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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Curing Bacon

Time to cure some of my homegrown bacon....

The first slab is getting a dry cure.
I used...
1 TBS of Tenderquick PER pound of bacon mixed with
1 tsp of the sugar PER pound of bacon..
1 1/2 tsp of cayenne
1 TBS of garlic powder
1 TBS of onion powder
1 TBS of cracked black pepper

I mix the spices well.....

Rub the cure into the meat on both sides...making sure I get the edges too. Then I pick up the bacon slab and shake off any excess.....

This second slab of bacon is getting a simple cure of Tenderquick, turbinado sugar and black pepper.... I use..
1 TBS of tenderquick PER pound of bacon
1 tsp of sugar PER pound of bacon and
1 single TBS of cracked black pepper

After rubbing the slabs with cure and shaking off any excess, I tightly wrap each one separately in plastic wrap...removing any air bubbles. I place the bacon in a container to catch any drips. Then set into my fridge for the next 6 to 7 days to cure.

For my loin or canadian bacon, I am using a brine cure...
I am using tenderquick/water brine with...
10 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion, sliced
1 TBS of red pepper flakes
1 TBS of black peppercorns
and 1TBS of dried basil

I clean most of the fat from the back loin...

I disolve the tenderquick into the water and add the remaining ingredients...and the loins
Make sure they will stay submerged... then cover and place them into my fridge to cure for about 6 to 7 days.

Hopefully, I will post the results in a week or so. :)

Making Bacon Part 2

Smoking The Bacon Part 3


Mike said...

Looks good Jeanie! How big are those loins? I'm curing a ham for the first time using a similar brine and I'm wondering on the timing.

cowgirl said...

Hi Mike!
One loin weighs 4.42oz and the other is 4.75oz. I did not inject these, I will probably check them at day 5 and see how it's going.

Hope you have good luck with your ham! :)

Mike said...

nice. I have a 9 pound-ish ham in the brine right now, been two weeks this weekend, I figure based on what I've read it's close to being done but I'm not sure. How do you tell for sure? The other question I have is the color. Does the tenderquick give it the regular pink color like other cures would? When I checked mine this weekend I didn't notice any significant change in color, other than where the pyrex pie plate I had holding it up the water was touching it. That part was nice pink like you'd expect, but the rest just looked like it did before it went in the brine.

Thanks again!

cowgirl said...

Hi Mike!
It sounds like your ham might be doing alright. The pink color from the Tenderquick and will show up more when you cook it. You could slice off a piece, soak it in fresh water for awhile, then fry it for taste.
Let me know how it goes...good luck with it!

Bentley said...

Thanks for the link Cowgril, looking forward to trying your method on the other half of my bellie. My way did not work to well!

cowgirl said...

You're sure welcome Bentley, I hope it turns out well for you.
I do like to experiment with different seasonings on my bacon.

good luck! :)

JunkerJunk said...

Jean, you will be proud of me! Ever since reading your how-to on bacon I have wanted to do it, and finally did. I wrote about it, check it out sometime when yer bored (doubt THAT happens much!)Link below. Thanks a bunch!


cowgirl said...

Way to go Marty, that is great!! I will check out your blog.
I was proud of you anyway. :)

Tristan&Beth said...

Hey there My pigs are about ready to slaughter but im in HGonduras and I havent been able to find the tenderquick (or prague #1) are these items necessary, or can i get by without?


cowgirl said...

Hi Tristan!
I've only used TQ and prague.

Here is a recipe from one of my fiends. (I have not tried it) Hope this helps! Let me know if you try it!


"this does 100 lbs of pork. just downsize it for what you have.
5 gal water
2 oz salt peter
2 lbs brown sugar
enough salt to make an egg float( 20 %) note: the orig. calls for 8 lbs. its great this way but i cant have that much salt."

mix water and salt( the egg test) then all the others.bring to boil,stirring to dissolve.
let cool
pack the meat in clean plastic pails and pour brine over.
keep at 34 f turning meat every 2 days
bacon takes 2 days per pound; a 6 lbs loin= 12 days in the brine.

Anonymous said...

hey cowgirl ..... how's it going ..... a couple of comments and a question for you ..... my g/f both loves and hates you { joke about hate } ..... she loves the bacon but hates that i want to build a smokehouse .... to bad for her ..... going to do it anyhow ..... my qeustion is about adding a maple flavoring to my bacon .... when do i add it and what types of flavorings should i use ...... again thanks oodles and oodels for all your wounderful recipies ...... steve

cowgirl said...

lol Steve, Thanks! I'm glad your gf doesn't hate me!
For maple flavoring I've just brushed the slabs with maple syrup before smoking..let them sit awhile first to dry a bit.
Some folks have luck adding the maple flavoring to brine cures.
one thing about adding anything with sugar, it will make your bacon burn when you slice and fry it..the sugar burns easily.

I'd go with the basic 1TBS of tenderquick mixed with 1 tsp of sugar PER pound of meat...then brush the bacon with maple after curing.

Good luck with your smokehouse. I love mine! Can't imagine anyone being without one. lol

Thanks again Steve. :)

tamzalicus said...

Hi,do you rinse your bacon after the 7 days it cures in fridge?

cowgirl said...

Hi Tamzalicus! Yes I rinse the dry cured bacon well under cool running water to remove the cure.. then I like to soak both brine and dry cured for at least 2 hrs in fresh cool water, to remove some of the saltiness.

I do not soak Canadian PEAMEAL Bacon though.
Good luck with it!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing! I think I'm in love, but I was wondering if "speed cure" is the same as the tenderquick stuff. I got it from a butcher and it's a mix of salt and some kind of nitrate and there's all sorts of warnings on the bag but no real instructions. Are you fimilar with it? And do you think I could substitute it for the tenderquick?


cowgirl said...

Anonymous thanks! :)
I am not familiar with the quick cure you have. I would not use it in place of tenderquick...the amounts required to cure the meat might be different. It's probably best to ask the butcher now much to use per pound of meat.

Hope you have great luck with it! Thanks again and thanks for stopping by! :)

dean siewert said...

Hi Cowgirl,
A neighbor recently got me thinking about smoking meats. Had done lots of low temp cooking but not smoking. So I've made some canadian bacon and have several pounds of side bacon curing using a couple different recipes. Most of the bacon recipes use wet cures but I see you seem to like dry cures for your bacon. Care to comment on your rationale about wet versus dry? Thanks for all the info.

cowgirl said...

Hi Dean,
I like both methods. Sometimes it's quicker for me to use a dry cure as far as prep goes. Also some of the ingredients I use as flavoring seem to penetrate the meat a little better while dry.
Hope you give both a try, after you get your cure amount made, it's fun to experiment with different flavors.
Good luck to you, hope you have a great weekend! :)