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Bacon and the Bucket List

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    Bacon and the Bucket List

    Been a long journey from burgers and dogs to home made bacon. Happy to say I can now take craft bacon off my bucket list. Started with half of a 5# pork belly, went with Meathead's maple bacon recipe and substituted espresso coffee and molasses for distilled water and maple syrup. Six day cure and apple wood smoked at 235 or so to 150.. Looking forward to jumbo BLT's tomorrow.

    After the cure

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    After the smoke:

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    And after a challenging hand slice. Next time I think I'll fire up the meat slicer.

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    #2
    Awesome. I have a Kurobuta belly on the way.

    Comment


    • cgrover60
      cgrover60 commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice. This was a red wattle form Heritage foods.

    #3
    Let's see, where's my bucket list... ah - craft bacon, # 337. I'm getting there...

    Great looking cook! I don't have a slicer but the local butcher will slice what he sold.

    Comment


      #4
      That looks really grand. Nothing better than homemade bacon. I'm going to give your substitute ingredients a try.

      Comment


        #5
        Sensational looking bacon there, I think there's something addictive in #1 curing powder haha

        Comment


          #6
          I have a pork belly in the fridge for my first stab at homemade bacon. Hope it comes out half as good as yours!!

          Comment


          • cgrover60
            cgrover60 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks pjlstrat. Good luck with your first stab.

          #7
          Looks fantastic. Cant wait to see that BLT

          Comment


            #8
            This is why I keep a roll of paper towels next to my laptop. To wipe off the drool.
            Great looking bacon.

            Comment


              #9
              I want some,

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                #10
                Looks great (and nice trays - i have the same ones).

                Hope you have a better slicer than I do. I got as a gift a small home slicer but it is pretty much garbage and although it goes so much quicker, its ruins half the slices, as the bottom seems to "catch" and shred far too often. So I still stick with par-freezing the bacon and using a long slicing blade. Still not ideal but I can get pretty even and *fairly* thin slices. I usually make bacon 2-3 times a year, usually a 9lb belly at a time, so it is not awful but any more than that and I'd probably want to upgrade my slicer

                Comment


                • rickgregory
                  rickgregory commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Serrated or smooth blade?

                • cgrover60
                  cgrover60 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Smooth blade.

                • coupster
                  coupster commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My medium grade slicer does the same tail trick. My solution is to take my time and flip over whatever I'm slicing every 6 slices or so - controls the ?under run?.

                #11
                Very very nice!

                Comment


                  #12
                  I, at last, found pork belly at Costco. It was a 9.8# slab vac-sealed by Swift priced at $2.99.

                  I rubbed the slab with Meathead's Memphis Dust and smoked the slab to 165F on my Pit-Boss pellet-pooper using apple wood pellets. I cut the slab into some different sizes, some for burnt ends and some for smoked, uncured bacon.

                  I sliced one of the 1# "bacon" slabs and fried some slices this morning. It smelled OK but the taste was definitely not bacon and the smoke taste was fairly anemic. Clearly the curing process, as expected, adds some great flavor. I am thinking about experimenting:
                  1. Add a slab back to the smoker and smoke it longer.
                  2. Attempt to cure a slab and then smoke it again. My guess is that because the pork belly is "cooked" it will not accept the cure.
                  3. Forget 1 and 2 and make other recipes.
                  I would really like to hear any ideas and or experiences y'all have about about saving this bacon.

                  Thanks,
                  Gary

                  Comment


                  • rickgregory
                    rickgregory commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You didnt cure it? Then it's not going to be bacon.

                    ta this point I'd divide it into parts and look for recipes for pork belly. Braised belly etc can be very tasty and I've seen people braise it, cool and slice and then grill it to add crunch, using it in sandwiches or other dishes.

                    Don't toss it but don't try to use it has bacon at this point.
                    Last edited by rickgregory; September 28, 2020, 12:42 PM.

                  • shify
                    shify commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You made smoked pork belly, not bacon. Good nonetheless but not bacon.

                    I would re-cure or re-smoke. You pretty much did step 1 for pork belly burnt ends, so I’d stick with that or otherwise cook with it. Would probably be good in pasta, as a play on carbonara or use as the starting point for a tomato sauce

                  #13
                  Many thanks to 'Rick Gregory' and 'shify'. You've confirmed what I suspected. I think what I'm going to do is cure 1# and re-smoke and just re-smoke another pound. The sliced pound is going into other recipes and the other 6 or so pounds are going into burnt ends or other recipes. I may get tired of PB Burnt ends , but ... Wait! What does that even mean?

                  Thanks,
                  Gary

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