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First Time Making Bacon

ron petersen

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Was given a slab of pork belly to make bacon out of. It's about 2" thick and good size slab. Guessing about 7-9 pounds.

I used Pops Brine to start with, no seasonings.

What do I look for to make sure the bacon is safe to eat?

Assuming it's supposed to take 10-14 days in brine, is there a safe (max) limit of time in the brine?

I'll be smoking in the UDS smoker.

When I do my second bacon slab I'll make sure I get the exact weight. I didn't have a scale for this one and was from someone whom had a hog butchered.

Thank You in Advance
 

daveomak

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If you made Pops brine according to his directions...  The belly can stay in it, refrigerated, for up to a month...  I would brine it for a minimum of 14 days...
 

pit 4 brains

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Are you going to cold smoke it in the UDS? 

By my trials, errors and successes, I wouldn't take it over 130F IT. That being said, you're going to have to keep that smoker temp way low..

As far as the safety.. Pop's brine is the way to go! If you have an injector you can pump it in to help out, but I would try to stick to the 14 days as much as possible as recommended..
 

ron petersen

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Joined Aug 15, 2012
 
Are you going to cold smoke it in the UDS? 

By my trials, errors and successes, I wouldn't take it over 130F IT. That being said, you're going to have to keep that smoker temp way low..

As far as the safety.. Pop's brine is the way to go! If you have an injector you can pump it in to help out, but I would try to stick to the 14 days as much as possible as recommended..
Great, I did not time the brine to pull out on a weekend to smoke. So I'm safe waiting over 14 days. Did not season till I get past the first one and experiment on flavors later.

So It's still safe to cold smoke the bacon providing we will cook the bacon as needed?

If I need to I can use my 120 Gal Reverse Flow Smoker, just the day temps will keep it around 100 degrees or so. Can add a few briquettes for some heat. Just not familiar with cold smoking or cooking under 150 degrees.
 

pit 4 brains

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I think hanging in the UDS will be fine. I was just wondering if your going to cold smoke it for a long time or hot smoke it for a short time. If the smoker temp stays around 70- 120 degrees, you can smoke that thing for 12 + hours, then bring the temp up a little at a time until the belly gets to 120-125 or so. When they get above that, the fat will begin to render. You can always run the UDS around 150 or so and still bring the bacon up to 120-125..

There's more info and tips in the "Cold Smoking" section under "Bacon".

And yes, you can cold smoke it to an IT of less than 146 provided that you cook it to that temp before consumption. Until then it should be considered raw below 135, then partially cooked until 145.
 
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