First attempt at cold smoke and bacon.

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by 3054tony, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. 3054tony

    3054tony Newbie

    Tomorrow I will be picking up around 10 pounds of fresh side and going to attempt to make bacon. I have decided to use a brine to cure it for 14 dayso and will be using apple sawdust for smoke. Question is skin on or off? From what I have read it is 50/50 but mostly that was from hot smoking. Since I will be cold smoking would it be better with skin of?
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I always skin them before curing.

  3. 3054tony

    3054tony Newbie

    Thanks for the reply. That's the way i was leaning as well
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree with Mister Al !!

    Why cure it & smoke it if you aren't going to eat it. IMO

  5. 3054tony

    3054tony Newbie

    Very true, i read somewhere that its easier to remove after smoking but then again that was for hot smoke. I just picked it up before work so its going in the brine tonight

    charcoal junkie likes this.
  6. bena

    bena Meat Mopper

    I concur with the skin removal but would recommend smoking the skin for dog treats!

    I just finished another 30 pounds... its an addiction.
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Here's a great video on skinning a belly.

  8. 3054tony

    3054tony Newbie

    Thanks for the video. I will be doing that tonight after work. Al.
    Ben, i didn't think about dog treats with the skin. I will probably do that too
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Much less painful way to skin a Belly than a Head First slide into home plate!!! [​IMG]

    And That's a Fact !!

  10. 3054tony

    3054tony Newbie

    Update, after the long wait for the brining i just took it out of the smoker after about 10 hours. Its in the fridge now resting until tomorrow when i will slice it up but quick question. I have never used a brine to cure before but the belly was not firm at all. When using a dry cure on other meats it will become firm but with this it was just like the day i got it if not maybe a little softer. Is that normal? It doesn't look half as good as the pictures i have seen on here but as long as it tastes good i will be happy
  11. akdutchguy

    akdutchguy Meat Mopper

    I'm in the process of doing about 25 pounds of bacon. I have 2 bellies in pops brine and 1 in a sugar cure recommended by mr T. The dry cure mr T uses has resulted in firm bellies. The ones in the brine are not as firm. Both have been curing for the same ammount of time. You should be fine. I will post my comparison when I get it finished. I pull them on Monday.
  12. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have used both dry cure and immersion brining and I find that the dry cure gives me the texture that i prefer. When immersion brining pork the belly pork will pick up between 10-15% water during the cure. This always seems to defeat the object as you then have to spend longer resting it and smoking it to get rid of. You may find this thread of interest

    Below is a table from the results

    Experimental results
    Weight g
    Resting g
    Weight %
    Test Sample
    weight (g)
    #1Loin75 Litres02/02/201597709/02/201510456.96206
    #1Loin145 Litres02/02/2015109616/02/201511878.30194
    #1Belly75 Litres02/02/2015106109/02/2015117811.03238
    #1Belly145 Litres02/02/201599716/02/2015115015.35219
    #2Loin75 Litres02/02/201589609/02/20159566.70227
    #2Loin145 Litres02/02/201593016/02/201510007.53224
    #2Belly75 Litres02/02/2015108609/02/2015121712.06226
    #2Belly145 Litres02/02/2015102616/02/2015115912.96226

    The amount of water left in the bacon at the end of the cure significantly affects the subsequent storage time. The FSIS maximum storage limits for immersion brined bacon is only 7 days at <40 F (4 C) whereas it is up to 42 days for dry cure bacon.

    I only use dry cure now.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    ruleg likes this.
  13. 3054tony

    3054tony Newbie

    Thanks for the information, very helpful. Next time I will be trying a dry cure. I will post back with pictures once i slice it up
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You can always try the easy way, without the Mathematics course included:

    Bacon (Extra Smoky)

  15. 3054tony

    3054tony Newbie

    Got half sliced up. I'm happythe way out turned out for being my first try at bacon
    wade, bearcarver and ruleg like this.
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks Real Nice, Tony!![​IMG]----[​IMG]

    Now you're Hooked!


  17. 3054tony

    3054tony Newbie

    I am hooked, i will never buy store bought bacon ever again. Brought some over to my dad and he said that he wants me to do one for him so might as well go ahead and pick up a couple more bellies. It is all sliced and vacuum packed but honestly i didn't need to vacuum pack it because i don't think it will last long
  18. 3054tony

    3054tony Newbie

    Also thanks again everyone for the tips and help to my questions
  19. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is good looking bacon Tony. Looking forward to seeing your next batch [​IMG]
  20. This guy makes it look so easy.

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