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Old 03-31-2013, 08:11 PM   #1
barrencreek
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Default brine cured bacon too salty

I just tried some of my first brine cured bacon and it is inedible account of salty taste. I used a recipe that called for a 60* brine ( 1 gal water, 1.6 lb salt and 13.5 t of instacure) with a 10 day cure in the brine. I have rechecked the recipe and am at a loss as to what happened. Help

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Old 04-02-2013, 04:30 PM   #2
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1.6 pounds of salt is way to much for a 1 gallon brine. How much pork belly were you using? Just looked at a few brine recipes online for making bacon and they are talking 2 cups or so of salt.

I did a 7 lb brisket cured to make smoked corned beef and used 1.5 CUPS of salt plus 1.25 tablespoons of pink curing salt, aka Instacure...which calls for 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of meat on the label. Plus sugar and other spices, cures always need a salt/sugar ratio of something like 3:1. The recipe I used, was also only 1 gallon of water and 7 days in the brine.

So my guess is that recipe has a typo or somehow you misread 1.6 cups as gallons.

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Old 04-02-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
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Holy moly, that is a lot of salt! jdauria is correct in the comments above.

An important step in your bacon-making process is something called a fry test. Slice off a piece of your bacon, fry it up and taste it. If it is too salty, soak the whole bacon in cold water for up to 24 hours to leach out some of the salt and balance out your bacon. Fry-test your bacon every hour or two until it hits a salty level you like. If you soak more than a couple of hours keep it in your refrigerator. If you skip this test, Murphy will make sure your bacon is too salty that ONE time...

Once the salt level is to my liking, I let the whole bacon air dry until it forms a pellicle (a tacky feel all over the surface of the meat). Then it is ready to smoke and will take on the smoke flavor beautifully. Skip this step, and you will not get a deep, rich smoke flavor so many folks love.

I posted my entire Buck Board Bacon process here on HBT at the link below. It is in post #9, if you're interested. The method described applies to belly and cheek/jowl bacons as well. You will note I use a dry cure method rather than wet/brine; however, the same methods and principles apply. Always follow the cure manufacturer's directions for either method TO THE LETTER for your safety.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f172/buckboard-bacon-pork-butt-bacon-395115/

Have fun, and keep trying. You'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

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Old 04-02-2013, 05:37 PM   #4
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I used 4 bellies (approx. 18#) and the recipe was from a book on home production of meats. The amount of salt was prob. a misprint as it is more than any of the recipes on this site. Will try to soak out as much of the salt as I can. Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.

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