Cherry/Maple Smoked Bacon.....Q-View!

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by hdflame, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    This is the second pork belly that I've made bacon from.  I wanted to use Morton Sugar Cure but our local Piggly Wiggly grocery didn't have any.

    I used Morton Tender Quick instead, 1 TBL spoon/pound along with a 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar.

    I covered the meat side heavily with black pepper, then put it in a vacuum seal bag and sprinkled the cure/brown sugar mix over it on both sides.  I drew a vacuum on it and sealed it.  I dated it and put it in the fridge for 10 days, turning daily and kneading the bag to distribute the cure evenly.

    I had to move to a larger bowl to make mixing easier.

    Meat Side:

    Skin Side:

    After 10 days, I removed it and put it in the smoker for about 4 hours.  I used a small fire with Cherry and Maple keeping the CC temp below 170⁰.  I tried to keep it around 100⁰.

    After about 4 hours.

    After taking it off of the smoker and while it was still warm, I removed the skin.  Then I chilled it before slicing.  It slices easier if it's almost frozen.

    I learned on the second slab when removing the skin it's easier to put the skin side down and press your knife against the cutting board....just like removing the skin from a fish.  This picture shows the wrong way and you can see how wavy the cut is.

    I sliced it up with a sharp knife.

    Until I had it all sliced.

    When finished, I put it in gallon ziploc bags.  I was going to vacuum seal it and freeze it, but I don't think it'll be around long enough to freeze!

    And this is what I was waiting on!

    One thing I learned from using this recipe is it needs to cook at a lower heat.  If you try to cook too fast the brown sugar will make it turn black pretty quick.  So long as you cook it a little slower it turns out great.
    david reading and c farmer like this.
  2. joopster

    joopster Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for this - my belly is currently in the cure.... almost exact same recipe as yours so I will do what I see here.
  3. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    Now that's some bacon.  And that is one hell of a knife in the picture.
  4. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    This is only the second slab that I've cured.  It was very easy and both turned out great.

    For me, I'm right handed so when slicing I found I could be more consistent by putting the slab more over towards my right and reaching over with my left hand to hold it.  This gave me a better view of the edge and knife position while cutting.  If I put it on my left side and held with my left hand, my right hand was in the way of seeing the edge in relation to the knife.  Hope this makes sense.
  5. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow. Looks awesome.

    Yougot some bacon:points:
  6. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great way to hand slice it as well!!
  7. dave from mesa

    dave from mesa Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Looks great. That is a nice knife.

  8. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    That's a F.DICK Ergogrip Large Butcher Knife.  I think I first found out about them on a Malcom Reed YouTube video.  Anyway, it was on a video about cutting up a Boston Butt.  They are GREAT knives and I highly recommend them.  Probably the sharpest knife straight from the factory that I have ever bought.  I'm talking RAZOR sharp!  Very nice feel in your hand and best of all a great price.

    Here's a link to 2 that I have.  I will be ordering a boning knife soon.

    This is the one in the picture.

    This is the other one I have.

    Those links are where I purchased mine.  You won't be sorry buying a F. Dick knife!
  9. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

  10. wagdog

    wagdog Fire Starter

    Good looking bacon and that knife is killer. Thanks for the pics!
  11. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Love it!!!  Great job on the slicing also.  Reinhard
  12. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    man that looks good! i need to find a place around here that sells belly
  13. jfsjazz

    jfsjazz Smoke Blower

    I've also started to score the skins in a diamond pattern before brining.  It allows for more penetration of your seasoning and smoke, and it makes it easier to remove the skins after smoking!
  14. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is some stellar looking bacon. Kudos!

  15. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    The first one I did, I tried to fry the skin after brining and smoking and it was a total FAILURE!  The video I watched said that they removed the skin after smoking while it was still warm to make it easier.

    I think I'll try your way and remove the skin prior to brining and then fry them to make some snacks!  Thanks for the suggestion!
  16. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    wow...looks outstanding.....must do this soon.....Willie
  17. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Looks Great!  I have a 12lb. skinless belly I quartered and Foodsavered.  It's been frozen for 1.5 years since I can get bacon at $2.99lb.  I'll probably cure and cold smoke it this spring.
  18. rong

    rong Newbie

    Looks great!!! Try baking your bacon instead of frying.  I've had the same problem with brown sugar and frying. I line a cookie sheet with foils, and bake at 350 to my desired level of crispy. Works out well.

    Smoke on!
  19. Amazing job!! We plan on trying some bacon. 

    I know this isn't about smoking, but that skin looks awesome. I'll bet you could make some good chickaron or fried pork skin with it. 
    1.  Put the skin on the chopping board with the fat side up, try to remove all the fat you can, cut the clean skin into strips of 1/4 x 2.
    2. Cook the strips in boiling water for 10 min and then strain, let them cool a bit and put them in a dehydrator or an oven at 125F for at least 12 hrs or until dried (it should be hard). OR us your smoker. :)
    3. At this point you can cook immediately or save for another time.
    4. Prepare a pot with oil at 350F, add the dried skins, they will puff very fast so be ready with a slotted spoon and a plate to drain them on. Remove from the oil and place them on paper to drain. Sprinkle with sea salt, bbq seasonings, your favorite rub, whatever.

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