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Monkey see, Monkey do ... Bacon question

Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 573
Alright, so with all this bacon talk, I'm trying my hand at it too. I've been reading like crazy on and off this form, and would like some clarification. I have a 5.5lb belly with the skin on and want to do a dry cure. One problem I have is I can't get my hands on pink curing salt right now. My butcher gave me a bit of the curing salt he uses though. It should also be noted I'm going to do a hot smoke.

Does this cure make sense for 5.5lbs?
Kosher salt: 69.25g (2.45oz)
Curing salt: 6.25g (0.22oz)

Also, how much maple syrup, and should I remove the skin before or after smoking? Seems like after is easier.

Thanks in advance.
LBGE (2012), MiniMax (2014), and too many Eggcessories to list.  - Sudbury, Ontario
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Comments

  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 587

    Check out this cure calculator which should give you the amount you need...

    http://www.diggingdogfarm.com/page2.html

    Handy Universal Cure Calculator
    Weight of Meat in Grams... grams
    Cure #1 % Nitrite... %
    Salt % Desired... %
    Sugar % Desired... %
    Parts Per Million (PPM) Nitrite...
    Cure #1 Needed... grams
    Salt Needed... grams
    Sugar Needed... grams
    Total grams

    Based on the calculator you've got the cure amount right and looks like you are going >2% salt.

     

    Large BGE

     

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  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 587
    Also Ruhlman (Charcuterie) says 1/4 cup Maple Syrup for about 5 lbs... I usually put about 1 oz with every 800-1kg cut of belly. 

     

    Large BGE

     

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  • Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 573
    Thanks. Do you prefer to use the maple syrup while its curing, or just brush on while it's smoking?
    LBGE (2012), MiniMax (2014), and too many Eggcessories to list.  - Sudbury, Ontario
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  • Greeno55 said:
    Thanks. Do you prefer to use the maple syrup while its curing, or just brush on while it's smoking?
    while it's curing



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  • Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 573
    Preference when to take skin off?
    LBGE (2012), MiniMax (2014), and too many Eggcessories to list.  - Sudbury, Ontario
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  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,096
    I cold smoke mine and have been taking it off after the smoke. May take it off before this time to see if it helps let smoke penetrate the bacon a little more. Anyone take it off before?
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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  • FliehighFliehigh Posts: 76
    I always take mine after I smoke it. Honestly though I am not sure why I do it this way other than, I just do it this way. :)
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  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,267
    I remove before, par freeze and take time it's a hassle the first time. I use the skin to make chicharones. I feel I get a great smoke skin off. It works either way, I have never done maple syrup yet but I got maple chips for my next go around to give it a shot.
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  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,096
    U_tarded said:
    I remove before, par freeze and take time it's a hassle the first time. I use the skin to make chicharones. I feel I get a great smoke skin off. It works either way, I have never done maple syrup yet but I got maple chips for my next go around to give it a shot.
    The maple batch from Charcuterie is my favorite so far. I have been leaving skin on to protect from too much smoke, but have ended up not getting enough. So, I can either smoke longer or remove skin before the smoke this time. Decisions, decisions.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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  • I take skin off before on cold smoke, after on hot smoke (and I never hot smoke anymore)

     

     


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  • doubledouble Posts: 1,214
    I take skin off after cure before smoke.
    Lynnwood WA
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  • Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 573
    edited April 2013
    Thanks for the info, and for all the tips in this thread and the others. I decided to try skinless for this first one. Pretty excited. Hoping to smoke them next weekend.
    image.jpg 490.5K
    image.jpg 4.3M
    image.jpg 520.9K
    LBGE (2012), MiniMax (2014), and too many Eggcessories to list.  - Sudbury, Ontario
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  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,267
    Good looking belly, gonna be "the best" bacon ever for ya!
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  • lblankelblanke Posts: 8
    so what's the consensus - cold or hot smoke the bacon?  i can't believe there is such a divided camp on this. i don't understand why you would cook the bacon twice.
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  • lblanke said:
    so what's the consensus - cold or hot smoke the bacon?  i can't believe there is such a divided camp on this. i don't understand why you would cook the bacon twice.
    there is no need for consensus. If you want regular bacon, you cold smoke it. Otherwise you are cooking it twice as you said. It's not bad, but it's not the bacon you are used to. Much more firm and chewy if you hot smoke then pan fry or bake.

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  • lblankelblanke Posts: 8
    that's what i figured.  thanks for the feedback. 
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  • Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 573
    Ok Cent-Tex, you've convinced me to try one belly cold smoked instead of both hot. This'll be my preference experiment. I'm using an AMSPS in a cleaned out Egg. Temps are supposed to be in high 40s to low 50s next weekend. You think I can just let the pellet smoker go, or would I need to through an ice water tub in there? What's the upper temperature limit?
    LBGE (2012), MiniMax (2014), and too many Eggcessories to list.  - Sudbury, Ontario
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  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,096
    Last batch I did was 45 ambient and egg never got over 67 degrees
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,096
    I have 16lbs forming pellicle right now. Will smoke tonight or in morning.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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  • Greeno55Greeno55 Posts: 573
    @Chubbs, that's awesome. I'm still a week away from getting them in some smoke.
    LBGE (2012), MiniMax (2014), and too many Eggcessories to list.  - Sudbury, Ontario
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  • doubledouble Posts: 1,214
    @Chubbs do you just have bacon continuously curing? You always seem to have it on the go.
    Lynnwood WA
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  • Greeno55 said:
    Ok Cent-Tex, you've convinced me to try one belly cold smoked instead of both hot. This'll be my preference experiment. I'm using an AMSPS in a cleaned out Egg. Temps are supposed to be in high 40s to low 50s next weekend. You think I can just let the pellet smoker go, or would I need to through an ice water tub in there? What's the upper temperature limit?
    just let if go. It won't raise the temps hardly at all with those ambient temps. 

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  • Chubbs said:
    I have 16lbs forming pellicle right now. Will smoke tonight or in morning.
    just came home with a 12 lb belly. going in the cure in the am



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  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,096
    edited April 2013
    @Centex I just pulled mine from the egg. Kind if concerned. Went out there after 6 hours and the egg temp was 120. Got incredible smoke coloring but it was a little warm to the touch and flimsy. I pulled them and put them in fridge. Think still okay?
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,096
    Forgot pic
    image.jpg 1.3M
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,267
    Chubbs said:
    @Centex I just pulled mine from the egg. Kind if concerned. Went out there after 6 hours and the egg temp was 120. Got incredible smoke coloring but it was a little warm to the touch and flimsy. I pulled them and put them in fridge. Think still okay?
    you ever hot smoke? thats almost what you did.  any idea how it got so warm on you?

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  • doubledouble Posts: 1,214
    My concern would be that's danger zone territory depending on how long it was sat at 120... Although not sure how much it being cured changes things. Interested to see what @nolaegghead and @centex think
    Lynnwood WA
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  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,096
    edited April 2013
    I heated the AMS in 300 oven for 20 minutes. It is in 70's outside and I lit AMS on both sides for more smoke. So you think it is fine?
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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  • doubledouble Posts: 1,214
    Have you cut a piece and fried it up? I personally would be suspect and doing exactly what you are doing asking the forum! Sorry not much help but interested in the response. I wish it was 70 here! Cold and wet urgh
    Lynnwood WA
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  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,096
    edited April 2013
    double said:

    Have you cut a piece and fried it up? I personally would be suspect and doing exactly what you are doing asking the forum! Sorry not much help but interested in the response. I wish it was 70 here! Cold and wet urgh

    Haven't done that. I usually let it mellow in fridge for a day or two before I slice it up. Figured I would let it chill in there until I got some guidance. This batch was in the cure for 9 days. Not that it matters that much. Just thought I would throw that out there. I have never hot smoked and I am assuming the IT temp of the bacon is no where near 150
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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