First bacon attempt

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JIMSMOKES

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Jul 27, 2021
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Greenville SC
Started some using diggin dog calculator on 7/1. Planed on letting it go for 12-14 days. Turning each day noticed on day 6 that the liquid was basically gone. Today it looks like just a few drops of liquid left on the sides. My question is should I let it keep going till next weekend?
 
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Yes. I sometimes get no liquid at all, and always go 2 weeks. It aids in flavor development. The liquid (or lack thereof) isn't really an indicator of anything in the curing process.
 
Thanks for the help. Next question should I hot smoke or attempt a cold smoke in july down south?
 
I run about 160° smoker temp this time of year and pull when the bacon hits 145°. Even at night, it is still too warm here to cold smoke this time of year.
 
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Longer is better for the cure. I guess you're trying to hit the weekend for the smoke? Think about another 7 days.

Even in NW Minnesota it is too warm to even consider cold smoke. Been cool the past few days, but I am not wasting my sleep.
 
For me the best results have been 14-21 days on a dry cure. Like others have said sometimes there will be liquid, sometimes there will be none. Each piece of meat is different. Trust the process.
For smoking I think you will have a lot of trouble keeping the temp below 90 for cold smoking. I prefer cold smoked bacon but hot smoked is damn good as well. Better than anything you can buy!
I'm in north GA and bacon making season is Nov thru Feb for me.
 
Guess I'm the odd one here and I'm in Florida. I go at least 14 days as has been said sometimes there's liquid sometimes not or it gets absorbed back into the meat.
I cold smoke bacon no matter the time of year. I put a small sprinkler on the roof of the smokehouse and cold smoke that way. The water running on the roof keeps temps below 90.
 
I've cold smoked in the summer. Usually, first thing in the morning. And will put a pan of ice in the smoker if it gets to warm.
The liquid absorbing back into the meat is normal as others have already noted.
 
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I have cold smoked bacon in warm weather, but at night when the temps are a bit cooler, and I used a Lang RF to do it in. So with the pellet tube in the firebox & the bacon by the stack the heat was pretty much gone by the time the smoke hit the bacon. Once the steel cooled down it would stay that way for a while, so I would start my bacon around 2:00 AM & since the smoker was undercover in the shade it would stay cool enough to do 10 hours of smoke & finish around noon.
Al
 
So If I can keep my grill temp below 90 I'm good. Could I pull it before it got above 90 and refrigerate let it all cool back down and do it again the next day?
I'll be using my PB1150 with smoke tubes. When I do cheese I don't turn it on I just lite the tubes and use a small fan blowing in the hopper to keep smoke flowing through the CC so I don't get stagnate smoke. I'll pop a temp probe in it for 24 hours and see what it looks like.
 
I burn just tubes in the camp chef for cold smoking, but if ambient temp gets much above 60° just the tube will still push me over 90°. It is a gradual rise, so yeah, I reckon you could do multiple sessions. I just run the tube a few hours, then fire the grill up and run at 160° till the bacon hits 145°.
 
Ended up at 20 days. Got some brown colors. Dont smell funny and is pink underneath. Got some frying up.
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The little pieces I fried were not to salty but tasted more like ham. I gave it a light coat of black pepper and stuck it in fridge till I can smoke it tonight/early tomorrow morning. Still curious about the outside brown parts? It's pink once it cut/trimmed off
 
The brown spots are normal, when cooked they turn red.
Al
Hey cool! That makes me want to thaw out another one. I trimmed to much fat off this one. I'd cut the belly in three pieces and trimmed one close. Wanted two for bacon and and one for pork bits. Well I pulled and thawed the wrong one. LoL
IF I wanted to try different flavors. Is that something I should add to cure or cure first then add?
What about smoke flavors? I thought about cherry because I like the red/mahogany color it gives on pork but I have others.
 
Hey cool! That makes me want to thaw out another one. I trimmed to much fat off this one. I'd cut the belly in three pieces and trimmed one close. Wanted two for bacon and and one for pork bits. Well I pulled and thawed the wrong one. LoL
IF I wanted to try different flavors. Is that something I should add to cure or cure first then add? Personally I like pepper bacon, so that is the only flavor I add to my bacon. I add lots of CBP to the cure, then after rinsing off the cure I add a good coat again before smoking it. I’m going to include Robert’s @tx smoker in this, because I have had his maple bacon & he knows how to flavor bacon, so if he doesn’t see this, then just send him a PM. I’m sure he can help you!
What about smoke flavors? I thought about cherry because I like the red/mahogany color it gives on pork but I have others. I like cherry too because of the color, but when sliced you really don’t see any of that color, so my choice for bacon is hickory. I like smokey bacon! Hope this helps! Al
 
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Hey cool! That makes me want to thaw out another one. I trimmed to much fat off this one. I'd cut the belly in three pieces and trimmed one close. Wanted two for bacon and and one for pork bits. Well I pulled and thawed the wrong one. LoL
IF I wanted to try different flavors. Is that something I should add to cure or cure first then add?
What about smoke flavors? I thought about cherry because I like the red/mahogany color it gives on pork but I have others.
Cherry/pecan or cherry/hickory are my go tos for bacon. Prefer the pecan, but can't always get it.

With additional spices, I apply my cure first and just dust the other spices (granulated garlic and black pepper, mostly) by eye. The pepper and garlic mostly remains on the surface and isn't really taken into the meat.
 
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