I am sure this sounds like a crazy question but does anyone else's bacon taste like chinese spare ribs? I have cold smoked bellies three times using brine method and dry curing method but always end up with similar taste. Just pulled bellies out of brine this time with additional spices did a test fry and again it tastes like chinese spare ribs. Is this the way homemade bacon should taste or should it taste more like regular bacon? I will be smoking tomorrow and hoping this time the end product tastes more like bacon than ribs. Am doing something wrong? Thanks for any thoughts. Tom
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Why not go back to the basics and use only cure 1, white sugar and salt in your dry cure. Leave all the other spices out. If that run tastes like Chinese spare ribs then I don't know what you are doing wrong.
I've made a lot of bacon and it has never tasted like anything other then bacon.
The Bacon tastes like the ribs when doing a test fry before smoking and still has a similar taste after smoking. I have used Pops recipe the last few times and have been adjusting ingredients after not getting great results after using exact recipe the first time. Just took another batch out of smoker this morning after a 24 hr cold smoke with pitmaster pellets, in addition I am going to add some hot smoke to this batch. I usually let sit in fridge for 24 hrs before slicing and freezing, this time I will let rest in fridge for several days before packaging. It usually only takes a couple of tries to get a process to where I like the finished product, but the bacon has me stumped. I still prefer store bought over anything I have made and that's making me crazy. Any other thoughts on my procedure are welcome. Thank You.
Thanks Woodcutter that is the recipe I have used the last few times, I keep trying it because of everyones fantastic results. I think I will try basic brine of water, salt, and cure next time with no sugar or anything else added. I will post results. Thanks.
I suggest you go back to a basic cure and cold smoke for 8 - 10 hours then taste test. If you still have flavor issues there is a problem with the temps and pellets. You can return the bacon to the smoker after tasting and continue with a cold/hot smoke if that is the product you want. I think the hot smoke is part of your problem, Keep the smoke below 100 degrees, the colder the better. If you are adding a bunch of seasonings and hot smoke you are making a cooked product.
After you get your bacon smoked and tasting like bacon you can rub with any mixture of spices you want, wrap and return to the fridge for a week or so. There should be enough moisture in the bacon to pick up the added flavors.
Thank you Alblancher, I never tried the hot smoke part after cold smoking, today was going to be first try. Currently I am test frying (smoked bacon yesterday ) Maybe I will pass on the hot part if you dont recommend it. Really hoping a longer rest time in the fridge will make for a better taste. Should I wrap all slabs separately or keep them together? Thanks Again.
Once they are cured and smoked you can wrap them any way you like. The most important thing is getting back to good basic bacon, then you can take it from there. Once you have your basic bacon under control try coating one piece in a lot of sugar, wrap in Saran and place in fridge, forget get about it a while. It should draw moisture so place on a rack over a pan so you don't make a mess. Try another piece with lots of black pepper and sugar. You can be creative. Since you are brining I don't expect your cold smoke to dry the bacon out too much. There should be enough moisture available inside the bacon to pick up the seasonings. The sugar will pull out the moisture, dissolve the seasonings and allow the flavors to move back into the meat.
When using brines it helps to season during the brine but I think you can still add a good bit of flavor after the brine and cold smoke when testing recipes. I do mainly simple dry cures (cure 1, salt and sugar) and will store my bacon in the fridge for an additional 10 days or so after smoking, wrapped in Saran and coated with white sugar and/or honey and/or Steins cane syrup.
AlBlancher, Once again I really appreciate your input, I will defiantly try your suggestions. This forum has been great once I learn how to post pictures I will add to threads so hopefully I can help others.