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May 14, 2012 08:07 AM

Questions on curing my bacon

Using this recipe/method here

but i dont have one full 5 pound peice.. i have 2 peices of belly that give me my 5 pounds.

Do you think theres anything i should consider before curing these 2? less salt- since theres more surface area? will my curing time change since they are smaller?


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  1. Stay with the recommended ratio of cure to meat. I use store bought and homemade cure but if you look at most if not all recommendations on the boxes the ratio is always the same. I tend to let the bellies sit in the cure for a week or more as we like the tang from longer cured meats.

    1. If your two pieces add up to 5 lbs, follow the recipe as is when putting together your cure and divide it respectively to the pieces (for example, 2/5 to the 2 lb piece and 3/5 to the 3 lb piece). Rub each piece and wrap them individually. From Ruhlman's post:

      "Notes: If you don’t have five pounds of belly, either guesstimate salt based on the above or, if you have a scale, multiply the weight of the belly in ounces or grams by .025 and that’s how many ounces or grams of salt you should use."

      Your curing time should stay the same to ensure that the belly is fully cured. A 5 lb belly would be longer/wider but not much thicker. I'd stick to the 7 days to make sure the cure penetrates fully to the center. I usually go 14 days, flipping the pieces every 2 or 3 days.

      Ruhlman doesn't mention skin. The bellies I purchase usually come skin-on. This will affect the curing time. I cure and smoke skin-on and then remove the skin. Dry the skin and fry for smoky pork cracklins.