Next bacon. Brined bellies

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by bladebuilder, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. Gentlemen, and ladies of course! Next round of bacon for me. The first was brined CBB, then dry cured bellies, this batch will be brined bellies.

    Its a little early to post, but hey, its all about the journey right?

    So a quick picture of 40 pounds of bellies in pop's brine. Modified a little, but essentially the same.

    I used dark brown sugar, maple sugar, kosher salt, and cure #1, in water. Made two gallons, weighed the meat, water and ingredients, and added cure to hit 120 ppm.

    Now resting in the fridge till just after Christmas day, then more pics will follow of the smoke!!

    Sorry for the crappy cell pic... Sitting in a 7 gallon wine pail, with Smoking Meat Forum on the 'puter in the background!

  2. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Love it... Can't wait to see more!
  3. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    Jeeez, your gonna keep us in suspense for 10 days? Brine looks good though. Looking forward to the smoke!

  4. lucas p

    lucas p Newbie

    That wet cure is enticing. Think I need to get a 5 gallon food-safe bucket soon! 
  5. I have a few 7 lb buckets but they're used to ferment beer and wine! LOL. Not sure I should "borrow one" for this. Might impart some interesting flavors.
  6. If you can find food grade plastic liners at a restaurant supply place, you wont taint your fermenters, essentially heavy foodgrade plastic bags. you can get them up to 45 gallon size.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  7. Today is the day! Bellies are out of the brine, rinsed, and trimmed. Keeping the fat trimmings for sausage later. QView to follow...
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hot or cold smoking?
  9. Gonna be cold smoking these, below 70F, I'm gonna be aiming for 55-60. Ambient air temp here today is 10F with a -5F wind chill, and light snow. So would this qualify as warm smoking? LOL!

  10. Bellies about to come out of the brine

    Bellies after being dried/pelicle formation

    Smoker preheated, bellies are hung, and assimilating to the internal temp, prior to smoke start.

    Inside the smokehouse, after A-MAZE-N pellet smoker has been fired up. Was hoping the 18" tube smoker would have arrived by now (a little logistical mix up, that Todd took care of) just means this may take a little longer to get the smoke level I'm after.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
  11. So 7 hours of smoke yesterday, a rest in the refer last night, and now back in the smoker today to finish. The AMNPS makes a nice thin smoke, but with one end burning, there isn't a lot of smoke volume. So I think the extra time on smoke is warranted. What are your guys thoughts? As mentioned, I have the 18" tube on route.
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking very good to me.... Nice thin smoke over several days is a good thing... You can let it hang and smoke off and on for up to 30 days...
    Do you use a small electric heater to keep the temp up...
  13. I am using the propane burner that several here use from Northern Tool. I just took a peek, and temp is holding at 55F with only the center ring at aprox 30%. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but considering the outside air temp is -15F with occasional wind chills at -40F, I am quite happy! Great burner!
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do you see much condensate from using the propane heat.... It should be adding a nice amount of humidity to your smoker... Perfect for keeping the outer layer of meat from over drying.... Us electric guys, like me, put a small tin, like a tuna can with a 1/4" of water in it, to keep the humidity at a respectable level in the smoker... especially when the humidity is at 10% and the temp is 10 degrees F....
  15. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You may want to try different pellets as I find with hickory pellets my AMNPS type generator produces a very full smoke in good quantities. My smoking chamber is a little smaller than yours though. 
  16. As of yet, I see no indication of condensation. Inside is warm (comparatively speaking) and dry, I am using metal floor registers as vents, and even with todays cold, there is no condensation on the metal, on the inside or on the outside. The meat surfaces were tacky/dry, I added a thinned coat of molasses and maple to them prior to continuing smoking this morning. Messing with flavors :)
  17. Thanks Wade. I am not getting anywhere near that level of smoke. I am using hickory as well. If I feed it more air, I get flare up's.
  18. Done! The bellies saw 26 hours of smoke from the AMNPS, broken over 3 days, with a rest in the refrigerator through the nights. As well as a 2 day rest prior to slicing and packaging after smoking.

    This is one third of the packaging.

    As far as texture/flavor go, the brined seemed to be nicely balanced with sweet and salty. Frying took about the same time as the dry cured, but I preferred the texture/chew of the brined. Or maybe it was because I'm mental and had bacon in mouth, trying to remember how the dry cured tasted. I guess I will have to do a side by side next. I flavored some with molasses, and some maple. Molasses won out in the flavor department. Friends and family agreed.

    Thanks for following along!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  19. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    Hey Blade, that looks so great.  My one experience with making bacon did not satisfy me.  My bacon tasted like ham, not bacon.  I am going to try it again and I love the way yours looks.  Can you describe the taste comparing a premium store purchased bacon?  

    Thanks for the help

  20. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    That is also a very nice smokehouse. 

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