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Help. My Home Cured Bacon is Grey

Hi all - I was so excited to make Ruhlman's home cured bacon. I followed the directions exactly except I had two smaller pieces, not one 2 pounder. I did not use curing salt but the kosher and pink salt called for. My bacon is done and the meat looks grey. It smells fine, but I'm wondering if its safe to eat. Thanks!

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  1. Hmmmm...can you post a pic? Is it grey inside? I'd fry a small piece and see how it smelled then. Was it dry or wet cured? I know ours has a less brilliant color than store bought because we don't add any coloring. It colors up nice when smoked though.

    8 Replies
    1. re: hippioflov

      It smells fine when it's fried and tasted fried, though more like ribs than bacon. @mwhitmore, I did not see the part in the recipe, and I've re-read it several tiimes, about curing salt. It says pink salt, and that was optional.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/din...&

      1. re: wincountrygirl

        Hmmm, I have the Ruhlman book, and pink salt DOES mean the curing salt. What "pink" salt did you use?

        1. re: sbp

          I don't have the book. I used his recipe from the NY Times. I had no way of knowing oink salt IS curing salt. I used Himalayan pink salt.

          1. re: wincountrygirl

            Yep, that's the problem. Not your fault - the article should have made this clear. You really made more of a brined rather than traditionally cured bacon.

            1. re: sbp

              Thanks. I've already ordered the curing salt. There will be bacon from my kitchen!!!

              1. re: wincountrygirl

                That's the spirit! Allied Kenco is a good source online.

            2. re: wincountrygirl

              There's the problem. Curing salts will result in the reddish color you're missing

          2. re: wincountrygirl

            I googled Ruhlman bacon and got ruhlman.com/2010/10/home-cure-bacon-2/. I agree that the NYT recipe is incomplete or misleading. I had never heard of pink salt before but I have heard of curing salt, which is sodium nitrate.

        2. Well, if you didn't use curing salt, it won't be pink. I googled the recipe, Ruhlman specifies that he means *sodium nitrate*, not Himalayan pink salt. He also says you can leave it out, but the bacon will be gray.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. 'Pink Salt' is also called 'Instacure #1' or 'Prague powder' - it's sodium nitrite mixed with salt.

              1. Pink salt IS a curing salt. If you didn't cure it long enough, the exterior will be pink/red, and a band of grey in the center. If you didn't use any nitrite based salt, it won't be pink at all. Should be safe to eat but won't keep as long.

                5 Replies
                1. re: sbp

                  Thank you. I wish the recipe had stated pink curing salt!

                  1. re: wincountrygirl

                    It's discussed in the accompanying article.

                    1. re: sr44

                      Not in the copy I have as a friend emailed the recipe to me - no article.

                      1. re: wincountrygirl

                        Did she send a link or copy the text into the email? I got to the article from the link you provided.

                        1. re: sr44

                          sr44 - As I have said before,
                          I only got the recipe. I posted here for help not attitude.