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Makin' Bacon: 1st attempt

JerkChickenJerkChicken Posts: 551
edited June 2012 in EggHead Forum
Here is my first attempt at some homemade bacon. Thanks to forum members for the help....

I did a sweet and a savory. The pork bellies I got from Whole Foods; couldn't find em' anywhere else, or any larger for that matter. 

The Savory had pink salt, Kosher salt, sugar, fresh garlic, cracked black pepper, fresh thyme, bay leaves.

The Sweet had pink salt, Kosher salt, brown sugar, Jack Daniels, Real Maple Syrup.

After 7 days of curing and flipping I smoked the bellies over Apple and Maple wood. Probably went a little too long on the smoke because it started cooking the outside a little.

Came out fantastic, tasted similar to store bought bacon, with a slightly different texture and a tad more pork chop taste to it. It was bursting with flavor and my wife (very picky critic) said it was the best bacon she'd ever had....
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LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47

Comments

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you can shorten the cure time with those thin chunks. cure is working into the middle from four sides.
    was that the ruhlman/polcyn ('charcuterie') recipes (both sweet and savory)?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Z_EggineerZ_Eggineer Posts: 537
    That looks fantastic to me.  Making homemade bacon is something I have wanted to do since I got to sample different flavors at a restaurant in Chicago last year.
  • JerkChickenJerkChicken Posts: 551
    @ Stike, Thanks for the tip. Yea the recipes are loosely based on the Charcuterie recipes I got from you and others in a discussion some time ago...

    I encourage other forum members to give this a shot. Easy and fun as hell....

    I got the Pink Salt from the online butcher shop:

    LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if you ask your butcher in advance, they can usually set aside the whole chunks of belly.  they typically don't get them delivered the way you bought yours.,  they likely cut those themselves from whole belly
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • IrishDevlIrishDevl Posts: 1,390
    OOOOOHHHHH, like the JD idea.  I am making some now and will go pour a shot or two in.
  • OOOOOHHHHH, like the JD idea.  I am making some now and will go pour a shot or two in.



    In the bacon or in the cook?

  • JerkChickenJerkChicken Posts: 551




    In the bacon or in the cook?
    In the cook (me), and in the brine  ;)
    LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47
  • onedbguruonedbguru Posts: 373
    I grew up on salt/pepper cured bacon that hung in the smokehouse for 2-3 weeks during the cure process and then it would stay out there until it was breakfast time and as a 5-6 year old had to go "get the bacon" where it was thick cut and fried along with some of the best biscuits and sausage gravy and eggs and tomatoes and maybe some pancakes to go with it.  YUUUMMMM!!!!
     
  • AdamdAdamd Posts: 160
    I really want to try some home made bacon. I buy the local stuff from the butcher, but really want to try the homemade stuff!!

    That stuff looks good!
  • ccpoulin1ccpoulin1 Posts: 386
    I use butcher-packer products and also the sausagemaker products....both are great.  I love to make canadian bacon (i am curing some now)  I refer to it as "ham jr."  It is a really cool hobby, and you can play with the flavors etc.  i really prefer canadian bacon over the belly, but both are great when you do it yourself.  Bacon is like crack of the world of food! 

    "You are who you are when nobody is looking"

  • JerkChickenJerkChicken Posts: 551
    edited June 2012
    I use butcher-packer products and also the sausagemaker products....both are great.  I love to make canadian bacon (i am curing some now)  I refer to it as "ham jr."  It is a really cool hobby, and you can play with the flavors etc.  i really prefer canadian bacon over the belly, but both are great when you do it yourself.  Bacon is like crack of the world of food! 
    I refer to bacon as: Meat Candy

    I haven't had REAL canadian bacon before. Only the stuff they throw on pizzas... I'd like to try the real deal.
    LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    'canadian' bacon (lojn bacon) can be done in 3 days.  buy a nine dollar whole loin, and three days later you'll have more back bacon than a short angry drunken canadian could shake a stick at
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ccpoulin1ccpoulin1 Posts: 386

    Stike,

     

    What do you use to cure it in 3 days? Mortons????

     

    For me, i prefer butcher-packer maple cure.  A 10 lb piece takes about 3 oz of cure.  I cut the loin in 3 equal pieces and throw in the fridge with a little bit of maple suger (crystalized).  I rotate the meat in the juice it makes every other day (never remove the juice).  Then on smoking day (up to 21 days later...), i remove the meat, let it come to room temp and roll it in more maple sugar after i have removed any moisture  (best to let it dehumidify sitting on a rack, rather than patting it dry while it is coming to room temperature) smoke it with maple wood (currently in my bradley 6 rack digital, haven't dared to mess with my success and switch over to the bgexl, though i am sure it would be fine)  I bring it up to an internal temp of 152* and shut it down.  The family loves it!  Same recipe goes for belly bacon, but it typically takes fewer curing days because it is thinner.  You can tell when it is done by the firmness.  The feel and texture change alot.

    "You are who you are when nobody is looking"

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    brine curing with pink salts will cure loin in three days. sounds like you are dry curing.

    morton;s wouldn't speed it anyway. it's just premade flavorless cure. (salt+nitrite+sugar).  also has nitrate, in case you dry cure.  morton's also has glycol in it. not sure the benefit of that

    skip the premixed cures, now that you have some under your belt. mixes are simply pink salts, salt, sugar and flavorings.  a pound of that pink salt ($3.50 at butcher-packer.com) will do 400 pounds of meat or so. after that, it's just sugars and kosher salt. a lot cheaper, and more flexible


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ccpoulin1ccpoulin1 Posts: 386

    COOL,

     

    Thanks for the advice....and you are right, i always dry cure.

     

    ccpoulin1

    "You are who you are when nobody is looking"

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if you brine cure the loins, you'll preserve a little more moisture.  i like the dry cure to stiffen up the belly bacon (and other stuff), but find the loins can benefit from a brine (pickle, really)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,167
    'canadian' bacon (lojn bacon) can be done in 3 days.  buy a nine dollar whole loin, and three days later you'll have more back bacon than a short angry drunken canadian could shake a stick at
    I saw what you did there

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Question for the bacon miesters.  I have a pork belly that has been curing for 7 days, seems like its still a little squishy at the thickest part, but squishy is a relative term, so not sure how squishy squishy is. If I stop the curing process to soon what would be the downside?  Due to obligations and work, today is my last chance to smoke the bacon until next weekend.  If I wait another 7 days will the bacon be to salty?  Oh and this is my first one so I don't have experience to guide me.

    Thanks in advance.  
    Simi Valley, California
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    it will be fine taking it out now.  if it is typical thickness, the cure has done its work
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,124
    I started my Canadian bacon brine thinking my Prague #1 would be delivered the next day.  It didn't for a few days, so I ended up brining for 8 days. Smoked to 145 F.  Ended up being the best I've ever tasted.  It was gone after a day (had company) - eating straight up and on pizzas.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,124
    I'm picking up more loin this weekend to make more.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Yeah, its less than two inches, about 1 and 3/4.  OK Will pull and smoke today :)  Cant wait.  I started a thread a few days ago and will update that with pics etc.

    Simi Valley, California
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    that is actually a bit thick.

    should feel firm, but it should still give.  if it is like a bag of worms, then it's too soft.


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • OK Thanks Stike, I don't feel any worms, so I think I may go ahead and pull it and get the egg ready.  Worst case I will end up with some smoked pork belly.... 
    Simi Valley, California
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    it'll be fine.  has to be cured by now
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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