First Bacon...

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by kingt36, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    As I posted in another thread, I picked up 53 lbs of belly from Restaurant Depot a few weeks ago. A few days ago I managed to get one of the bellies, about 10 lbs, separated and cut into four manageable pieces.


    Yesterday,I cut off the skin and got the pieces in Pop's brine.





    Originally, I wanted to dry cure half of it, but that would require a digital scale.

    I'm going to give it 14 days in the brine and then move forward from there...
     
  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't think you will ever be purchasing store bought bacon anymore.
     
  3. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice! Up here, RD sells 50 lb.+/- boxes of skin-on for $2.05 lb. Same in Atlanta?
     
  4. Good start  [​IMG]   You are going to be hooked now!!
     
  5. dave17a

    dave17a Smoking Fanatic

    Paid 3.19 here. As you have seen, meaty as can be. 3.19 per #. Rubs, brine, which is nothing, pellets for cold smpking avaridged 3.64 a #
    Good job. Don't be afraid of dry cure!
     
  6.  53# of bacon?? [​IMG]  Thats Awesome! Cant go wrong with Pops Brine, I love it!
     
  7. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    I paid 2.53 a pound. Most of it looks pretty good. I'm excited and have already grown impatient...lol
     
  8. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    So, tomorrow is day 10 in the brine. On either tomorrow or Saturday, I will take the belly out, rinse it, pat it dry, cut a couple of pieces to test, season with fresh cracked pepper and sit in fridge overnight.

    Is that the right process?
     
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds good to me. There is two schools of thought, smoke with the rind and remove the rind after smoke, or remove it prior to the smoke. One way you get a good piece of sow belly for the bean pot, the other you get more smoke on the bacon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  10. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    Yeah, I removed the skin before I put it in the brine. I think I'm going to take it out now. How long should it sit in the fridge to form the pellicle?
     
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Put it in front of a fan to form the pellicle... I lay mine in the MES and fire up the fan for a few hours..... Be sure to rinse it and dry well first with paper towels.... That speeds up the pellicle formation....

    Dave

    In cold weather, I use a heater and fan.....

     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
  12. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    Took the belly out of the brine last night, which gave it about 12 days in. I rinsed it, patted it dry and did the test fry. It wasn't too salty at all, in fact, I could have used a little more salt.

    I trimmed it a little more and put some cracked black pepper on both sides of half it the belly then stuck it back in the fridge overnight.



     
  13. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    I'm preparing the smoker. I'm using my old BBQ Grillware propane unit as a cold smoker. I'm trying to figure out the best way to position the 5x8 AMNPS. I took two photos of the only ways I can think to do it and wanted to ask of you which would be the best, or if there is another configuration. I plan to put some ice in the metal bowl.

    In this photo I sat the AMNPS on top of the burner. The burner will not be used. There are several holes around the burner allowing for air flow.


    In this photo, I sat the burner catty corner across the opening above the burner.


    I'm open to any suggestions..

    Thanks!
     
  14. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    I wanted to go ahead and get the belly smoking so I went with the catty corner atop the burner opening. So far so good...the AMNPS is filled with just under a pound of pitmaster's choice pellets.

     
  15. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks good so far!
     
  16. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    I haven't gotten to this point yet, but when you take the bacon out of the smoker to mellow in the fridge, do you put it in a bag, or just let it sit on the rack in the fridge?
     
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I like to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to keep any good tasting fumes from escaping!!!![​IMG]

    Bear
     
  18. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I let it cool, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, otherwise, everything in your fridge will smell like smoke. That's okay if you have a dedicated fridge just for that, but I don't.
     
  19. dave17a

    dave17a Smoking Fanatic

    l
    Got a dedicated beer fridge in the basement, and kids pop. Haven't had an issue, putting on cooling racks or just fridge racks even on cure, just fine, no bags. Just don't put your water glass in there. Don't liked smoked water really[​IMG]
     
  20. kingt36

    kingt36 Meat Mopper

    After 7.5 hours I removed the bacon from the smoker. I was planning to refrigerate it over night and smoke it some more tomorrow, however excitement and that it smelled plenty smoky took over so I wrapped it and stuck it in the fridge to mellow out. I'm thinking I'll move to the next step on Wednesday...


     

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