My First Attempt at Bacon - Updated 01/01/12 with QView

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by kevin13, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. kevin13

    kevin13 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    There will be alot of "My First" threads from me over the next 2 weeks as I took vacation from work til the first of the year and this is allowing me to catch up on all the things I wanted to smoke, but didn't have time.

    Anyways, I picked up a 13.5 lb pork belly from a local butcher on Friday and it's been thawing out in the fridge for the last few days. Going to wet brine it in Pop's brine for 10 days (unless one of you more knowledgeable then me says otherwise) and then cold smoke in the MES for 12 hours using Todd's AMNPS and his Perfect Mix. I'll be updating this thread during the entire process.



    I cut the belly into 3 pieces and now have a couple of questions:

    • When done, which side am I going to slice? The narrow side or the long side?
    • If the long side, should I cut in half now prior to brining or after the smoke to make them more manageable? Right now they are 8" wide and 13.50" long.
    • Any other suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]

    Now you do have to get ready to keep doing this cause once you try this bacon you will never buy store bought bacon again. Except for like fatties and other stuff that you wouldn't want to mess up good bacon on. Now the way that you have them laying in the 2nd photo you will want to slice them top to bottom. I have never used the brining method but Pop's one of the best here so if he says it do it. I do the dry cure. I can't see it from the pictures but you do want to remove the skin ( I do) before you smoke it at least if not  remove it before you brine it too. then jut cold smoke it for along time maybe 8-10 hours. Then leave it in the frig overnight and then slice it to your liking thick, thin which ever. So enjoy and keep the Q-View coming.  
     
  3. kevin13

    kevin13 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Thanks. I figured I'd be slicing them from top to bottom, which is 13.5" long. I'll probably cut them in half after smoking to make the pieces more manageable for the slicer.

    The rind is still on and I'll remove it once smoking is done. I've read where Pop's says it doesn't effect the cure time or ability to take on smoke, so no point in fighting it as it's much easier to remove after smoking.
     
  4. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fl
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    X2 on Craig's post.  I have followed Pops recipes and his advice many times.  You will never go wrong there.

    Good luck and good smoking.
     
  6. smokinal

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

    Yep Pops is the man! It's just too easy!
     
  7. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member





    Thank you all so much!  Just doing it the way my dad taught me, he was the real master and he standardized the process!  Thank Carl E. Fassett!   I am just so happy to be here to be able to pass it on to others; he'd probably shoot me for 'giving away the family secrets' but 'tis so much better to share and have everyone enjoy the goodness, and discover what good old fashioned hams and bacons taste like!  Thank you so much for trying it!
     
  8. kevin13

    kevin13 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I mixed up 2 gallons of Pop's brine and threw in a 5 gal. bucket along with the 3 slabs of pork belly. Placed a gallon ziplock bag of water on top to keep them babies submerged. One thing I didn't do was rinse them off prior to throwing in the brine, that's why there's some fat pieces floating around. Is this going to cause a problem? If so...should I pull them out, do a quick rinse, and make new brine?

    I'll brine for 10 days..until 12/31. I'll pull it out of the brine and place in the fridge for 24 hours to dry out.

    Question....I want to coat with black pepper. Should I do this before or after I let it dry out?
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  9. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fl
    You an put the pepper in now and after you take them out....

      Craig
     
  10. kevin13

    kevin13 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Thanks. Any issue with not rinsing the bellies off prior to throwing in the brine? I can make new brine if there's an issue...I'd rather waste a few dollars in salt, sugar, etc. than screw up $30 in meat.
     
  11. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fl
    No problem...

    Say goodbye to it and go have dinner...

      hahahahahah

      Craig
     
  12. kevin13

    kevin13 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Sweet....I'll forget about it...guess I'm just thinking too much about the whole thing.
     
  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I pepper my bacon, after it's formed the perllicle.

    I spread on a light coat of honey or maple syrup on first, and then pour on the Cracked Black Pepper(CBP)

    This seems to work for me, but other guys may had a different way to do it

    Todd
     
  14. kevin13

    kevin13 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Last night, after 10 days in Pop's wet cure, I pulled the bellies out, gave them a quick rinse, patted them dry and put them in the fridge overnight to dry out.



    Pulled them out this morning, coated with a light coat of EVOO and then with CBP while the AMNPS was starting up.



    They are now in the MES for a 12 hour cold smoke or so, depending on color, with Todd's Perfect Mix burning in the AMNPS. It's a bit windy here so the draw is good but may burn the pellets a little bit faster but I have enough to keep it going for awhile.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  15. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Kevin, does Pops method call for rinsing or soaking the bacon after you take it out of the brine? If so you may end up with bacon that is too salty. You can also cut a slice or two off before smoking and do a "Fry Test" to check this. And I thought I liked CBP !! You'll have some good stuff there!!!
     
  16. kevin13

    kevin13 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    For Pops, it's just a rinse and then pat dry....no need to soak. I got ahead of myself when typing above and left out the rinsing part and spelled "dry" as "try." I've done an edit to reflect that. Good catch, thanks.
     
  17. smokinal

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

    They look great so far, can't wait to see the final pics!
     
  18. kevin13

    kevin13 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    After 6 hours in, they don't appear to be changing color much. It's about 45 degrees outside and the smoker doesn't get above 80 degrees inside.

    Should I have lit both ends of the AMNPS to give a heavier smoke? Should I just continue to smoke with just one end of the AMNPS lit for however long it takes to get a nice mahogany color? Any suggestions are appreciated.
     
  19. smokinal

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

    How far has the AMNPS burned so far? I'm not familiar with cold weather smoking, but if it's too cold for the AMNPS to burn well then maybe you should light the other end. Since it's so cold up there you may also want to turn the MES on for a few minutes set at 100 to warm the cabinet up a little. I'm sure Todd will see this & give you better answers.
     
  20. looks good so far, can't wait to see it finished!
     

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