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So I am curing some bacon - my third batch using small 1.5kg pieces of pork belly. The method is simple: cut skin off, rub in salt and a little brown sugar, put in a ziplock bag in the fridge and flip each day for five days then rinse thoroughly and then start the smoking process.

My first two were great, but very salty. Some googling suggested I was using too much salt. I really did pack in on and there was excess thrown in the bag too. For this current batch, I rubbed in what I could then let the excess shake off before bagging.

My question is: my latest method has extracted less than half of the juice of the first too. Is this normal and how can I tell if it's actually cured properly?

  • How much weight has been lost compared to the starting weight? – GdD Jun 24 '16 at 10:12
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I make bacon and other cured meats frequently. I find that the amount of liquid released from pork belly varies. That is not a useful measure of how the cure is proceeding. Bacon, in particular, is usually cooked after the cure, so I don't worry too much. I use the salt-box method, coat the belly in cure mixture, place in large zip lock, place in container slightly larger than belly and put in fridge. Flip every day or so for a week. What I look for next is a firming up of the belly. I pinch it. If it has firmed up after a week, I move on to hot smoking (or you could use your oven). If it still feels soft, I give it another day or two.

  • This is good advice. Thank you. FYI, I used less salt and it cured well but with your words re bacon being cooked anyway, I was less worried :) – Warren Jul 11 '16 at 1:09

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