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First batch of home cured bacon - Lots of pics

2 weeks ago, I started to prepare my first batch of home cured bacon using the recipe from the book Charcuterie. It was well worth the effort! And when I say effort, it was really kicking my ass and stop procrastinating...

The bellies were vacuum sealed with the curing mix in food saver bags. I turned the bags every other day until the 7th day. I then hot smoked the bellies in the egg for about 3 hours @ 200F until they reached an internal temp of 150F. I removed the skin while they were still hot and let them cool down before I vacuum sealed them again to let the smoke mellow for 7 more days in the fridge. This morning, I baked some of it in a pan lined with foil in the oven @ 375F for about 15 minutes.

Awesome, just awesome!

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Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli

Comments

  • smokesniffersmokesniffer Posts: 1,582
    Hey that looks mighty tasty. Nice job. That type of bacon is sooooo good. Guess you will be doing more huh! 
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,422
    Dammit! I'm just about to have a store bought bacon and tomato sandwich. Really nice.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 1,136
    edited October 2013
    @smokeniffer You bet! In fact, if I can get my hands on a belly tomorrow, I'll start a new batch and try cold smoking it

    @Little Steven It is really nice. It's too bad that tomato season is over. I wish I had made a batch this summer...

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • I have some belly curing in the fridge that I am going to cold smoke next weekend.  I can hardly wait to see the results of this eggsperiment.

    Tom

    Tom

    Charles is a mischevious feline who always has something cooking

    Twin lbge's .. grew up in the sun parlor of Canada but now egging in the nation's capital

  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 1,136

    I have some belly curing in the fridge that I am going to cold smoke next weekend.  I can hardly wait to see the results of this eggsperiment.


    Tom
    Is it your first attempt at making bacon?

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • Yep ... not sure what to expect

    Tom

    Charles is a mischevious feline who always has something cooking

    Twin lbge's .. grew up in the sun parlor of Canada but now egging in the nation's capital

  • nice paq. you will never go back to store bought again. I prefer the texture of cold smoked but they both taste great. I just use the large amaze n smoker with Traeger apple pellets. it smokes overnight for 12 + hours. Super easy and great smoke flavor. For under $40 it's a great way to turn your egg into a cold smoker.

  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 1,136
    edited October 2013

    nice paq. you will never go back to store bought again. I prefer the texture of cold smoked but they both taste great. I just use the large amaze n smoker with Traeger apple pellets. it smokes overnight for 12 + hours. Super easy and great smoke flavor. For under $40 it's a great way to turn your egg into a cold smoker.

    Thanks CT. It was you who made the recommendation to use food saver bags and it worked great! For some reason I thought that the belly would not fit in food saver bags... but it was perfect.

    I already have the amaze n smoker and a ton of pellets to go with it but so far I only used it for smoking nuts and cheese. Bacon is my next step but I was waiting for the weather to become colder before leaving meat outside in danger zone temperatures for an extended period of time.

    Thanks!

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 3,999
    Nice!  Did you use Canada Compound's ReadyCure instead of pink salt? If so, what proprotion/ratio? I tried curing bacon once, it wasn't bad but I forgot which recipe I used and struggled with pink salt substitute conversion.  I now have a copy of Charcuterie.  I also plan to cure them in Foodsaver marinator containers instead of bags.
    Vaughan, ON
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 1,136
    @Canugghead I used Prague powder #1 from Stuffers. It is the same thing as pink salt except that it is not pink so no conversion required. Their customer service is A+++ if you have questions you can call them and they will help you.

    http://www.stuffers.com/product-p/rcuprague1.htm


    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 3,999
    @paqman, thanks for the link. I noticed the company is in Langley BC. Did you order from their website or is it available in supermarket meat department locally?
    Vaughan, ON
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 1,136
    @Canugghead I ordered by phone because Canada Post ground shipping was not available online.

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • @canugghead- bags are better. keeps the cure in contact with all sides of the meat for the entire cure. hard sided containers are not your best bet. If you have bags, use them instead.

  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 1,136
    More pics

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    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • @paq- you don't have to worry about safe zone temps when curing and smoking. cold smoke is anything under 100 degrees. I do it overnight in the summer just to keep it under 100 (since it's always over 100 during the day for a few months. That is just for texture though. It's still safe over 100. With the the cure and the smoke to protect the meat it's totally safe to smoke over 40 degrees.

  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 3,999
    CT, thanks you're right, I was wondering about that too.  Guess Foodsaver hard sided vacuum containers are more suited to liquid marinade even though sometimes I wonder if it's really effective too!
    Vaughan, ON
  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 11,630
    edited October 2013
    CT, thanks you're right, I was wondering about that too.  Guess Foodsaver hard sided vacuum containers are more suited to liquid marinade even though sometimes I wonder if it's really effective too!

    People swear by them but there are some studies that use dyes that show there is no difference in liquid penetration under vacuum over just sitting in liquid at normal pressure. It it works for you, I say go for it though. I do all kinds of stuff that have no rhyme or reason. I just do it because i think it's better.

  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,609

    @paq- you don't have to worry about safe zone temps when curing and smoking. cold smoke is anything under 100 degrees. I do it overnight in the summer just to keep it under 100 (since it's always over 100 during the day for a few months. That is just for texture though. It's still safe over 100. With the the cure and the smoke to protect the meat it's totally safe to smoke over 40 degrees.

    And I've been waiting for winter to do bacon why??
    Dunedin, FL
  • yzzi said:
    @paq- you don't have to worry about safe zone temps when curing and smoking. cold smoke is anything under 100 degrees. I do it overnight in the summer just to keep it under 100 (since it's always over 100 during the day for a few months. That is just for texture though. It's still safe over 100. With the the cure and the smoke to protect the meat it's totally safe to smoke over 40 degrees.
    And I've been waiting for winter to do bacon why??

    get after it.

  • Dyal_SCDyal_SC Posts: 1,885
    My, my, my... =P~
    2014 Co-Wing King
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 3,999
    People swear by them but there are some studies that use dyes that show there is no difference in liquid penetration under vacuum over just sitting in liquid at normal pressure. It it works for you, I say go for it though. I do all kinds of stuff that have no rhyme or reason. I just do it because i think it's better.
    so true!
    I picked up few of those containers for a song and use them for storage when I'm not marinating. As marinater they store nicely in the fridge without risk of spilling; great for transporting too.
    Vaughan, ON
  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,609
    yzzi said:
    @paq- you don't have to worry about safe zone temps when curing and smoking. cold smoke is anything under 100 degrees. I do it overnight in the summer just to keep it under 100 (since it's always over 100 during the day for a few months. That is just for texture though. It's still safe over 100. With the the cure and the smoke to protect the meat it's totally safe to smoke over 40 degrees.
    And I've been waiting for winter to do bacon why??

    get after it.
    Pink salt ordered.
    Dunedin, FL
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,430
    @paqman you're killing me with those pics!  Looks delicious. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • blukatblukat Posts: 32
    Hey guys, thinking about making some bacon on the egg!  Is there a post that gives some of the details of the process?  @paqman how did you get the bacon sliced so well?  Thinking about checking on a A-maze-n smoker now!
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 1,136
    @blukat I used a slightly modified version of the recipe from the book Charcuterie. You can find another one from the same author here: http://ruhlman.com/2010/10/home-cured-bacon-2/ For the cure, I used 12 grams pink salt, 50 grams sea salt and 100 grams maple sugar per 5 pounds belly. The original recipe called for 12 grams pink salt, 50 grams kosher salt, 50 grams brown sugar and 60 ml maple syrup. To cut it, I simply used a sharp knife and a very cold belly. I placed it in the freezer for about 20 minutes before slicing.

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • blukatblukat Posts: 32
    Alright thanks for the info @paqman, started my first pork belly into bacon this morning. Got a small 2lb belly for my first attempt. Following the Charcuterie Maple-Cured Smoked Bacon. I'll update as I go along.
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  • blukatblukat Posts: 32
    @paqman & @greeno55. I finished up by first attempt at making bacon! Everyone was right, it will now be hard to go back to store bought bacon! I already purchased a 5lb pork belly to get more curing. Thanks for all the help, this forum is great! Next thing on the list is a brined, smoked turkey for Thanksgiving!
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