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Bacon Curing Kit


Smokin Monkey
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20 hours ago, Smokin Monkey said:

The kits where in the Christmas Gift section. If you can not find one I am sure Wade would post you one of his. Not to upset Tesco, but I am sure that Wades would be as good if not better"

Wade sent me a message, all good ?

I happened to be in Tesco anyway yesterday and did look but my local had none, they did have a kit for Steak with a book and also a kit for making Churros 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Dredging up an older thread here, but as a basic, yet very universal bacons cure comprises of cure#1(Prague powder#1),salt and sugar.  I'm sure if anyone wants to have a go, we can put you right on mixes and ratios etc.  I think that making bacon is an excellent introduction into curing and the understanding of calculating safe cures.

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Yes I agree. I sell a bacon making kit purely to get people started and over that initial feeling of uncertainty. Once they get the bacon making bug they will quickly be putting together their own ingredients.

A lot of people find the math involved in calculating cures using Cure#1 quite daunting - even when using an online cure calculator. This is when using a 0.6% pre-mixed cure makes things easier as they just have to weigh out 25 g per Kg of meat to give ideal Salt/Nitrite levels.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I got given a Ross & Ross kit for Christmas and have started the first one this week.

I've had in curing for 4 days, have washed it off this morning, covered it in the muslin and hanging in the fridge for another 4 days, looking forward to getting stuck in next week!  I used the smokey cure, so won't smoke it further, will do on the next 2 in the box (sweet cure and original cure).

I've no doubt that this kit is an expensive way of curing bacon, but as Wade said, it's a gentle introduction to home curing bacon.

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5 hours ago, Wade said:

Does the R&R kit tell you what is in the curing salts. I can see that it includes both Nitrite and Nitrate but I cannot see the concentrations of each.

Hi Wade, pics of the sweet and standard cure attached.  These are to be used per 500G of pork.  Cheers, Matt.

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Thanks Matt. They are not letting on the exact composition but it is good that they don't add any Nitrate (only Nitrite). Based upon the usage rate it looks as if it is probably 0.6% Nitrite in salt plus the sugar. If so you will end up with about 2-3% salt - which is a good combination so the bacon should work out well.

You say that you rinsed it off after being in the cure for 4 days. For small/thin pieces of belly pork that is probably the minimum. If you try curing thicker pieces (e.g. pork loin) then you should be looking at about 10 days. Within reason, when dry curing, you cannot over cure. You need to ensure that the cure has time to diffuse to the centre of the meat. A good way of applying the cure is to rub it over the meat and then vac pack it. It makes it easy and clean to store in the fridge.

 

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The bottom pic shows nitrate and nitrite.  

Thanks again for more advice.  There was a bit of leakage for the supplied bags, so will vac pack the next ones. 

The instructions say cure for 2 days, turn over and sit for another 2 days, but as you explained, only because it is only 500G of belly.  The day I got the itch to start the process my local butchers was closed, so I got a piece outdoor bred British pork from Sainsbury's, it is very much on the thin side, so definitely speaking the a proper butcher about the next piece, from a more porky pig!

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Matt, are both packs in the pics bacon cure?  I'm no expert but I would expect to see only Nitrite in a cure fore something you were going to cook such as bacon and a mixture of Nitrite and Niterate something you wouldn't cook such as a salami cure. im not picking fault or criticising, just thinking through my own tnought process an understanding.  Your bacon looks good by the way!!

if you talk to yout local butcher, explain what you want to do and ask them for some "thick end of belly" you'll probably have to pre order it as they may well already use that themselves and sell on the thinner ends as belly pork.  I was initially a little embarrassed asking my butcher for raw ingredients for things he already sold such as bacon and sausages etc but he was genuinely interested and after a while, I could go in with a book describing a particular cut or joint such as an American brisket and he would cut them for me so it's well worth having a word.

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11 hours ago, Matt said:

The bottom pic shows nitrate and nitrite.  

Thanks again for more advice.  There was a bit of leakage for the supplied bags, so will vac pack the next ones. 

The instructions say cure for 2 days, turn over and sit for another 2 days, but as you explained, only because it is only 500G of belly.  The day I got the itch to start the process my local butchers was closed, so I got a piece outdoor bred British pork from Sainsbury's, it is very much on the thin side, so definitely speaking the a proper butcher about the next piece, from a more porky pig!

Matt, a good rule of thumb I tend to,use is allow two days for every inch of thickness of the meat, plus two extra days for good luck.  Ive always found this works for me and I've never had what an American friend of mine calls "a silver dollar" - the disappointing circle of uncured pork in the middle of the joint when you slice it.

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22 minutes ago, Wet Spaniel said:

... but I would expect to see only Nitrite in a cure fore something you were going to cook such as bacon and a mixture of Nitrite and Niterate something you wouldn't cook such as a salami cure.

I agree. Commercially, in the USA the use of Nitrate has been banned for use in bacon due to the potential formation of cancer causing Nitrosamines when it is cooked at high temperature. The risk though is derived from animal testing (rats) and even this is not definitive. The EU also recommend that Nitrate is not used in meat products that are going to be heat treated/cooked, however they have been unable to ban it as there are a lot of traditional regional cured products that have always contained Nitrate. 

As we also have a large daily intake of Nitrate from leafy vegetables and fertiliser residue, and as Nitrate is not required from a safety perspective in bacon (the flavour and colour is achieved through the Nitrite) there seems little point in adding it. Even though the risks are not proven it still seems sensible to avoid it where possible.

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30 minutes ago, Wade said:

I agree. Commercially, in the USA the use of Nitrate has been banned for use in bacon due to the potential formation of cancer causing Nitrosamines when it is cooked at high temperature. The risk though is derived from animal testing (rats) and even this is not definitive. The EU also recommend that Nitrate is not used in meat products that are going to be heat treated/cooked, however they have been unable to ban it as there are a lot of traditional regional cured products that have always contained Nitrate. 

As we also have a large daily intake of Nitrate from leafy vegetables and fertiliser residue, and as Nitrate is not required from a safety perspective in bacon (the flavour and colour is achieved through the Nitrite) there seems little point in adding it. Even though the risks are not proven it still seems sensible to avoid it where possible.

Just to avoid worrying Matt, I think the temperatures involved relating to Nitrosamines was around 300 deg Celcius, so unless he is a really, really bad cook, hopefully we will still be seeing him posting after he's had a bacon butty or two.

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  • 2 weeks later...

First bacon using the Ross & Ross kit last week, using their smoky cure.  The cut was a bit rubbish as I had the itch to do it that day, but my regular butchers was closed, so picked up a belly joint from Sainsburys.  Kept the rind on, which created an amazing crackling crust, taste was good, was very greasy – might be an odd statement for streaky bacon, but I cook my bacon on a tray in the oven and as the commercial stuff is packed full of water, it doesn’t tend to be as greasy.  Suspect I will have to change my cooking method to a hot pan…..  Have the next piece curing in the sweet cure in the fridge, should be ready the middle of next week.  This is a far better cut to order from www.buxtonbutchers.co.uk

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50 minutes ago, Matt said:

...might be an odd statement for streaky bacon, but I cook my bacon on a tray in the oven and as the commercial stuff is packed full of water, it doesn’t tend to be as greasy.  Suspect I will have to change my cooking method to a hot pan…..  

That is exactly how I cook my bacon most of the time. I lightly brush the tray with some cooking oil first before putting the bacon on to stop it sticking.

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