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First attempt

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I just used kosher salt, no nitrites at all. Going for a natural cure. I did that for 5 days in the fridge , checking it everyday and draining off the liquid that was being pulled out. on the 3rd day I also massaged 1/4 cup ral maple syrup into the belly. I smoked it last night to 143 degrees, before smoking I rinsed it well added another coating of maple syrup and a sprinkling of light brown sugar. My smoker was running hot so it was only on there for about 3 hours. It is in the fridge and will be sliced tonight. I'll post more pictures later and a review of the taste.
post #2 of 12
It sounds good but I'm not real sure about the kosher salt thingy. You are using it for the cure you didnt use any tender quick or praugie #2 or any of that stuff. I don't know if thats gonna work or not but I guess you will tell us how it works so I will know too. I cann't wait but there will be someone here soon that does know. I think I would talk to someone before I eat it and make sure it won't hurt you
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I saw it on another website about just using the salt. I didn't make it up.icon_smile.gif. I'll do a small test fry tonight and see what it tastes like. and let you all know. And ya know 100 years ago it was just salt cure.
post #4 of 12
That is the way it was done for years and years. Should be good to go IMO
post #5 of 12
According to all the reading I have been doing you can salt cure bacon safely:

I understand that you will not really get a huge "bacon" flavor it will taste more like pork then bacon, although I have not tried this method yet.

Please let me know how it comes out. I just picked up a pork belly this morning and will be using TQ to cure it. I'll have a post later for it.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Your first link is the process that I used.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
The bacon turned out great. I think next time I need to make a paste out of the maple syrup and brown so it stay in place a little better. Here are the first few pieces. it was great and everybody loved the test pieces last night. It seem that the 5 days with salt was just right. it wasn't too salty.

I will be doing this again for sure.
post #8 of 12
Looks great. Next time will try with Salt only, no nitrates. Did you trim the skin off and if so at what point?

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
I left the skin on it, and after it was sliced and cooked you couldn't even tell. Follow the directions here:

Next time I'm going to make a paste out of the maple syrup and brown sugar and apply that just before smoking so it stays on better. there wasn't a strong bacon flavor, but it was very good.

I may even try it with some buckboard bacon.
post #10 of 12
Hi Todd,

Yeah, I saw that link where he swears you must leave the skin on. Many users around here swear you have to take it off.

What did you use to keep the bacon out of it's own juices? I'm using TQ and following this method:
on this go around.

Will try "your" method next time.

Thank you for the great information!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
I used a plastic pan that had ridges in the bottom I drained off the liquid everyday. It worked pretty will.
post #12 of 12
Bacon looks great! Thanks doing it the other way and accompanying Q-view.
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