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Makin' Bacon

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    Makin' Bacon

    My first shot at making streaky bacon. Two slabs of side meat, both just under 1 1/2 pounds, cured for two days as per the simple bacon recipe and the curing calculator.

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    Decided to do one slab with a pepper crust and leave the other plain except for the pepper that glommed into the fat cap. On the kettle @225 with a couple chunks of apple.

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    Fingers crossed! We'll see what we're workin' with here in an hour or so.

    I predict you will be very happy with both of them! They look great.


      I’ve bought a couple pork bellies over the years. Never cured, just sliced and cooked like regular bacon under the guise of "its more healthy."

      Reality...nothing is healthy. Going to do a full cure on the next one!


        I'm wondering if 2 days is enough cure time. I assume the calculator told you that.


        • mnavarre
          mnavarre commented
          Editing a comment
          It actually said 1.4 days, they're only an inch thick.

        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          I did a 4 pound belly last month and I think the calculator said 4 days. It really wasn't much thicker, maybe 1 1/2". I ended up going 7 days, couldn't get to it during the week. I really wanted the maple syrup I added to penetrate as much as possible. Hope yours turns out good !!

        Doing my first as well. Just have a longer cure time so will be smoking comming weekend. Looking forward to your results.


          Good luck, it should come out delicious. I take mine to 150 for the fully cooked staged.


            Came out pretty good. Certainly seems cured, though it's not as salty as I expected and a bit on the sweet side for my tastes.

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            Next time I make it I'll probably back off on the sugar a bit and maybe give it a bit longer in the cure. I should probably go buy a couple of bellies.


              Looks nice. You don't have any brown uncured spots. Try one more day for the salt. I normally do a 5lb slab for 7 days with my recipe but it is not the same as Meatheads.


              • mnavarre
                mnavarre commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeah, it's cured no problem, but I do think another day would not have hurt and may have had some benefit.

              Some more thoughts after I got a chance to cook up a few slices.

              I'm not sure that it's too sweet, rather I think the molasses from the brown sugar is too prominent. Need to play with different sugars. I used honey on my last back bacon and that is fantastic. Maybe turbinado or piloncilo.

              The pepper crust? Do that. It's so good. Mental note: use some fresh Tellicherry next time.

              I could have rolled heavier smoke right up front with the apple, maybe add some oak for bite.

              Salt. Needs a bit more, or maybe longer in the brine.

              Definitely need to go buy a couple of bellies to experiment with. For science.


              • Mark V
                Mark V commented
                Editing a comment
                I have made bacon with hickory, post oak, pecan, cherry, mesquite, and apple.

                Apple was the least flavorful. But, all of the flavors have their uses.

              Looks good. I need to do this again it’s been awhile since I have made bacon.


                Looks outstanding!


                  I like maple wood. I also use maple sugar and maple syrup.



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