Foods of the World Forum Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Other Food-Related Topics > Curing of Meats, Charcuterie and Smokehouse Specialties
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - My first "true" bacon project
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

This site is completely supported by donations; there are no corporate sponsors. We would be honoured if you would consider a small donation, to be used exclusively for forum expenses.



Thank you, from the Foods of the World Forums!

My first "true" bacon project

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 5>
Author
Message
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8600
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: My first "true" bacon project
    Posted: 15 August 2014 at 22:28
I've made buckboard bacon and Canadian bacon, but soon I will make bacon from pork belly for the first time; I placed my order with our local butcher for 6 pounds of pork belly yesterday. It won't be here until their next scheduled hog-killing, which is next month, but that's alright - September/October is always a fine time to make meat for the winter. 

The plan will be to divide the job into either three 2-pound sections or six 1-pound sections (depending on what I have after skinning, if necessary), then to cure it using TQ and smoke it using my awesome AMNPS. I'd like at least some of it to be "maple cured," but we'll see how that goes. I don't like it to actually be "sweet," but I do like that hint of maple; when it's done right, something in the aroma and the flavour really sets it off, but if it is over-done and "sweet," then it is too much, and not good.

Another thing I was thinking of was Darko's (AK1) description of bacon in Eastern Europe - I might devote some to that style, as well.

I have Morton's curing guide and of course many threads on here for research, but as always, I welcome input, ideas, opinions and advice. Please feel free to offer up anything you'd like to share.

This will be a running thread of my first project - more as it develops....
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
AK1 View Drop Down
Master Chef
Master Chef
Avatar

Joined: 10 April 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 1084
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2014 at 11:03
If you're gonna do one my way Ron, leave the skin on that piece.

Also, do you have a way to cold smoke it 24/7 for a week?
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8600
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2014 at 13:31
Quote If you're gonna do one my way Ron, leave the skin on that piece.

Can do! (assuming that these will come with skin on) Thumbs Up

Quote Also, do you have a way to cold smoke it 24/7 for a week?

Not quite 24/7, but I can conceivably run smoke on it for about 10 or 11 hours at a time with the AMNPS, re-starting it as needed. This might or might not be feasable, so if you've got an alternative suggestion, I'd be interested in hearing about it.Handshake

Also, if you have some time in the next week or two to gather up your notes on how to make it and put it in a post in the Balkan section, I'd be grateful. If I remember correctly, most of the method/procedure is written down here at FotW, including pictures(?), but I think it's spread out in a few different places. Something this awesome deserves its own tutorial thread! Cool


If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
AK1 View Drop Down
Master Chef
Master Chef
Avatar

Joined: 10 April 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 1084
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 August 2014 at 13:30
It's actually quite simple Ron. You take your belly, cure it using what cure you have( amount of salt will differ depending on your cure) Cure it for 7-10 days. After that hang it for a day or more to develop a pellicle and to air dry. Into the smokehouse for a week or more if you like it smokey. Then into a cold cellar for at least another month to dry some more.

It's difficult for me to put out a proper recipe just because it's not something easily done by anyone.

I normally start this after Christmas sometime when the weather is cold. That way I can cure my meat in the garage without refrigeration. My Brother in Law has a smoke house where it goes to smoke (Basically an old metal garden shed he doesn't use anymore for gardening stuff.) He keeps a smouldering fire going 24/7 while meat is smoking, I usually pull mine around 7-10 days for sausage, 10-14 days or so for bacon, ham....
Back to Top
BriCan View Drop Down
Cook's Assistant
Cook's Assistant
Avatar

Joined: 29 November 2012
Location: Vancouver/Canad
Status: Offline
Points: 54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BriCan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 August 2014 at 00:25
I do not get on this forum too much due to my work load, but this tread caught my eye

European bacon cured with an equilibrium cure for seven days, rinsed, dried overnight and cold smoked for three days (not continuous) for eight hours a day  



Back to Top
gonefishin View Drop Down
Master Chef
Master Chef
Avatar

Joined: 20 September 2012
Status: Offline
Points: 1774
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 August 2014 at 07:18
Originally posted by AK1 AK1 wrote:

It's actually quite simple Ron. You take your belly, cure it using what cure you have( amount of salt will differ depending on your cure) Cure it for 7-10 days. After that hang it for a day or more to develop a pellicle and to air dry. Into the smokehouse for a week or more if you like it smokey. Then into a cold cellar for at least another month to dry some more.

It's difficult for me to put out a proper recipe just because it's not something easily done by anyone.

I normally start this after Christmas sometime when the weather is cold. That way I can cure my meat in the garage without refrigeration. My Brother in Law has a smoke house where it goes to smoke (Basically an old metal garden shed he doesn't use anymore for gardening stuff.) He keeps a smouldering fire going 24/7 while meat is smoking, I usually pull mine around 7-10 days for sausage, 10-14 days or so for bacon, ham....


   I just got done with one batch of bacon, but I'll be doing another batch in a few weeks.  I think I'll try some variation of Darko's European bacon, with the long smoke time.  I don't have a smokehouse (why don't I have a smokehouse?), but I'll see what sort of compromise I can come up with.

  Darko, what effect does leaving the skin on have?   (just thinking out loud)  The other side doesn't have the skin on (obviously), so smoke penetration can't be a deciding issue.  I'm curious....I think I may treat a full belly like this and have skin on half and skin off the other half.  

  thanks
Enjoy The Food!
Back to Top
AK1 View Drop Down
Master Chef
Master Chef
Avatar

Joined: 10 April 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 1084
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 August 2014 at 13:38
I don't really know. It's just how we've always done it, and even seen it at deli's.

The only thing I could guess is that it gives the slab some strength so that the meat hooks don't tear through the meat while hanging.
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8600
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2014 at 01:24
Hey, guys - lots of good info here. BriCan, good to see you posting, and that's a great-looking bacon photo!

Darko - I couldn't remember whether or not you added pepp, garlic, paprika or anything else to the bacon? I remember the salt/cure and the long smoke. I'll definitely save a section of the pork belly I get for this. 

Tired - need sleep! More later ~~
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
Hoser View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 06 February 2010
Location: Cumberland, RI
Status: Offline
Points: 3368
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2014 at 03:58
You're going to love it Ron...nothing quite like home made belly bacon.
Go ahead...play with your food!
Back to Top
AK1 View Drop Down
Master Chef
Master Chef
Avatar

Joined: 10 April 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 1084
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2014 at 12:06
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

Hey, guys - lots of good info here. BriCan, good to see you posting, and that's a great-looking bacon photo!

Darko - I couldn't remember whether or not you added pepp, garlic, paprika or anything else to the bacon? I remember the salt/cure and the long smoke. I'll definitely save a section of the pork belly I get for this. 

Tired - need sleep! More later ~~
Just black pepper in this stuff. I've tried it different ways, i.e maple syrup... but haven't really noticed much difference. I think the heavy smoke just masks everything.
Back to Top
BriCan View Drop Down
Cook's Assistant
Cook's Assistant
Avatar

Joined: 29 November 2012
Location: Vancouver/Canad
Status: Offline
Points: 54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BriCan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2014 at 22:40
Originally posted by gonefishin gonefishin wrote:

Darko, what effect does leaving the skin on have?   (just thinking out loud)  The other side doesn't have the skin on (obviously), so smoke penetration can't be a deciding issue.  I'm curious....I think I may treat a full belly like this and have skin on half and skin off the other half.  


Leaving the rind on the belly does two things; helps keep the shape and (in most cases) cuts down in the shrinkage

The plus side on a bellie that has been cold smoked with the rind on is that once taken off they make the best base for pea soup Wink
But what do I know
Back to Top
BriCan View Drop Down
Cook's Assistant
Cook's Assistant
Avatar

Joined: 29 November 2012
Location: Vancouver/Canad
Status: Offline
Points: 54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BriCan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2014 at 23:11
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

BriCan, good to see you posting, and that's a great-looking bacon photo

Thank's 

As for the bacon photo it is one of many ~~  I do it for a living ~ sought ov Wink

Maple bacon 


But what do I know
Back to Top
BriCan View Drop Down
Cook's Assistant
Cook's Assistant
Avatar

Joined: 29 November 2012
Location: Vancouver/Canad
Status: Offline
Points: 54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BriCan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2014 at 23:17
Originally posted by AK1 AK1 wrote:

Just black pepper in this stuff. I've tried it different ways, i.e maple syrup... but haven't really noticed much difference. I think the heavy smoke just masks everything.

Smoking (cold) is an art just by itself ~~ smoking is just another part of the flavour profile which is why I do not do more than three days as said; after the smoking comes the aging stage and that all depends on the weather/humidity ~~ anywhere from four days on up to two weeks 
But what do I know
Back to Top
BriCan View Drop Down
Cook's Assistant
Cook's Assistant
Avatar

Joined: 29 November 2012
Location: Vancouver/Canad
Status: Offline
Points: 54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BriCan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2014 at 23:29
European spice mix (bacon) that was given to me by my late friend who came from the Black Forest region of Germany ~~ his mothers recipe

Spice Block ~~ Bulk

125gm White pepper
 25gm Ground nutmeg
 25gm Ground mace
 15gm Ground cardamom 
200gm White sugar

Mix spices well and store in an opaque airtight plastic container

HTH 
But what do I know
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8600
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 18:16
I had a happy surprise yesterday - the pig belly came in, so I went to pick it up! Six pounds of wonderful, porky-looking belly, ready to be transformed into some really good stuff. The price was was pretty nice, too. I'm not sure exactly, because I bought a few other things and the receipt wasn't itemised, but it looks to be about 3.69$ per pound, which is what I remember her saying when I ordered it and is also quite a bit less than any store-bought bacon these days.

The slab was cryo-vacuum-packed very nicely and frozen solid as a rock, so I'll see how it looks when I thaw it.

There was no skin on the slab, which is mildly disappointing, but no worries - I'll make it work. Besides, no skin means more poundage of actual BACON! Thumb

One thing is for sure: this won't be my last belly bacon project; doing the math, it just makes sense to "roll your own," if you have the capability. I imagine that I'll be ordering more pork belly as soon as I ge the chance, or maybe making some out of some other cut, such as buckboard bacon etc.
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
AK1 View Drop Down
Master Chef
Master Chef
Avatar

Joined: 10 April 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 1084
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 September 2014 at 14:43
Sounds great Ron. Let us know how it turns out.
Back to Top
BriCan View Drop Down
Cook's Assistant
Cook's Assistant
Avatar

Joined: 29 November 2012
Location: Vancouver/Canad
Status: Offline
Points: 54
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BriCan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 September 2014 at 21:37
Interested on the outcome and your thoughts on said bacon   
But what do I know
Back to Top
AK1 View Drop Down
Master Chef
Master Chef
Avatar

Joined: 10 April 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 1084
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 September 2014 at 00:00
One thing you may find, is the taste & texture is weird. Most people are not used to the raw cured pork belly.
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8600
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2014 at 07:55

Alright, I think that this weekend will be a good time to get this going.  As noted above, my 6-pound slab of pork belly has no rind, but I think it will be alright. I ordered some maple sugar at amazon.com and will be looking forward to trying it on this bacon - my deep appreciation to Darko and BriCan for their thoughts and suggestions, which lead to this plan!


After some thought and discussion, I am going to attempt a simple maple-cured and -smoked bacon, as this slab seems just a little too "thin" to try a method that would benefit from several weeks of extended heavy smoke and/or dry-curing as described in Darko's method; however, I would like to incorporate his concept, so there will still be a good amount of drying and aging involved, and my hope is for a rich-tasting, savory country bacon with maple essence rather than sweetness.


I'll thaw the pork belly tonight and get started tomorrow, using TennerQuack from Mad Hunky Meats as a curing/salt agent; my plan is to follow this procedure, adjusting to the conditions or circumstances if necessary:


First, I'll cut the belly into two 3-pound sections in order to make the meat easier to work with.*


Once the TennerQuack is rubbed onto the pork belly sections, I will dust it with BriCan's Black Forest spice mixture*; here is his bulk recipe, which can be made ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container:


Quote Black Forest Spice Mix

125gm White pepper

25gm Ground nutmeg

25gm Ground mace

15gm Ground cardamom

200gm White sugar


After that, I'll follow with a dusting of the maple sugar, bag the bellies up and allow them to cure in the refrigerator for the proper length of time, as judged by weight and/or thickness.


Once the curing is finished, I'll gently rinse the bellies, pat them dry and then hang them for a couple of hours; I'll then re-dust them with maple sugar, bag them again and allow them to continue in the refrigerator for a week in order for the salt content to equalise.


Once the equalisation period is finished, I'll hang the bellies in order to dry and develop a pellicle before smoking.


I'll then cold-smoke the bacon with maple smoke with my A-MAZE-N 5x8 pellet smoker from Owens BBQ while allowing the bacon to mature, age and dry. Depending on the smoke density of my smoking enclosure, the weather/humidity, the time I have available and so on, this will most likely take several days.*


Finally, I'll inspect the bacon in order to see if it has the qualities that I am looking for, and may let it continue to mature, if it looks as though I'll be able to. Once it reaches what I guess to be the right point, I'll package and freeze it.


Along the way, I am sure that there will be an opportunity or two to sample the bacon and see how it is doing!


*The above plan is subject to advice from experienced folks, so please, feel free to offer advice and suggestions if you see any flaws; for instance, should I indeed cut the 6-pound slab in half, or does it matter? Would the Black Forest spice mixture be better off without the white sugar, since I will also be dusting with maple sugar, or does it matter? About what density of smoke should I be looking for in my enclosure, which will be either a Big Chief smoker or my Brinkmann 40-inch off-set, or does it matter as long as the smoke is clean-burning?


Time to get going on this - wish me luck!

If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
pitrow View Drop Down
Chef
Chef
Avatar

Joined: 22 November 2010
Location: Newberg, Oregon
Status: Offline
Points: 865
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2014 at 09:33
Not that you'll need it, but good luck Ron! Can't wait to see the results.
Mike
Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 5>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.