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Bacon 3 ways, Qview Bomb!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

After this post, people will stop saying they want qview.



I had been wanting to try my pellet smoker to make bacon.



Getting pork bellies is hard to do here in the Canadian Rockies. I took a trip to Edmonton and an Asian market had some pork bellies on sale. They were thinner and leaner than ones I occasionally get here but that is a good thing. I bought 3 of them that were about 1 kilogram (2 pounds) each.





I thought this was a chance to do a side by side comparison of 3 different curing recipes. All the recipes are based on Bearcarver's method (see http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/96761/smoked-bacon-step-by-step-with-qview). I tried it with his version of brown sugar and Mortons Tenderquick but did one with maple syrup and Tenderquick with another with molasses and Tenderquick.



I started by taking the skin off one of the belly pieces and weighing it.







 



It came in at 0.831 grams. You need 30 grams of Tenderquick per kilogram. So I multiply 0.831 by 30 which gives 25 grams. For my metrically challenged friends, you use 1/2 ounce per pound. So this would be 1.83 pounds and you would need 0.91 ounces of Tenderquick.



For the brown sugar, I use 25 ml of brown sugar per kilogram. So I multiplied 0.831 times 25 which gives 21 ml of brown sugar. For Americans who have not joined the rest of the world, that is 1 tablespoon per pound of meat. So that would be 1.83 tablespoons. I would just round it up to 2 tablespoons.



I measured the Tenderquick and mixed in the brown sugar.







I spread the mixture over the pork loin. and put it in a large Ziploc bag making sure to get all the cure mixture in the bag.







I repeated the process with the second belly. Skin it, weigh it.







The weight was 0.729 kilograms (1.6 pounds) which meant 22 grams (0.8 ounces) of Tenderquick. Instead of brown sugar, I used 25 ml (2 tablespoons) of maple syrup. I mixed them together and spread it on the meat and put it in a large ziploc bag, making sure to get all the mixture in the bag.









The last belly portion was skinned and then weighed.





It was 0.851 kilograms and needed 25.5 grams of Tenderquick. Instead of brown sugar, I added 25 ml (2 tablespoons) molasses and spread it on the belly. I put it in a large Ziplock bag making sure to get all the cure mix in the bag.











I put the bags in the fridge and let the bacon cure for 9 days, turning every day.



I took it out and rinsed it under cold water. Then I covered it with water and let it soak for 1 1/2 hours changing the water twice. Then I dried it off with a paper towel and put it in the fridge overnight uncovered to dry out and develop pellicle.







I fired up the A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker with hickory pellets and put it in the pellet smoker with the lid blocked open a little. I cold smoked the bacon for 5 hours. The ice tray wasn't really needed for the bacon but I was doing some cheese at the same time.





Then I put the probe from my Blue Therm Duo in the bacon and preheated  the pellet smoker to 180 F with hickory pellets.







It took about 3 hours to get to an internal temperature of 130 F. I took it out and let it sit on the counter for about an hour.







I put it in the fridge for 2 days and then sliced it. I don't have a slicer but I do OK with my ham slicer.



This is the regular brown sugar bacon.





This is the maple syrup bacon.





This is the molasses bacon. Note it is a bit darker.





This is the edge trimmings from the bacon. I dice it to use in making soups, chilies, etc.





I fried up some of the trimmings and asked my wife and a friend to help me taste each and say which they thought was best.







This is the regular brown sugar bacon.





The Verdict



This is the regular bacon I have made from Bearcarver's Recipe. It has a great salty/sweet balance and keeps pleasing me every time I make it.



This is the maple syrup bacon.





The Verdict



There is a slightly different sweetness compared to the regular bacon. You don't notice a strong maple taste but it has a hint of maple and is a pleasant taste with a the same good sweet/salt balance.



This is the molasses bacon.





The Verdict



The molasses bacon has a darker colour than the other two. The sweetness is deeper and richer and the sweet notes come through stronger than in the others but still balance well with the saltiness.



So how did the taste test go? She Who Must Be Obeyed liked the molasses bacon first, my friend liked the regular bacon best and I liked the maple syrup bacon best. Sigh, I hate it when there is no resolution.



What I will say is that all three are great bacons and there is not a lot of differences between them, just a subtle flavour change. You can't go wrong with any of them. Thank you Bearcarver for the inspiration.



If you have read this far, thank you. You are a person of great patience.



 



The Old Fat Guy


Edited by Disco - 10/13/15 at 8:23pm
post #2 of 10
Great post. Just do like do. Make all of them. I cure different ways, just cook what i feel like at the time.drool.gif
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by c farmer View Post

Great post. Just do like do. Make all of them. I cure different ways, just cook what i feel like at the time.drool.gif

Thanks, Adam. However, it is rare for me to get 3 pieces of belly. I'm not a rich American just a poor Canadian (our dollar is only worth $0.73 US). I will have to choose next time!

post #4 of 10
Great looking bacon!
post #5 of 10

If you need another vote you can send some samples to me :drool:

post #6 of 10

Okay I am hungry now, great job Disco.

 

Richie

 

:points:

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b-one View Post

Great looking bacon!

Thanks, B!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmaddox View Post
 

If you need another vote you can send some samples to me :drool:

Watch for them in the mail, bmaddox. They won't come but you can watch for them. Thanks for the kind words.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tropics View Post
 

Okay I am hungry now, great job Disco.

 

Richie

 

:points:

Thanks for the point, Richie!

post #8 of 10

Dang that looks great Disco!

I have never met a pig that I didn't like.     :36:

 

 

 points1.png

post #9 of 10

Yeah, points for this one!  Major side by side comparisons, guest food tasters, lots of Qview, yeah...

 

I've never thought of bacon with molasses, but I am NOW!

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin218R View Post
 

Dang that looks great Disco!

I have never met a pig that I didn't like.     :36:

 

 

 points1.png

 

Thanks for the point, Smokin!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyBuzzard View Post
 

Yeah, points for this one!  Major side by side comparisons, guest food tasters, lots of Qview, yeah...

 

I've never thought of bacon with molasses, but I am NOW!

 

I started using molasses with my back (Americans call it Canadian) bacon. This was an experiment. Thanks for the point!

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