First Pork Belly Bacon

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by johnthemc, May 28, 2016.

  1. johnthemc

    johnthemc Newbie

    Hello All;

    I am asking for some advice. Bought 10.75lbs pork belly yesterday. I removed the skin, square it off and cut into 3 pcs.  I made a rub of the following;

    2 1/8 tsp.- pink "Internal Curing Salt" from Pittsburgh Spice And Seasoning Co.

    Sea Salt @ .25 oz per pound(2.75 oz)

    Brown Sugar @ .35 oz per pound(3.0 oz)

    Juniper berry and black whole pepper

    Vacuumed in seal-a-meal bags in refrigerator

    Planned to leave for 7 days then cold smoke for 6 hours in a Master forge propane smoker using a "A-mazen-smoker" generator without any heat.

    QUESTION; Am I ok with this? Is the cure right for this technique Is the smoke time ok or too long?

    Any advice that can be given to this rookie would be greatly appreciated.

    John the Mc
  2. kihler

    kihler Smoke Blower

    Bacon is very easy to make, but I have never done it with your smoker or rub. The time on a rub is about right and with a hot smoke, it takes me about 3 - 4 hours or to a IT of 160. I have never cold smoked bacon. I also leave the skin on, it give the meat extra protection from drying out. Do you plan on washing the salt cure off before smoking? It would be a good idea. After the wash let the pork belly dry in the frig for a day. What type of wood do you plan on using? Sweet woods are nice, some woods are to strong for my tastes. 

    Let us know how this turns out.   
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I checked out the store...  Nice store...  at least on the web....   Looks like the cure is 6.25% nitrite... can't tell for sure... fuzzy picture...

    Recipe looks good....   About sugar....   it is a huge molecule and takes much longer to penetrate the meat than does sugar.... salt.... Soooo, I would leave the meat in the refer for 2 weeks....  then rinse.... dry.... form a pellicle in front of a fan on a wire rack for about an hour....    Get the AMNPS smoking and the smoker temp above ambient...  throw in the belly and have at it...   Hope you are smoking this overnight so it's cooler than 70...   bacon fat likes below 70 deg. F.,..    Remove the belly and place on wire rack to equilibrate the smoke, salt etc for about a week...  in the refer is good..  then partially freeze and slice....

    If that maple bacon cure uses 2#'s per 100#'s, is approx. 0.75% nitrite, that's the stuff I use for my bacon... and I use the recipe that I described above...  Bride says it's the best bacon made...
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  4. johnthemc

    johnthemc Newbie

    Thank you both for replying and I will post on end result.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The only issue I see with your method is from what you've said you cut the slab into three sections. That is all fine and dandy if you then weigh each section and apply the proper amount of cure based on the weight of the section. If you didn't do this there is no way of telling how much cure each piece got.

    To date this is the best bacon I have made. in this thread it gives the steps I took and the cure calculator that I use:

    As you can see in the photos, I sectioned each slab into thirds and labeled on the zip locks how much cure each slab needed based on weight.
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  6. rexster314

    rexster314 Meat Mopper

    I use the diggingdogfarm bacon calculator. Great tool.

    After some trial and error, my ratio is 6.25% Cure #2, 2% Salt and 1% Sugar. Bacon stays in reefer for 9 days. After that, I take out and air dry to form the pellicle, then into the MES 40" smoker with either the AMNTPS or the Masterbuilt cold smoker attachment, set temp at 95and smoke for around 7 hours. Comes out great everytime, and the ratio of cure, salt and sugar means I don't have to rinse and dry which takes a couple of hours. 
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    rexster, morning....    FWIW, The USDA does not allow nitrate to be used in bacon...   That order is for commercial businesses only....  You are free to add anything you want to your bacon when making it....
  8. c farmer

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

    Cure #2??
  9. johnthemc

    johnthemc Newbie

    Thank you
  10. johnthemc

    johnthemc Newbie

    I let bacon cure for 2 weeks as suggested by DaveOmak and c farmer. Tomorrow will rinse and air dry(wife during the day while at work) and going to smoke over night. Will post pics as I go. Thank you.

    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  11. c farmer

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

    That is looking good. Be sure to get the surface nice and dry. I usually dry in the fridge for 3-5 days then rest after the smoke for the same amount of time
  12. johnthemc

    johnthemc Newbie

    Ok and thank you. I was only going to let it dry 1 day! I am so happy I posted today! Thank you again.
  13. johnthemc

    johnthemc Newbie

    Update and pics of end result. Fried a sample turned out great but a little salty. Next batch I will try soaking for a hour before. Thanks for the help everyone.

  14. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sure looks good!

    Nice color!


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