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Discussion in 'Bacon' started by walle, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanksgiving weekend marks a long standing family butchering tradition.  Figured I would show as much of this from start to finish as I could.  We slaughtered and butchered two hogs this year along with two beef.  These are big gals.. 650 - 700# 2 year old sows. Doesn't get much fresher than this.

    Ate some turkey on Thursday, then started chopping hogs on Friday.  Bottom left are the spares I peeled out for lunch.

    Fresh Ribs...wooo damn!

    Pig bones and gator tail in my bro's big azz smoker.

    Thought why stop there...and snapity quick we built a pinapple hanger

    da MAN!!

    Friday's lunch

    Wrapped up the butchering on Friday by turning out 200#'s of kielbasa which was cold smoked over apple and hickory.

    I finished up Sunday by putting 25#'s of pork bellies under a dry cure using Morton's Sugar Cure, black pepper, and garlic powder. In seven to ten days, we should have us some good o'l pig bacon! ... Hope you are reading this B.C.!!

    Lotta work.. but worth it IMHO!
    Hope every one had a GREAT Thanksgiving.
    Thanks for checking out my post.
    Tracey / message sig
  2. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's just excellent, Tracey!  Can't wait to see the bacon when it gets done.[​IMG]
  3. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    Thanks for tipping me off on this one!

    No way would I want to miss this one!

    You guys do GREAT WORK !

    That is all some great looking stuff ---ALL OF IT.

    Sorry to hear about the demise of "Ole Petunia". [​IMG]

  4. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Very Cool!

    Alot of work, but so worth it.  Thanks for sharing.
  5. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    If you are going to do it then do it right....great job !
  6. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I looked at Mortons Sugar Cure, but it smelled like smoke.  Does it affect the taste at all?

  7. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow great job
  8. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Wow Tracey - What a great post - Cant wait to see the end results
  9. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Todd, I'll admit I was a bit apprehensive as I'll explain below.  Short answer - if it did, it only made it better.

    Today marked soak day number seven on the bellies using a dry cure of Mortons Sugar Cure, BP, and garlic powder.

    Pork Bellies

    Cure applied - 1 T Morton's per pound, + 1 T BP + 1 t Garlic powder per belly.

    Out of cure

    Fresh water soak - I soaked these bellies four times in cold water for 30 minutes each, changing water on each soak. Bathtub seemed my best option..[​IMG]

    Fry test... two pieces cut in half to fit the pan. Sliced a little thick... wasn't worried so much about that as I was the salt.   Per me and the family, these were spot on, so I pulled them to hang and dry overnight.

    Bellies hanging in the belly of the beast.

    According to my notes last year, I cold smoked with hickory for 10 hours, let them rest a day in the smoker, then sliced. That's what I'll be shooting for tomorrow.

    Notes to self: I used Morton's Sugar Cure this year that was "smoke flavored" instead of TQ that I used last year. WHY? I guess it was because Sugar Cure was what my grandpa always used to use, so I wanted to give it a try... I got stuck with the "smoke flavored" because that was all I could find. I'll admit, I was a bit apprehensive.. but man! this bacon is noticably better than last year with no "smoke flavored" coming through - I think that's good.

    Salt - I sliced and test fried a batch after the third soak. I put the bellies back into their fourth fresh water soak as I fried. When the bacon was done, it was spot on perfect, but as I ate the last bit that had cooled after I pulled, dried, and hung the bellies it did seem saltier... If anyone else out there has experienced this, lemme know. I figured that after the fourth soak they should be good.

    I suppose I could have gotten a little more creative on the seasoning, but with this being a once a year project, I'm just enjoying doing it and can't wait to have some hickory smoked bacon next weekend for breakfast!

    I'll have updates as I smoke and slice over the next few days.

    Thanks for checking out my post.

    / message sig
  10. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    Everything looks fabulous!

    I have not yet tried the Sugar Cure. Where do you get the smoke flavored Morton's Sugar Cure?

    That doesn't make sense, if I'm reading that right---The pieces you took out after 3 "half hour soaks" were less salty than the ones that were soaking for all 4 "half hours".

    Could the first test pieces have been from a thicker part of the bellies?

    So far I have always used TQ for my Bellies, CB, and BBB, except for one batch of BBB that I used High Mountain BBB Cure & Seasoning. The only time I ever had to soak anything for longer than 1 hour to eliminate the salt flavor "entirely" was with that Hi Mt pre-mix!

    Keep it up Buddy,

  11. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Bear - I picked up the Mortons Sugar Cure from a little o'l grocery store by my folks house.  I've been told that all of the MSC is smoke flavored.

    Regarding the "saltiness" - sorry if my post was confusing.  What I was trying to ask/say was:  The bacon tasted spot on after the 3rd soak, and when it was just fried.  After letting the cooked bacon set for probably 45 minutes ( after I had pulled the bellies from the 4th soak, dried, and hung in my smoker), I was finishing munching on them and they tasted saltier than when first cooked.  ?? I was wanting to know if this was just the Five Barrell Pale Ale messing with me, or if other bacon maker had ever experienced thie phenomenon?
  12. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Here's this morningings update:

    Started a few hickory chunks and little pieces in my chimney. FIRE!!!!

    The hickory bath - couldn't waste a cold smoke, so I picked up 5#'s of sharp cheddar at Sam's yesterday and will give them a couple of hours this monrning with the bacon. I have o'l WALLE set at 80*, we'll see if that's enough to keep the fire hot and the cheese solid...

    Thanks everyone.

    / message sig
  13. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You on it cat daddy!......Oops, wrong forum.[​IMG]
  14. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    now that's good stuff right there.......................nice lookin slabs tracey!
  15. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Oh--OK---Maybe the salt that wasn't tasted when it was hot, had more of a taste when it cooled and crystalized on the outside???

    Just a guess.

  16. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

     LOL now that is funny in a Slanted way
  17. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What a great post!!!  Can't wait to see a batch frying up...I just did my first attempt at bacon.  What I noticed with this was that my first batch in the frying pan tasted great, by the 5th batch it was really salty.  Test #2, after frying up two batches I dumped the oil and wiped out the pan.  This seemed to fix the growing saltiness.  Never had that before with store bought...
  18. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hmmm, That's very interesting. Thanks for that comment ShellBell.

  19. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Boy thats alot of kielbasa! you must have a good recipe? Any chance of getting it posted up?
  20. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Here's my wrap up post on this project.

    I smoked the bellies last Sunday, giving them 11 hours under the hickory.
    I let them set in the smoker until Monday night, then wrapped them up and let them set in the bottom of the fridge until this morning. I set them in the freezer to stiffen up, then started slicing.

    Smoked bellies

    Sliced shots

    First belly

    Second belly

    Third belly

    Final take

    Thanks for checking out my bacon project.  Very pleased with the results of the Sugar Cure.  Me and the family think it is overall a lot better bacon that the TQ batch last year.

    Tracey / message sig