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First time Bacon Makin

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

After seeing all the good looking bacon here I decided to give it a shot. I ordered my AMNPS from Todd at A-MAZE-N Products and an assortment of pellets. I want to say Thank You to Todd for answering all of my questions as well as giving me some great tips! I got 13 1/2# of pork belly from the butcher for $2.59/lb. He measured me out some old fashion cure that he uses. I will use one of the types recommended here next time so I know exactly what the brand is. I cut the belly into 3 pieces and rubbed on the cure. I then mixed up some of Todd's Bacon Cure recipe minus the cure http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/109696/bacon-cure-recipe and put it on one of the pieces, on another piece I used the same with less brown sugar, and on the third piece I used just the plain cure. I put these in vac seal bags and sealed them up leaving enough air in them to rub seasonings around. Into the fridge they went and I turned them daily. There was a nice brine in the bags that I used brown sugar in, but not much at all in the bag with plain cure. On day 7 I added brown sugar to the plain cure piece also and resealed. After 10 days in the fridge I pulled them out rinsed them off and did a fry test, it was a bit salty for me so I soaked them in water for 90 minutes and this time the fry test taste was perfect. I patted them dry and applied a thin layer of honey and cracked black pepper to the one with the plain cure till day 7. The other two I left as is and put all three on a rack in the fridge overnite. Next morning they were dry with a shiny coating on them. Using an idea I got from Bearcarvers posts I added onion and garlic powder to one. I fired up my AMNPS for its first smoke (after burning off the oils as recommended) using Pitmasters Choice pellets. Into the smoker they went for 12 hours. Temp maintained in the 80 to 90F range but climbed over 100 briefly a couple times with the highest temp at 108. I put some cold packs on the shelf above the bacon to try to keep it cooler in the smoker, I do not know if this helped, but I do know I will not be doing this again as my wife did not think smoky smelling cold packs were as cool as I did, and was not shy about telling me so no_no.gif.

After 12 hours I pulled them and brought them inside. I fried up a few slices, and the taste was much different that store brought bacon. It had a deep rich smoky smell and flavor that was actually pretty good and even got the wife's seal of approval. The seasonings that I used were very subtle tasting. I put in the fridge overnight and the next day into the freezer for 90 minutes then ran through the slicer at a medium thickness. I tried slicing right out of the fridge first and it didn't work so well. I vac sealed up all the tasty bacon and into the freezer it went. I now have bacon to last awhile but am looking forward to making more. It was actually a fun process that I will enjoy doing from now on. No more store brought bacon for this guy!! Thanks to all for all of the ideas, recipes, and pics.

I did not get a pic of bacon that I fried up as I ate it so fast I never even thought about taking a picture biggrin.gif













post #2 of 3
Bacon looks good icon14.gif
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Made the first full batch of bacon since smoking other than the test pieces immediatley following smoking, and it was excellent!! It was so much better than store brought bacon, fried up great, and seemed to have mellowed out slightly after a few days in freezer. House smelled great with the bacony smell! Looking forward to more bacon for breakfast in morning!
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