For two years, I have been trying to get a slab of side pork to make bacon. It just wasn't available in the supermarkets here. A couple of weeks ago I asked again and they had some! I got a 3 pound slab and cut the skin off.
I weighed it and it came in at about 1.2 kilograms. I am using Tender Quick as my curing agent. It calls for 30 grams per kilogram. So I weighed out 37 grams of Tender Quick. Then I added 25 ml of brown sugar to the Tender Quick.
I put the pork on a plate and rubbed the sugar and cure in. I put the meat and any cure mix that fell on the plate in a Ziploc bag. Then it went into the fridge for 10 days. I turned it and rubbed in the cure every day.
After the 10 days, I rinsed the pork off and soaked it in cold water for 2 hours, changing the water every 20 minutes and then dried it with paper towels. I do this because I like a little less salt taste in my bacon. A fry test was perfect for me.
I put it in the fridge uncovered on a rack overnight.
When I pulled it out the next day, the surface was nice and dry so there was no need to put in front of a pan to form pellicle.
I put it in the Bradley with just the smoke generator running for 4 hours over hickory. The smoke generator brought the temperature in the Bradley to about 100 F. Then I turned the heat on to 180 F for 2 hours and the bacon took on a nice red colour.
I put it in the fridge, covered, for 2 days. Then I put it in the freezer for 2 hours and sliced with my trusty ham slicer. I will have to buy an electric slicer some day but I am pretty good with my knife if I say so myself.
I took some of the shorter pieces of the end and made myself a bacon sandwich.
This bacon was terrific. I made it quite basic as I wanted to work on the technique. It was spot on but the next batch will be pepper bacon, if I can score more side pork.