Well after lurking for a while and slobbering on the keyboard looking at everyone elses' bacon, I thought I would finally take the plunge of makin bacon.
Local grocery store had bellies on for 2.99, first time the butcher said they ever tried selling bellies. By the way I am in Ontario Canada. Smoker is gen 1 Masterbuilt 30 with window.
Tried to follow along with Bearcarvers method and used digging calculator.
Started out skinning the bellies. Made pork rinds with the skin. Pics below.
Next step was to weigh every thing out. I have a gram scale but noticed when using the calculator that the grams came out in decimals but my scale only weighed out to 1/10 gram so I converted the gram measurement to ounces because the scale measured to the 1/1000 in ounces. Not really how precise one needs to be, whether I could have just upped to the next 1/10 or not. First time using cure so paranoia was sneaking in.
What struck me was how minuscule the amount of cure was. I still have my doubts but put the faith in the calculator. Weighed each piece of meat, inputted that amount and went with what calculator said.
As of this moment bacon is in the bags in the fridge, flipping daily. Now on day 4.
I am a little worried that I am getting no where near the amount of juice in the bags as I have seen on other posts. Perhaps it is because my fridge is too cold? Not quite freezing everything but close. I plan on keeping them in for 10 days. 2 days resting in fridge for pellicule, then 12 hour smoke using bears step up process for heat.
As for cutting thats another problem. My meat slicer is no where near big enough. Here is what I am planning.
I have a large bandsaw (wood), going to clean it up shiny, purchased a new ripping blade for it. Going to make a sanitary table on the bed and new piece on the fence. Will freeze the bacon solid and then slice it on the bandsaw. Talked to the butcher and he sees no reason why it wouldn't work. He said basically the only difference is the stainless steel table and the sliding bed on a meat bandsaw.
Whats your thoughts?
Now on to the PORK RINDS
I used themules recipe for these
Boil 2 hours, rest an hour, scrape fat, dehydrate for 8 hours then into the deep fryer. Thats basically the only difference. My thoughts is that the deep fryer just doesn't quite get hot enough. It cooks fine but takes longer thus absorbing a bit more grease. Once again paranoia was lurking with hitting the flash point with hot oil in a pan. Just do not like heating oil that way.If I had a proper thermometer to monitor the temp I would have gone that route.
Now the pics
The boil Start of the dehydrate End of dehydrate
Size comparison. Started with a penny, next is the dehydrated piece, then the size after the cook.
Notes. I would probably dehydrate a little longer as they were still a little greasy and not quite hard enough. Definately wouldn't be able to store them in a jar for a long period of time.
Overall though they were delicious. Went to the bulk store and purchased different flavours of popcorn seasonings to sprinkle on when they came out.
Wifes favorite would be the sourcream flavour but I prefer just Lawreys seasoning salt.
Will post pics of the cooking process when it happens. Feel free for comments. Need to know if I did this right and if I am needlessing worrying about the lack of liquid in by bags in the fridge.
Brian aka Navier
Edited by navier - 10/20/13 at 3:35pm