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My First Bacon Attpemt with Q/View

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
So I decided to attempt curing my own bacon. Since it was my first attempt, I did not want to invest too much money into screwing up several bellies because of inexpierence so I just cured one smaller belly.

After trimming the bellly, I ended up with 5 pounds so I made a simple cure of:

5 tablespoons Tenderquick
5 tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon black pepper

I cut the belly in half, rubbed on the cure, wrapped and set in the fridge for 2 weeks.

After a pretty good bath, I smoked the belly for 8 hours at 150* using hickory.

I don't have a meat slicer (yet) so I cut each half in half and put in the freezer for about 6 hours to stiffen up. Then I brought out the vegetable mandolin to get some uniform slices. I sliced at two thicknesses: This is what I got from 1/4 of the belly.

The extra trimmings were made into bacon bits for salads and pizza toppings

The bacon was the best I ever had

I want to give a hearty thank you to all the people who posted their previous bacon expierences on the forum. If it wasn't for you, I would have not have the guts or the know-how to even pull this off. Next time, more bellies for sure. For those of you thinking about doing this...it was not hard at all...you just need a lot of patience. Those two weeks waiting for the belly to cure was two of the longest weeks of my life...but well worth it.
post #2 of 23
Thanks for the post, bacon it on my to do list as soon as hunting season is over. Looks really good.
post #3 of 23
Nice job and good qview on the bacon!!!! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gifpoints.gif
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. The whole family was in hog heaven all weekend. We had bacon with breakfast, bacon sandwiches and pizza with bacon in it.
post #5 of 23
Great job....Where did you get the cryovac belly from ? Nice idea on the slicerpoints.gif
post #6 of 23
Looks like a success to me... Great Qview too...PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
There is a meat wholesaler here in Detroit called Kaps. They got a meat market attached to their place where the public can waltz in and buy stuff. I took the smallest one being my first attempt, but there were bigger.

The only problem with the mandolin was that as I sliced, the heat from my hand was thawing the bacon and of course as I got closer to the end, there was more risk in losing my knuckles.
post #8 of 23

Bacon is one of those things I have yet to try, one because there is only one butcher shop around and they are kind of expensive and two, I don't have a slicer but it looks like you did a great job!
Definitely moved bacon up several notches on my to-do list.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
I had the same problem with finding the belly. The last place I went was the only place that I could find it. As a matter of fact, it was recommended by several other meat markets since they didn't have any. The belly was $1.88 a pound for 7 pounds. I ended up paying about $15 total for the meat and the cure (the Tenderquick was pro-rated because I only used 5 tablespoons) and it yeilded 5 pounds of bacon. That is about $3 a pound. Not to shabby since the cheap stuff in the supermarket runs us about $2.50 for about 12oz.
post #10 of 23
Great job Blue.
Belly bacon was the first meat smoke I did, and I agree it was a lot easier than I thought it would be (except for the waiting---LOL). The previous bacon smokes on this forum showed how. I hope my posts helped too, as I try to give back.

I have one question for you:
I thought about making some "bacon bits" like you did, mostly for salads, but I don't know how you would store them. Would I just put them in small packs & freeze them that way. The little bits I used to buy came in a jar & stayed in the fridge for a loooong time, but I'm not even sure they were actually bacon----probably 90 % chemicals.

BTW: Now you have to do a pork loin for Canadian Bacon. Everybody I gave samples to liked that even better than the belly bacon (melts in your mouth). I think it's actually even easier than the belly bacon. My next bacon will be Buckboard Bacon. Soon I hope!

Thanks for showing Blue,
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just toss them in a zip lock and freeze them. They don't really last long enough to food-saver them or store any differently in my opinion. By the way, I have found myself snacking on the frozen bacon bits all weekend. They are fantastic cooked and cold.

That is actually second on my list of things to do after pastrami
post #12 of 23
Great job! You can't beat the homemade stuff. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #13 of 23
Very nice.Need to get to restaurant depot and smoke some more...points.gif
post #14 of 23
Thanks again Blue--Good point.
LOL,(cooked or cold) Now I just caught myself trying to think of a way bacon wouldn't be good.

post #15 of 23

post #16 of 23
Great job Blue. On my to do list for sure. PDT_Armataz_01_28.gif
post #17 of 23
Excellent looking bacon and great Q-view, thanks for sharing it Blue.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
I didn't even think about checking restaurant depot. I don't think I ever saw them there....
post #19 of 23
The one outside baltimore has them,but talking with other folk that use different restaurant depots, they all do not stock the same meats etc.....

Worth a look.They are cheap at my store...
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks ALX, I am checking it out at lunch today. If they got em...I'm buying some. Even if they don't I can still pick up something to smoke this weekend.
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