Beef Bacon!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by pops6927, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    With the allure of the Labor Day holiday, I was prompted to purchase a whole beef brisket and transform it into beef bacon!

    Because the brisket is thin on the flat end and thick on the point end, I split it in half, across the grain:

    Then, I made up a batch of curing brine:


    Pops6927's Curing Brines - Regular and Lo-Salt

    By: Pops6927

    Posted 10/27/14 • Last updated 10/27/14 • 2,554 views • 1 comment

    These are my Curing brines for pork, beef (corned and dried), poultry, and so on.

    Regular Curing Brine:

    1 gallon of clean water

    1 cup plain, regular non-iodized table salt

    1 cup sugar or sucrolose

    1 cup brown sugar or sucrolose equiv.

    1 tablespoon of Cure#1

    Lo-Salt Curing Brine:

    1 gallon of clean water

    ½ cup plain, regular non-iodized rable salt

    ½ cup sugar or sucrolose 

    ½ cup brown sugar or sucrolose equiv.

    1 tablespoon of Cure #1

    mix in food-safe container, stir until clear.

    Add meat.  Do not add different species of meats, but you can add pieces of the same species.

    Refrigerate 1 to 21 days, depending on thickness of meat. 

    Up to 2 inches, 1-10 days.

    2 - 4 inches, 5 - 15 days, may require injecting to cure from the inside-out as well as from the outside-in.

    4 inches and larger.  15 - 21 days, requires injecting.

    Injecting - use a Morton's injection 4 oz. manual injection pump with the Broadcast needle.

    or equivalent.

    Brine can become frothy (ropy).  It has both salt and sugar in it.  It also is inputting curing ingredients into the meat and oozing out blood and plasma.  Just dump the brine and make up fresh and continue curing should that happen.  Make sure you keep it at 38° - 40°.  

    Weigh down meat into curing brine with half-filled ziploc bags of water on top.

    No further mixing or stirring required, let it cure until done.  Meats will come out of the brine wish a distinct grayish look.  This is normal.

    Cure #1:

    I use this as reference:

    Computing equivalency, for 100 gallons of curing brine, you add 24 lbs. of curing salt to 100 gallons of water and mix.

    That is .24 lbs, or 3.84 oz. of curing salt to 1 gallon of water maximum.

    My recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of curing salt to 1 gallon of water.  A level tablespoon is .88 of an ounce.  Heaping is approx. 1 ounce.  Either is fine.  Neither comes close to the maximum amount allowed, but just enough to do the job.  Curing at Maximum, plus with injection, requires 48 hours of cure time maximum.  This process uses less than one third the curing salt and a longer curing time to tenderize and flavor the meat.

    You must cover the product until it floats off the bottom of the container, then weight it down to stay submersed in the brine, leaving no area to be exposed to air.  You must keep at 38° to 40° until curing time is over.  Remove from brine, put or hang in smokehouse or smoker.  I personally go from refrigeration to heat with no wait time myself.  There is different thoughts, whether to allow a pellicle to form or not.

    A pellicle is mainly, to my knowledge, allowed to form on fish prior to smoking.  We were only 30 miles from Salmon River in Pulaski, NY, a very well known salmon run.  We had many bring us their salmon to process and usually allowed a pellicle to form  But, pork and beef are not tender like fish.

    Anything I have left out or any questions, be sure to PM me!  Don't hesitate!


    Lo-Salt, of course!

    Also, my curing brine is ¼ (one quarter) the maximum strength allowed by the Federal Gov't specifications.  My dad proved to the government that he could effectively cure meats at a much, much lower concentration by soaking it longer, and independent tests have repeatedly confirmed it.  Instead of 3 days at maximum strength, his curing brine is from 1 week to 4 weeks, depending on the thickness, etc.

    Anyways, back to the thread.  

    I used my 4 oz. Morton's injector to inject brine every 2 inches into the point, and a few times into the meatier part of the flat.  When done, I put them in the bucket, and put it out in the back 'curing' fridge with a plate on top to hold the meat down.  I will let it cure until Monday, 09/18 (Cowboys game and Nascar races on Sunday!), then pull the pieces out of the brine, sack and smoke them until 150° internal!


    Normally, I used to use beef plate, which was next to the brisket:

    Cured and Smoked Beef Bacon and Pastrami

    By: Pops6927

    Posted 12/17/14 • Last updated 3/1/15 • 1,144 views • 2 comments

    As this is the beginning of Hanukkah, in honor of the Jewish communities, there is such a thing as Beef Bacon.

    Beef Bacon comes from the belly of beef cattle forequarters.   This section is called a Plate.  It is the lower section from the rib:

    The beef plate is separated from the beef rib along the line as shown, then the ribs are removed as one piece, just like removing the spare rib section on a hog.  Square up the edge and you have a boneless beef plate.  

    Put the boneless beef plate in curing brine for 14-21 days (more towards the latter than the former, depending on the thickness of the lean strips).   Once cured, hang or place in your smoker and smoke to min. 135°.  Done!  This would be partially cooked, 146° would be fully cooked.  Slice and fry through, from cooked to crisp, however you like!

    Also, adjacent to the plate is the brisket:

    Just like curing the beef plate, you can bone out and cure the brisket.  Once cured, it now becomes "Corned Beef", you can also add pickling spices to the curing brine for flavor.  Then, you can also go to the next step and smoke and cook it; then it is known as Pastrami!


    Stay tuned!  More to come!
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Please see my initial review of the 6 channel thermometer I ordered in conjunction with this post of beef bacon:

    It looks like a great unit, it paired with iGrillBBQ app easily, I plugged in one of the 6 probes (the unit automatically scans all 6 probe ports to see what is plugged in) and the temp on the therm screen showed up immediately on my iPhone too!  So far, very impressed!  I will test it out when I smoke and cook the beef bacon!

    The unit:

  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks great Good Luck Pops

  4. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Got the beef out of the brine, I split the two halves into quarters and sacked them up in cotton ham bags and hung them in the smokehouse and got out my new thermometer, plugged a probe into each piece, then replaced my old thermometer in the door of the smokehouse with another probe while the wood chunks were going in the fry pan on the propane burner.  I had to retire my old cameras and now use my iPhone camera instead (my latest Windows 10 upgrade killed my old cameras programs; it was time).  Now I just send my photos from my iPhone to my email address on the computer and download into a specific folder on the computer (on this, my beef bacon folder).

    My thermometer:

    probe in each meat:

    Probe in the smokehouse door, replacing my old one:

    and the individual temps on my iPhone:

    Only have to get up and add wood chunks now!  I can monitor the temps of each probe from my chair, plus the smokehouse temp.  I've got an alarm set for 290° as maximum high; if the smokehouse gets that high then a chunk or something else is on fire and the alarm will beep, VERY loudly!!!  Probe 2 is in a smaller piece, so I will know when it's done, plus i've got an instant read digital thermometer to check the piece (and all other pieces) in various places, too!

    The probes are almost instantaneous readings, so I can just probe in different sections if I wish and see it on my iPhone, too.

    They are cooking right along, i don't anticipate any stall as I'm only going to 150° - 155° so the meat is firm and sliceable, not falling apart like at 180° or higher.

    I (ahem...) did slice off a couple 1/8th inch slices from one end of one piece and cooked them on the grill - OH!  WOW!!!  Had my wife try it, she said it was just right, not very salty at all, but enough! 
  5. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just checked out the range.

    Anywhere inside the house or in my fenced-in back yard, no problem, receiving consistently and accurately.

    Walked out front of the house, no problem.

    In the street, no problem.

    Across the street, no problem.

    At my mailbox, (one house down across the street), no problem!

    In my neighbor's yard, no problem!

    So I can be talking to my neighbor (I got him curing and smoking too... lol!) and can tell what's going on in my smokehouse.... I can bet once I show him this gadget, he will want one too!
  6. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow! That thermometer has better coverage than my cell phone.

    I'm glad I saw this post today because I just put a separated packer (19 Lb.'er) in the brine yesterday evening and I totally brain farted and forgot to inject. Looks like I'll be doing that when I get home today..

    Thanks again for all the info!
  7. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Got 'er done!  Got all four pieces to hit temp of 150°, smokehouse running an average of 250°, 5 probes out of 6 utilized.  Went over and showed my neighbor, and he was flabbergasted!  He normally smokes 3-4 briskets at a time and is out there several times poking them with his digital therm.  When I told him I could just sit in my air conditioned livingroom and monitor each piece i'm smoking, plus the overall smokehouse temp without getting out of my chair, he got on Amazon and ordered the Morpilot unit right then and there!  Esp. when I went into his house and showed him my phone and could tell the temps of all of them individually in my smokehouse next door!

    Pulled the pieces, un-sacked them and put in two buckets to cool down and firm up for the next day for slicing on Wednesday!


    I will separate the points to slice separately (and trim lots of the fat... well, some of the fat... lol!).  

    Next: BB meets the slicer!
  8. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    This has been a great thread so far!  I have used your cure in the past to make beef bacon using boneless short ribs and it came out great!  Can't wait to see how it comes out with brisket as it is a less expensive and more readily available cut around here.  Not sure if I missed this or not but did you coat the cured brisket with any other seasonings before you smoked it or did you just smoke right out of the cure?  Thanks!
  9. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just split the two halves into fourths, then sacked them up, right out of the brine and started the smoker.  Internal temps were around 42°, but quickly rose to reduce bacterial growth on the pieces - from refrigerator to smoker, no waiting.  The flavor of the brine is enough for me, although additional spices could be added to the brine for a different flavor profile, like how I added pickling spices to the beef roast i cured for corned beef and pastrami (
  10. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    This is where the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.  I sliced all four pieces, trimming fat from the outside, but not on the inside!

    Lean (flat):

    Streaky/fat (Point):

    To measure out to several people, I tossed it all into a bucket and mixed it all up, so each would get both fat and lean:

    Then, I just started grabbing handfuls and stuffing into gallon ziploc's, filling each about half full, and putting them in the back fridge, plus for us, into quart ziploc's and freezing them.   Project done, and three being delivered by my wife now, one for my Dr. tomorrow.

    I laid out 16 pieces on a cookie sheet and baked in the oven at 360° for 6 minutes for BLT's tonight for dinner, too!

    Of course, there was ample 'random' sampling during today's procedure!  Delicious!
    c farmer and bearcarver like this.
  11. Outstanding!

    I received a beef plate from a local farmer who asked me to make beef bacon for him. He said I could keep half for my trouble as 'payment' - a great deal!

    I've used your brine many times for pork bacon and was curious if it would work for beef as well.

    Will be giving this a try next month when I have more free time...

    Matt O'Driscoll
  12. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Pops nice post that is way above my fat content 

  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks Great Pops!![​IMG]---[​IMG]

    Awesome Thread !!![​IMG]

    You Still Da-Man!![​IMG]

  14. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Good looking cow Pops!

    Do you fry it like pork belly bacon, or bake it or eat "as-is".
  15. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All the above!  That is why I cook it to 150°, because 'I know me' and will ... um..... sample....
  16. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can just do flats without any fat.  
  17. Wow !!  Looks great

  18. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Pop's... you never seize to amaze me... So glad you have decided to make SMF your home as I do not read any other forums but this one... no need to... it's all right here... especially your expertise ... You will always be (as stated above) "Da Man" ....

    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
    c farmer likes this.
  19. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That looks great Pops.

    Now I have to try it.  I tried a flat once and didnt like it.     Maybe the point part will be more to my liking.
  20. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I'm thinking a point that isn't too fatty is just the ticket.

    I have little room for curing meat. I have no idea what I'm going to do next. I was thinking salami but now I don't know.

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