Long bacon cure?

Hi,
For reasons not worth explaining I might have to leave a pork belly curing in it's wet salt sludge for an unusually long time, like two weeks. Will this ruin everything? OTOH, how short a time can I cure it for?

Cheers,

Michael
 

MartinB

TVWBB Super Fan
Hi,
For reasons not worth explaining I might have to leave a pork belly curing in it's wet salt sludge for an unusually long time, like two weeks. Will this ruin everything? OTOH, how short a time can I cure it for?

Cheers,


Michael
Longer wont hurt anything

General rule is 1/4" thk per day, + an extra day or two.
But...bacon has fat layers that impede it.

When curing jerky slices 1/4" thk..you can see it happen before your eyes. The reaction happens nearly instantly. The color change shows you. I leave jerky for a day or two if use cure.....but honestly....its done in 30 minutes by appearances.

Commercially cure is injected with many close needles. It takes place quick too, minutes i believe.


So....most do 7-10 days for normal belly thats 1.25-1.5" thk. Relying on diffusion into meat. Is it really enough? Who knows. The closer you get to fat cap, the lighter the meat appears.....but it has more fat too possibly. What we know is....no one gets sick. Some score the fat , or poke holes, to help cure get to meat under.

Now....your going to hopefully pasteurize when smoke it.

And...botulism and toxin bacteria doesnt exist within the meat....but grows on surface....which is definitely cured...and inhibits that growth there! So , to my understanding, chances are...you could seriously under cure.....incompletely pasteurize (meat surface is hot enough to kill bacteria there, even if internal temp isnt)....and everything would most likely still be OK. So dont stress. You are intentionally being very very very safe. Chances of anything going wrong are about zero when cure is used and decent attempt is made to do it right, followed by cooking to pasteurization conditions.
 
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Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Platinum Member
One thing to keep in mind is that the USDA guidelines are maximums. There's no specification for minimums which is kind of weird when you think about it.
 

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