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Pork belly = bacon

Just received the Amazin smoker and traeger hickory pellets. Can someone please walk me through the process. I researched the forum and couldn't find really what I wanted.

Cure 7-10 days with a spice mixture, wrap. I have a food saver
Wash, smoke for around 12 hrs

I have sawdust of different woods. Could I add some of that? The guy I watched on YouTube lit a lot more of the pellets than I thought you should. Thanks for any help.
Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
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Comments

  • Chef CharlesChef Charles Posts: 822
    edited October 2013

    I will be interested in hearing the responses.  I tried cold smoking some bacon for the first time last weekend but have yet to try out the results.  In my case, I cured the belly for 11 days, washed it and then air dried it in the fridge over night.  The next day, I cold smoked it for 7 hours.  It looked fantastic when it I pulled it.  Planning on some bacon and eggs on Sunday.

    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

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,455
    What was your cure? Let me know how it goes please. Thanks.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • 11 days = salty. Too long if your cure was right.

  • LitLit Posts: 2,443
    Its not just some spice you have to use a cure that includes pink salt from what I have seen. The main recipes for the cures I have seen posted are the 2 from Charcuterie. Also you don't need to food saver it you want room in the bag for the liquid to come out of the belly.
  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 10,929
    edited October 2013

    I will be interested in hearing the responses.  I tried cold smoking some bacon for the first time last weekend but have yet to try out the results.  In my case, I cured the belly for 11 days, washed it and then air dried it in the fridge over night.  The next day, I cold smoked it for 7 hours.  It looked fantastic when it I pulled it.  Planning on some bacon and eggs on Sunday.

    Tom

    cut a small piece and test it. If it's too salty (as I'm guessing it will be) you can still totally save it by soaking it in cold water for 30-60 minutes. I usually go 7 days- maybe 8 if the belly has not firmed up and I still soak it. I love salt too so it's not that I'm sensitive to it. 



  • Home-Cured Bacon (adapted from Charcuterie)

    Order five pounds of fresh pork belly from your grocery store, the pork guy at your farmers market, or from a local butcher shop.

    —Buy a box of 2-gallon zip-top bags if you don’t have a container big enough to hold the belly.


    —Mix the following together in a small bowl:

    2 ounces (1/4 cup Morton or Diamond Crystal coarse kosher) salt

    2 teaspoons pink curing salt #1 (I use this DQ Cure from Butcher-Packer, $2)

    4 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

    4 bay leaves, crumbled

    1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

    1/4 cup brown sugar or honey or maple syrup

    5 cloves of garlic, smashed with the flat side of a chef’s knife

    2 tablespoons juniper berries, lightly crushed (optional)

    5 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)


    —Put your belly in the zip-top bag or on a sheet tray or in a plastic container.  Rub the salt and spice mixture all over the belly.  Close the bag or cover it with plastic wrap, and stick it in the refrigerator for seven days (get your hands in there and give the spices another good rubbing around midway through).

    —After seven days, take it out of the fridge, rinse off all the seasonings under cold water and pat it dry.

    —Put it on a sheet tray and put it in the oven (put it on a rack on a sheet tray if you have one) and turn the oven on to 200 degrees F. (if you want to preheat the oven, that’s fine, too). Leave it in the oven for 90 minutes (or, if you want to measure the internal temperature, until it reaches 150 degrees F.).

    —Let it cool and refrigerate it until you’re ready to cook it.  But I know.  You won’t be able to wait.  So cut off a piece and cook it.  Taste it, savor it.  Congratulations!  It’s bacon!

    Notes:  If you don’t have five pounds of belly, either guesstimate salt based on the above or, if you have a scale, multiply the weight of the belly in ounces or grams by .025 and that’s how many ounces or grams of salt you should use.

    If for any reason you find your bacon to be too salty to eat (it happens, especially if you measure your salt by sight, which I sometimes do), simply blanch the bacon and dump the water before sautéing it.


  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 10,929
    edited October 2013
    I don't do the juniper berries, nutmeg or Thyme. I cut WAY back on the garlic and I add a lot of cracked black pepper.

    This recipe also assumes you don't have an egg and you are cooking in the oven. I do a cold smoke with Apple Wood in the Amaze N Smoker on the egg. Cold smoked bacon has a much better texture than hot smoked. 


    This will get you started.

    You MUST use curing salt in your cure. Pink salt is not Himalayan Salt, or pink sea salt. It is Sodium Nitrite. If you don't use Sodium Nitrite in your cure, you are not making bacon and you risk food borne illness.



  • In addition to the basic cure (Pink Salt, Sugar, Salt) I put 4 jalapenos and 4 Cloves of garlic through a food processor and add it to the cure.  Its our favorite, the end pieces will have a little heat. :)

    I usually soak the belly in fresh water after the cure for at least two hours, changing the water every hour.  This helps cut down on the saltiness.  CT is correct about blanching if it is still to salty.  Its a veery easy process with stunning results.
    Simi Valley, California
  • I actually soak in cold water. Works every bit as good as a blanch and does not cook the bacon. 

  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,293
    edited October 2013
    In addition to the basic cure (Pink Salt, Sugar, Salt) I put 4 jalapenos and 4 Cloves of garlic through a food processor and add it to the cure.  Its our favorite, the end pieces will have a little heat. :)

    I usually soak the belly in fresh water after the cure for at least two hours, changing the water every hour.  This helps cut down on the saltiness.  CT is correct about blanching if it is still to salty.  Its a veery easy process with stunning results.
    Yes, CT is correct, he always is, do you know who he is?



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

  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,255
    I'll be following this thread as well. Waiting on the belly to arrive at the butcher so I can pick that up as well as the sausaged wild hog I dropped off Monday :)
    Dunedin, FL
  • I will be interested in hearing the responses.  I tried cold smoking some bacon for the first time last weekend but have yet to try out the results.  In my case, I cured the belly for 11 days, washed it and then air dried it in the fridge over night.  The next day, I cold smoked it for 7 hours.  It looked fantastic when it I pulled it.  Planning on some bacon and eggs on Sunday.

    Tom

    cut a small piece and test it. If it's too salty (as I'm guessing it will be) you can still totally save it by soaking it in cold water for 30-60 minutes. I usually go 7 days- maybe 8 if the belly has not firmed up and I still soak it. I love salt too so it's not that I'm sensitive to it. 


    Thanks for the words of wisdom.  I actually did soak it in cold water rather than just rinsing it once I finished curing it.  Around here, we can't get pink salt.  Instead, something called ready cure is used and it has less nitrates.  A fellow on another forum cured his belly for 2 weeks with success.  As this is the first attempt for me, I will wait to see how things turned out.  Good to know that if it is too salty, I should cut the curing time down.  I might also play around with adding spices to the cure the next time too.  Thankfully, I only used a small piece of belly so I won't mind too much if it turns out to be a disaster.

    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

  • I will be interested in hearing the responses.  I tried cold smoking some bacon for the first time last weekend but have yet to try out the results.  In my case, I cured the belly for 11 days, washed it and then air dried it in the fridge over night.  The next day, I cold smoked it for 7 hours.  It looked fantastic when it I pulled it.  Planning on some bacon and eggs on Sunday.

    Tom

    cut a small piece and test it. If it's too salty (as I'm guessing it will be) you can still totally save it by soaking it in cold water for 30-60 minutes. I usually go 7 days- maybe 8 if the belly has not firmed up and I still soak it. I love salt too so it's not that I'm sensitive to it. 


    Thanks for the words of wisdom.  I actually did soak it in cold water rather than just rinsing it once I finished curing it.  Around here, we can't get pink salt.  Instead, something called ready cure is used and it has less nitrates.  A fellow on another forum cured his belly for 2 weeks with success.  As this is the first attempt for me, I will wait to see how things turned out.  Good to know that if it is too salty, I should cut the curing time down.  I might also play around with adding spices to the cure the next time too.  Thankfully, I only used a small piece of belly so I won't mind too much if it turns out to be a disaster.
    cool deal. Nitrates are not the devil. If you don't like nitrates then celery should keep you up at night. :)


  • In addition to the basic cure (Pink Salt, Sugar, Salt) I put 4 jalapenos and 4 Cloves of garlic through a food processor and add it to the cure.  Its our favorite, the end pieces will have a little heat. :)

    I usually soak the belly in fresh water after the cure for at least two hours, changing the water every hour.  This helps cut down on the saltiness.  CT is correct about blanching if it is still to salty.  Its a veery easy process with stunning results.
    Yes, CT is correct, he always is, do you know who he is?
    Umm... Hes CT.
    Simi Valley, California
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 3,661
    Thanks for the words of wisdom.  I actually did soak it in cold water rather than just rinsing it once I finished curing it.  Around here, we can't get pink salt.  Instead, something called ready cure is used and it has less nitrates.  A fellow on another forum cured his belly for 2 weeks with success.  As this is the first attempt for me, I will wait to see how things turned out.  Good to know that if it is too salty, I should cut the curing time down.  I might also play around with adding spices to the cure the next time too.  Thankfully, I only used a small piece of belly so I won't mind too much if it turns out to be a disaster.
    Looking forward to your result and what you think should be the right amount of Ready Cure to use because that's what I got as well. 
    Vaughan, ON, Canada

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,078
    You can get pink salt here but it isn't readily available. Canada Compounds has it. Nothing wrong with ready cure but  you have to buy more.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 3,661
    Got my ReadyCure from CC's Toronto HQ in Woodbridge a while back. Just noticed they have Prague powder listed in their website (same concentration as pink salt), will check again next time, it's two minutes from my local Costco.  Returned your Blendtec?
    Vaughan, ON, Canada

  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 1,723
    I've been wanting to try this too. Couple of questions, if you cold smoke, how long do you cold smoke? Can I cold smoke by putting the meat in the small BGE and lighting the large and join the two with dryer duct? Or vice versa? Do you freeze the bacon right after smoking?

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,152
    shtgunal3 said:
    I've been wanting to try this too. Couple of questions, if you cold smoke, how long do you cold smoke? Can I cold smoke by putting the meat in the small BGE and lighting the large and join the two with dryer duct? Or vice versa? Do you freeze the bacon right after smoking?
    I cold smoke about 8-10 hours (stop when I get the color I want I use apple because I like the flavor).  Yes you just want to keep you meat chamber as cold as possible somewhere between 40 and 100 degrees.  I par freeze (30 mins to an hour) then slice, pack in 8 ounce packs and freeze from there. 
  • doubledouble Posts: 1,212
    With the Amazen heat it and the pellets in the oven at around 220 for 20 mins to half an hour. I have done this on their recommendation and never had it go out on me. Other than that listen to CT. 
    Lynnwood WA
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 1,723
    @U_tarded or Cen Tex or somebody. Would it be ok to start with frozen pork belly? Would you thaw it out then cure and smoke and re-freeze?

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,152
    shtgunal3 said:

    @U_tarded or Cen Tex or somebody. Would it be ok to start with frozen pork belly? Would you thaw it out then cure and smoke and re-freeze?

    The ones I get are almost always frozen. I'm pretty sure they leave the packer that way.
  • Yep. Thaw, cure, smoke, eat. i dont refreeze- it never lasts long enough

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,455
    Got my belly, pink salt and the pbr... Waiting till tomorrow
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • henapple said:
    Got my belly, pink salt and the pbr... Waiting till tomorrow

    academy?

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,455
    Raped the pink salt... They also have the dessicant pouches. I had already ordered some. They did have a good variety of wood chunks. Thanks for the tip.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • henapple said:
    Raped the pink salt... They also have the dessicant pouches. I had already ordered some. They did have a good variety of wood chunks. Thanks for the tip.

    Man, I would hate to be pink salt in your neighborhood.........

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,244


    henapple said:

    Raped the pink salt... They also have the dessicant pouches. I had already ordered some. They did have a good variety of wood chunks. Thanks for the tip.




    Man, I would hate to be pink salt in your neighborhood.........

    Agreed. Watch out henapple. Reactions to that stuff is worse than a STD. Better stick it in some grape jelly to reverse the damage before it falls off.
  • blukatblukat Posts: 32
    On day 6 of my first pork belly cure, following the maple cure recipe from Charcuterie. Using Legg Cure that I got from my local butcher shop, it says 6.25% 1oz per 25 lbs of meat. Hope I didn't ruin my first pork belly?
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