Kid just loves him some cows (komos) wrote,
Kid just loves him some cows

Makin' bacon

Seems the first attempt at home cured bacon was a hit, so I'm moving forward with grander plans involving larger cuts and more adventurous treatments. It's pretty much as easy to cure 5-10 lbs. as it is to cure one, so if you're reasonably local and have interest in a slab, let me know. Also, give some thought as to whether you would prefer a sweeter cure (brown sugar and maple, for instance) for breakfasting or something a little more savory (I'm thinking cracked pepper and garlic) to use as the base for soups or other such craziness.

On a similar note, I went back to Ruhlman's discussion on nitrates/nitrites and realized that I had entirely misremembered the numbers he cited as the "danger zone." The trouble rests more in cold smoking and air-curing techniques that are taking place in the scary 40-140F range rather than the 200-220F of "hot" smoking. Based on other sources I've found, including remembering that I've seen no information about barbecue or smoking that called for curing salts, Ruhlman's insistence on using nitrites in anything that will see smoke seems like he cries "ZOMGBOTULISM!!" to cover his ass. I will certainly continue to practice due diligence and take extra care over sanitization, but I'm going to relax a little over not using a possibly carcinogenic additive while I'm cooking at temps that should kill anything that could find its way to the meat. Ultimately, I will trust in the power of salt and heat. If and when I start hanging saucisse sec, then I will revisit this question with gusto.

In any case, nothing goes out until I'm sure.

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