Another Batch of Bacon

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by mulepackin, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I now seem to have a pretty reliable source of pork bellies. Made another batch of honey, maple, and sugar cured bacon. Basically followed Ryteks basic recipes. Saltiness is perfect. Did have to soak in cold water for about 2 hours after taking out of cure. Smoked longer than I wanted, but still turned out okay. Will be tweeking it some in the future to get the flavor the way I want it. My little old Oster slicer came through again too.
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  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great looking bacon! [​IMG]
     
  3. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Very nice looking bacon there-I have learned once you start making your own u never go back to buying! (cept the cheap chit for ABT's)
     
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would agree with that statement. I just need to eat more of mine. I never seem to get up early enough in the morning to have time to cook anything. I guess that is what weekends are for.
     
  5. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My bacon came out a little darker. How do you keep the colors so red?

    Cold Smoke?

    What's your smoking process and temps?


    Todd
     
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I can't give you a good answer on how it gets more red or not but mine looked just like this batch and I hot smoked mine because I put them on along with a bunch of racks of ribs. I smoked mine at 225 for around 4 hours. Some hot smoke some cold smoke they both work. Its all a personal preference.
     
  7. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Bacon Looks Great...[​IMG]
     
  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I cold smoked my last batch of bellies. The flavor came out great, but color was a little darker. Just curious how or what causes some bellies to darken and some keep a nice red color.

    Is it part of the curing process?


    Todd
     
  9. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pretty much cold smoke. I follow the process from Rytek's book pretty closely. After curing, allow it to dry at room temp (I pat it off with a towel), then into a 120 smoker for about an hour for additional drying, damper full open. Then increase heat to 135, damper 1/4 open or so, and start smoke. I used hickory, I smoked for around 14 hours, last time it was about 12 which would have been enough. I bring the inside temp of the belly to about 127 or so. Pull and let sit in fridge for a day or so, then sliced and wrapped. Rytek says once you get the inner temp to 127 or so, you can drop the smoker temp to 120 and continue to smoke until you get the color you want. I'm not real sure what the significance of the 127 internal is. I cure with instacure #1, and the cure may play a role in color retention/development.
     
  10. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I should probably emphasize the importance of the drying before smoking steps. When done correctly the bacon should develop a "pellicle". This is kind of a dry sticky, sort of shiny coating on the meat. This is essential for the proper absorption of smoke and flavor/color development. A wet surface will not take up smoke and the bacon will be smudgy.
     
  11. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    very well put sir.
     
  12. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Looks awesome and very good info [​IMG]
     
  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I used TQ Dry Cure and Brine Cure method this time. Could it be the cure?

    Left them in the fridge for 24 hours after curing and dried in the smoker for about 45 minutes before adding smoke. Smoked with 100% Hickory temps around 130*. Pulled bacon after 6 hours of smoke and internal temp around 120*.

    Bacon had a great flavor, just trying to figure out the nice red color vs. darker red color??

    Next time I'll follow Rytek's recipe and note the difference.


    Todd
     
  14. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That is some great looking bacon and thanks for all the tips - I too have made bacon and always learn something new from these posts. There is nothing like the taste you get from your own bacon.
     
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Way to go mulepackin !
    I knew you'd be making some great bacon, once you licked the only problem you had--------Access to bellies.

    Well deserved--------->[​IMG]

    Nothin' beats well made bacon !

    Bearcarver
     

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