Eating not-quite-cured bacon?
June 12, 2014 4:58 PM   Subscribe

So I've got a slab of bacon curing in the fridge (in spices, salt, sugar + sodium nitrite). It's been in there for 3 days, out of the eventual 7-10 it will cure. I want to make carbonera tonight, and would love to use this certainly-much-yummier bacon than the normal store bought stuff. Any contraindications to eating half-cured bacon?
posted by wrok to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
It's still just pork belly. Should be great!
posted by rossination at 5:16 PM on June 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have absolutely no knowledge of the science involved, but uncured bacon is definitely a thing. I eat it all the time and I think the taste is indistinguishable from cured bacon. But YMMV.
posted by DrGail at 5:18 PM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Upon slicing into it (what? you thought I'd wait for an answer?) it does appear to be about half-cured in a linear fashion (the skin side the uncured one). Bacon and pork belly? Yes please. Thanks!
posted by wrok at 5:24 PM on June 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

It'll totally be edible as is. It just won't be as flavorful as the fully cured action. Just slice some off and go to town; make sure to rinse your cure off of it, and pat it as dry as you can. In fact, if you throw it into a low (200°F) oven for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how big your piece is) you'll get really good results once you actually cook it up.
posted by furnace.heart at 5:42 PM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

uncured bacon is most assuredly a thing. cut it into very thin slices and cook with your carbonara as usual.
posted by bruce at 6:05 PM on June 12, 2014

Huh, according to this the "uncured bacon" I've seen on U.S. supermarket shelves is actually still preserved in a brine of salts, just a brine that doesn't include nitrates. I had assumed that it was just a marketing euphemism and was simply cooked pork belly or something. I'd have thought the brine would still count as curing, but that's food labelling for ya...
posted by XMLicious at 7:45 PM on June 12, 2014

Just FYI, "uncured" bacon is invariably going to include celery powder or something similar that [for some stange reason...] is extremely high in nitrates.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:15 PM on June 12, 2014

Oops, sorry, it even says that in the page I linked to but I misread it.
posted by XMLicious at 9:41 PM on June 12, 2014

Yes, you can eat this. You will be absolutely fine. Treat as any other raw meat, cook till nicely done, and enjoy your carbonara.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:47 PM on June 13, 2014

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