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Bacon - My Journey

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  • Spinaker
    commented on 's reply
    The scale I have can measure in OZ, lbs and mgs. Which makes it nice. Always my go to when curing. gboss

  • gboss
    commented on 's reply
    (continued) burning fire, which is definitely easier to do at higher temps on a kamado, as you mention.

    Anyway, just a couple of ramblings from my experience with my Akorn and Akorn Jr.

  • gboss
    commented on 's reply
    (continued) elements causes them to smolder and give dirty smoke. If you only have a small amount of coal lit and the wood on top of that, you get the "small, hot fire" you're looking for.

    I see your point about 225 vs 275 for this, but I think I slightly disagree on this one. If your fire is sufficiently small and hot, smoking at the lower temperature gives you longer time in the smoke. With bacon only going to 150F, I appreciate the extra time. But, this still hinges on a properly small

  • gboss
    commented on 's reply
    Spinaker you may want to have a mg accurate scale if you're trying to accurately measure out 3.5g of prague powder. But be careful buying a mg accurate scale as the normal users of those are probably not weighing out pink salt.

    Lots of great points here that line up with my experience, especially about airflow in a kamado. Part of my early learning curve on a kamado was lighting too large a fire initially. If the fire is too large, the restricted airflow is divided among all those burning

  • RustyHaines
    replied
    Thanks for this post SheilaAnn I am soooo going to make some more bacon soon and I appreciate the information and inspiration !

    Leave a comment:


  • Spinaker
    commented on 's reply
    You got it! That is exactly why we are here! Hope you are loving that KJ Jr.

  • SheilaAnn
    commented on 's reply
    Spinaker thank you for the advice!

    Actually, @everybody! This is why I love AR so much, so many teachers!

  • efincoop
    commented on 's reply
    I have read that some folks find Diamond Crystal less salty compared to Mortons.

  • Spinaker
    replied
    Using a kitchen scale is the best way to go when you are curing anything. There is no better way to get it right!

    Another thing on the smoke and the KJ. I find that when I am using mine, I do not add any wood until I am putting the food on. Use chips, instead of chunks. And put them right on the hot fire. Then sprinkle a few around the fire for them to light later on. They will burn up fast, but in that small of a smoking chamber, you do not need much.

    Remember, kamados have a lot less airflow than another smoker, so there is much more residence time for the smoke to adhere to the meat. We do not need to load the cooking chamber with smoke to get the desired amount of smoke. You will be better served to use a small hot fire, with a half a hand full of chips over a few chunks thrown in the fire bowl.

    I would not worry about the difference between apple and hickory, both of these woods will work fine. The key is to get them to burn, not smolder. That is where chips come in. Or at least chunks split into smaller pieces.

    Another point to consider.....there is no reason on earth to cook at 225 F. Especially when cooking pork belly. Kick the KJ up too 275 and let it go. You will have better combustion, a cleaner fire and a cleaner smoke profile. Plus, your bacon will be done sooner so you can enjoy it!

    Leave a comment:


  • jfmorris
    commented on 's reply
    SheilaAnn all that uncured stuff uses celery salt as a nitrite source. It's really a marketing ploy more than anything. Read the second paragraph here:

    https://amazingribs.com/tested-recipes/cured-meats/

    And then look at the fine print on the next uncured meat you buy, and see if it has celery powder or juice as an ingredient... the "uncured" bacon I bought the other day sure did.

  • gboss
    replied
    Looks really good, especially for a first time, bravo.

    The slicer really makes a huge difference.

    I slice off the ends and save them for collards, beans, soup, etc. The end pieces are too intensely flavored for me to eat on their own.

    I like hickory for smoking my bacon. We both enjoy Benton's bacon and the intense hickory flavor that it has. I can't get anywhere near the flavor Benton's has at home but I like the similar smoke profile.


    I am with ecowper on this one regarding the "uncured" bacon that is our there. It is cured, just using celery powder or celery juice.

    Nice job! Eat it quickly so you can make it again!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by gboss; November 23, 2021, 11:50 AM. Reason: Edit: grammar.

    Leave a comment:


  • ecowper
    commented on 's reply
    SheilaAnn you don't have to use prague powder. You can use just salt to brine. You will get a more hammy flavor, less bacony. Using celery salt won't help since it also contains nitrites/nitrates ..... it's just a way for food manufacturers to claim their food is "uncured".

  • SheilaAnn
    commented on 's reply
    jfmorris after years of narrowing down what causes my heartburn, it’s mostly nitrates/nitrites. I can do the “uncurled” stuff like Nueske’s Cherrywood Bacon and other similar products. But go figure…. I can go heavy on crushed red pepper, some hot sauces, etc. Raw garlic was the culprit for a while, when I needs lots of garlic, I lean toward confit or roasted.

  • jfmorris
    commented on 's reply
    @ShielaAnn the amount of nitrite if you follow the recipe or the curing calculator is extremely small, and should have no health concerns or ill effects. Without it, your bacon is just salt cured ham. Well, actually, not cured at all...

    Maybe you are enjoying too much of your new bacon? That's a common issue for me... I had a salad for lunch yesterday for example. With about 8 strips of bacon on top!

  • SheilaAnn
    commented on 's reply
    I used diamond crystal because that’s what I had. Pulled at 151*F because I didn’t hear the timer.

    Overall, I am feeling good about my bacon game and will keep tweaking for our tastes. Of course, my fellow pitmasters are my best advisors!

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