Bacon made easy

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Update from Bob & Chris: 10/5/2019

It was recently brought to our attention by a TVWBB member that the Morton salt website says the following about Tender Quick:

"We cannot recommend Morton Tender Quick for use with pork belly or bacon. Due to the differing fat content of individual cuts, the curing time for these items may vary significantly. For this reason, we cannot recommend the appropriate amount of Tender Quick or curing time in this application."

Keep in mind that many people have used the recipe posted here with great success to make bacon, and there are countless recipes on the Internet using Morton Tender Quick to make bacon with pork belly. Readers should decide for themselves how to proceed.

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Update from Bob: August 28, 2016
Chris has posted my process in Cooking Topics found here.
A big thank you to Chris for starting this great website and maintaining it with such high standards.
Thanks also to the members for all the inspiration provided over the years, and for the wonderful friendship.

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I'm not knocking any posts/recipes on bacon making, but if you want to try your hand at curing/smoking bacon, here is an easy way to start.

Buy some Morton's Tender Quick, locally if available, or online.

For slab bacon, buy a pork belly.
For Canadian bacon, buy a pork loin.

Add 1 Tablespoon of TQ for each pound of meat.
Rub it on the meat.
Add brown sugar, and/or spices, if you would like.
Place it in a plastic bag.
Put it in the fridge for 7 days, turning each day.
Day 7, rinse very well in cool water, pat dry, put on a cookie cooling rack, place in the fridge for a day, or at least several hours.
Cool smoke to around 145/F degrees internal.
Slice, fry, and enjoy!

I've made bacon several ways, for many years, and this is still my preferred method.

Edit to add:
After removing from the smoker or grill, bag it air tight and place in ice water to rapidly cool.

Another edit:
After the rinse/soak fry a piece or two to test the salt level.
If too salty, rinse/soak longer.
 
Last edited:

Wolgast

TVWBB Olympian
Thats not hard enough B0B!



Sssshhh....dont make it sound this simple. Now its not even fun to post a bacon batch anymore.



Will try this next time...Thanks for sharing.
 

Geir Widar

TVWBB Wizard
One tablespoon is 20 grams. Two pounds of meat is 908 grams, so then you add 4.5% tender quick to the bacon.

I guess MTQ must have some sugar in it. Then the salt content would be around 3%..

As far as i can see, the "easy" part her must be the tablespoon?

A tablespoon, at least a regular one, is a very unprecise measurement tool. You should at least use a special maeasure spoon.


I'm sure you'll get good results with this recipe, as it is the same one that I use.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
A tablespoon, at least a regular one, is a very unprecise measurement tool. You should at least use a special maeasure spoon
You got it Geir, goldfish!



Tender Quick contains the cure agent, salt, and sugar.

My hopes are to get more folks making their own bacon, and thought some recipes sound daunting, with all the precise measurements, and additional ingredients.
 

Geir Widar

TVWBB Wizard
Well, then we have the same hopes. I do not have access to Mortons tender quick, but I do own a couple of the the goldfishish spoon sets. One for wet, and one for dry.


My point is not to say anything wrong about your excellent approach, just to point out that the basic recipe is the same, just presented in different ways.

As far as I can see, you americans are much more used to buy ready made mixtures than we are here in Europe. But we are catching up, the latest product I have seen is "scrambled eggs in a box". How diffucult is it to take four eggs, add four tablespoons of water, a half teaspoon of salt, and some white pepper?

The answer for me is "not so difficult that I'm willing to spend more money to get the not-so fresh eggs in the container for a higher price and chemicals added".
Sorry for the rambling.

More people making their own bacon, now that's something I can like!
 

j biesinger

TVWBB Platinum Member
My point is not to say anything wrong about your excellent approach, just to point out that the basic recipe is the same, just presented in different ways.
What would be even easier is to buy a scale and go metric
.

I get the point that people like their recipes in tsp and Tbs, but switching to metric weights is truly the easier way to go. I'd gladly dump my drawer full of measuring cups and spoons for my scale, but hardly any recipes are published in metric.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Too bad they didn't force the metric system on us, here in the USA, several years ago as was planned.

As a land surveyor (retired) we used feet for measurements, but tenths & hundredths of a foot instead of inches.
So much easier than fractions for me when I build something.
I still have and use an engineers tape and folding ruler.
 

j biesinger

TVWBB Platinum Member
Too bad they didn't force the metric system on us, here in the USA, several years ago as was planned.
some times our pride gets in the way of progress


on a side note, I wonder how much recipe cooking has been determined by the tsp, Tbs, cup system? When I used to work on recipes, I kind of had a psychological bias to make additions equal a standard measure. When I switched to metric weights, I feel free to add whatever I want. I still kind of tend towards ending a weight in a 0 or a 5 though
 

TroyRedington

TVWBB All-Star
Originally posted by Geir Widar:
How diffucult is it to take four eggs, add four tablespoons of water, a half teaspoon of salt, and some white pepper?
wait wait wait...
you add water to your eggs when you scramble them!?
 

Geir Widar

TVWBB Wizard
I sure do.
It makes the scrambled eggs much more fluffy. Cold water.

I thought everybody used this trick to get fluffy scrambled eggs??
 

Stuart S

TVWBB Pro
Originally posted by Geir Widar:
I sure do.
It makes the scrambled eggs much more fluffy. Cold water.

I thought everybody used this trick to get fluffy scrambled eggs??
I learned this trick from a Swedish instructor in cooking school many years ago...it seems to be a European way of doing things that was passed down through the apprenticeship system. Putting milk, or cream, in eggs is loathsome to me...but only because I've tried water and dairy and prefer the ice cold water method by far!
 

Jon Des.

TVWBB Gold Member
Bob -- thanks for posting this. Bacon is next on my to-do list, and if it works out then I'm planning to give some out as Christmas presents. Just need to find pork bellies.

Geir -- I'm with you on the cold water over dairy. I think eggs take on a rubbery texture with milk that they don't with water.
 

Steve Petrone

TVWBB Diamond Member
Bob, I salute your simple approach to bacon. I worked my butt off making ketchup based BBQ sauce...i got up to 27 ingredients. Nobody made any or was interested in them because it required too many ingredients and too much effort.
I got wise. Figured out how to make a sauce with only five ingredients. No.5 sauce. Simple is what gets folks off the couch...after they learn they can do it, they will learn how to make it their own. It does not have to be difficult. Good call Bob. Now I need to find a belly.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Thanks guys!

Steve,
I'm honored to have my bacon even mentioned in the same post as your wonderful #5 sauce!


Now I just need to adapt my old 3 ingredient oven wing recipe to the grill.
Wings, brown sugar, and soy sauce.
Heat can be added, but my wife is the polar opposite of a chilehead.
 

Jon Des.

TVWBB Gold Member
OK, found a pork belly today at my friendly local Asian grocer. It was rolled up and packaged on a napkin on top of a small paper plate then wrapped in Saran wrap. Anyway, it's been rubbed with MTQ, brown sugar, black pepper and white garlic powder and is hanging out in the fridge. It seemed like I'd never get all of the cure to stick, but it's done. So in the next 7 days, I need to figure out what's next. Feel free to commment on any or all of these points.

- I'm going to flip daily, rinse on the last day, then slice a piece and fry off to check for saltiness. Assuming all is well, I'll dry it in the fridge overnight and then smoke. If too salty then I will soak then dry.

- I'm planning on peppering it again before smoking. I'm hoping it will stick, but maybe I should do that before drying it?

- It's only a 2 pound piece of belly. Should I slice it in 2 before smoking?

Thanks for your help in advance. And thank you Bob for your timely posting of this thread.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Jon,
Looks like you have it well covered.
I would leave the slab whole.

I put pepper with the cure, but haven't tried to cover it before smoking.
Perhaps put a layer of pepper on a platter and press the slab onto it?
Maybe others can help.

Good luck, I'm sure it will taste great!
 

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