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45 lbs. of BACON! Plain, Peppered, and Tatonka Dust

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by mneeley490, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Decided to do a bunch at once, since it seems to go so fast around here. Bought 3 skinless bellies from Restaurant Depot, and one more skin-on from Cash & Carry. Soaked in Pop's Brine for 10 days, then divided. Most were plain, but I peppered about 10 lbs, and coated a 4 lb piece on both sides with Tatonka Dust. Smoked at 120° for about 12 hours, then bumped up to 130° for 3 hours more. Used a 50/50 mix of corn cob and cherry pellets in my AMNPS. They seemed to burn slow, but still put out plenty of TBS, so I never had to refill. I did have to re-light once about 5 hours in, but it couldn't have been out for more than 45 minutes.

    Here's some pics:

    One of the skinless bellies still cryovac'd. They came to about 9-1/2 lbs each.

    The skin-on one at over 15 lb. It was still a little frozen. I brined with the skin still on, and found it is much easier to remove after brining.

    Funny how something so delicious can be made from just a few ingredients.

    45 lbs of belly and 30 lbs of brine made for a heavy bin. Not to mention the wrapped,10 lb flat brick I had on top of them. Lucky my daughter had a spare fridge in her garage.

    Out of the brine.

    Into the smoker with a box fan blowing on them overnight to form the pellicule. It was about 40° in my garage.

    Done! The finished IT was about 105° Now I cut it into smaller slabs and vacuum packed, about 2.5 lbs avg, plus a couple bigger 5 lb slabs that managed to fit into the sealer bags. Should be set for a while.

    Note the time on the clock. Yes, it was 11:45 pm when I got done. I started at 6 am.

    And a test fry on a few small trimmings, as a reward. I don't believe in perfection, but these are very good. Skinny piece on the right was from the Tatonka slab. Dang, that's good! I should've made more of that. Next time for sure.

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice pile of bacon! There is just something about that belly meat.

  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Now that's a great big fantastic looking pile of bacon!!! MMMMM!!!
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Question, was the Belly from C&C in the meat locker or the freezer section? My C&C only has boxes of bellies, 50lb. per box.
  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Awesome bacon. I sure wish we had a Restaurant Depot around here.
  6. pc farmer

    pc farmer Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I need to do more bacon.   Only 2 packs left.

    Yours looks good.
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice Job, Mneeley !!!

    All looks Great !!!

    I like your smoking times & temps!!

  8. Definitely going to be some good eating, good job and thanks for sharing your pictures with us!.
  9. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Mike,

    What a great looking batch of bacon! Tatonka dust....I'm intrigued! I'll definitely have to give that a try.

    Thanks for posting, there's got to be a happy bunch of bacon eaters in your house!
  10. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That looks great, nice load of bacon there.
  11. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Man that looks awesome! Love the shot of all the bellies soaking in the brine! I have to pick up some of that tatonke dust...
  12. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just wondering what did the bellies run you as far as cost?
  13. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The skinless ones were about $2.60 or so per lb. @ Restaurant Depot. Skin-on there was $2.05, but I didn't want the hassle of removing all that skin.

    Cash & Carry only has skin-on, and I think I paid about $2.65 lb. for that one.
    Yep, I took them directly from your "Extra-Smokey Bacon" thread. Thanks!  The AMNPS was still going, so I just let it go a little longer, as I was using a lighter wood than hickory.
    It was in the freezer section, 1 per box, about 13-15 lbs avg.
  14. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow, your should have enough bacon there to last a few weeks... :drool:
    The Tatonka Dust seasoning I feel takes bacon to the next level, tastes like your eating gourmet bacon...
  15. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Gave some of the regular to a friend the other day.  He called me at 9am this morning to tell me that he just fried some, and it is the best bacon he's ever had, & his kids were in agreement.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  16. samuel trachet

    samuel trachet Fire Starter

    Great looking bacon!!
  17. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    MossyMo, you might think that. But about 15 lbs. (post smoking) of it went to a friend, as we split the cost of the box of skinless. Then, as I now have the brine recipe down to something I really like, I gave a few pounds to other friends to try. That may have been a mistake. The demand is starting to grow, so it looks like I will be making another big batch very soon.

    MossyMo--how much Tatonka dust did you put in your brine?
  18. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    People like bacon the way it is but when you give them something of this caliber you will definitely be hearing from your friends again!
  19. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  20. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice job. Bacon is on my to do list.