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Honey-Cured Bacon

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi! I am in the near future going to attempt to make about 16 to 20 lbs of Honey-Cured Bacon. According to Rytek Kutas Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing book 4th Edition Page 314. My question is where he says wrap the bacon in a good plastic lined (freezer wrap) butcher paper and place in a 38 deg refrigerator for about 6 days. I am thinking of placing the slabs in food saver bags and partually freezing to vac seal and then marinating them the way he suggests. Does anyone see any problems with that?????
Also when I do this I will take detailed pictures of the steps and show the final results. Thanks Dennis
post #2 of 15
I'm not sure if I'm following you.... are you thinking about partially freezing the bacon? It will not cure properly if partially frozen.
I apologize if I'm not understanding the question.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
No I am only partially freezing so that the honey will not get sucked into the food saver vaccume. I am going to use the food saver bags to marinate the honey cure. I will be refridge according to directions. I was just wondering if any one has ever tried this method?
post #4 of 15
I usually vacuum and when the fluid starts to get close to getting into the sealer i hit the seal button pulls out most of the air but not all. Seems to work fine that way
post #5 of 15
tried the vac sealer and just made a mess. I put mine into a large plastic container with a snap on lid then into the fridge. Turn the bellies every day or two and your just fine. Just my 2 cents worth.
Good Luck.
post #6 of 15
Depending upon how big your belly pieces are, you could use 1 gal or 2 gal ziploc and squeeze the air out. If they are too big, just submerge them in a food lug with a weight on top to keep them submerged. You can try the vac sealer, but I don't think its necessary.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ok Here How I Preped It

Ok on Friday I picked up 16 lbs of pork bellies (2) from my local butcher @ $1.42 a lb. We cut the bellies up about 10" wide, so they would fit in the Food Saver bags (made double length). This made 6 pcs which were eventually bagged. We generously rubbed all sides of the bellies with 1 cup of pure salt to 4 tbs of instasure #1 (Aprox 1 1/2 cup mixed). We then cut sheets of freezer paper to easily cover the bellies. Then we spred about 2 lbs of honey (total) over the slabs then wrapped in freezer paper. Of course we did this one slab at a time! As we did each slab, we vaccume sealed each bag. Because we doubled the length on the bags and we pre wrapped the slabs we could completely vaccume seal the bags, as we plan to throughly clean these bags, and devide in half the finished product and reuse the bags cut in half (no waste). We are currently turning the slabs over twice a day and shuffling twice a day. We plan on smoking this friday (7 days) Hopefully I will have some pictures of the clean and smoke. I am sorry that I didn't take any pictures of the prep, but I hope the explanation will do. I can't believe how easy it is to make bacon!
post #8 of 15
yes bacon is easy to make-by vacing it- it cures faster-your 7 days are correct with bellie pieces-sound like Alot of salt, hope u soak it away before smoke.also I see a waste of suckie bags-throw away store bags work well-I never reuse suckie bags that have stored meat.just my 2 cents worth-good luck.
post #9 of 15

makin bacon

I use a modified 5 gallon bucket with a valve and hose hook up to vacuum marinate bigger stuff. Just hook up to vac sealer open valve suck down until sides of pail start to bow in then close valve and let sit in fridge. turn over or roll sideways to overhaul as long as the suction holds it will not leak. I have done bacon and ham this way and 7 days has always been enough but I pump the hams too. Hope this helps.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yea I am thinking of pulling and smoking tomorrow Wednesday (5) days. I don't want the bacon too salty, so I think I will smoke it tomorrow. Sure hope I used enough honey. I don't have bacon hooks yet so I am gonna make some bacon hangers out of wire clothes hangers, at least thats the plan. Any thoughts on that?
post #11 of 15
Desertlites is correct!! The Kutas recipe will be too salty. I know from experience. He does not adequately relate the importance of desalination in his recipe. I think it says something like "rinse very well".

B.S.

Get a stiff brush and rinse and scrub off all of the honey and salt. Every speck!! Cut off a small piece and fry it. If too salty, soak in water for an hour. Taste again. Repeat soak/taste until its the right saltiness for you.

On edit- I think it's better to cure completely, then soak to get rid of salt instead of cutting short the curing process. If the bellies are nice and firm after 5 days, smoke on.
post #12 of 15
Meat should be kept between 33 degrees and under 40 degrees to cure and be safe while doing so. Freezing will not allow the meat to cure properly. Just the info i picked up while researching before my 1st of many CB cures.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Pictures

I just made my first attempt at honey cured bellies. They turned out pretty good for the first time. I had to desaltnate them for about 3 hours (3, 1 hour complete water change outs. Put in the smoke house around 12:30 PM. Warmed up the house slowly with full draft for about 1 hour. Closed up draft to 1/4 and applied smoke (hickory) via external smoke guns.
Everything went ok till about 6 PM when the stone base in my smokehouse finally warmed up to ambient temp, then the fun started! I had cut back my heat as far as I could, and she was still climbing to 148 degs. I could not keep the bacon internal temp from climbing. I finally pulled at around 9 PM when the internal got to 145 Degs.
I think the next time I will not make any heat and only cold smoke the bacon, since it is cured I should be able to get away with that. The bacon will probally resemble store bought, but with a better taste.
I don't think you need to worry about too low a temp, as compaired to getting enough smoke on the bacon. Just my opion.
Dennis
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
post #15 of 15
King is right about the salt....just finished a batch, and it took three water changes and two hours of soaking to get all that salt out.

Aside from that....very tasty bacon.biggrin.gif
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