making bacon wtih cure or rub
bromeat last edited by
had friend give me a pork belly. was wondering which method is better brining or rub for flavor? I never did bacon before want too try something new.
I just completed curing two pork bellies into bacon using the injection method described here by Walton’s. You mix Walton’s Maple flavored bacon cure, bacon enhancer, and water. Inject into the bellies and then cover the bellies overnight with a diluted solution of the cure. Next morning, smoke for four hours using apple wood. Let the bellies bloom for an hour or two, then freeze. When almost frozen I sliced them up with my food slicer, packaged into vacuum bags, labeled, and back to the freezer. My recovery of finished bacon was about 77% of the green weight of the two bellies.
As compared to rubbing the pork with a dry rub, injection is days faster. Dry rub requires refrigeration of the bellies for five or six days, turning the pork daily. The bacon produced by injection–do the math to get the amount of cure and water correct for the weight of your pork–is excellent. It has a mild maple smoked flavor that my family likes much better than the sometimes salty taste of rubbed bacon.
The biggest factor, especially this time of year, is that my wife will tolerate my take-over of part of her refrigerator for a day, but if I loaded two meat lugs full of pork bellies in to the refer for a week, I’d hear about it. Can’t screw up her Holiday cooking plans. Just a word to the wise; happy wife, happy life.
Bacon Taste Booster is something that is made to help fight off rancidity in the cooler and to help impart the old world taste with modern methods, like injecting. Now, it is most effective when you are tumbling as generally after tumbling you go right to the smoker instead of holding overnight but it can be used when injecting and holding overnight. So you might want to consider adding some if you inject, I add it when I inject and I do think that it adds something nice to the bacon!
Here is a link to a website that has a handy Excel spreadsheet. It is, as it says a free non-commercial site.
As for Waltons dropping the ball, I vote they are doing a great job.
I think for all of us there are general guidelines, but unless you have a temperature and humidity controlled environment, both for the preparation, cooking (if you cook them) smoking, hanging etc, the results are bound to vary from batch to batch.
Personally, I am searching how to get my home made smoked and dry cured pepperoni to the exact texture and firmness of Margarita pepperoni from the store.
Through trial and error I have the flavor where I want it, but not the texture or firmness. I know time, temperature and humidity are all crucial, but the best I can do is in the basement and then subject to the environment that is there.
I figure as long as I am not killing anyone or making anyone sick I am making progress. Thanks Waltons for all of the great information so far.
Having said that, it would be nice to have your chart in an Excel spreadsheet.
Thanks Jonathon! One question tho! You eluded to 178 being high for a temp! Don’t you guys recommend setting the temp at 175 during the final stage to completion to internal temp? Three degrees shouldn’t make that much difference should it??
Sounds reasonable. Thanks for your input. Pulling the meat at 152 will make a big difference I bet! Thanks again.
@Kinger Thanks for the information. Your process, other than going to 178, is on in my mind. The only thing I do differently is an ice bath for 20 minutes. Showering for 10 minutes, if you are running a cycle and a fan in your smoker can work, but I still think an ice bath would bring it down faster and more. Last time I did thick summer sausage it was down to 110 in 20 minutes, I also tried showering it at 2 minutes on 2 minutes off for 20 minutes and it was only down to 136 (ish) but i did not have a fan running on them.
One more thing you might want to try, if you are stalled towards the end you can finish them up by putting them in a vacuum bag (I have done then hot, right from the smoker, some condensation in the bag but it still gets a good vac) and get some water going at around 165, it should get up to temp in under an hour depending on the thickness.
@Newbe There might be some breaking down of the meat but this shouldnt cause you too many issues. I have bought pork butts fresh, then froze them then processed and froze the product again. The taste might not be the BEST possible but it certainly wont be bad.
@vjbutler no problem let us know