OK, Guys and Gals, we were makin' bacon yesterday.



No, not that kind. LOL
I got this recipe from Harry. Thanks Harry.(see below)

I bought a case of pork bellies. They had the skin removed, but still needed trimming and cleaning up.




Sticker shock



Got my cure #1 measured out. 1.1 grams per pound. Ya gotta have a scale. I got this one from Harbor Freight for about $20, I think.



The ingredients



I mixed everything into a little shaker jar. Makes it easier to mix and apply. (top left)




Rub into the meat. Use it all.



I then applied the Maple Syrup, Honey or left Plain for Pepper Bacon.
Wear disposable gloves and get ready for the biggest, stickiest mess that you have ever seen. No pictures of that, but here is the finished version all rolled and bagged up in 2 gallon ZipLock Bags. (l to r, Honey, Plain, Maple Syrup x 2)



Into the fridge for a 7 to 10 day cure.

Ingredients:
For each pound:
1.1 grams Cure #1
2.5 tsp Kosher Salt
2.5 tsp Granulated Sugar

These trimmed bellies weighed 7.5 to 9 pounds each so I used 1.5 to 1.75 Cups of Honey or Maple Syrup.
For the plain one, to be peppered later, I plan on 1/2 pound Cracked Black Pepper.

The plan. Smoke on the FEC at 100 or so, if I can keep it there with my #10 can option with Hickory.

To Be Continued.
Thanks for lookin' and stay tuned.
Original Post
Please post how much finished product you end up with. If I ever get time I want to experiment with some bacon. Was kind of curious what they will yield to figure some expected cost's per pound.

There is a local locker that makes really good stuff. He is $5.19 per # already this year. When BLT season gets here it will go up!
Finally. Today's the day.
Soaked in water, changing every hour, for 4 hours.
From top down. Maple, Honey, Peppered Maple and Just Peppered.
In the FEC with my #10 smoke generator.




Just had to try a sample at the 5 hour mark, so I sliced up one of the trim pieces. It was Maple. Jimmy Dean would be jealous. I'll pull it at 9 hours in smoke.



Thanks for lookin'
Thanks Que'n.
The ends and pieces from yesterday turned into a BLT. No pics of that one.
But, I got some today of the Peppered Maple.

I guess we're gonna have to call this a BLTB. BLT topped with bacon.

Chow time, with a glass of good ole Sweet Tea.

Thanks for lookin.
Thanks Russ and Que'n.
I hope I can introduce y'all to the wonderful world of bacon. You will never use store bought again.
I'll get some pics up of the rest of the sliced ones.
The one above was really lean. I've never seen bacon with that much meat in it.

Here is the Honey. A touch more fat to it.



I forgot to put the other Maple in the freezer last night, so those pics will have to wait.
I smoked my 2nd go a round of bacon just a few weeks ago. It was a 56 lb case of bellies from Restaurant Depot. I will NOT buy store bought again, ever. I have a whole belly (two halves) frozen from that case waiting to be brined and I think one half is gonna be peppered like you did Jarhead. It looked really good. I usually use the cure, sugar, salt and then brown sugar, but I might skip the brown sugar for the Pepper.

What temp did you bring it to finish? or did I miss that somewhere? I bring it to 150*

I smoke mine with the skin on, then slice it off after it cools enough to handle. Have you tried that? I would love to know if I would be better off taking the skin off before smoking? What are your thoughts?

Your pictures were great to look at. I may take more fat off while preparing for brine because your pieces look great! That box was worth the money!!!

As always, thanks for the very informative posts!
Thank you Vicki.

I don't cook it to temp. It is just "Cold Smoked".

I keep my smoker temps under 110*. Over that, the fat will start rendering. Not what you want.

That is why I used the #10 can smoke generator. 3 or 4 briquettes will get the chunks smoldering and smoking.

Then it's just a matter of throwing 2 or 3 chunks on every hour. Just shake the can to keep the vents clear when you reload.

These went anywhere from 9 to 10 hours in hickory smoke.

Skin on or skin off is kind of like cooking fat side up or fat side down.

I've smoked them both ways. Can't tell a difference. I even sliced them with skin on. But the bacon looks funny with nipples sticking out of it while frying. LOL

The skin is easier to get off after smoking, IMHO. Then deep fry the chunked up skin.

Nothing better than homemade pig skins, unless it's the bacon.
Hey Q'n.
I don't have a picture of it. It's a #10 can with 1/2" vent holes drilled through the bottom and about 1" up on the side.
Then you can either cover it with foil and punch a few holes in it or use a 10" or so cast iron skillet to use as a damper. I use the skillet. The foil is a PITA.
When it quits raining and we get out of this 'nader watch, I'll get you a picture.

Edit to add:
You can use your charcoal chimney instead of a can. The holes are a little large.
Thanks for the info. I had a good laugh with the nipple mention, LOL.

Yes, the skin is sooo easy to just fillet right off with a sharp knife. I even start with a knife and finish with a good pull if I can get a grip on it with all the grease. I need to try frying up the skin next time!!!

Hope you make it out of the tornado watch safely!

Vicki
You're welcome Vicki.
That's what I usually do, unless I'm short on time.
Deer camp 2010 with nipples attached.
I forgot to clip them off. I got a chuckle out of 10 guys drinking beer for breakfast and wanting those strips of bacon.
If I would tell you the entire conversation, Smokin' would put me in the penalty box.
None close by me, just a bunch of rain and wind.
OK and KS really got slammed though. I pray y'all out west are OK.
Que'n RN, here are the pics of it being lit.
Mine takes 5 minutes to build, costs $0.00 and you're good to go.

Grab a #10 or coffee can. Knock or drill some holes in it.
I ran out of gas on the fish cooker, so had to use the torch to light it.



Great way to season and clean cast iron. Smoke baby, smoke.




Use the # of briquettes and lump to control your smoker temps. CI skillet is the damper.
Patent pending. Wink

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