First time bacon - need some help

Anne M.

TVWBB Super Fan
Yep,
The mistake is in the top.
First they say amounts for 5 kg of meat
Then they give the amounts per kg, but those are the amounts per 5 kg ...

Definitely a very messy translation and potentially dangerous!
I used to be a member of their forum, lemme see if I can still post and point it out
 

BrianCal

TVWBB Super Fan
Mini update...had a BLT with it yesterday, definitely didn’t seem as salty, but might have been the balance with other ingredients. Still tough, wondering if that was something as dumb as me cutting it in the wrong direction.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Mini update...had a BLT with it yesterday, definitely didn’t seem as salty, but might have been the balance with other ingredients. Still tough, wondering if that was something as dumb as me cutting it in the wrong direction.
It shouldn't be tough, no matter how you slice it.
I can only guess that it's a problem with the curing, or the pork belly you started with.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
This last batch of bacon I did is like beef jerky. I think like Bob said it was in the curing, I think I cut it short a day, don't really know but this is the first time that has happened. Always use Costco bellies so I can't blame them. FYI I use tender quick.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Silly question I guess, but are you sure the skin was removed?

Rich,
I'm sure even Costco has a bad slab show up once in awhile.
Not all pork bellies are created the same. :)
 

BrianCal

TVWBB Super Fan
Ok, second attempt - MUCH better







No toughness, not overly salty, very pleased with the results
 
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BrianCal

TVWBB Super Fan
Changed the recipe, tried one with maple syrup:
4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark maple syrup
3/4 cup distilled water
1/2 teaspoon Prague Powder #1

And one without:
* 3 tablespoons kosher salt
* 1/3 cup white sugar
* 2 tablespoons pepper
* 2 teaspoons paprika
* 1 teaspoon pink curing salt (aka Prague Powder #1)

Cured for 10 days this time. When I took them out of the cure, rinsed them really well, then left them in a fresh water bath twice for 15 minutes. Then air dry overnight. Also, didn’t have the stall issue this time, just a steady smoke at 160-170 until they got to 140 degrees.
 

Tony-Chicago

TVWBB Fan
Excellent!
What percent of weight was the salt?
How long was the cook compared to last time?
You think it was the cure time it the smoking. Or both that helped. Or just experience.
You guys might make me a bacon cooker yet.
 

BrianCal

TVWBB Super Fan
Excellent!
What percent of weight was the salt?
How long was the cook compared to last time?
You think it was the cure time it the smoking. Or both that helped. Or just experience.
You guys might make me a bacon cooker yet.
Didn’t do it by weight, but each belly was just shy of three pounds, one had a tablespoon of salt, the other had one and a half. One big difference, I believe, was that when i took them out of the cure I rinsed them carefully, and soaked in fresh water for 15 minutes twice, to pull out the salt.

It was in the cure for ten days. After the rinse, was left uncovered in the fridge overnight. Switched from the Smokey Mountain to the Performer. Kept it rock steady between 160-170 for about four hours, never had the stall at 130 like last time. Ironically, lower temp but shorter cook than the first attempt.

I think it was a combo of trying to learn from the first time, and paying attention to suggestions here, and a few other sources. I wanted to learn the curing piece, since the temp / smoke / timing etc are more familiar territory to me. Once I feel confident in the curing process, I can then focus on flavors and seasoning.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Could you taste any of the flavors that were in the cure, black pepper, brown sugar, or maple syrup?
 

BrianCal

TVWBB Super Fan
Could you taste any of the flavors that were in the cure, black pepper, brown sugar, or maple syrup?
Not a ton, just the maple syrup but it was very mild. Which is ok by me, I’d like the meat and the smoke be the main flavor and the other flavors be an additional layer.

But I’m also toying with the idea of applying a rub after rinsing off the cure. Maybe something like cracked black pepper or a coffee rub, might be a fun variation
 

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