Let's talk aging.

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by chopjaw, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. I want to produce better bacon and I'm thinking its in how I am aging. Let's start...

    I am putting 5lb slabs weighed and cure,salt,sugar measured. I put them in foods saver bags. I am not pulling the oxygen out, just getting most of it out, sealed and then put in fridge. I am curing for 13-15 days. Now for the question, I usually let cure for 2-3 days and I let sit on racks, not covered in the fridge and then smoke for 12 hrs.

    My question is: How long to age on a 14 day cure? Do you cover the slabs?

    Back to the foodSaver, have any of you put a slab in and vac-sealed your bacon to cure? If so then how did the bacon turn out?

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Chopjaw, morning....   we basically do the same thing....   Pre trimmed and weighted slabs...   salt, cure and sugar added based on slab weight....   Slabs trimmed to fit a plastic tub that fits my beer fridge.....   plastic spacers contact both sides of the slabs to allow for air/moisture circulation....  slabs rubbed with weighed mix on all sides....   Stacked in the tub with spacers above and below the meat....    14 days in the refer uncovered so the meat will breathe...     rinse and dry and replace in the refer on sheet pans on wire rack with spacers between slabs for 7 additional days...  rinse dry and form pellicle in front of a fan at room temp or in front of a fan in the smoker.....  cold smoke for 6 ish hours daily until amount of smoke is OK... 6 on smoke, 18 hours not smoke for X days.....   back in the refer unwrapped for additional 7 days....   In total, 28 days in refer unwrapped....

    I'm not a fan of storing meats in a vac bag...  I don't think it properly ages without oxygen...  I've had too many soured hunks of meat from vacuum sealed bags at the grocery...  soured pork, soured chicken...   horrid stuff....    I've left a rib roast on a wire rack, in the open, for 40+ days and all it does is improve with age...   plastic wrapped meat goes bad....

    There's my 2 cents... 

    ...click on pic to enlarge....

    ........showing plastic spacers.....

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  3. I use a food saver to try and pull out as much oxygen as possible but there is always some left in there, I also double seal the bags to make sure nothing leaks. I have been curing my bacon for about 7-8 days and then letting it sit in the fridge to dry out after I take them out of the food saver bags for about 12 hours. Then I cold smoke it for about 6-7 hours. I have had pretty consistent success sealing them in the food saver bags so far.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  4. Here is the bacon I started curing yesterday. Garlic Jalapeño

  5. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    that looks great 

  6. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    So here we go to seal or not to seal when doing Canadian bacon with tender quick and brown sugar I put in zip lock bags for 14 days usually end up with 1 or 2 leaking as I do rotate them daily if I put in vac - sealer (stronger bags) and just seal it would most likely work fine. What do you all think?
  7. I would say that the sealed bags are a bit stronger/more reliable and are less likely to leak. Also I double seal mine just as an insurance policy to make sure they don't make a mess in my fridge.

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