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Side Bacon Ordered

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    Side Bacon Ordered

    I am taking the plunge. I ordered a fresh side of side bacon, the hogs are meeting their demise tomorrow. I will pick it up Thursday evening (same day my curing salt gets here). I will put it in the brine Thursday evening and smoke it a week and a half later.

    Kind of excited, I do like a good bacon!

    -Alden

    #2
    AWESOME... Let us know how it turns out!

    Comment


      #3
      Are you using the recipe here? I wanted to try dry curing but followed Meatheads instructions instead.

      Comment


        #4
        I will be following Meathead's recipe for most of what I am doing. I thought that I might make some ghost pepper bacon too so I will probably reserve a pound for that since my wife won't get near that!

        -Alden

        Comment


          #5
          I followed MH's recipe exactly the first time and my wife said it was a tad too sweet (I used apple for wood). next time I used hickory and the bacon was perfect for her. My thread on making bacon:

          http://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/for...n-from-scratch

          Comment


          • wild bill
            wild bill commented
            Editing a comment
            i have found that Meathead's taste is sweeter than mine, so when i get a chance i cut back a bit on what brings in the sweetness. It is all about taste..

          #6
          Great thread Alden. I'm looking forward to this.

          Comment


            #7
            Ditto what Jon said. Keep us posted!

            Comment


              #8
              Originally posted by FLBuckeye View Post
              I followed MH's recipe exactly the first time and my wife said it was a tad too sweet (I used apple for wood). next time I used hickory and the bacon was perfect for her. My thread on making bacon:

              http://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/for...n-from-scratch
              I am probably going to use Cherry since that is what I have on hand. I am waiting on some Hickory from the local sawmill (they split wood too). I am going to drop off a load of lumber to be dried at a kiln on Saturday morning. I might see what they have for air dried planks, might be able to pick up a piece or two of some Oak or Hickory.

              -Alden

              Comment


                #9
                I too, ordered my fresh uncured pork belly yesterday. Supposed to be in for Friday. The weekend is supposed to be warmer than last, somewhere around 17 degrees Celcius (63 degrees F) So with the smoker in the gazebo out of the wind, and jury rigged to vent out through the screens, it should be a good weekend for smoking. I've got apple, cherry and hickory on hand, plus I still have some whiskey oak as well.

                Comment


                • AldenMiller
                  AldenMiller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Isn't it supposed to sit in the brine for 7 - 10 days before smoking it?

                • cadmentr
                  cadmentr commented
                  Editing a comment
                  You're absolutely correct about the brining time. Hadn't read the recipe for a while, but the smoker is inside the gazebo now, so wind and rain won't matter. A ceramic heater set on high should alleviate the temp if it's cold outside. Picked up the pork belly which came in at just over 10 lbs. so will be cutting it into 3 sections. 2 I'll freeze now to make bacon with later, 1 I'll put into the brine in an hour or so. Thanks for the update.

                #10
                I picked up a side of bacon today, just shy of eight pounds. First photo is the skin getting trimmed. Second photo is the weighing in. Last photo is the first hunk in its marinade ready to rest for a week and a half.

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                  #11
                  Well, the bacon has been smoked. I will say I am not too pleased with the end result. Nothing to do with the recipe or the meat but with the smoking of it. The bacon came out with a sooty taste to it. It was one of two things, first guess is that it was really windy yesterday (gusts 20mph+). Second is that the hickory I used might still be a little green to smoke with. To me the bacon had a sooty flavor to it. I smoked it at 225 for about two hours until it hit 150 degrees, let it rest in the refrigerator and then sliced it. Tonight I will vacuum pack it and fry up a couple slices that aren't end pieces to see what I will be eating for a while...

                  -Alden


                  Comment


                    #12
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                    Morning All:

                    I smoked my bacon yesterday too. And I am so pleased with the results. I only did 1 piece that came in at about 4 pounds, I probably should have done all three pieces. I've got Bradley smoker, and despite the fact that it's one of the ones that's not very high on the list of smokers, I've never had anything come out of it that wasn't fantastic.

                    I used Meatheads recipe for the brine, and used real maple syrup, with the apple bisquettes, 225F for 2-1/2 hours as the piece was over 1-1/2" thick. I tried a couple of small pieces fresh from the smoker, and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

                    Alden, you took some great photos, especially of the process and the slab in the brine. My photos didn't turn out quite as well as yours did but I was very pleased with the end result. I'll have to take another piece out of the freezer so that I can put it into the brine. Here are some of the photo's I took.
                    Attached Files

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                      #13
                      I am definitely going to try again, I might have to do the same as you and try smaller pieces until I figure out if it was the windy day or the hickory I used.

                      -Alden

                      Comment


                        #14
                        I process 3 or 4 50# cases of pork belly a year, most of it into bacon. I mostly use various dry rubs similar to those Michael Ruhlman's book Charcuterie. What I have found regarding smoke is that it is very easy to overdo on hickory which results in a bitter smoke flavor. Hickory is a very potent smoke and IMHO, best used for a quick blast of smoke flavor on a burger or steak. For anything that will be cooked longer, only use hickory for a very short part of the cooking time. Better yet, use something milder like apple, cherry, or maple. Homemade bacon will spoil you as well as make you a lot of friends.

                        Comment


                          #15
                          I must recant some of my statement. It was the ends that tasted sooty. Last night while vacuum packing the bacon I threw a couple pieces in the frying pan and cooked them up. It was quite delicious, my wife liked it too. I guess the rind on the end piece was just a little too much for me. Now I have plenty of good bacon in the refrigerator and freezer!

                          -Alden

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