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Make'n Bacon - Finally!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well this has been a long awaited project for me, so I wanted to share. I started this project last Sunday by dry curing 38lbs of pork belly with the basic dry cure that Cowgirl uses:
1T TQ/lb
1t brown sugar/lb
1T black pepper/bacon
1t red pepper/bacon
Turned and massaged daily as recommended by Bearcarver,

Also brined one whole pork loin for Canadian Bacon, using the Tender Quick directions of one cup TQ to four cups water. Ended up using two batches (8 cups) to get the loins covered. I added the following to the brine:
1 whole onion sliced
1T minced garlic
1T black peper
Wanted to go for the plain Jane on first one.

Here's how it went:

Rolls?! (Well I baked them for the company X-mas party last night, and thought what the heck!)

On to the post..!
Here is the CB and bellies after I pulled them from the fridge this morning

CB washed and ready for a 2 hour soak in cold water. I put them back in the pot I was using, and back into the fridge. I found that the spray hose on the faucet worked great for removing the brine and spices - much better than trying to rub off by hand, or with the (once) white bristle brush the Mrs.'s had...

Bacon after the same rinsing method above

How do you soak 38lbs of pork belly? - There's how I did it!

Before that, I had to slice off a few and just taste - not too bad overall, but the soak definitely was needed.

After a 1 1/2 hour soak on the bellies, and a two hour soak on the CB, I patted dry and hung in the smoker. Why the light? Cuz I didn't have a heat lamp! Don't know what the actual temp was in Fruita, but Bassman had 6 in Grand Junction. The temp shown on my smoker was after the light hung in there for about 10 minutes.
I let them just hang out for four hours.

After they hung, I pulled them, started my smoker and let it heat up, then rubbed three of the bellies with Blackstrap Molases, and just lightly dusted the other three with black pepper. I left the CB plain. Here they are hanging - Molases on the left. That's my old neighbor who grew up in a butcher shop and had to come supervise my project.

Set the smoker to 140 and let'er go. I'm going for an 8 hour smoke with a mix of Hickory/Apple/Oak. I'll share the final product tomorrow.
I'm using real live bacon hooks that I ordered from Butcher and Packer. Very reasonable (I thought) ~ $5, SS, and I hope to try and wear them out!

Thanks for checking out my bacon project.
post #2 of 24
Congrats on your first bacon!
That's one thing I can't wait to try, as soon as I can find bellies around here.
Good luck, I'll be looking forward to the finished verdict.
post #3 of 24
Thanks for sharing the Q-view, it looks great. I can't wait for the finished product.
I got to look see if you posted about your smoker, If not I would like some info on it. If nothing else it looks really large. lol
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
DanMcG, Thanks!
Here is some picts of my smoker http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ad.php?t=84111

Fire It Up - thanks, I can't wait to try it!

post #5 of 24
Bacon's looking good so far! I thought I smelled a smoker this afternoon.icon_mrgreen.gif
post #6 of 24
Looks Good...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

Do you need everyone's address to send out samples?
post #7 of 24
Man O man that looks great....Cant wait to do my first
post #8 of 24
Looks like a great start can't wait to see the finished pics PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #9 of 24
Looks steller ! wish I could get bellies here.
post #10 of 24
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone - so far so good.
Couldn't stand it any longer and had to take a peek. One and a half more hours to go on the smoke, then we should be done. I'll have the final picts tomorrow.

The molases rub is really showing. Will be interesting to see how much flavor comes through.

Thanks for checking out my bacon.
post #12 of 24
That is some GOOOOOD looking bacon.

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

Day 2

Thanks, Charlie!

You better send them quick! I've got the neighbors coming out of the wood work... may not be enough left to ship!

The wind was blowing to the East yesterdy... ;o)

Thank you all for checking out this thread. This is what I found in the smoker this morning. Was surprised to see how much of the molases rub stayed put (left). I almost took a bite out of the pepper bacon!

CB looked really good

Then it was into the kitchen for slicing.

Black Pepper

Sliced half of it thicker for breakfast. Sliced the other half thinner for...


and more PIZZA! Not everyone here is a fan of pineapple, so I went with onions and sundried tomatoes.

And bread for a bacon sammie tomorrow!

So that's a wrap on this project. In all, glad I'm finished! If I had the last two days to do over, I wouldn't have started with 40lbs of bacon for my first go! Other than that, what I've tasted so far is well worth the effort. Thanks to all of you who have gone before me for all of the great advise.

Thanks for checking out my bacon project.
post #14 of 24
Thanks for checking out my bacon project.
Tracey thanks for sharing thats kicka** looken baconpoints.gifto ya for it
post #15 of 24
How did the molasses rub turn out. Did you think it better than the non-molasses batch and would you do that again?

I have a belly in the freezer right now that I'm waiting for warmer weather to get smoked. A high of 7 today isn't getting that done with my equipment.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
[quote=Rstr Hunter;396881]How did the molasses rub turn out. Did you think it better than the non-molasses batch and would you do that again? quote]

Rstr Hunter,
Sorry for the delay in responding, but I just tried my first batch of the molasses rub bacon this morning. With all of the butchering we do, I had to test out some other new things in the freezer first!

Yes, it was very good. Just a hint of sweetness which is what I like. I really like the flavor of molasses and will often us it straight up on biscuits - that flavor (taste of molasses) did not come through on the bacon.

I would'nt hestitate to try it again, but my next batch of bacon will be with maple to see how it turns out.

Again, sorry for the delay.
post #17 of 24
Hot Damn i missed this....Looks fantastico...PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #18 of 24

Love looking at homemade bacon posts.
From the looks of things you did a great job!
post #19 of 24
this all looks great ~ outstanding job!
post #20 of 24
Awesome looking bacon. Very nice job. 40 lbs sounds like a lot but I bet you will use it fast. Enjoy.
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