First bacon belly , wet brined POPS

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by buckinducks, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. buckinducks

    buckinducks Smoke Blower

    Trying out my 1st belly on a new traeger.
    Currently sitting in pops brine
    Have a 2nd smaller chunk sitting on top. Going to try some heavy pepper on that piece maybe even move it to a ziplock with more spices in the brine. Any suggestions ?

    Plan is to put on traeger on smoke setting for a few hours then a bit higher to reach 150it. Would love Your opinion on smoker settings? Very little experience with a pellet grill.

    Have 2 weeks to make changes to the plan. for now it's sitting safely in pops brine. Stay tuned
     
  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My secret for bacon.......... 2 oz. Maple extract in a gal. of brine. You'll believe the bacon was cured with maple syrup or maple sugar.
     
  3. c farmer

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

    Gonna try this. Thanks
     
  4. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Did my first bacon a few weeks back using Pop's wet brine. Followed the instructions to the T and was happy with the results for a first time effort. I brined for 19 days and then sat in the fridge for 3 days to air dry before hitting the smoker. Smoked using maple wood at 120 to 140 for about 6 or 7 hours. Spiced one with cracked black pepper but I should have layed it on heavier. Spiced 2 pieces with a maple garlic blend I get from the spice house. Excellent stuff for bacon. Sweetness of maple sugar with a little garlic kick. Turned out very good and smokey! One piece was pretty fatty and once sliced the pieces had too much fat so next time I will trim a little if need be.

    My second attempt will be going in the brine/cure today. Thinking about what I can do to add a little twist to the brine. I like the maple syrup extract idea but I don't have any on hand. I'm thinking peppercorns, bay leaves maybe? Substitute some water with apple juice maybe? Do you run the risk of getting a ropy brine by adding to many other ingredients? Are you better off keeping the brine simple and adding flavor through spices and smoke after the brine/cure process?
     
  5. buckinducks

    buckinducks Smoke Blower

    His brine instructions said 10-14 days , I was hoping to go 12-13 then air dry for 1-2 that would leave me smoking on a Saturday or Sunday. Any reason you went extra 5 days ?

    Also about fat, it's supposed to be skin off, the meat side looks good, but the other side is solid fat. Should I be scoring it with a knife to allow the brine to work its way in the other side ?
     
  6. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I believe you can go up to 45 days using Pops brine which is part of the beauty of it. My schedule changed so I just left it in the brine the extra couple days. I just finished putting mine in the brine buckets and in the fridge. I trimmed some of the fat this time but these bellies were better than first ones I had and I did no trimming on them at all but I should have. I had two bellies so I got two seperate brine buckets going. I did a little experimentation. One bucket I used bottled water. We have one of those office coolers in the house with the 5 gallon jugs on top. I use 2 gallons of water for each belly because I want to be certain there is enough to submerge the belly. In that bucket I also added some peppercorns and a couple bay leaves. No particular reason it's what just sounded good at the moment.

    The second bucket was just straight water out of the tap and no spices. See what happens. [​IMG]  
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  7. torp3t3d0

    torp3t3d0 Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  8. smokinal

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

    I just use Pops brine with added gran garlic, gran onion, CBP, 1/4 cup each.

    I also rub the belly before smoking with the same GOP.

    Al
     
  9. buckinducks

    buckinducks Smoke Blower

    Going on 7 days so far now, plan is to take out next Friday, air dry in fridge until Sunday smoke.
    My first wet cure process but
    Color of belly seems to look good still , kind of bland looking or losing colour best way I could describe it. No funny smells or smell at all for that matter so I'll assume everything is working as it should
     
  10. c farmer

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

    Yup. Bland is normal for a wet cure.
     
  11. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I'm looking at two different posts from Pops with his basic recipe. One calls for Sea Salt and one calls for non-iodized table salt..(?)

    What do you use, Al?
     
  12. smokinal

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

    I use pickling salt, but Kosher salt will work too.

    Or any salt that is non-iodized.

    Al
     
  13. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Thanks. I'll just use whatever I have the most of :)

    Dan
     
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you use the pickling salt, I reduce the amount by approx. 20%. Pickling salt is about weight and not volumme. Its a finer grind so you get more salt per a dry measure. It does dissolve far easier though.
     
  15. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Thanks, Foam. I think I'll go with Sea Salt. I don't care for too much salty taste...
     
  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You just have to adjust for it. Its all I every use because it dissolves so easy.
     
  17. buckinducks

    buckinducks Smoke Blower


    Took it out of brine to dry, realizing now I probably should have rinsed them. Will go do that. Smoke on Sunday
     
  18. buckinducks

    buckinducks Smoke Blower

    Well test fried a little piece today, although it doesn't taste excacty like bacon yet it was very sugary, almost tasted caramalized. I believe once it's smoked it will be very good.
     
  19. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Patience, buck! 😉
    I'm putting my first try at bacon in the brine today, so I'm watching this.
    How are you planning to smoke it?

    Dan
     
  20. buckinducks

    buckinducks Smoke Blower

    Well trying a first "smoke" on new Treager, it has worked well grilling so far but has a smoke setting I've yet to try. So putting it on smoke and hoping it won't get to hot to quick. Smoking to it of 150
     

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