First belly meat bacon smoke

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Apr 30, 2007
Newtown CT
Just to warn you, you might be reading for awhile

I finally was able to procure some belly for bacon. My mothers fiance knows some guys who were butchering a pig and they saved me some of the belly...about a pound peice.

There are two main areas of concern...the cure and cold smoke. The recipe and smoking reference both come from the book Charcutrie by Micheal Rhulman and Brian Polcyn. The problem with the book is all the cold smoked items are written in to be hot smoked because the authors thought cold smoking reliably was out of the realm of thier readers grasp. Well i'm not hot smoking it! You cant make me

The recipe is for smoked maple cured bacon. I didnt want a sweet bacon, but decided to follow the recipe as is so it worked right. It uses a basic cure of salt/brown sugar/pink salt/maple syrup and calls for a 7 day cure, but is geared to a 5lb belly. I'm assuming mine will be done sooner and am planning a smoke for memorial day monday.

On to the smoking...

The belly came to me a bit unexpected so im scrambling trying to put together a method for cold smoking. For awhile now i have been toying with ideas but had nothing concrete yet. Now i need a solid idea by this weekend, so hears what im thinking. Since i have a bullet water smoker and its electric i have a good meat box, but not a relaible method for cool smoke. I was thinking that i could use my cast iron smoker box to hold 1 or two charcoal briqettes and put chips on top of them for smoke.

The charcoal shouldn't create very much heat overall but should be hot enough to keep chips smoldering. My major issue i can see is the chips flaming up and burning out too fast, but soaking should keep that down. I'm going to have to constantly monitor the temps, but lifting the lid or opening the chip door should make it easy to dump excess heat if i run into problems. Maybe i could even break up one peice of charcoal into smaller peices so i can cover more of the chips to smoke.

Any other ideas, concerns, advice is always appreciated.

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