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Bacon BAcon and More Bacon!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I got a few really big bellies this time at the chinese grocery store. I brine one on the 6th and smoked it all day today started at about 8am and pulled it at 12:30 am looked pretty enough.

I use a simple brine of :
1 gallon of ice water
1 cup powdered dextrose
3/4 cup real vermont amber maple syrup
8 ounces Kosher salt or Sea Salt
Prague powder #1

Mix it up good, cut the pork bellies into sizes I can handle throw them in a vacuum sealer bag and add about 3 to 4 cups of brine and seal it up. Then I just throw it in the fridge for a week.

After a week a wash it off real well in plain water, pat it dry with paper towel and let it sit for awhile , while I get the smokers going.

Once in the smoker I let it sit for about an hour to dry and get sticky at about 100ºF with the vent fully open then add wood. I like to use hickory and apple most of the smoke with a finish of cherry.

After the intial drying I let the temps go up to about 130ºF and keep the smoke rolling for between 12 and 16 hours depending on how they look. I like them to be a kind of orange red color, that's when they seem to taste the best. Sometime about mid smoke I will sprintz them a few times with apple juice. It helps sweeten them up I think.

It was in the upper 40's today so I could almost have used the propane on the Smoke Vault to do a cold smoke but not quite. It was pretty windy so at real low the fire kept blowing out so I used my abrieviated charcoal minion method for a cold smoke just had to add about 4 more coals to get up to temperature. I also brine and smoke the scraps for salt pork.

Here's the befores and afters:
post #2 of 19
Yum! Those look good Debi!icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 19
great shots debi...i can get to try some of that right ???
post #4 of 19

thats some good looking bacon i am going to have to try this one of these days thanks for the info
post #5 of 19
Mom, thats some very nice lookin bacon , gonna have to try the apple spritz on my next go .
post #6 of 19
mmmmm bacon! Looks great. Could have used a few slices of that today on my ABT.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Gypsy I'l be bringing some to Summerville not to worry! I hope my cooler will keep it cool enough. Maybe I should freeze it first then throw it in ice?

Got another belly going in the smoker next Sunday - its bring right now.

I think I like the cherry wood on the finish best. I always sprizt with apple juice. I think the cherry makes it a tiny bit sweeter.

1st - The pork Rib belly pieces I did in the past were with Hickory, apple and pecan
2nd - The last two I used Hickory, apple and cherry and the color is real nice and I didn't have to hack the ribs off either!
post #8 of 19
You've got a fine looking belly Mom!

You could make up an ice chest using Urban griller's ice/salt mix .... that will travel well!
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Good Idea Squeezy! I'll have to try to find that post again. Thanks!
post #10 of 19
I am glad you posted this, I am just getting up the nerve to try to make some bacon! I know when I am done I will wonder why I thought it was going to be hard to do rolleyes.gif. I know it will be OK, cause I felt like this when I started smoking just a brisket or butt PDT_Armataz_01_11.gif. I might have to call you though!!
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
It's disgustingly simple! The hard part is finding the meat! I'll PM ya my number, call anytime.
post #12 of 19
I have done a number bacons and no matter what method or type the cherry wood smoke seems to add a real deep red or mahogany color to the bacon. Of course I have an almost unlimited supply of cherry so you know where I go! Maple is as plentiful but not as satisfying. And I do add a few chunks of hickory and mesquite but the bulk of the smoke is cherry.

In a couple of weeks I will do my last bacon for the season. Will post some QView then. Right now I am busy getting ready to supply sausage to a couple of benefit Hunter's Breakfasts.

Good looking bacon, Debi! Thaks for sharing and someday we'll get together and smoke up a storm in the Northeast Kingdom! Or wherever!

post #13 of 19
man i miss chinatown & real kosher delis- i may have to suck up to the amish sometime soon....
post #14 of 19
That's some mighty fine looking bacon ya got there PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Monty I am Sooooooooooo looking forward to getting a hig ole hug from you! Next spring/summer I'm headed your way! You can count on it!

The cherry is definately o my bacon list for sure. It does something almost sweeter t the bacons but I gotta have the hickory too. I'll have to grab another gallon of amber maple syrup to when come up and see you too that stuff is THE best in the world!
post #16 of 19
When you come this way be sure to pack lightly 'cause I'll give you a heckuva load of cherry in that Dakota for your smoking pleasure! I'll throw in some maple if you want also.

Looking at being under construction for the addition before May 15 and hope to have it weather tight by June 15. And June 15 is about the end of the really bad bug season. Afer that it is moose watching and stargazing. Not to mention rustling up good Q!

post #17 of 19
I meant to mention in an earlier post that one of my best friends has a "sugarin' operation. I will reserve a gallon of amber for you! Do you prefer light amber, medium amber or dark amber?

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Gee Monty that's really sweet! I won't get the truck fixed until after I get back from Summersville. I did check the transmission fluid and it was fine. I'll take it to my the Toyota shop my son works at he'll make sure they do it up right - he knows I love my Dakota! It's got the exended cab so the bed will be empty except for my spare tire.

I don't get much cherry so I use it very sparingly. I had to buy the last 10 lbs online. Ouch even! I about killed my poor cherry tree this spring - cut it down to within a foot of the main limbs trying to steal the wood! I think it's a goner almost no leaves last year icon_smile.gif

The one I liked best was labeled Grade A Vermont Dark Amber. The darker ones are to heavy for cooking IMHO. I used almost the whole gallon already since June and I never cared much for maple syrup before. The store stuff here is was always dark and heavy the amber is wonderful stuff! I really think it makes a big difference in my bacon flavor too.

Big Hugs!
post #19 of 19
OK, so that's cherry wood, dark amber maple syrup and let me know if there is anything else!

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