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Bacon - My Journey

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  • SheilaAnn
    commented on 's reply
    I gotta tell ya, though, the Prague powder is killing me. I am getting the worst heartburn. Wondering about not using it. I need to study up.

  • SheilaAnn
    commented on 's reply
    CaptainMike and jfmorris that is exactly what I did tonight for some greens.

  • ecowper
    commented on 's reply
    jfmorris grams for the Prague powder is much more accurate.

  • jfmorris
    commented on 's reply
    CaptainMike I do that as well - I just go ahead and dice the end peices up in cubes and vacuum seal for a future pot of beans or something like that.

  • jfmorris
    commented on 's reply
    Wow! Mixing metric grams with old school tablespoons and teaspoons! I'm so confused....

    I may have to sacrifice a shot of rye to try this recipe however! Assuming I can afford another pork belly at some point soon with the meat prices and such.

  • jfmorris
    replied
    SheilaAnn So what was your problem with the salt? Did you use table versus kosher, or just a different brand than Morton?

    I've found the stock recipe is a little sweet and not as salty as I am used to, but having not made bacon in several years, I just followed it to the letter recently, and will probably tweak the sugar down by about 50% and increase the salt about 50% next go around myself.

    Your bacon LOOKS great, and I don't think it can be oversmoked if you pulled it at 140 to 150... just the end pieces maybe, and I like to cut the ends off and dice them up and freeze for use in beans and other recipes that call for bacon.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptainMike
    commented on 's reply
    Something else I've become accustomed to is slicing off the ends rather thickly, 3/4" or so, and save them for a recipe or two that calls for bacon, it really amps it up.

  • CaptainMike
    commented on 's reply
    I have tried this recipe and it doesn't suck at all.

  • ecowper
    replied
    This is my current personal favorite bacon brine recipe. I smoke with hickory, but I like smoky!

    3.5 grams Prague Powder #1
    4 tbsp kosher salt - this is Morton’s, not Crystal :-)
    4 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    2 cloves garlic (or 1 tsp minced garlic)
    3/4 cup distilled water
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    2 tbsp rye whiskey

    This is enough for 3 lbs pork belly and needs to brine for 4-6 days. I cook at 250F until a temp of about 150F … more looking for good color on the outside, honestly.

    I often pepper the outside heavily before cooking. Or use my EBR rub pretty liberally. One time I tried out Montreal Steak Seasoning, that wasn’t bad.

    Hopefully this helps you with figuring out the brine. The key thing is the Prague powder and kosher salt, plus right amount of liquid. The other stuff is about flavor profiles.

    Leave a comment:


  • rickgregory
    replied
    yeah, AR uses Morton's and uses volume measurements. If you're using Diamond, double the amounts AR asks for and you're close (it's 1.8:1 IIRC)

    Leave a comment:


  • SheilaAnn
    commented on 's reply
    Yes, next time I will cut the sugar a bit and do the pepper thing like you said.

  • SheilaAnn
    replied
    So I cut into it a bit more. Definitely a little less smokey. And I really feel like the flavor profile is a bit more balanced, but still not as salty as I would like.

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  • Oak Smoke
    commented on 's reply
    You can’t go wrong with apple wood. I have all the oak and pecan I could ever want. I still end up buying a bag of apple wood chunks every so often.

  • CaptainMike
    replied
    Keep in mind the end pieces will be a bit more concentrated with salt, smoke, etc. I prefer hickory as I like it on the smoky side, but as Sid mentioned you shouldn't be oversmoked in that short of time. However, if you want less of a smoke profile then go with fruitwood like apple or cherry. I also prefer a more savory bacon so I cut MH's recipe's brown sugar to 4 Tbsp, and add 1 Tbsp of garlic powder plus 1 tsp of smoked cayenne. After curing and rinsing I'll hit it with a nice dusting of coarse black pepper right before it goes in the smoker.

    As MH says in the recipe, get the basics and safety down then experiment from there.

    Oh, and I've started taking one portion of the belly and make bahn mi or PB burnt ends.
    Last edited by CaptainMike; November 22, 2021, 12:45 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sid P
    commented on 's reply
    SheilaAnn I assume it’s not salty enough?  I do like a lot of smoke, but I would think it’s difficult to over-smoke meat in the couple hours it takes to get the pork belly up to 150°. I used hickory for my first bacon cook and apple today, and my first impression is that I prefer apple. Did you wrap it in several layers of cellophane and then a layer of foil? I can’t imagine why, but bacon stinks up the fridge a lot more than leftover brisket or pork butt.

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