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Old 11-30-2021, 11:27 PM   #1
Wormius
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Default What do you know about meat?

The title is kind of a punchline in Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, but kind of apropos here cause of the meat talk.

Anyway, I had some questions / concerns that weren't really ideal for the BBQ thread, as this is more related to curing. I bought the 5kg pork belly from Costco and decided to make an effort to cure my own bacon after watching this video from Glen & Friends youtube channel and thinking that bacon was ridiculously expensive and I had spare time.




And here is my valiant attempt:




















I think it worked out really well and the bacon was delicious on my first attempt at curing some pork belly.

We went through the first 600g pretty quickly but the other I had wrapped in the fridge for over a month, and when I took it to have with some perogies, there were a few spots of white mold on the surface. I cut it off but then I was wondering whether did I do something wrong in the curing process or is this normal? I have seen cured meats with that white mold layer, but I wasn't expecting it on bacon. So, maybe I should have left it out of the fridge to dry cure in the air? Vacuum sealed it? Frozen it? I thought the fridge was safe. Maybe it was and I am worrying over nothing

I have made beef jerky in the food dehydrator and have never encountered any kind of mold, but I also tend to go super dry on the jerky and can leave them it in zip lock bags for months.
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Old 12-01-2021, 09:06 AM   #2
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Modern bacon doesn't last long in the fridge. The amount of salt you have to add to keep it truly preserved is crazy - something like triple what is used these days.
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:03 AM   #3
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On the topic of bacon, anyone notice the quality of it seems to have fallen off a cliff? Packs of bacon, almost regardless of brand, looks like a mangled mess in the packaging. Seems like it takes longer to cook too.
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Shazam View Post
Modern bacon doesn't last long in the fridge. The amount of salt you have to add to keep it truly preserved is crazy - something like triple what is used these days.

I tried to go for the minimum amount since I have found bacon to be really salty. I did a bit more reading and maybe white mold isnít a totally ominous sign, but it was unexpected.

I purchased some cured double-smoked bacon and had it in the fridge for a long time in a baggie and there was no mold growth, but I didnít check the salt content.
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by GoinAllTheWay View Post
On the topic of bacon, anyone notice the quality of it seems to have fallen off a cliff? Packs of bacon, almost regardless of brand, looks like a mangled mess in the packaging. Seems like it takes longer to cook too.
You pretty much have to pretty much buy thick sliced. The Harvest 1kg is the best out there however it is very expensive. A great alternative is the Mitchells 1kg thick sliced which you can often buy on sale for $9.99 at Walmart or Superstore. In fact Wal Mart has it on sale again starting tomorrow, in my region anyways. Will stock up.

As for the mold, just too long in the fridge, I mean realistically it will only stay fresh for so long. Anything left in the fridge for too long will develop mold, even lemons and limes which are natural preservative do to humidity. You can cryovac for longer fridge life, however freezing it will not hurt either. The benefit of dry curing is that there is little moisture loss when thawing, not like the store bought "pumped" bacon which loses so much moisture when thawed and effects the taste.
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:46 AM   #6
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The Fletchers alder smoked at Costco is my go-to. Perfect thickness, good quality, not too salty.
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Old 12-01-2021, 12:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
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The Fletchers alder smoked at Costco is my go-to. Perfect thickness, good quality, not too salty.
I heartily agree, great for wrapping a stuffed pork tenderloin
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Old 12-01-2021, 02:01 PM   #8
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What do I know about meat? Its delicious.
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Old 12-01-2021, 02:01 PM   #9
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Old 12-01-2021, 02:03 PM   #10
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I know we're partners in freedom


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Old 12-01-2021, 02:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormius View Post
I tried to go for the minimum amount since I have found bacon to be really salty. I did a bit more reading and maybe white mold isnít a totally ominous sign, but it was unexpected.

I purchased some cured double-smoked bacon and had it in the fridge for a long time in a baggie and there was no mold growth, but I didnít check the salt content.
Did you use pink salt? It helps with preservation.
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Old 12-01-2021, 03:13 PM   #12
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Did you use pink salt? It helps with preservation.

Yep. I think itís necessary, isnít it? Or can you do it with just normal table salt?
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Old 12-01-2021, 04:39 PM   #13
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Yeah it should be used. It also firms up the meat so you get the bacon texture you expect.
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Old 12-01-2021, 07:14 PM   #14
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Are you sure it was mold? Might have been salt, fat, or protein that collected on the surface of the meat.

Even salted meat will get moldy unless you keep it dry. Unless you also drying the bacon out, it won't last that long in he fridge. You can increase life by hanging, as more airflow makes it harder for moisture to collect on the meat. You could also lay it on top of a grill with salt underneath.
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Old 12-01-2021, 09:32 PM   #15
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Are you sure it was mold? Might have been salt, fat, or protein that collected on the surface of the meat.

Even salted meat will get moldy unless you keep it dry. Unless you also drying the bacon out, it won't last that long in he fridge. You can increase life by hanging, as more airflow makes it harder for moisture to collect on the meat. You could also lay it on top of a grill with salt underneath.

It was definitely a couple of fuzzy white dots.

I might hang it up after smoking next time, but donít have a good cool place except the fridge.

I would like to get it to the point where I could leave it out on the counter and hack of pieces as needed - or is that hoping for too much?
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:00 PM   #16
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It was definitely a couple of fuzzy white dots.

I might hang it up after smoking next time, but don’t have a good cool place except the fridge.

I would like to get it to the point where I could leave it out on the counter and hack of pieces as needed - or is that hoping for too much?
Fat will typically prevent growth of many dangerous bacterias and lard is a traditional preservative. The big issue with something like bacon is more mold and rancidity. Exposed bits of meat may grow dangerous bacteria too.

It sounds like you might be better off making a speck than a bacon. If you want something similar to bacon, but lasts longer. I wouldn't leave it outside the fridge though. Also when you dry out pork, it won't fry up as nicely.

A true German speck is pretty close to bacon, but slightly dried out and they eat it raw....I had a plate of that and similar items, last time I was at Oktoberfest. I'm pretty good with raw and exotic meats, and I found that pretty hard to stomach. I've made my own north American style versions, with less fat content, but never quite got the smoking and salt content right to make it worth just not buying them from a Serbian deli preferable. Serbian smoked/salted meat is top notch imo. You can definitely use your own fridge to hang small meats.

Anytime you're using raw meats I'd strongly recommend buying a higher end piece of meat from a reputable butcher. Do not use grocery store meat, which is often almost rotten to start and has been exposed to all sorts of pathogens.
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Old 12-02-2021, 08:22 AM   #17
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Germans eat raw minced pork. I'm not sure how they don't get sick with that?


https://germanculture.com.ua/main-dishes/mettbrotchen/
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Old 12-02-2021, 08:45 AM   #18
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Germans eat raw minced pork. I'm not sure how they don't get sick with that?


https://germanculture.com.ua/main-dishes/mettbrotchen/
Well it would explain a lot.
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Old 12-02-2021, 09:28 AM   #19
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You pretty much have to pretty much buy thick sliced. The Harvest 1kg is the best out there however it is very expensive. A great alternative is the Mitchells 1kg thick sliced which you can often buy on sale for $9.99 at Walmart or Superstore. In fact Wal Mart has it on sale again starting tomorrow, in my region anyways. Will stock up.

As for the mold, just too long in the fridge, I mean realistically it will only stay fresh for so long. Anything left in the fridge for too long will develop mold, even lemons and limes which are natural preservative do to humidity. You can cryovac for longer fridge life, however freezing it will not hurt either. The benefit of dry curing is that there is little moisture loss when thawing, not like the store bought "pumped" bacon which loses so much moisture when thawed and effects the taste.
Was just going to recommend this bacon as well- 1kg thick cut bacon FTW!
Superstore brand is as good (or better) than the Mitchells even. Used to be on sale for $10 a lot but now is usually closer to 15. Buy when on sale as it freezes well

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Old 12-02-2021, 10:40 AM   #20
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The guy in the YouTube video in the OP has a great instruction video to make peameal and Canadian bacon. When you live in the US you find all kinds of crap labeled Canadian bacon which leaves me craving the real thing
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