Curing - Defined (Bacon)
Curing—By a safe and simple method applicable to country hotels and small institutions, of hams and bacon. The conditions under which the curing of bacon may be conducted successfully is a uniform coolness in cellar, a uniform strength of pickle, thorough cleanliness, the cellar temperature should not exceed 50 degrees F.
Bacon is cured by simply rubbing the sides with powdered salt to which has been added a little saltpetre, then placing on the cellar floor; they are then covered with salt to which has been added 5 per cent. of saltpetre, and allowed to lie for a week. The salt is then removed, and the sides turned, rubbed again with salt, saltpetre and a little sugar, and allowed to lie covered with a fresh quantity of salt and saltpetre for another week; the salt is then all removed, and the sides are either hung up to dry, or allowed to lie in the cellar for another week, after which the bacon is ready in the "green state"; or it may then be smoked.
The best smoking materials are oak dust, oak chips, peat, wheat straw, ash dust, or chips of other hard woods; the two of greatest value are the oak dust and peat, each imparting a characteristic flavor. The word sides is used allowing for whole halves of the bacon hog; but if bellies alone are required, the process is the same.