2

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Whole Foods uncured bacon with sugar?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 27, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Hi everyone. I just got back from Whole Foods where I bought a bunch of uncured fresh bacon thinking there would be no sugar in it. When I got home I read the label and of course, one of the ingredients I read was sugar. Since it is uncured it makes me wonder what the sugar was used for and how much of it is in it. Should I end up not using the bacon and give it to a friend or is it still safe to eat? Thanks!

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 27, 2013
at 12:42 PM

The jist of it is that you rub the pork belly with salt (I forget the proportions right now, but it's something like 2 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt to 1kg pork belly, plus 1/2 tsp sodium nitrite--instacure #1--if you want to use it.) and let it cure for a week. I use a large Ziploc. Turn it daily to distribute the cure. Then you rinse/pat dry, and roast at a very low temp (225F) until it hits 160. At which point, you have bacon. Let it cool and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for longer. (You can slice it as you're ready to fry it up. It's easier to slice when cold.) That's it!

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 27, 2013
at 12:39 PM

I don't smoke it. I generally use Michael Ruhlman's technique from his book "Charcuterie" but with a couple of changes. First, I only use curing salt sometimes. (Um, and I mistakenly typed nitrate last night. It's nitrite. Nitrates are used for dry-cured things like salami. (I don't worry about that either, in the quantities used.) Also, I tend to use an equal weight of sea salt v. kosher salt. I've done maple-bourbon, garlic/bay/black pepper/thyme, 5-spice, etc. Sometimes I cure with sugar, sometimes without. HIGHLY recommend Ruhlman's book. Also check out Punk Domestics for ideas.

8f87879387f2a357db7c33008ff9a04a

(887)

on January 27, 2013
at 02:40 AM

Are you willing to share this recipe? Do you smoke it? After having 2 butchers fuck up my bacon, I've decided to take matters into my own hands..

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4 Answers

best answer

5
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on January 27, 2013
at 02:30 AM

First, "uncured" doesn't mean it's not cured at all. It means that the cure doesn't include sodium nitrite (just salt). The cure, based on the ingredients, included sugar... probably to offset the salt a little for taste. However, the cure gets rinsed off before it's ready to eat. There will be very little sugar in the bacon, and I wouldn't worry about it.

Note: I cure my own bacon. I will occasionally put in about 1/4 cup maple syrup for a total of 3 lbs of pork belly, along with the salt, etc. After a week's cure this all gets rinsed off before I roast the bacon. Basically what I'm trying to say is that the amount of sugar in the entire package of bacon would be negligible. The amount in each slice? Almost zero.

*Edited because I had a rather big typo: sodium nitrite is different than sodium nitrate. Nitrites are used in things like bacon. Nitrates are used in dry cured meats like salamis (and break down into nitrites with time, as I understand it).

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 27, 2013
at 12:39 PM

I don't smoke it. I generally use Michael Ruhlman's technique from his book "Charcuterie" but with a couple of changes. First, I only use curing salt sometimes. (Um, and I mistakenly typed nitrate last night. It's nitrite. Nitrates are used for dry-cured things like salami. (I don't worry about that either, in the quantities used.) Also, I tend to use an equal weight of sea salt v. kosher salt. I've done maple-bourbon, garlic/bay/black pepper/thyme, 5-spice, etc. Sometimes I cure with sugar, sometimes without. HIGHLY recommend Ruhlman's book. Also check out Punk Domestics for ideas.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 27, 2013
at 12:42 PM

The jist of it is that you rub the pork belly with salt (I forget the proportions right now, but it's something like 2 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt to 1kg pork belly, plus 1/2 tsp sodium nitrite--instacure #1--if you want to use it.) and let it cure for a week. I use a large Ziploc. Turn it daily to distribute the cure. Then you rinse/pat dry, and roast at a very low temp (225F) until it hits 160. At which point, you have bacon. Let it cool and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for longer. (You can slice it as you're ready to fry it up. It's easier to slice when cold.) That's it!

8f87879387f2a357db7c33008ff9a04a

(887)

on January 27, 2013
at 02:40 AM

Are you willing to share this recipe? Do you smoke it? After having 2 butchers fuck up my bacon, I've decided to take matters into my own hands..

2
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 27, 2013
at 01:57 AM

I wouldn't worry about it. I would eat it and read the labels more carefully next time you are buying bacon.

1
5dd50f78f47b8848d93724d6eb38d4c1

on January 27, 2013
at 11:54 AM

Are you serious? It probably only contains a few grams of sugar and about 20 calories. Sugar in moderate amounts is harmless. Bacon itself sure isn't a health food anyway, so the minute amounts of sugar should be the last of your worries.

0
D87cf7bb07cfc85acf7203c17065d239

(268)

on January 27, 2013
at 03:21 AM

I miss bacon! If I want bacon I get applegate brand but the store is always, always out, or its such a tiny package :(

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