Be gentile, I'm a virgin... at dry curing and makin' bacon

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02ebz06

Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Feb 1, 2012
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Rio Rancho, NM
As title says, first time "attempting" a dry rub and "attempting" making bacon.
Picked up a belly at Costco yesterday.

So, from what I pulled from threads this is the brine recipe (based on belly weight):

Ingredients:
.25% cure #1
1.5% salt
.75% sugar

Directions:
Rub brine on the belly and put in zip-lock bag.
Flip over daily for 14 days.
After the 14 days remove it from brine bag(s) and just left to sit dry in fridge for 24 hours.

Now here is were I ran into problems deciphering remaining steps.

My LSG Pellet smoker only goes as low as 160f.
The CampChef goes as low as 150f.

So, where do I go from here for smoking it ? Just cold smoke, or ???

TIA
 
If I can do it, so can you and that's the recipe I use. I don't have the cold smoking option, so I hot smoke and try to keep the smoker as low as possible which is maybe 200℉. I cook to an I.T. of 145℉. Pull and let rest in the fridge at least 24 hours. All of this is from the advice of the knowledgeable folks on here...
 
Last edited:
As title says, first time "attempting" a dry rub and "attempting" making bacon.
Picked up a belly at Costco yesterday.

So, from what I pulled from threads this is the brine recipe (based on belly weight):

Ingredients:
.25% cure #1
1.5% salt
.75% sugar

Directions:
Rub brine on the belly and put in zip-lock bag.
Flip over daily for 14 days.
After the 14 days remove it from brine bag(s) and just left to sit dry in fridge for 24 hours.

Now here is were I ran into problems deciphering remaining steps.

My LSG Pellet smoker only goes as low as 160f.
The CampChef goes as low as 150f.

So, where do I go from here for smoking it ? Just cold smoke, or ???

TIA
This is awesome!
Just slap that belly on either pellet machine as low as it will run, add a smoke tube if you have it, and hot smoke the belly to 145F internal pull and just let it cool on a wire rack. Then bag overnight and slice anytime after. I always square them up a bit just for looks and taste samples while it’s cooling down. Will taste better next day or two of rest.
 
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Thanks guys, that cleared up my concern.
Time to go rub my belly. Haha

EDIT: Smoking at 150f , that would take a very very long time to get an IT of 145f and most likely have the belly in the 40-140 danger range longer that it should.
Is that a concern?
 
Welcome to the club! Like Eric said, run the pellet grill as low as it will run. Nothing wrong with running just a smoke tube in the grill for the first hour or 2 and then turning on the grill to finish at your 145° IT.
 
Going hot and fast as you have to here will just not give the depth of smoke flavor because you won’t be in smoke that long. I prefer smoke from my smokehouse where I control those lower temps and get a solid 5-6 hours of smoke. That said, I’d still rather eat your hot and fast bacon over any store bought. It’s a game changer.
 
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EDIT: Smoking at 150f , that would take a very very long time to get an IT of 145f and most likely have the belly in the 40-140 danger range longer that it should.
Is that a concern?
Whole point of curing is so you can stay in that danger zone for longer. You will have to bump the temp up from 150 a bit to get to 145 ........ IT generally lags 15 to 20 below pit temp.
 
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Whole point of curing is so you can stay in that danger zone for longer. You will have to bump the temp up from 150 a bit to get to 145 ........ IT generally lags 15 to 20 below pit temp.
All true, but that’s IF your pit is running at 150. I’ve seen very few pellet machines that run that low, most hover at about 200F on the low setting. So know your grate temps people.
 
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Ahhh, I see said the blind man...

Thanks all.
You will likely see some big temp swings too, don’t worry about those kinds of details. Doug is 100% correct that a true pit temp of 150-160 is going to be hard to get the meat to 145 IT I wouldn’t worry about that either though. Many times I get my color and hit my time line with an IT of say 137-140, I pull it and be done. You are going to fry it later anyway. If you want to eat it straight from the package then 145 it is, but for me, shoot for 145 but just make sure you clear 131. Life is good with bacon.
 
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All true, but that’s IF your pit is running at 150. I’ve seen very few pellet machines that run that low, most hover at about 200F on the low setting. So know your grate temps people.
Mine runs below 200 depending on upper or lower grate ........... set at 160 (lowest it goes) it pretty much cycles between 140 and 180 on the lower, somewhat hotter on the top grate since heat rises.
 
Will be slicing and freezing most of it. Have to test some of course.

If my math is correct here are my numbers for the belly cut in half.
Did a pretty good job eye-balling it, only 17g difference.

belly
1963​
1946​
cure #1
4.9075​
4.865​
salt
29.445​
29.19​
brown sugar
14.7225​
14.595​
 
Will be slicing and freezing most of it. Have to test some of course.

If my math is correct here are my numbers for the belly cut in half.
Did a pretty good job eye-balling it, only 17g difference.

belly
1963​
1946​
cure #1
4.9075​
4.865​
salt
29.445​
29.19​
brown sugar
14.7225​
14.595​
You are like a math wizard. Couldn’t have run those numbers any better myself. Looks fantastic.
 
Will be slicing and freezing most of it. Have to test some of course.

If my math is correct here are my numbers for the belly cut in half.
Did a pretty good job eye-balling it, only 17g difference.

belly
1963​
1946​
cure #1
4.9075​
4.865​
salt
29.445​
29.19​
brown sugar
14.7225​
14.595​
You passed basic math class lol.
 
Your wish is my command...

Pork Belly 2024-03-15.jpg


Not easy distributing the mix evenly and some stays on the board due to sugar/salt melting.
 
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