Bacon made easy

E Mann

TVWBB Fan
Just did my first batch of bacon and I’m never going back to store bought! Next round, I’d like to do a bourbon brown sugar. Can I put the bourbon in with the cure or will then screw up the chemicals reactions?
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
The salty taste some get, if properly rinsed/soaked, puzzles me.
I rinse, rub under running water, and soak only for a few minutes changing the water a few times and it's not at all salty, and I'm not one who likes things salty.
I have same experience
Ive been sprinkling salt ON my bacon
Its not salty at all imo

It seem to me that too much brown sugar affects the ability to get crispy though. Only did 3 batches from same belly, first was better than next two . Meat was definitely sweeter and not crispy on last two. I think all i did different was likely more brown sugar.
 
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MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Seem to me the bacon cooked better after being frozen.

Anyone else notice or have opinion on this? Seemed more ...relaxed, pliable.

And....got me a globe 10" slicer from fleabay, so ill be slicing a lil more consistently in future. Should improve cooking too .

I had a few big ones near me for real good prices, shame i cant move around a 90 lb slicer. One woman almost begged me to buy her 12" 90lb univex for a song. I think this little globe gc-10 will be perfect for pork loin, bacon, pastrami, etc. 1/3 hp, medium duty slicer. 9.5" wide tray. Got a pastrami smoking right now...
 
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MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Another 11 lbs of belly made into bacon and vac sealed.
Learnt a few things

On some , didnt use brown sugar, just added some maple syrup to bag. There is lots sugar in tenderquick. Still taste sweetness. Not as heavy....but doesnt burn like the brown sugar infused stuff. Cooks better. Meat slicer worked awesome. My cut length is about 9.5", so i just lift front a tad and drop into blade to get last inch started. Nice long thin uniform slices. World of difference for cooking compared to hand hacked...i mean cut. Pepper is good.

Made sure to get more smoke into this batch too. Didnt cold smoke, but did mostly low temp so it took 12 hrs. Much smokier than first belly.

Again , i have to put salt on the bacon. I have no idea how anyones bacon comes out salty unless they use too much cure. Or are bad at rinsing.



https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipPOFh_aAXqTRFQN1GyoHs4r3vfBhInsMWmeRQX_
 
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Tim Murphy

TVWBB Fan
I tried it, she likes it!

Dear Bob,

Thank you for starting this thread. I recently bought a pellet grill and found a lonely pork belly at my local market. I knew my buddy from this board, and from fishing, Rolf Jacobsen had made your recipe for bacon on his WSM so I asked, what do I do? He sent me a link to this page and I read the first post and figured, let's see what happens?

I cheated a little and did a wet brine with apple juice and your ingredients. I cheated even more, and smoked it on my Traeger. All that aside, I never would have even attempted to make my own bacon had you not shared your recipe. I let my wife cook up a few slices for a BLT about 20 minutes ago. Her words, "I wish that sandwich never ended!"

Thanks again for sharing this Bob! I need to find more pork belly now!

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA ;)
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Tim,
You, and your wife just made my day!
I'm glad the method worked well for you.
Some Costco's are carrying pork bellies, if you have one near you.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Another 11 lbs of belly made into bacon and vac sealed.
Learnt a few things

On some , didnt use brown sugar, just added some maple syrup to bag. There is lots sugar in tenderquick. Still taste sweetness. Not as heavy....but doesnt burn like the brown sugar infused stuff. Cooks better. Meat slicer worked awesome. My cut length is about 9.5", so i just lift front a tad and drop into blade to get last inch started. Nice long thin uniform slices. World of difference for cooking compared to hand hacked...i mean cut. Pepper is good.

Made sure to get more smoke into this batch too. Didnt cold smoke, but did mostly low temp so it took 12 hrs. Much smokier than first belly.

Again , i have to put salt on the bacon. I have no idea how anyones bacon comes out salty unless they use too much cure. Or are bad at rinsing.



https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipPOFh_aAXqTRFQN1GyoHs4r3vfBhInsMWmeRQX_
Sorry Martin, I'm just now seeing your post.
Yes, cooking the sweetened bacon can be a challenge keeping it from burning and curling.
I suggest trying it in the oven, or at least start with a cold skillet and keep the heat reduced to moderate.

Saltiness, like many tastes, vary from person to person, and by what they're used to.
If you make more, try only giving it one quick, but thorough, rinse.
Also, try MTQ only, that should cut down on the sweetness. IMO most other flavors are lost when it gets rinsed.
Good luck!
 

Tim Murphy

TVWBB Fan
I'm glad I made you smile Bob!

Tim,
You, and your wife just made my day!
I'm glad the method worked well for you.
Some Costco's are carrying pork bellies, if you have one near you.
Dear Bob,

I'd love to make bacon more often, and will, thanks to your post that started this thread.

Just to add, for anyone that is thinking of making their own bacon, if I can do it anyone can. That said, start small and work your way up. It really was quite easy to make, but I don't want anyone to run out and buy a ton of pork bellies just because I said it worked for me!

Regards,

Tim Murphy;)
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Wizard
Can I make a decent pork belly bacon simply by following Bob's thread #1, or do I need to read-through all 500+ threads in this highly-popular post? What is considered the maximum-allowable temp for cold smoking, and can I do this at a higher temp due to 80-90 degree Fahrenheit summer temps? Thanks.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Can I make a decent pork belly bacon simply by following Bob's thread #1, or do I need to read-through all 500+ threads in this highly-popular post? What is considered the maximum-allowable temp for cold smoking, and can I do this at a higher temp due to 80-90 degree Fahrenheit summer temps? Thanks.
Yes. :)

First attempt I'd use MTQ only, in the amount described, then follow the directions to finish.
Cold smoking is not necessary, but you should shoot for around 150F smoker/grill temp, give or take 10 degrees.
The longer it takes to get the belly to 145F the more smoke it takes on.
A single row snake/fuse with chunks of wood works well, in most cases. Adjust vents as needed. KBB works great due to the fact they light so well off of each other.
Good luck!
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Definitely prolong the smoke as long as can by cooking low temp. There's no risk once it's been cured. using temps like 180 to 200 as some websites will say is way too hot and results in a short cook and very little smoke flavor.

And while you will find people cutting it thick by hand and saying they love it...... To cook it evenly all the pieces need to be the same thickness throughout... There really isn't a replacement for a good meat slicer imo , whether you like it thick or thin, uniformity is a key to cooking your bacon just right. A used meat slicer is a good investment.
 
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Tim Murphy

TVWBB Fan
Canadian Bacon turns out great too!

Dear Bob,

Using your dry cure recipe I did a couple of pork tenderloins using a mix of one tablespoon curing salt, 1/2 teaspoon of Hot-shot coarse blended pepper mix and a wee bit of brown sugar, like 1/8 teaspoon, per pound of meat. I dry mixed everything, and applied it like I was applying a bbq rub. I covered every inch of the tenderloins and shoved them in the fridge in a zip lock bag. One week later I rinsed them and aired them out overnight in the fridge.

I will never buy Canadian bacon again. I had all ready decided that I'll never buy store bought belly bacon either. I've also decided that I will use the exact same curing method for pork bellies going forward. The first couple I did I wet cured them in a similar curing salt brine with apple juice. They turned out well, but I think the dry cure method is less hassle, and way more of the pepper mix sticks to meat.

Thanks again for starting this thread so many years ago!

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA :D
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Tim,
I'm glad you're enjoying making your own American style bacon, and now Canadian bacon too.
It's been awhile since I've made CB, I need to pick up a loin.
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Wizard
Place it in a plastic bag.

After removing from the smoker or grill, bag it air tight and place in ice water to rapidly cool.
I'm moving closer to trying this recipe but have a couple questions:

1: during the cure can I vac seal it? If so, should I remove all the air, or only to the degree that would simulate a freezer bag hand-sealed?

2: Can I vac seal it during the rapid cool, removing all air during the seal process?

Thanks
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I'm moving closer to trying this recipe but have a couple questions:

1: during the cure can I vac seal it? If so, should I remove all the air, or only to the degree that would simulate a freezer bag hand-sealed?

2: Can I vac seal it during the rapid cool, removing all air during the seal process?

Thanks
As far as number 1, maybe someone that's tried it will chime in. Personally I wouldn't unless you do leave room for the liquids that will form to distribute when the bag is flipped over daily.
For number 2, I say no. Moisture will form when it's cooling and I like to dry it well before any bagging is done for storage.
 

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Platinum Member
Well I have a pork belly defrosting in the freezer and I think I'm going to start the curing process soon. I'm going the cure#1 route just because I'm very familiar with measuring it out for sausage and I have it on hand. Otherwise, I plan on following this approach.
I've got a 6 1/2 pound belly and I'll probably cut it into 2 three pound sections. Part of the belly is way thicker than the rest. My question is does it make more sense to add seasonings after the cure since you are going to rinse after the curing process. Obviously, it makes no sense to add more salt, but I'm think maybe a healthy dose of black pepper or something. I might go with brown sugar on one and white sugar on the other.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Dustin,
One of the things that prompted me to start this thread was all the posts, at the time, about Ruhlman's maple cured bacon.
I bought some cure #1, maple syrup, and maple sugar to see for myself what all of the hoopla was about. Maybe my taste buds are dead, but it didn't taste that much different than what I've made for several years using simply MTQ.
I'm by no means knocking using cure #1, I've also used it to make summer sausage.

Having said all that, I do usually add some brown sugar to the MTQ, even though it already contains sugar. Speaking only for myself, anything else added during the curing stage gets rinsed off, along with any flavors they might have added.
I've always wondered how well meat, that's mostly fat, takes on any flavors, even after 7 or so days.

Bottom line, for any flavor you want to add I suggest adding it to the slabs prior to smoking.
Hopefully others, with more refined taste buds, will chime in. :)
 

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