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Curing meat

 
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Sometime back someone asked about the salt to meat ratio for food preservation.  I responded I thought it was 10 pounds of salt per 100 pounds of meat, but i was not certain.  I just bumped into the following mix for 100 pounds of ham:  8 pounds of salt, 2 pounds sugar, and optional black pepper, red pepper, paprika, and saltpeter.

The source is Evansville Living magazine. The above mix is from Houston Keach of Henderson, Ky.
 
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It depends on what you want to do, that is about right for long term preservation (no fridge of freezer needed). But that is probably more than you want if you are going for flavor. For preservation, it looks like you are trying to end up with a 4% salt level throughout, so if you were preserving something smaller, you might be able to more confidently use less than 10% of the mass and still get the 4% all the way into the middle.

I used this document(https://gallatin.ca.uky.edu/files/how_to_make_a_country_ham.pdf). But note that with all the skin and bone, the 10% salt is quite a bit more than 10% of the mass of the meat, but so much of it falls off. At least for dry cured hams, the 10 lbs per 100 lbs goes down to getting as much into it as it will take without stabbing holes and filling them with salt. Alternative methods even include just storing the ham in a box filled with salt.

TL;DR:
For preservation, using a dry cure method, you get the meat to absorb at much as salt as possible, the 10lb/100lb is only in recipes to make sure you have enough salt even with half of it falling off, being expelled with the juices.

But if you were to just fill a bucket with salt and bacon, I expect you could get by with only like 5% salt, as eventually it should all equalize to above 4%. But it depends on how preserved you want the bacon to me.

Disclaimer. I do not have much experience, it is all coming from my research into preserving hams I did a while back, and primarily that one document.
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