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First bacon, and a few questions...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Howdy folks. I have been smoking for about 10 years and have wanting to try bacon since I went to a local BBQ joint and tried theirs and it was... heaven.

I got a pre-cured piece of belly, gave it a light dose of my basic pork rub and threw it on the BGE for a hot smoke of about 4 hours. It's been in the fridge since last night and I will slice and cook some up this morning.

I also got a 14 pound pork belly that I cut into 6 sections. I froze 5 pieces and am dry curing 1 piece. It is about 2.5 pounds and I went with a cure of equal parts kosher salt and light brown sugar. It has been resting in the fridge since yesterday afternoon. I wanted to add TenderQuick but could not find it in my local grocery - apparently curing meat is not popular in southeastern PA.

Now comes the questions...
Is it necessary to use the Tenderquick or will this bacon turn out without it?
I have read some folks hot smoke and others cold smoke - which do you prefer and why?
What is your favorite dry cure recipe?

Thanks for your responses.
post #2 of 9
I would not cold smoke without the cure you'll be in the danger zone to long.
post #3 of 9

TQ Pink salt etc

The nitrate/ trites are necessary to preserve the meat, It can be bought online and sometimes at Walmart. You might be able to get it from your local butcher.

Lot of good info on the site. Please be careful food safety is #1

My first try!
post #4 of 9
Hi L-M!

I prefer cold smoking bacon at temperature under 100 degrees. (both canadian bacon and slab) Like the other does have to be cured though.

The smoke flavors the bacon...doesn't cook it, so you have more options on how you want to use it later.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies folks - I will order up some TenderQuick - called my local butcher and they don't carry it. I will hot smoke the slab I have dry curing now andd we will see how that turns out.

Sliced up some of the pre-cured bacon I smoked yesterday and it was pretty tasty.

Hey there cowgirl - you are a goddess here!
post #6 of 9
You can get TQ at Wegmans. That's where I buy mine.
post #7 of 9
Not a goddess L-M.... I just talk too much here. icon_redface.gifPDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #8 of 9


I also found it on E-Bay ended up with cupboard full.
post #9 of 9
Mortons TQ works well I personally use Mortons Sugar Cure. Also, using whats called pink salt, insta-cure #1, you can make your own cure using this recipe from the book "Charcuterie". In addition you could also add flavors like maple, honey or brown sugar to this. You can get the insta-cure #1 at

1 Lb. Kosher salt
8 oz. sugar
2 oz. insta-cure #1
Use at a rate of 2 oz. per 5 lb. of meat.

Good luck
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