Foam's First Attempt at Bacon

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by foamheart, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would like to learn to make great bacon because it seems my butcher cut me a good deal on bellys and I just can't ever miss a good deal. You know a guy like me I am sure.

    So first belly cut up as best I could to square them up. I plan to do both a dry and a wet cure, but after forgetting to size my cuts to fit a gallon Ziploc, this will be the wet cure.

    Pretty cleaned and cut sow belly.

    Now we proceed with the brine, Of course I used Pop's.

    1c Salt

    1c brown sugar

    1c white sugar

    1T pink cure

    I added some onion and garlic (not even a teaspoon) to follow my own advice about start minimalistic so you can know what you need to add.

    As my good big crockery pot is currently in the service as a table to rest my PC on, I used one of the produce buckets I painstakingly cleaned. Plastic bag on top to ensure cure coverage.

    The sow belly slabs seemed to enjoy there new cool pool.

    12 days later and they wanted out! Said their little skin was about to pucker. Removed them, rinsed 'em, patted 'em down in the baby colander.

    I understand a taste is usually tried at this point. So break out a knife since the slabs were still chilly cold they cut fairly well, but glad I got the butcher doing this for me now.

    Into the the dutch oven. I know there is no sound, but let me tell yas those slices are making happy sounds. Makes me smile just hearing 'em.

    Boy I really did take the minimalistic approach, they have taste but definitely NOT salty enough. everything else could probably double also. Maybe some "More Spice" ?

    The ladies have gotten used to the cold so I stuck 'em back in the fridge to dry off for a couple of days. Probably smoke Monday or Tuesday. I will rub 'em down with some spice to see if it will buck up their mild taste a little. besides they always appreciate a good massage. That's it for now, I closed the door and gave 'em some privacy to dry off.

    Got three more bellys in storage at the butchers. Did I mention how much fun this is?

    Will update when I start smoking.

    ::EDIT:: Those few little pieces just looked too good not to cure and smoke, They will most definitely find there way into a bean pot.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  2. Hi Foamheart, looking good!  I'm going the same way - minimum spices to the brine, did you get any of the onion and garlic come through with your tester slices?  

    I haven't added any spices yet.  

    What will you add for the rub, I've read some guys use cracked pepper, I'm going to use this.  From the qview's looks like some real nice bellies.

  3. Foam looks great. How long will you smoke them? What will you be using for smoke?

    Happy smoken.

  4. big dee

    big dee Smoke Blower


    Looks like a great start.

  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No, I didn't get any taste of onion or garlic specifically, although there is a good mild taste going on.

    Rubs, I had definitely thought of a salt rub prior to tasting, why? Because I am doing this so Pop can maybe catch some old memories as a child. His job as a boy when they smoked was to turn the hams and bacon, he was the baby of the family. So since he didn't use a wet cure or even cure, other than salt the first 2 weeks and sugar there after. I am thinking a salty rub would be right.

    I used to have some actual maple sugar, wish I could find that!

    I would have done crushed black pepper-corns but it seem he no longer likes pepper. (shrugs) Have you tryed the pepper bacon in the grocery stores?

    BUT.... I am thinking that Tony's "More Spice" might work on a slab. Maybe some Cajun Power Garlic sauce on another.

    I need to go back and re-read Craig's post, and also Bears on smoking. So nothing is etched in stone yet. When these two guys posted their ideas I would be not to smart to not want to re-read their opinions.

    ::EDIT:: LOL.. I am getting calls and letters......... Refered to above is MY Pops. I know there is a POPs here also, he helped me with the bacon a lot. But my Pops was Pops first to me, so you'll just have to follow closely to figure out which Pops is being refered too.....LOL.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, I think everyone agrees that you smoke them till you fall in love with the color, however long it takes.

    Originally I had thought hickory/apple, but now for some strange reason, probably Pop's and Craig's fault, I am thinking about apple on the bottom and corn cob on the top. Also, a twister hit bounced thru here this morning, and I have huge pecan limbs down that need to be addressed. I always say use whats local... I know its green, but with that much pecan when it drys I am gonna be using it instead of buying other flavors.

    Did I mention it is fun? May have to sneak to Kat's yard and steal some of those tomatoes for a sandwich.....
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Dennis, its fun and hoping Pop will get a kick out of it too.
  8. Hi Foamheart, living in a city all my life I've only ever really tried shop brand bacon, which would be plain smoked or unsmoked, I've never tried it with peppercorns, but thought I'd give it a go, just to see.  I agree with you about the fun part, I think it's great especialy when we can talk about it with like minded people. 

  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I got out of the service I realized that I wasn't the same as when I joined. Suddenly I didn't find it offensive to be called a country boy anymore. Some kids are just smarter than others, I was slow...LOL I swapped my big block Ford Fairlane and bought an old used pickup truck and it really suited me.

    My mistake, I just noticed where you live. Most of the better deli's in this country carry slab bacon w/ crushed pepper corns. Its good, but I always had trouble with those peppers falling off in the skillet and I would notice them just after I had cracked my eggs. McCormick has a peppercorn melody with pink pepper corns in the mix which is supposedly a mild blend. But since Pop is off the black pepper these days I guess I'll will have to pass it by this time.

    LOL.. I guess its good that its fun with three more sides awaiting me. Butcher actually told me this week that the first belly( this one I have) is on her. Interperted that means she has more in the freezer she needs to justify...LOL I really hope it comes out well so I can repay her kindness and offer her a slab. The neighbors are asking about the bacon now and when it'll be ready too. I would just like to make it good enough so that folks say how good it is/was.

    I would never attempted bacon on my own, actually I was googling bacon/ ham smoking when I found this place. Its nice to know we are not the only one with the adiction. When enough folks get the addiction its then called a movement!
  10. Foam

    Now i see why you want to come hot rod my car[​IMG][​IMG]

    Now back on subject. i have found that when i drop a care package back by my butcher and i call my order in a day or 2 in advance. I get a lot better cut of meat than what he has in the case. he now Knows i know what to do with a good cut of meat. After i took him some pork rind pellets. He has given me skins when i'm In and he has a big[​IMG]. When he say's see you in a few days.

    Happy smoken my friend.

  11. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am really enjoying this post. I look forward to more Qview! 


  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'll try Disco and thanks for checking it out.

    Will be a couple a days though cause the ladies told me NOT to disturb them while they were resting and drying off. They seemed tried after at two week swim. Don't want to make 'em mad!

    Besides gives me a couple a days to figure out what to do about the pecan tree limbs. I would love to clean the ends and tar 'em, then cut up those limbs and season. Everyone likes a nice pecan smoke. Limbs are around 12 to 16" thick.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  13. c farmer

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

    Looking forward to pics too.

    I used pecan on my last bacon and love the taste of it.
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pecan is about my most favorite too Farmer. Since its free I am wanting to get a bit adventurous and expand my horizons. I have never ever used corncob, my Pop says they used it, and Pop's here has described using it. I gotta see what they are talking about. I have never had all these opportunties before because never used pellets and used what was available in the stick burner. So Pecan is my go to tried and true...... But then I just gotta have mesquite on a brisket, comes with my Texas heritage, or Hickory on a butt I was born in North Carolina, and thats some dang good pulled pork BBQ, BUT chicken and turkey are definately pecan. LOL

    I am considering using two mild smokes I have been told, with apple under corn cob. I have really no idea what to expect. But I still have two days to decide.

    Thanks for checking out the bacon Farmer. I am always open to suggestions.
  15. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looking forward to see how your salt rub turns out.
  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ok, mine have been in the fridge now for 24 hours. They picked up a little salt but not much. Mildest bacon I ever had. But the best after taste ever, I can almost taste maple syrup when I lick my lips. I am assuming that the reason they burn so easy when I try to fry is due to the sugar in the brine. I had hoped this would clear up some as they dry out. It also maybe a little bit because of my hack job of slicing. I got the knives but I missed the 101 course on slicing bacon obviously. TGFB = Thank God For Butchers!

    BTW after 24 hours my bacon is dry, but I was expecting some stick slim or something. Wheres this Pelligris or whatever its called? I had assumed it was going to form and then I could attach whatever spice using it as a glue. Now have to rethink before smoking. I had thought of maple syrup but that is just more sugar to burn. Maybe some of that good Cajun whiskey, Jacque Daniels, maybe I just want a taste though. Perplexing!
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for dropping in and watching. I always feel better when the Guru's got my back.
  18. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    A good Pellicle will be tacky to the touch, not slimey. It will also have a glossy sheen. Air circulation is key to forming a good pellicle.

    I have found with Pop's brine if you want additional flavor it is best to do a spice rub prior to forming or after forming the pellicle.
  19. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks DS, maybe some will show up by tomorrow. It feels the same as my skin does at the moment. It in a fridge with good circulation, or I thought so anyway. Course it was moved to the garage and replaced so it maybe a bit peckish for a time.

    Thanks for the help DS, appreciated as always.
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounding good Foamy!!!!

    Here's a tip for your next batch, or anybody else who wants to listen:

    I never square mine before curing & smoking. I square them in the slicer after they're smoked. That way I get all those tasty Bacon Ends to deal with!!!


    Be Back,

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
    disco likes this.

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