clarify, after rinsing, I made a new rub of salt and brown sugar with a little black pepper and did NOT include any Instacure #1.

    Ok, my mistake. I misread your original post.
    I would proceed with curing a few more days under refrigeration and smoke as usual. I think you should be fine IMO.


  • Thank you and I feel much better now. I was not wanting to throw out all that pork belly. Much appreciated.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Robertdochler Yeah, luckily #2 has both to allow for fast and slow curing power. I’d say if this was a commercial application it would need to be tossed but for home use it should be fine. This might seem like an odd tip but don’t make the bacon too crispy. Since you won’t know the ingoing ppm of nitrate just be safe and don’t make it too crispy. High levels of nitrate in meat that has been burnt can be a carcinogen. But, you should be fine as long as you don’t make it too charred, the charring of the meat with high levels of nitrate is the problem and I BELIEVE (could be wrong) that it is the only proven time nitrate becomes a carcinogen.


  • Thank you for the reply and thankfully I don’t like my bacon charred. I will keep it pliable. Pleased I do not have to waste this pork belly.

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