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Curing ...

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About a decade ago (yeah, THAT long! LOL) i used to enjoy curing my own meat (usually bacon and longganiza) ... but after a couple of years I must admit i got tired of it. I mean, it is much more convenient (and definitely faster!) buying them at the supermarket!

But those were the days when I wasn't really that concerned with the additives they put on those processed food these days ... so now I am thinking of curing my own bacon again. Since I seem to have lost my recipe (and my mom's recipe isn't around) ... I have decided to search for one that will suite my taste.

Here's what I read from a certain site:

Curing ingredients

Salt is the primary ingredient. Sugar is added to offset some of the salt's harshness. A combination of 3 pounds salt and 1-1/2 pounds sugar, either white or brown, is a basic mixture. There are several commercially prepared cures comprised of this basic mixture. Some have added spices and flavoring to give a characteristic flavor, aroma or appearance.

A cure mixture that performs well under home curing conditions consists of 7 pounds meat curing salt, 4 pounds sugar (white or brown) and 3 ounces of nitrate (saltpeter -- optional). This cure produces a milk-flavored bacon.

Applying cure

If commercially prepared cure is used, apply according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you prepare your cure according to the suggested recipe, apply the cure at rate of 1/2 ounce per pound fresh belly. If you cannot weigh the ingredients and bellies, you can put the cure on by sprinkling the skin side and by rubbing the sides and inside well with the cure. Hold the belly on edge and tap gently on table to remove excess cure. The amount applied will equal about 1/2 ounce per pound.

Curing time

Stack the bellies crisscross no more than four layers deep on a table that is tilted to allow the moisture to drain away. Plywood on a set of sawhorses works well. Place the bellies in a well-ventilated, odor-free room and allow to cure 7 days. If the bellies freeze before 7 days, allow them to defrost and add one day to cure for each day they were frozen. After curing, the product should be smoked.

I don't have a smokehouse, so maybe I'll just do some more revisions after that. Hopefully, my family and I will get to enjoy processed food with less (or zero!) harmful additives someday! :)

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