Black bacon experiment

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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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I do a butterflied leg of lamb. Deboned and on the grill. No smoe and a fairly fast cook to medium rare.
The marinade is OK for a soak ( maple syrup, Canadian rye whiskey, etc)
but with a marinade syringe, shoot the meat full of it = dramatic improvement.
Not really the same as properly briming meat though (a fairly large part of smoke curing meats) That takes a few days in and of itself before you begin to smoke.
 

baggins

Full Member
Apr 20, 2005
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Coventry (and up trees)
The maple cure i use is a mix of salt, prague powder #1, maple syrup (the proper stuff), soy sauce, garlic and cayenne pepper. Cured for 3-4 days (depending on the size of the joint). After curing, rinse and leave to dry out in the fridge for 2 days. Then make a glaze from maple syrup and soy sauce, brush on liberally and put in the smoker. I like to cold smoke for a good 14 hrs over maple. Leave again for 4 days in the fridge or a cool place then slice and enjoy.
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,708
988
64
Florida
The maple cure i use is a mix of salt, prague powder #1, maple syrup (the proper stuff), soy sauce, garlic and cayenne pepper. Cured for 3-4 days (depending on the size of the joint). After curing, rinse and leave to dry out in the fridge for 2 days. Then make a glaze from maple syrup and soy sauce, brush on liberally and put in the smoker. I like to cold smoke for a good 14 hrs over maple. Leave again for 4 days in the fridge or a cool place then slice and enjoy.
I’ll bring the coffee and eggs.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Nitrite salt. Preservative.

Prague ham is a well known ham product, originated in Prague, Bohemia ( Czech Republic)

The powder is American though. They like to use foreign names in their products to imply a high quality.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,665
1,626
McBride, BC
Nobody in the valley had pigs this year. Or that nobody is saying a word about it.
I want a slab of bacon, smoked almost orange,
racks of side ribs and a couple of chops to wok up as cinnamon pork.
I'll lay out plenty of cash for the bacon, alone.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,708
988
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Florida
Nitrite salt. Preservative.

Prague ham is a well known ham product, originated in Prague, Bohemia ( Czech Republic)

The powder is American though. They like to use foreign names in their products to imply a high quality.
Not American; I’ve never heard of it either. We call that saltpeter or sodium nitrate.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,665
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McBride, BC
Never heard of Prague powder. Must be an archaic and arcane term.
Not even when I moon-lighted as a professional pyrotechnician for the motion picture industry.
True, salt peter is sodium nitrate (NaNO3.)
It has been used as an oxygen source in some pyrotechnic formulas
but potassium nitrate has a faster decomposition and as such is used in electric ignition matches,
black powder, pyrodex and most other commercial pyro mixes..

However:

The meat curative preservative is sodium nitrite. Note the difference in spelling.
This indicates that the nitrite has one less oxygen atom in it as does anything-nitrate.
The nitrite radical fouls up several aspects of bacterial metabolism to prevent decomposition
and the development of anaerobic treats such as Clostridium botulinum bacteria.
There's really good thermal stability so the preservative action can last for a very long time.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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HA! The biggest bang is to use ammonium nitrate in ANFO. My uncles used to mix it in a wheel barrow
for draining bottom land on the farm. Plastic bread bags of the stuff. 1/2 mile of ditch in 2 seconds.

Yeah, I'd never heard of Prague powder until today, myself. All these things have proper chemical names to be used.
Because of it's pyyrotechnic use, sodium nitrate is really hard to buy in this day and time.
I can see using it in a IED as well. I can show my pyro licenses and buy what I need.

Same as I finally learned the difference between "Soda Water" and "Club Soda."
CS is doped up with some potassium salts, like potassium chloride, which is a first cousin to table salt.
I like the fizz when I use CS to dilute fruit juices. Has a faint 'salt' taste which isn't unexpected.

What do I need to buy to make bacon? Pork belly or what?
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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Florida
Depending on what I’m briming I use various combinations of salt, apple juice, and sugar. But almost all commercial meat packers use nitrites here.
 
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baggins

Full Member
Apr 20, 2005
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Sorry, would have got back to you all earlier with a prague explanation sooner, but on holiday up in the Scottish highlands, enjoying the beauty of the Abernethy Forest.
Prague #1 is 6% Sodium nitrite and 94% salt and is used for cures where the end product is going to be cooked, ie Bacon.
Prague #2 is a mix of Sodium nitrite and Sodium nitrate and salt and is used for longer cures where the end product is going to be eaten raw, ie prosciutto, salami etc.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I am pleased enthusiasts like B. Red are not using these modern preparations but keep the old fashioned ways alive!

Salt, Saltpeter, ( sugar) have been used for many centuries.

If you hot smoke, only salting is needed, but for some reason hot smoked foods ( smoked for many hours) have fallen out of the British cuisine.
( hot smoking - air / smoke is around 80C around the meat.

That was the reason I started doing it.
Fish, pork, game, birds.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,665
1,626
McBride, BC
You need to visit a First Nations smoke house somewhere along the Skeena River in BC.
Everybody has a car garage. Everybody parks in the driveway. The garage is a smoke house.
Every able bodied family shares in the responsibility to make certain that the elders get enough to eat.

Maybe 200 salmon in there. No brine, no nuthin', just alderwood smoke for a week.
They never had sugar. Sea salt was made but in small quantities.
The concept is to dry the fish as well as preserve them as a large part of the winter food supply.

I don't see much but prociutto and panchetta where drying is a key part of the preservation. True?
Can you reconstitute dried slab or slice bacon? Kinda, sorta?
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,708
988
64
Florida
I am pleased enthusiasts like B. Red are not using these modern preparations but keep the old fashioned ways alive!

Salt, Saltpeter, ( sugar) have been used for many centuries.

If you hot smoke, only salting is needed, but for some reason hot smoked foods ( smoked for many hours) have fallen out of the British cuisine.
( hot smoking - air / smoke is around 80C around the meat.

That was the reason I started doing it.
Fish, pork, game, birds.
You can safely eat cold smoked meats also if they’re sufficiently dried.
 
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