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BACON Done with Money shots (Pic Heavy)

Discussion in 'Hot Smoked Bacon' started by navier, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Well after lurking for a while and slobbering on the keyboard looking at everyone elses' bacon, I thought I would finally take the plunge of makin bacon.

    Local grocery store had bellies on for 2.99, first time the butcher said they ever tried selling bellies. By the way I am in Ontario Canada. Smoker is gen 1 Masterbuilt 30 with window.

    Tried to follow along with Bearcarvers method and used digging calculator.

    Started out skinning the bellies. Made pork rinds with the skin. Pics below.


    Next step was to weigh every thing out. I have a gram scale but noticed when using the calculator that the grams came out in decimals but my scale only weighed out to 1/10 gram so I converted the gram measurement to ounces because the scale measured to the 1/1000 in ounces. Not really how precise one needs to be, whether I could have just upped to the next 1/10 or not. First time using cure so paranoia was sneaking in.



    What struck me was how minuscule the amount of cure was. I still have my doubts but put the faith in the calculator. Weighed each piece of meat, inputted that amount and went with what calculator said.

    As of this moment bacon is in the bags in the fridge, flipping daily. Now on day 4.

    I am a little worried that I am getting no where near the amount of juice in the bags as I have seen on other posts. Perhaps it is because my fridge is too cold? Not quite freezing everything but close. I plan on keeping them in for 10 days. 2 days resting in fridge for pellicule, then 12 hour smoke using bears step up process for heat.

    As for cutting thats another problem. My meat slicer is no where near big enough. Here is what I am planning.

    I have a large bandsaw (wood), going to clean it up shiny, purchased a new ripping blade for it. Going to make a sanitary table on the bed and new piece on the fence. Will freeze the bacon solid and then slice it on the bandsaw. Talked to the butcher and he sees no reason why it wouldn't work. He said basically the only difference is the stainless steel table and the sliding bed on a meat bandsaw.

    Whats your thoughts?

    Now on to the PORK RINDS
    I used themules recipe for these


    Boil 2 hours, rest an hour, scrape fat, dehydrate for 8 hours then into the deep fryer. Thats basically the only difference. My thoughts is that the deep fryer just doesn't quite get hot enough. It cooks fine but takes longer thus absorbing a bit more grease. Once again paranoia was lurking with hitting the flash point with hot oil in a pan. Just do not like heating oil that way.If I had a proper thermometer to monitor the temp I would have gone that route.

    Now the pics

    The boil                                              Start of the dehydrate                   End of dehydrate


    Size comparison. Started with a penny, next is the dehydrated piece, then the size after the cook.


    Notes. I would probably dehydrate a little longer as they were still a little greasy and not quite hard enough. Definately wouldn't be able to store them in a jar for a long period of time.

    Overall though they were delicious. Went to the bulk store and purchased different flavours of popcorn seasonings to sprinkle on when they came out.

    Wifes favorite would be the sourcream flavour but I prefer just Lawreys seasoning salt.

    Will post pics of the cooking process when it happens. Feel free for comments. Need to know if I did this right and if I am needlessing worrying about the lack of liquid in by bags in the fridge.


    Brian aka Navier
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    got my attention.  I so have to try doing bacon this Winter!

  3. pc farmer

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

    Bearcarvers method is a very good one.

    Thats all I will use now.
  4. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    Could you cut the slabs in half lengthwise and then slice on your slicer?  Not quite as traditional in the presentation, but they fit better on a sandwich that way.  Not real good for wrapping a fattie though.

    For food grade band saws, they make a scalloped razor blade.  You would loose a lot less meat this way because it slices the meat instead of cutting it.  

  5. Thanks Don. A scalloped blade would be good but the chances of finding one in the proper length would be next to impossible I believe as meat and wood saws run different blade lengths. Will search it though.
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Love watching folks make bacon, since the freezer is full right now I will enjoy it thru your achievements. I always left the skin on till after smoking. But I like the smoked skin in a pot a pintos. Ya know, it is getting close to cool enough to try some cracklins!!

    Nice start..... I'll be a watchin!!
  7. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    [​IMG]I did Pop's wet cure on CB so I'll do the same with belly bacon but use maple syrup instead of brown sugar.  I've never dry cured so I can't help with your liquid question.  I have a belly cut in thirds in the freezer.  Smoking cheese today but I am ready to cure the belly pieces since it's getting cooler.
  8. rong

    rong Newbie

    Seems that I read somewhere the fridge temp should be kept between 36 and 40 degrees for proper curing. I keep mine at 38. Have fun!!! It already sounds good.
  9. Don't worry about the liquid in the bags. I've cured quite a bit of bacon and some bellies produce a lot of liquid while others a couple of spoonfuls. I think it has to do with how meaty or fatty the particular belly is. More meat=more liquid. More fat=less liquid. I also noticed that when I use a lot (and I mean more than double the amount you have pictured) of brown sugar, it tends to draw out even more moisture.
  10. Glad you tryed my pork rind pellets.....you have to dry them till they will break your teeth out....then they will last for ever....they pop up great.

    Happy smoken.

  11. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like a great start to me!

  12. anxious to see the end result. keep the pics coming
  13. I made some Guanciale earlier this year.  It was a bit of a challenge for the aging.  I might try this again next year after a light smoking.  But not sure how to do this as I think cold smoke is required.  Still playing with this.[​IMG]
  14. Ok took the bacon and out of the cure today. Will let it sit til saturday to smoke.

    12 hours just smoke and no heat. Is that correct?

    using amps. cherry or hickory or both?

    Also how do I know if it is cured properly
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  15. Fried up two small slices to try. sorry no pics. First time using cure, first time leaving meat in a fridge for ten days then eating it. First time I was ever paranoid about eating my own cooking.

    Surprisingly it was quite good, I feel it had just the right amount of salt flavour. If it tastes this well with no smoke I can hardly wait til the after smoke taste.

    After resting in the fridge do I season it with anything prior to smoking? garlic and onion powder salt? Lawreys seasoning. My pork rub I make? maple syrup

    Sorry this is new. Thought I read enough but when it comes time for actually doing my mind is having a brain fart due to that dang paranoia of wrecking the whole batch.

    Help would be appreciated
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Brian, morning.......  I saw you used Diggy's calculator.....  cool tool huh.....    

    Just curious.... did you know you could change the  Part Per Million (Ppm)  156  to any amount needed....  and the calculator will adjust the ingredients...

    Bacon, it it recommended by the USDA (skin off bacon), be cured at no more than 120 Ppm nitrite.... maximum  

                                                                             Skin on, reduce the cure by 10% or 108 Ppm nitrite.....maximum  

    That is because, the skin does not absorb nitrite, and they estimate the skin is 10% of the weight of the belly.......

    If you used the calculator at 156, everything will be OK.....    Just for future reference.. 

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  17. Thanks Dave did not know that.

    I thought 156 was standard. What I came to realize when doing this is the amount of cure is really tiny. Bought 2 one pond bags because its harder to come by up here in Canada. Going to last me a longgg time.

    Reason I was worried about cure is that throughout the 10 days I had very little liquid in the bags so I thought maybe I didn't do something right.

    So any reason to worry that I used too much.
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So any reason to worry that I used too much.

    Nope....  156 is for sausage and stuff like that...  It's a concern, I think, about high temp frying over 450 deg F or something like that...  No need to worry...  If you make BBB (Buck Board Bacon) from a pork butt, I would stick to the 120 ish Ppm also...  I'm sure that the 120 Ppm is for fried pork or fried anything for that matter, but I have no proof..  Just a SWAG....  (scientific wild a$$ guess)

    The little amount of liquid is because you bought a belly that was not "enhanced" or pumped from the supplier...  You got an old fashioned belly...   Same as my butcher gets me....   It makes bacon that is not like store bought...  You will probably have to add oil to the pan and maybe a little water when frying to get the fat to render....   Almost freeze the bacon before slicing... slice really thin, if you can, as the meat will be pretty firm after frying...   At least my bacon turns out that way.... I like to add a little water, lid on the pan, and steam it a bit....   

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  19. Thanks Dave. Noticed that in the fry test. sort of stuck to the pan like when I cook peameal (canadian bacon for american viewers...lol), very little grease

    And thats another thing. Why do Americans call it Canadian bacon when us Canadians just refer to it as Peameal bacon
  20. Well after a long wait it finally is done.

    Smoked in on Saturday with my MES 30 using the amps with a hickory/cherry blend. Total smoke time was 12 hours with no heat.

    And here are the finished product results


    And all packaged up

    I had a bunch of mis-sliced  pieces and end cuts so I diced them all up and made bacon bits with them.

    All in all for the first time trying this I feel it turned out fabulous.

    Also found a good way to get the family upset with you. Tell them they can't eat anymore of the homemade bacon until all the store bought in the freezer is used up. I'm thinking that we will be eating a lot of stuff with store bought bacon in the next 2 weeks.

    So for a breakdown this is what I got.

    For the belly the price was $27

    For this I got 3 packages of belly cut into side pork. 12 packages of 12 ounces of smoked bacon, 1 package of bacon bits, 1 large bag of pork rinds and finally 6 ounces of bacon drippings from cooking the bits in the oven. This will be used for frying eggs, potatoes and home made popcorn on the stove. Absolutely 100% no waste on this product.

    Thanks to all who offered advice and knowledge with this project. Already have my eyes peeled for belly to come on sale again.

    Brian  aka Navier
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013