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Pulled the trigger -- First attempt at Bacon

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Alright, after much deliberation, consternation, lazy-ation and any other ation you can imagine....I'm pulling the trigger and making my own bacon!!


Please follow along and give advice along the way.


The goods for Pops Brine:


Decided this was the easiest math has always been a little fuzzy.  ;-)



Super easy. Cup of sea salt, cup of brown and white sugar, T of cure:




Had a little surprise when I opened the bellies:

Yep, that's a nipple!


Skin comes off.



2 bellies in the brine and into the fridge for 10-14 days:



Now I gotta decide how to smoke these bad boys....

I really love this site.


Thanks for looking!

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

UPDATE: Here they are after brining for 2 weeks.


Fry test:


I'm really glad I took the advice of everybody and fry tested these. Super salty! They probably would of been inedible. So now they're getting a good soak. I'm thinking most of the day, with cold water changes every hour or so.


Thanks for looking!

post #3 of 10

Hot or cold smoke?


I just tried BBB for the first time this past winter.  I'm hooked!!



post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

RG, I'm kinda on the fence on cold or hot smoking. I made an aquarium pump cold smoker (see the last pic of my first post).....but it's kinda a white, billowy smoke, not much TBS. It (or me) almost ruined a bunch of cheese on my first cold smoke (I smoked for waaaaaaay too long and with waaaaaay too much smoke). So I'm a bit gun shy to cold smoke the bacon.


But with some tweaking (a little fan to circulate the air, more exhaust holes, etc,) I'm thinking I can get my cold smoker dialed in. I just don't wanna ruin the bellies!


Stay tuned!


And yeah, BBB is next....can't wait!



post #5 of 10

When I did my bacon (my first belly bacon), I cold smoked it.  With my Amaze n smoker (saw dust style), my smoke chamber stayed around 90 - 100 degrees.  The bacon came out near as perfect as I could imagine.  


When I make my Canadian bacon, I hot smoke it, as low as the smoker can go (170 - 180), and that is just as good.


I hot smoked my buck board bacon, but that wasn't near as good, but it was my fault (too salty) not the fault of the smoker.


Good luck, you're looking great so far!!

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter I just did another fry test after soaking all day and WOW!!!! It's damn near perfect as is!


Now it's off to rest in the fridge and form up a bit of a pellicle (sp?) before the smoke tomorrow.


I might as well throw on some cheese and garlic bulbs in the smoker then huh?? YAY, happy days!

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 




Got 'em in the cold smoker:


My cold smoker set up:



How long should I cold smoke?? I've read where people smoke for 12 hours, wrap and fridge it for the night, then smoke again for another 12. Seems like a bit of overkill and something I can't do anyways. But anyways, what's a good time frame for this?

post #8 of 10

What's the result of this rookie smoke?  How'd it turn out?

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ha! That's a great question. The wife has been out of town and life's little details (our 2 kids) have gotten in the way of even trying the finished product!


I'll have some tonight and post some Q-View.


Thanks for tagging along. I'm really excited to see how it tastes.....and even more excited to have a BLT later this summer with all home-made ingredients! Well, that is except for the bread. Oh, and the mayo.



post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Did the taste test! Absolutely fabulous....just a tad salty, a tad sweet, and awesome awesome hickory/apple smoke!


I need a slicer:


Finished product (trust me, it's in there):


All things considered, this one was a complete success. Awesome product, easy to do and so so tasty. Like others have said, I don't think I'll ever go back to store-bought bacon.



I hope this gives other people the confidence to make their own. Thanks to Pops Brine recipe, it's really a no-brainer. Thanks to him for sharing and all the other people who've shared their knowledge along the way! THANK YOU, it couldn't have been done without you all.


Now I'm looking for an old fridge to convert to a BIG cold smoker.............Maple Peppered Bacon is next! Or maybe some BBB! Stay tuned!!!   :-)



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