Bacon

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No pics yet, but I’m starting out on my first bacon experiment. Had about 6lbs of pork belly strips I got from Costco awhile back. Used Jess Pryles recipe. 7 days in bags in the cure, then 24 hours in the fridge uncovered. Then smoke for 3 hours or til 150. Will update
 

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No pics yet, but I’m starting out on my first bacon experiment. Had about 6lbs of pork belly strips I got from Costco awhile back. Used Jess Pryles recipe. 7 days in bags in the cure, then 24 hours in the fridge uncovered. Then smoke for 3 hours or til 150. Will update
Sounds similar to the way I make ours. I follow a variation of the Weber “Smoke” book recipe with honey and maple syrup, crusted with black pepper. I typically do 2 - 8# bellies at a time cut into roughy 1# pieces after smoking with the excess vacuum sealed and frozen until ready to fry.
 
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This didn’t call for any liquid. Salt, sugar, black pepper, paprika, and cure. Rub all over evenly. Said will produce liquid, and to turn over and rub in daily, then take out and rinse off. Back in fridge for 24 hours uncovered then smoke too 150, at 200
 

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This didn’t call for any liquid. Salt, sugar, black pepper, paprika, and cure. Rub all over evenly. Said will produce liquid, and to turn over and rub in daily, then take out and rinse off. Back in fridge for 24 hours uncovered then smoke too 150, at 200
Yep. Two schools of thought on Bacon...Dry cured vs. wet cured. It all comes down to preference.

We tend to use most of our bacon for snacks and “grazing” during big family parties and my wife’s annual reunion where it has become a staple of our Friday night cocktail hour. Hence the wet cure with honey and maple syrup and crushed black pepper pressed into the fat before dry refrigerating for 24 hours and then hickory smoked.

I also like the dry cured bacon, especially on sandwiches, and will use apple pellets when making it that way.
Let me know how yours turns out.
 
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I do have some questions. So after you let it set for 7 days...you rinse off and put the syrup, and black pepper, on then smoke? Also it looks to me that after the smoking up to 150, you will still need to fry like regular bacon? I was thinking of once I rinse off the cure, putting fresh cracked pepper on is before the smoke.
 

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I appreciate this is mainly an American based forum and your Bacon is different to how we do ours in the Uk generally.

If interested this is how I do mine, Dry cure the same as you in Cure No 1 Salt, Pepper, Sugar and the ones I currently have in Bay leaves (but have used treacle, molasses, honey, beer etc in the past) but sometimes the simplest ones taste the best in my experience.

The photos are 2 pieces (approx 1.5kg each) I am currently curing for Xmas, started them last Friday and either Tuesday or Wednesday will cold smoke for 2 x 6 hour sessions after washing cure off and drying for 24 hours. looking for outside temp of around 4-6 degrees, over 2 nights and run a maze of mixed dust containing hickory and oak in my cold smoking cabinet. let it rest for 24 hours and slice and vac pac.

The slices are then fried off in a frying pan with mushrooms and ketchup on the bread for a sarnie or as part of mixed grill for a Full English breakfast etc.

IMG_0623.JPG


This is pictures of the cabinet I use along with maze at bottom

IMG_0544.thumb.JPG.14e2d74ba8dc4e6f06228e3c5d744fae.jpg


With a couple of pieces of cheese in

IMG_0562.thumb.JPG.051ea1751dca474adcc966083284a923.jpg



And this is how I fry my bacon up from raw once cured and cold smoked, no need for any oil in the pan as the bacon releases enough fat into the pan to cook it

IMG_0149.thumb.JPG.c75e57dede1b3bf8ad12df368ec3e0da.jpg


I cold smoke my own cheese, salmon, nuts, garlic, butter and got a couple of duck breasts that I am curing for Xmas which I will then cold smoke in time for Xmas (first time trying this).

Keep meaning to try the American way but get sidetracked with other dishes, but definitely will next year:)
 
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I do have some questions. So after you let it set for 7 days...you rinse off and put the syrup, and black pepper, on then smoke? Also it looks to me that after the smoking up to 150, you will still need to fry like regular bacon? I was thinking of once I rinse off the cure, putting fresh cracked pepper on is before the smoke.
Dry curing and wet curing are two different approaches to the same end.

Wet involves submerging pork belly in a liquid of curing salty, kosher salt and flavorings ( in my case maple syrup and honey) for up to 48 hrs, drying, I bedding dry crushed peppercorns into to fat side and placing on a drying rack in a refrigerator for up to 24 hrs. Then smoking slowly in either SB or no more than 209F (I use Hickory but Apple also works well) until the internal bacon temperature reaches 150F... approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hrs. I then cool, cut into 1# chunks, vacuum seal and freeze until ready to use. I then slice and fry just like store bacon.

Dry curing involves a similar process to reach like, but but slightly different end-results by forcing the moisture to the surface. However, both require frying to finish the process.

Further, making bacon is different than smoking pork belly —also a great meat, especially for burns ends and sandwiches— as there you need to smoke to a temperature approaching 195-200F to make the meat safe for consumption, while you accomplish that by frying the smoked bacon.
 

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I appreciate this is mainly an American based forum and your Bacon is different to how we do ours in the Uk generally.

If interested this is how I do mine, Dry cure the same as you in Cure No 1 Salt, Pepper, Sugar and the ones I currently have in Bay leaves (but have used treacle, molasses, honey, beer etc in the past) but sometimes the simplest ones taste the best in my experience.

The photos are 2 pieces (approx 1.5kg each) I am currently curing for Xmas, started them last Friday and either Tuesday or Wednesday will cold smoke for 2 x 6 hour sessions after washing cure off and drying for 24 hours. looking for outside temp of around 4-6 degrees, over 2 nights and run a maze of mixed dust containing hickory and oak in my cold smoking cabinet. let it rest for 24 hours and slice and vac pac.

The slices are then fried off in a frying pan with mushrooms and ketchup on the bread for a sarnie or as part of mixed grill for a Full English breakfast etc.

View attachment 2750

This is pictures of the cabinet I use along with maze at bottom

View attachment 2752

With a couple of pieces of cheese in

View attachment 2753


And this is how I fry my bacon up from raw once cured and cold smoked, no need for any oil in the pan as the bacon releases enough fat into the pan to cook it

View attachment 2751

I cold smoke my own cheese, salmon, nuts, garlic, butter and got a couple of duck breasts that I am curing for Xmas which I will then cold smoke in time for Xmas (first time trying this).

Keep meaning to try the American way but get sidetracked with other dishes, but definitely will next year:)
Excellent!
 
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So pork belly is what you make bacon with? I did cut up the first package of pork belly a while back into cubes, did them like burnt ends. It just didn’t have a lot of flavor. Sort of blah. Sounds like I don’t need to go a full 7 days...?. I looked it up and looked like Jess Pryles had the simplest recipe. So that’s what I did. Day two pics
 

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So pork belly is what you make bacon with? I did cut up the first package of pork belly a while back into cubes, did them like burnt ends. It just didn’t have a lot of flavor. Sort of blah. Sounds like I don’t need to go a full 7 days...?. I looked it up and looked like Jess Pryles had the simplest recipe. So that’s what I did.
When I make pork belly, I usually just use one of my favorite pork rubs , sprinkle liberally and seal in plastic or foil overnight in the refrigerator. I do not precut into cubes, but then smoke the entire pork belly for an hour or so in SmokeBoost and then at 255F or so to an internal temp of 195F or so.

After cooling, I cut into 1# chunks. It can stay in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or Vacuum seal and freeze until ready to use. Then I thaw, cut into slices for sandwiches or cubes for burnt ends. I then dust with my favorite rub, toss in BBQ sauce and heat at 325F in the smoker.
The only complaint I have ever received is that some of our guests say they ate too many!
 
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Well I bought already cut into strips. You can see them in strips in the bags. I’m sure if I asked the butcher at Costco not to cut it like that I could do it like you said. Or find it whole somewhere. It just seemed simpler just to cut them into the cubes and cook them like that. I think I was expecting a bacon like flavor with those first ones, and was disappointed. But we shall try and get that cured bacon flavor this time.
 

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Dassman5

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Well I bought already cut into strips. You can see them in strips in the bags. I’m sure if I asked the butcher at Costco not to cut it like that I could do it like you said. Or find it whole somewhere. It just seemed simpler just to cut them into the cubes and cook them like that. I think I was expecting a bacon like flavor with those first ones, and was disappointed. But we shall try and get that cured bacon flavor this time.
Both my butcher as well as most wholesale outlets such as BJ’s and Sam’s Club have whole pork bellies available...just make sure the outer skin and teats are removed as it simplifies the process.

Just remember that bacon and pork belly are, at the end of preserving curing,, smoking and processing are two different types of meat, each with to own advantages.
 
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Just remember that bacon and pork belly are, at the end of preserving curing,, smoking and processing are two different types of meat, each with to own advantages.
Can you explain the difference?
 

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Just remember that bacon and pork belly are, at the end of preserving curing,, smoking and processing are two different types of meat, each with to own advantages.
Can you explain the difference?
Pork belly, when cooked to 195F or so is a completely cooked piece of meat. From my perspective it makes great sandwiches by itself as well as a topping or compliment to other meats as well as making terrific burnt ends akin to those of the point in a brisket. In fact, I often serve both types of burnt ends for stand-alone meals as well as heavy appetizers. It still has a significant amount of fat, and is more pliable

Bacon made from smoked pork belly, is a preserved piece of meat thanks to the curing salt, but at 150F or so is neither fully “cooked” nor ready for consumption... as a result it is an intermediate, preserved piece of meat that has a limited shelf life unless frozen, kind of like the bacon you buy in a store. It thus needs finishing into bacon by frying. Once fried, it has a totally different consistency from pork belly, is not really amenable to making burnt ends, but makes a great BLT, burger toppings and a terrific appetizer when sliced, fried and displayed.

I love both, but it really is a personal preference in terms of how it is served, consistence, flavorings, etc.
 
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I guess my question should be, can I make bacon from the process I’m using on pork belly? I’m either dull at the moment, or just not quit catching the idea. I’ve tried to look it up online, and still not sure if bacon is just cured pork belly, or if it is a completely different cut. One thing I read said bacon comes from a part of the belly that is cured?! The pig doesn’t cure its own belly...maybe tomorrow it will click.
 

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I guess my question should be, can I make bacon from the process I’m using on pork belly? I’m either dull at the moment, or just not quit catching the idea. I’ve tried to look it up online, and still not sure if bacon is just cured pork belly, or if it is a completely different cut. One thing I read said bacon comes from a part of the belly that is cured?! The pig doesn’t cure its own belly...maybe tomorrow it will click.
I understand. Both come from the belly of the pig and are essentially the same piece of meat to start.
If you are just making pork belly, it does not need to be cured with curing salt since it is cooked until it is safe to eat at 195F.

Bacon, on the other-hand, must have curing salt added as a preservative, whether wet or dry curing, since it is only “partially cooked” to 150F... an intermediate step that then requires frying to make bacon. However, if you continue to smoke pork belly beyond 150F or so it will begin to turn into cooked pork belly and will no longer be useful for making bacon.


Other than that, it is a personal preference decision in terms of what rubs and flavorings are added
 
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Ok, I appreciate that....that’s what I thought. So I am going to smoke it to about 150. Then freeze some and cook some. Kind of excited as I like bacon.
 
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Ive made pork belly, as you see above. It was ok just not spectacular. I love trying new things....at least new to me.
 

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