1st Bacon Attempt Hot smoked on WSM

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Original poster
Jan 2, 2011
After a lot of reading (apparently not enough), I started my first attempt at making my own bacon.  I had stopped at my local meat market and picked up 1 pork belly.  I brought it home and sliced it up into 4 slabs.

I then mixed up a batch of Pop's Brine and put 2 of them in the fridge for 11 days. (Forgot to get photo) I put the other 2 in the freezer for a later date and another attempt in case the first 2 didn't turn out.  I had intended to smoke it this Sunday but here is Wisconsin it is suppose to be a little chilly so I opted for today.  This only left me with and over night dry time in the fridge.  I seasoned one with garlic salt, pepper, and onion salt and the same on the other one but added some chipolte pepper seasoning.

This morning I got up and fired up the WSM with a mix of apple and hickory chunks.  This is where my plans changed.  I was planning on a good 8 hours or better of "warm" smoking and I didn't think the WSM would get that hot with temps around 20 deg outside.  I put too much charcoal in the smoker and had temps in the 230+ range. With no other real plan I decided I would just hot smoke them till the internal temp reached 160. This only took about an hour and a half.  Then into the fridge they went to cool down.  I am hoping to have a slice with lunch in a little while.

With and excess amount of fuel still burning in the smoker I quick ran to the freezer to find something I could thaw out quickly.  I found a pack of pork chops.  I ran luke warm water on the bag to get them somewhat thawed out and seasoned them up with pretty much the same rub as the bacon and tossed them on the smoker.  I am now waiting for them to finish up.

With all that being said it looks like I will be ordering and AMNPS to smoke my bacon properly.  I will give a report on the taste of the bacon when I give it a try.
I was wondering if you guys would look at this.  I think it is fine but it is just different enough that I want second opinion.  The center section of the end looks a little different then the surrounding bacon.  I think it is just a weird mixture of fat and meat?  The bottom picture is slices of the same chunk.  What do you guys think?

Here is the finished product from the other slab.  That one looked just like it should so we fried up a couple slices.  These pieces got a little think in the slicers, so it took a little more to cook them to our liking.  I must say they are pretty tasty....there is a little lack of smoke flavor which I fully expected but other than, just a pinch of too much salt it is pretty close to perfect.  Thanks for all your help guys/gals!

.there is a little lack of smoke flavor which I fully expected but other than, just a pinch of too much salt it is pretty close to perfect.

Soak in ice water to get rid of salt, an hour or more.  Big ice bath.

Pat dry with paper towels.

DRY on Racks In Fridge 1 or more days.

get a Pellicle. - which helps hold smoke -

  THEN SMOKE  some of the best bacon ever.

Pull off, rest, cool down.

Cold meats slice easiest,

so put your slabs into the freezer for an hour or so before slicing.

Looks good!

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