Bacon finally

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by mike w, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Hey folks,
    After moving to yet another house and spending a couple months in the states ive gotten things set up to smoke and cure again.

    Ordered two pork bellies which I am going to dry cure with the digging dog calculator rather than doing an immersion brine this time to save fridge space. Percentages are 1.5% salt and 4% brown sugar. Cure#1 measured for 120ppm (skin off the bellies)

    I added some black pepper and some maple syrup and then vacsealed the bags after massaging.

    The plan is 14 days inthe fridge flipping and massaging daily.

    Will update as it goes.
  2. MIKE!!  Glad to have back posting again!  I'm in brother.  Getting the BIG box.  [​IMG]   Keep Smokin!

  3. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah, good to see you back! Bacon watch is on!
  4. Looks good! I've got my first attempt curing in the fridge at the moment! 14days is too long to wait though!!!
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Mike - Welcome back [​IMG]

    The bacon looks good. It will be great to see what you think when it is ready. You may find that 1.5 % salt is a little low but see what you think when you taste it. Too little is better than too much though. You can always adjust it if required next time
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  6. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah I think you're right, I had read one of Wades posts about dry curing bacon in order to brush up and realized the 14 days was for pork loin bacon and not belly bacon. I'm going to readjust my curing time to 2 days per inch +2 days for safety. So I'll open these up at the 6 or 7 day mark. That ought to be sufficient to be fully cured.

    Wade, I decided to err on the side of less salt. I'm going to just wash them off and not soak the bellies. So I am hoping that will balance out the lower salt amount. I've taken notes and will adjust up if its not salty enough.

    When I used the wet brine I believe I went with 2% salt and 8% sugar but I lost those notes in the move :/

    At least I can experiment now :)

    Smoked some beef short ribs the other day and turned them into stock for ramen soup tomorrow. I roasted carrots, onions, shallots, and a nub of ginger, and then tossed in some nori seaweed and dried shiitake mushrooms. Pretty tasty!
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Within reason, you cannot over cure when dry curing as the cure simply reaches equilibrium within the pork. If it is left a little longer after it has reached equilibrium then that is not a problem. When I cure loin and belly at the same time I just leave them both in for the same length of time. I use 10 days minimum for both, but from a practical standpoint I often leave them for 14 as it goes from weekend to weekend.
  8. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am with Wade on this one. 10 days minimum, but if too busy, let it drift to 14 days.
  9. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just re-reading your post I was surprised that you were thinking about soaking the bellies after they have been cured. With dry curing you should only need to rinse and should not subsequently need to soak. I know that everyone's salt tolerance is different (my wife has a very low salt tolerance) and so I have tested batches from 5% down to 1%. Many commercial bacons contain 3 - 5% with some "premium" dry cure bacons as high as 6.5 - 7%. The balance for me and Joyce was between 2% - 2.5%. Below that it looses some of its "bacon" flavour. It will be interesting to see how that compares with your finding when you taste.
  10. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    It's been so long since I've gotten to cure anything that I've forgotten alot of information. I remember having to soak some loin bacon made with tenderquick to reduce the salt content. And after reading what you wrote about the salt percentages,I just remembered why I switched to using the calculator and cure#1. So I could control the salt levels.

    I'm glad yall are posting here, its helping me remember. As for the time to cure I'm using the 1/4" per day (per side) rule +2 for safety. I can extend that out to 8-10 days though easily.

    Last October I had 2 bellies in cure when the heating oil tank ruptured and I had the throw them out. They stayed in the cure for over a month and had a bad smell when I was able to pull them out. That was an equlibrium brine.
  11. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Ramen, and I'm including it in this thread since I used the scraps from the pork belly to make some char siu pork and tossed that in :D
  12. MIKE!  BUDDY!  WTF??  C'mon my friend.  You KNOW this!  Something is wrong.  I will give you a call.

  13. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    First batch of the year. I put these down to cure on july 27th. 156ppm for the loin and 120ppm for the belly. I did a taste test this morning and its a bit sweet with only 1.5% salt but the wife liked it. I used a higher sugar % so I'm hoping the other belly that is curing from the first picture won't be as sweet.

    Smoking these guys to 150F internal or I run out of pellets. Whichever is first.

    I do have the amazin pellet smoker in the traeger but I don't know if its still lit. The winds today are pretty high maybe 20-30 knots so i was having trouble getting the blow torch lit lol.
  14. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Oh qnd I wamted to mention that IKEA in milton Keynes has those stainless steel grates (cooling racks) for £2.50 each.
    I bought two of them becuase I think they would work well in the smokehouse I want to build and I don't have to worry about rust as much with the cookie drying rack I usuay use.
  15. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Starting the third hour of smoke and the IT is 100F and holding there. With the wind I can manage to keep the smoker down to around 130-140F fortunately. I think I've got two more hours of fuel left. Since this is cured meat im going to keep the temperature where its at instead of 150F like I originally planned.

    Fortunately my wife stopped at the post office and said the 5 bags of pellets I ordered arrived today :D
  16. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Pulled off the smoker after almkst 4 hours. The wind was getting to crazy and blowing stuff all over the place. IT on the loin bacon was 104F and 120F on the belly so I did not see any fat rendered like i did before cooking it to 152F. I'm looking forward to this!

    I like the color I got and my assistant was getting ready to taste test after dragging his stool over while I was outside :)

    Its resting now and I'll most likely slice some in the morning for breakfast. Gotta keep the family happy.
  17. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Breakfast with my take of beans on toast.

    The belly bacon turned out great and got the family seal of approval. Salt level was good.
    The loin bacon was dry so I'm thinking about going back to equilibrium brining it (like pops cure)

    Wade do you have any tips or ideas that could help with dry brining the loin bacon and not having it so dry? The ends and outside were like jerky.

    I'm going to make a cardboard smoker this week to smoke the rest of those bellies if I can get a day that isn't so windy here. Gonna pick up some dowel rods and aluminum tape if I can find some.

    Thanks for viewing
  18. DARN buddy.  Do I say "great job" or "better luck next time"??  [​IMG]

    These are the type of posts we need.  Some went well and some did not.  We don't always have success!  Sometimes it goes wrong.  We learn from those and then pass on the info.  If we only show the GREAT stuff we could discourage new folks who have tried a couple times and failed.  We need to show those folks; SH** happens!  ASK FOR HELP!

    GREAT thread Mike!  Keep Smokin!

  19. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Danny, I'm hoping for some tips on what to do with the loin for next time. The wife does not like it too dry haha.

    I've got the cardboard box mostly assembled and I have to go to the thrift store and see if I can get a mailbox or something else for that mod. :)
  20. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

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