Author Topic: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount  (Read 2813 times)

Offline ExpatCanadian

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Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« on: May 18, 2010, 03:20:46 am »

Hi all...

Started curing a large slab of belly on the weekend, used the Rytek Kutas honey-cure recipe...  but was pretty concerned about the amount of Insta-cure #1 in it.  He says it's enough for 1 whole slab...  which I estimate is around 12-15lbs depending on the size of the pig.  I had my butcher cut me off a chunk around 2/3 of that and after trimming (got a nice sized rack of ribs off it which I enjoyed on Sunday evening!) I had a piece around 7lbs.  The recipe is below, but 4 tbsp. just seemed FAR too much, considering the rate is meant to be 1 tsp/5lb meat according to my packet of cure.

  • 1 Cup salt
  • 4 Tbsp, Instacure #1
  • 2 Cups of Honey

So, I cut the instacure amount in half, and used 2 tbsp, and kept the rest of the recipe the same.....  but now I'm paranoid...  have I still used too much?  I know since Kutas' time recommendations for safe nitrite levels have dropped, so I'm wondering if I should have stuck to the 1 tsp/5 lb meat and used only ~1.5 tsp for my 7lb belly?

Anyway...  it's done now, so my next question is:  Will the increased amount of cure#1 mean the belly cures in a shorter time?  It's now been 4 days...  the belly feel super firm...  so my gut feeling is that it's getting close....

“Moderation sir, aye, moderation is my rule. Nine or ten is reasonable refreshment, but after that it’s apt to degenerate into drinking” - An Old Highland Saying

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 02:23:19 pm »
Difficult questions to answer. Unless it is a misprint, Kutas recipes have been time tested and should be safe. It is possible that the higher levels of cure compensates for the pint of liquid (2 cups of honey) that is applied on top of the cure. Making this closer to a wet brine vs a dry brine.

Some of the salt and cure will remain suspended in that honey. If that is the reason for the higher level of cure, and you have used less; there is no worry about using too little. The bacon is refrigerated, and there is a high level of salt. The worse that can happen is that you will not get as strong as that traditional bacon flavor that sodium nitrite provides. It will also be safe to smoke. I just wouldn't go over the 6 days of cure time that he recommends.

I've never used that much honey or maple syrup in my cures. I generally use enough to make a thick paste, so I don't increase the level of cure.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 02:25:28 pm by Habanero Smoker »


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Offline ExpatCanadian

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2010, 12:33:49 am »

Great...  thanks Hab, always nice to have a little positive reinforcement.   I've decided to pull it and smoke it this evening if I get home from work early enough...  it will have been in the cure for 5 full days, and it's feeling very firm now, and the colour seems pretty good too.  It's quite thin slab, only about 2"...  so I'm fairly confident it's ready for smoke.  I've been overhauling every 24 hours too.
“Moderation sir, aye, moderation is my rule. Nine or ten is reasonable refreshment, but after that it’s apt to degenerate into drinking” - An Old Highland Saying

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2010, 01:29:00 am »
Great! Let me know how strong the salt flavor is. I've never tried this recipe, and now I'm interested in trying it.


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Offline ExpatCanadian

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2010, 06:43:18 am »

Great! Let me know how strong the salt flavor is. I've never tried this recipe, and now I'm interested in trying it.

Ok...  sadly I have to report that this bacon is FAR too salty for my palate.  After rinsing, I did fry a small piece first, found it very salty, so I let it soak for an hour in a water bath with continuous cold running water.  I fried up another small piece and it seemed ok....  nice sweet/salt balance.  So I smoked it last night, gave it 4 hours of hickory (wanted it really smoky) and took it up to an IT of 128oF.  I know this is on the low side, but it's in Rytek's recipe, so I went for it.

Left it overnight in the fridge and was quite excited this morning frying up a couple of nice thick slices.....  but it's so salty it practically burns the tongue...  pretty much inedible for me.  I'm sure it will be ok in soups or stews etc, where I can just leave out any salt the recipe may call for, but on it's own, it's a write-off.  I'm going to bring a couple packages into work to give to some of my colleagues and see if any of them like it, some people are far more salt tolerant I think.

So...  lessons learned...  THAT recipe is not for me.  I really liked the last batch of Bradley Maple Cure bacon I did, although ironically I found it not salty enough, so I might go back to that one and just add a little bit more salt to tweak it.

“Moderation sir, aye, moderation is my rule. Nine or ten is reasonable refreshment, but after that it’s apt to degenerate into drinking” - An Old Highland Saying

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2010, 01:10:20 pm »
Sorry to hear about the way the bacon came out. He raves about it so much, you would think it is the world's greatest bacon. The next time I get a slab, I may try that recipe, but I will cut the whole recipe proportionately by the weight of the piece I'm using. For example, if I have a piece that is 3 pounds I'll use 1/3 cup salt; 1 1/4 tablespoons cure #1, and 2/3 cup of honey. Like you say, I can always use it in stews, soups etc.


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Offline Quarlow

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2010, 01:44:23 pm »
I just bought Rytek's book so I put a sticky note on this recipe with Habs suggestions. I am wondering if I was to use maple syrup instead of honey, how much would I use? I was thinking 1 whole cup since it is not as sweet as honey.
Thanks for this update Ex and to bad about the bacon.
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Offline duke76

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2010, 03:19:55 pm »
I made a batch of this bacon a couple months ago and had the same problem, but all is not lost. just take the bacon and soak it in water for around 2 hours before you cook it and it is finee then, Todd

Offline ExpatCanadian

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2010, 12:39:09 am »

I made a batch of this bacon a couple months ago and had the same problem, but all is not lost. just take the bacon and soak it in water for around 2 hours before you cook it and it is finee then, Todd

I explained my problem to my butcher...  and he said the same thing that I could give the whole piece (already smoked!) an overnight soak in cold water and bring it to him, and he would hang it for me in his cooler for a few days to dry it back out.  He said i could then give it another smoke if I wanted or just leave it alone.

He also suggested I boil it for 30 minutes....  would accomplish a similar result, but would also cook it.

I'm going to try the overnight soak in cold water...  whats the worst that could happen  :P

Also... Quarlow:
I am wondering if I was to use maple syrup instead of honey, how much would I use?

I did a post about this last year sometime...  comparing sugar content of maple syrup to normal granulated suger:

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=10438.msg112861#msg112861

I didn't compare with honey though... I'll see if I can dig something up today....

“Moderation sir, aye, moderation is my rule. Nine or ten is reasonable refreshment, but after that it’s apt to degenerate into drinking” - An Old Highland Saying

Offline duke76

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2010, 05:22:15 am »
I soaked them sliced and it worked just fine, I suppose that explains the time difference, the 2 hours versus the overnight, the sliced has more surface area so you dont have to soak it so long, it might have lost a little smoke but not that much, I dont think it would be worth re smoking, Todd

Offline ExpatCanadian

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2010, 06:07:35 am »
Quote
I didn't compare with honey though... I'll see if I can dig something up today....

Ok, so according to Wikipedia, a typical honey has 82g sugar/100g, making it around 22% higher in sugars than Maple Syrup. So for a cup of honey you'd have to sub around 1 1/5 (ish!) cups of Maple Syrup....  but this is just gram:gram...  doesn't take into account the differing sweetnesses of the different sugars that make up the total sugar profile....  and of course both taste very different.  I can definately taste the honey in this bacon, even through all the salt, it's goo, but I prefer the maple taste of maple syrup.  Not sure why Rytek raved so much about this recipe...

« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 06:10:37 am by ExpatCanadian »
“Moderation sir, aye, moderation is my rule. Nine or ten is reasonable refreshment, but after that it’s apt to degenerate into drinking” - An Old Highland Saying

Offline Quarlow

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2010, 02:55:18 pm »
Thanks Ex, that is good to know and thanks for the repost. It had that link to Indian Candy which I am going to make some next week.
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Offline EZ Smoker

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Re: Rytek Honey-cured bacon - Cure#1 Amount
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2010, 12:08:07 am »
Ok, so according to Wikipedia, a typical honey has 82g sugar/100g, making it around 22% higher in sugars than Maple Syrup. So for a cup of honey you'd have to sub around 1 1/5 (ish!) cups of Maple Syrup....  but this is just gram:gram...  doesn't take into account the differing sweetnesses of the different sugars that make up the total sugar profile....  and of course both taste very different. 

That was a really well thought out point.  Thanks.
It may seem like I'm rubbing salt in the wound, but the truth is I'm trying to cure it.