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40-60 lbs of pork belly due to arrive....

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
...in 2 days! This will be our first go at this bacon. I've been reading all I can find, and have the book "Charcuterie" and will most likely go with their recommendations at least on 10 or so lbs of it.

As a beginner, what should I be wary of?

I can always use one of the electric Big Chiefs I have, or my offset box Charbroil, but I'm really interested in building something a little more permanent.

I've almost decided to build a basic wood smoker out of some OSB and use it for cold smoking purposes such as the bellies/bacon.
Can't decide which way to go.

Anyone ever do bacon in a Chief smoker? Do they get too hot? Supposed to be around 90 degrees I think for the belly bacon(will have to read up again, lousy memory).

Does Maple syrup work as well as maple extract for flavoring the bacon?

One thing for sure, should have plenty of bacon for a while and will be a treat to experience something other than store bought! Fletchers is the best we have around here. Hopefully ours will be better!
post #2 of 21
I follow Morton's rec's with Tenderquick, use garlic, CBP and onion, and a TOUCH of brown sugar. Did a bit of paprika bacon, search the title if interested. Hickory is bacon...and visa versa, IMHO. never used any really sweet stuff...'cause I'm not a fan. Cure for the week recommended, and smoke. Even if it's not perfect, it'll still be better.
post #3 of 21
I did a batch of bacon from the charcuterie book (p.42) in my little chief before christmas and it worked out great - added real maple syrup as well for some flavor . Only problem my smoker doesn't get hot enough to bring it to the 150deg internal temp so I had to finish it in a 200deg oven.
post #4 of 21
maple syrup werks well.............several recipes around using it
post #5 of 21

"OSB" oriented strand board

Hey there Golfnut, I would look into the "OSB". Is that partical board? If it is, I would be concerned about the glue they use to bond the strands together. If "OSB" is not partical board, please disreguard the above. I was going to do the same, but instead I built a 40" X 44" X 8' tall smoke house out of an old garage door. My didgital camera just poopped out, but when I get pics of it, I'll post them.
Can't wait to see picks of your bacon.
post #6 of 21
That's a lot of bacon.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
Start with chilled meat.
Remember, you need have a cool place to cure the meat, between 36 to 40 degrees. A fridge works great.

After curing, scrub off the dry cure under cool running water.
Whether you dry cure or brine cure, soak the meat in cool water after curing....it removes some of the saltiness.
Let your bacon dry before smoking, smoke will streak on wet bacon.

I cold smoke belly or slab bacon at around 70 degrees.

After smoking, chill the meat. Partially frozen bacon is a lot easier to slice.

Most important tip.....take lots of pictures for us.smile.gif
post #7 of 21
OSB as I think of it is NOT what ya wanna use. Low temps or not... it's full of glue. Even cheap 1 by pine planks would be better. Or at least line it inside with something. Rough sawn cedar planks are a time honored thing, and last, too
post #8 of 21
OSB is also called chip board. It is similar to partical board but it uses large chips or waffers instead of sawdust like partical board. I would think if you cover the inside of the smoker with some thin sheet metal you should be ok. The osb would then be covered and the metal might help hold in the heat and also spread the heat over the whole smoker.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hadn't given the glue a thought. Other nasties in there as well. Think I'll hold off for a while until I make something more permanent. In the mean time, I'll use the chief I guess.

I'll be using Hickory for some of the bacon, and apple as well, since I have several fruit trees in the yard, and a good supply of wood.

Going to roll some pancetta as well. Should be a fun project, and yes, I'll take pics of it all.

post #10 of 21
The only problem you might have in Lewiston this time of year is getting hot enough in a Little chief, those things are pretty cool on the smoke even in warm weather. But if cured properly it shouldn't be a problem, I cold smoke my bacon and I use maple syrup (pure) all the time with great results. I "paint" the outside with 1/4-1/4-1/4-1/4 molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, and water. Then air dry in front of a fan, applying three coats and fully drying prior to smoking. The color is great when it comes out! It does tend to caramelize a tad if your frying it too hot in a pan, but not if your careful and it bakes and microwaves wonderfully.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, shoot! Supplier called this morning and said the wrong item came in! Looks like I'm back to waiting a while longer.

Might have to get started on some andouille in the mean time.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, the bellies showed up...kind of....only got 2 in, so about 23lbs or so. Anyhoo, did one up for bacon (reg & maple) and the other into two pancetta rolls. All are rubbed and bagged and getting flipped daily in the fridge. Will smoke the bacon Friday, and roll and hang pancetta's on Saturday.

Did a turkey yesterday, but forgot the "After" pic. couldn't be helped. Smelled so good, forgot what I was doing and dug in!

Next up are Andouille and hot Italian sausages.
post #13 of 21
Looks like you are going through the charcuterie book like I have -made about 7-8 items so far -here is the Andouille I did. Did the bacon and pancetta as well.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Holy SMOKES this stuff is good!!

Thanks to all for the help. We're well on our way to clogged arteries now!

Now, back to slicing......PDT_Armataz_01_36.gif
post #15 of 21
Told ya...LOL! Nice lookin' stuff! POINTS!
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Wow, the maple bacon was excellent this morning! I made 5 1/2lbs each of regular hickory with pepper, and maple-brown sugar. Good stuff! Cured for a week, flipping daily, soaked in cold water for 3 hours, drained, soaked for another hour. Dried off and let pellicle form, then into the hickory cold smoke for 3 hours at 120 degrees (ended up using my big chief smoker). Chilled immediately (easy to do since it was about 18 degrees outside..yuck) and into the freezer to set for slicing. About an hour or so with an electric knife (not much fun there..need a slicer!) and we've got some awesome bacon!
post #17 of 21

cold smoking

Bacon looks great. was wondering what temp is to low for cold smoking ham and bacon. How long does one cold smoke a ham for and do you have to cook the ham afterwards. Again great job on the bacon.
post #18 of 21
no such thing as too low for cold smoking..........i have had my temps in my smoker, when doing cheese, get no higher than in the 40's......as long as my wood smokes.......thats all you need..........you are going after smoke here.........my last bbb, temps didn't get above 70, cause it wasn't full blown winter yet........
post #19 of 21


do you stil have to cook the ham after cold smoking?????
post #20 of 21
One question mark would have been sufficient. Actually no question marks. YES! <Exclamation point required.>
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