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Makin' Bacon

maplenut

Smoke Blower
111
51
Joined Dec 4, 2015
This will be my first try at makin' bacon.

Got myself a pork belly and cut it into 4 pieces.

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Weighted each piece and calculated how much tender quick I needed.
I measured out how much brown sugar that I would need for one and how much maple sugar that I would need for another.
2 of them will be just cured, wife did not want any sugar added to those 2 bellies.


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Once the tender quick was rubbed in to all of the bellies and also the brown and maple sugar was added to those 2 bellies I put them into gallon sized vac bags.
I did not take all the air out of the vac bag I felt that leaving the vac bag just a little loose would allow the cure to flow around the belly better and also allow me to massage the bellies easier each day when I flip them.

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Now into the frig for a few days of curing time.
It looks to be about 8-10 days of cure time.
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3-2-1

Smoke Blower
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Aug 31, 2020
I'm sitting here reading this telling my wife we need to make some bacon
 

maplenut

Smoke Blower
111
51
Joined Dec 4, 2015
I'm sitting here reading this telling my wife we need to make some bacon
You can never go wrong with meat candy!
I have been putting this off for far too long, decided this was the time to do it.
 

maplenut

Smoke Blower
111
51
Joined Dec 4, 2015
Alright we have an update.

Today is smoking day!

Yesterday I took the pork bellies and rinsed them off and soaked them in ice water for about an hour.

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I dried them off and let them air dry for about 15 minutes before putting them back into the frig for an overnight rest.

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This morning I got the smoker up to temp and lite the pellets.
Put those good looking pork bellies in the MES for what I am hoping for about 12 hours of smoke.

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I am not doing a cold smoke but I am not aiming to cook it either. I am aiming to hold the temp between 110-120.
 

3-2-1

Smoke Blower
★ Lifetime Premier ★
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Joined Aug 31, 2020
You're inspiring me to try and make some bacon after seeing this! Looking good.
 

maplenut

Smoke Blower
111
51
Joined Dec 4, 2015
Smoking is done!
It was kind of late by the time I got things cleaned up so the pic's were delayed till today. Sorry.

Got some nice color on the pork Bellies.
When do we stop calling the pork Bellies and start calling what they are, meat candy! or Bacon for the traditionalist.
Total time in the smoker was 12 hrs.

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Wrapped the chunks of meat candy in plastic wrap and placed them in the frig for a few days rest. I am looking at Tuesday when I will have the time to slice them.

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Only thing of note that I had trouble with was my pellets went out around 6 hrs in on the smoke. I relite the pellets and they went out again about 8 or 9 hrs in.
I am thinking that with doing a lower temp smoke, about 115-120 degrees, that it was not hot enough for the moisture that was being given off by the pork bellies to get out of the smoker and that the pellets absorbed some of this moisture and hindered their ability to burn.
This has gotten me to think again about doing the mailbox mod for smokes like this.
 

Braz

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,222
658
Joined Jun 25, 2017
I suspect the low draft in the smoker because of the low smoking temp may have contributed to the pellets going out. The mailbox mod will help because all the draft air is drawn across the pellet tray (or tube).
 

maplenut

Smoke Blower
111
51
Joined Dec 4, 2015
It is finally done.
This morning I put the bacon slabs in the freezer for about an hour.
Got out the trusty old little slicer and started slicing.

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The 1st slab could have been in the freezer a little longer.

Once all sliced, we divided up the bacon in small amounts.
Also kept the Brownsugar flavored and Maple flavored in their own little batches.

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Pic12.jpg


I started with a 12 lb pork belly and ended up with 11 lbs of bacon. 5 lbs of regular with no sugar, 3 lbs of maple and 3 lbs of brownsugar.
I think it ended rather nicely so I think I will be doing this again.
 

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