First time Bacon maker

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phil in bc

Newbie
Original poster
Jan 5, 2013
24
46
Kamloops BC Canada
Ive been reading all these posts about home made bacon and it looks so good that i just had to jump in. So off i went to Costco today and took home a nice slab of pork belly fy first attempt. I'll add some pics along the way, for now this is what i'm starting with.

I'll use the cure amounts others advised in other posts, seems pretty straight forward. I'll get this into the brine and bag it today, and i'll update once its time for the smoker.

Thanks to all that contribute to this forum, your great wealth of knowledge, so happy you all share.

Phil
 
Guessing you're doing a dry cure. Keep the cure#1 at 0.25% ...... the salt and sugar can be diddled with some .Cure can to a degree, but 0.25% is a safe number, so keep the cure there.
 
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Once you eat your own bacon....Store bought is a poor comparison! Good luck with it and post up those pics.

Jim
 
oK, got the prep all done in and vac-bags for the next couple of weeks. I gotta say, i was expecting the brine mix to be a lot more that what i used, but the numbers dont lie, hopefully. this is how it worked out.

I made 2 slabs from the one belly. First one was 2412 grams. I added 6.03 grams of cure 1, 36.18 grams of fine kosher salt, and 18.09 grams of brown sugar.

Second slab was 2422 grams, and i added 6.05 grams of cure 1, 36.33 grams of kosher salt, 18.17 grams of brown sugar, and a couple tablespoons of maple syrup. Not sure if that was enough syrup to alter the flavour much but didnt want it to go too sweet so we'll see how it ends up.

Please let me know if i screwed this up and if i need to alter the brine amounts. And thanks for the coaching on this, really appreciate the advice you guys share with me .

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I've tried making it several ways, both wet cured (Pops brine) and dry. Any more I tend to just use Bearcarver's recipe, sometimes with some cracked black pepper pressed into the bellies. After making your own the store bought stuff just won't be the same.
 
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So the belly's have been in the brine for a week now, and one of the slabs has a fair amount of liquid in the bag, the other does not. Both had roughly the same amount of cure rubbed onto it before sealing. Is this something i should be concerned about and making any adjustments? I plan to leave them in the bag for another week before taking them out and drying in the fridge before smoking.
 
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So the belly's have been in the brine for a week now, and one of the slabs has a fair amount of liquid in the bag, the other does not. Both had roughly the same amount of cure rubbed onto it before sealing. Is this something i should be concerned about and making any adjustments? I plan to leave them in the bag for another week before taking them out and drying in the fridge before smoking.
I know it seems strange but what you see is perfectly normal. About day 10 the liquid will reabsorb into the meat. That’s why I cure them on a cooling rack with no bag, specially to lose that moisture. Carry on you are doing fine.
 
So its been 2 weeks in the cure already. I removed the belly from the cure a couple days ago and air dried in the fridge, now its onto the smoker for the first round of smoke. My plan is to cold smoke for 2 days, about 5 hours per day, and then i'll finish with a hot smoke until IT temp reaches 150-160. Looking forward to my first ever homemade bacon
 

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Thanks guys, 145 it is then. Just not today, smoker is sitting at 110 for about 3 hours now, still smoking away. I'll leave it got another couple hours then back into the fridge for the night, then same thing tomorrow.

Iin case i havent said this already, you guys are AWESOME!!!
 

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Day 2 in the smoker is done, had it in there for 5 hours with Cherry wood. Now its back onto the fridge until tomorrow, and then i'll crank up the heat and finish it off. So looking forward to trying this, its looking great.
 

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