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First time cold smoking : Bacon of America

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Well it has begun...Santa was kind enough to leave a cold smoker and various dust under the tree, and Wade was even kinder and sent me some cure, (I had originally ordered from Amazon, and you have to be careful what they send you), instructions, and a few treats, THANKS WADE!

 

Just a small 1kg cut to begin - here it is getting cure and pepper. Though I am really excited to use Szechuan pepper it will have to wait until I get at least one simple, delicious result.  This is important for obtaining "continued cooperation from other interested parties" (wife's ok to buy even more meat)  

 

 

 

It is pretty thin at one end, but since it is belly bacon anyway I figure it will still produce.

 

 

I have been flipping every day, an it is now day 8.  There are some juices, but not a lot, and that makes me worried.  Are there any other indicators I can look for to ensure it is working as it should.  I was expecting more liquid in the bag.  

 

 

Anyway, that is where we are so far...Once we get a bit further along I will post an update.

post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

Alright, things have progressed significantly...I took the bacon out and washed it off thoroughly.  A lot of pepper stuck on but I am told that is ok.  

 

 

 

After sitting in the fridge for a day it went into the smoker for 12 hours.  I initially had the smoke generator in the firebox, but not enough smoke was getting through - possibly due to wind - so I moved it to the main compartment.  

 

 

 

Once done you could see the coloration of the smoke on the meat, and it smells lovely.  I started slicing, but of course, my cheap Andrew James slicer I have used twice in 3 years decides to break half way through.  Hopefully I will be able to fix it.  Anyway, here is the before cooking:

 

And here is the after: (I may have ate some before I got to my camera)

 

 

The flavor is pretty great when you take a bite - not too salty, but great smokey flavor.  There is a slightly odd aftertaste, which I cannot put my finger on. Not a bad taste, just different. Not sure if homemade bacon will always taste slightly different than what we are used to, or if it is a sign of something gone wrong.  

 

Anyways, it was good enough that the wife gave a go ahead for trial #2...happy days!

post #3 of 5

Hi Armin - Sorry I missed your original post. That bacon looks just as it should - I am impressed Thumbs Up.

 

Don't worry about the small amount of juice after the 10 days - with belly you will usually get less liquid coming out of the meat because it has a higher %age of fat.

 

Yes the pepper remaining on the outside is fine. Just rinse off all that you can under the running tap - but there will always be nooks and crannies where it will remain. It will just add a little more flavour when the bacon is cooked.

 

The amount of smoke will depend on the smoke generator used. The AMNPS produces quite a bit more smoke than the ProQ that you are using and so I am not surprised that you ended up putting the ProQ in the chamber itself. I have both and I would use the ProQ inside my Weber but the AMNPS in my offset.

 

If you sliced and ate it straight from the smoker the aftertaste is likely to be the smoke itself. Like smoked cheese, after smoking the bacon benefits from a little aging to allow the smoke flavours to mellow. I usually leave mine in the fridge for 4 or 5 days before slicing.

 

Looking forward to seeing your next batch.

 

Wade

post #4 of 5
Hi Armin, some good looking Bacon!
Wade has you covered on the taste, let it mature for several days.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, guys.  I guess it was good fortune? :33: that my slicer died after only 5-6 slices...I will give it a couple of days and let you know.

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