Maple Bacon??

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by bennyshaik, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. This weekend is going to involve smoking some bacon. I've got ~10lbs that's been sitting in Pop's Brine (modified with a little less sugar and some pepper) for the last 2 weeks and I'm going to pull it out to dry tonight. The cuts are split into 3-5 pieces so I'd like to do some experimenting with flavoring.

    My current plan is to mop several down with some good farm-grade maple syrup at a few different points during the 12 hours they'll get cold-smoke tomorrow. Does this make sense? Will it have any effect on the flavor? Would it make sense to later them up with syrup before I set them in the fridge to dry? When I did cold-smoked salmon, I seasoned the salmon pre-drying with some herbs and they kind of got fossilized if you will in the pellicle. Anyone have any advice? Should I have brined with maple syrup and therefore should just wait until next time to try?
     
  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In the past when I wanted to had that maple flavor to mine, I LOVE maple, I would add a 1/2 cup of syrup and about 2 Tablespoons of Extract to the brine. I have tried after the pelicle was formed rubbing syrup, Cajun power and Jacque Daniels before smoking. I couldn't tell a difference. So I quit, I hate wasting good Cajun sour mash and that good Vermont Maple syrup.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  3. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The only way I have been able to get any maple flavour is with maple extract. I find the maple syrup adds a nice sweetness but not a maple taste. If I want the sweetness, I use honey which is a lot cheaper. Just my experience, maybe someone else has had more success.

    Disco
     
  4. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've had that problem as well. Used maple syrup in the brine, and tried brushing. Even used maple sugar one time when I dry-brined. Maple flavor still didn't come thru.  I'll try extract next time.
     
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Course you realize extract has no taste, only smell. But the senses can be fooled sometimes.
     
  6. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have found the best way to get maple flavor on my bacon is to sop it up from my pancakes and eggs.  Use low heat when cooking as the sugars will burn easily.  I found the best way is to bake the bacon in a mini oven.  Keep the temperature below 350°as the nitrates do a chemical change at 350°.  I bake at or between 200° for two hours or 325° for ± 25 minutes.

    Tom
     
  7. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think the problem is, our taste buds have been fooled over the years. Manufacturers have put artificial flavours in maple products and we expect our maple bacon to taste like that. I suspect, if we tried maple bacon 100 years ago, it would taste like the home made bacon we make with maple syrup. It's like iced tea. I make iced tea from tea leaves and it tastes like tea but people who buy the bottled stuff or use a mix don't think my iced tea tastes like iced tea even though theirs is the artificial one. Sigh.

    Disco
     
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The problem I found with sugary bacon I tried was...... the sugar in the bacon burns when fried. You have to let it re-cure again after smoking. I mean a week or so in the fridge for the smoke to mello and the a month or so before it stops burning. It hate to cook sugary bacon right out the brine or right after the smoke.

    The longer mine sits the less it burns. All I can lay it off on is the sugar. But I deviate from pops basic 1c/1c/1c/ and cure, I use less salt Like a 2/3C/3/4C/3/4C. But each has a diffierent profile we will finially decide is our favorite.

    But I do like that sweet taste in my bacon. I really like it in my "Back Bacon" (did I say that right Disco?)
     
  9. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's all a matter of how much sugar. You can use honey or maple sugar and cut back on the sugar in Pop's brine. Or, you can dry cure and add just enough honey, molasses or syrup to the dry cure to make a paste and use that. Yes, back bacon is what us Canadian's call Canadian Bacon. I smoke my back bacon to 140 F and then it only needs reheating so I can make it sweeter.

    Disco
     
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    When I make maple bacon I do a dry cure which always results in a good end product, it can tend to be a time consuming but defiantly not messy. Never used maple syrup as this way too messy in my line of business, if there is any chance that you can get hold of some maple sugar this is the way to go

    A quick run down to what I do; Bellies are boneless with the rind on. I rub all sides of the bellies with a AP salt and start stacking them in a tub that has a rack in the bottom so that the bellies will not sit in the juice/liquid that comes from the bellies while curing. Next I give the bellie that I have placed in the tub (rind down) a dusting of a spice combination that I have for this job on top of this I will give a light dusting of the maple sugar.

    This I will repeat for all the bellies that I will be putting down, will place in my cooler for seven days after which I will give the bellies a quick rinse under tepid water to remove excess salt from the outside, I will then put into a container and cover with cold water for one (might go over depending on my jobs) this will remove any excess salt.

    after one hour I will hang to dry until the bellies are just about dry but still slightly tacky. I will then re-stack the bellies (top one down first and the previous bottom one will now become the top one) first one down and I will cover with more maple sugar; repeat until the whole stack has been rebuilt -- leave for one more week in the cooler

    A week later I will cold smoke --- do not rinse -- just pull from container and hang in smokehouse -- depending on how one likes the smoke depends on how long you would/will smoke them -- I do three smokes which will take four days after which I hang for between two to five days (depends on weather and humidity) to dry and mature (build up flavours)

    A very good friend has stated that I produce pure crack -- one taste and you are addicted for life --- a year ago this friend was up visiting frends and dropped in to see me, I sent him home with two packets of maple bacon -- his wife has let him come visiting again (a year later) with the very strict instructions that he had to learn the secret and the recipe before retuning home -- and not to return home unless he had done so.

    That friend is a very well respected person on most of these forums, some may or may not know him ---- vagreys

    This is my latest batch -- and yes the maple flavour is over the top but not over powering as the hint of the spices come forward along withe the smoke and maturing


    the following is more of the common bacon that I do (and sell) which also is dry cured


    Hope I have not over step my bounds -- I am still trying to find my way around with out ruffling too may feathers

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  11. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Beautiful stuff Brican!!!
     
  12. Thanks Dan

    The apprentice has not seen the finished (bar the maturing stage) bacon yet as he is over the Island giving some lessons on sausage making. 
     
  13. Yes I have an Iced tea maker I bought probably 20 years ago, down in the Southern USA.  I try to get Lipton tea from the USA, but I usually use it all up before I get a refill box of that.  When I have no Lipton, I use Tetlly tea.  This device makes the best Iced Tea going, in about from the time i remove the device from the shelf it sits on, to finished Iced Tea, in about 13 minutes.  Any one who has tried this, says canned is better, sigh is right.

    Making Bacon is on my to do list, there are some great methods her I will have to try.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  14. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I guess us old timers are doomed!
     
  15. Yes I agree with that.  But what really amazes me, how anybody can think that iced tea they sell in a can with way too much lemon in it is better than real sweet iced tea.  You just have to wonder some times....
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  16. johnb5

    johnb5 Fire Starter

    Brican are you interested in sharing your spices you use? It sounds wquite good
     
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     Sometimes we are willing to give up quality for convenience. And sometimes the cans are much better than home brewed in other places around the country. We don't want to look like Sy Robertson carrying our tea around with us. We realize others are not as lucky as we are and hate to draw attention to it. Luzianne tea, then to Lipton.

    <chuckles>
     
  18. Now if I knew how to make Iced tea like they have Duck Dynasty, I would die a happy man.  Me and my iced tea maker would have to work overtime and I do not think the 12 ice cube trays I own, which are not stack-able until after frozen, nor my freezer could keep up with the demand needed.

    If anybody knows how they make that much iced tea, do tell me, please!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  19. 4 family sized teabags in a quart of cold water brought up to just below a boil, then moved to a simmer for 20 mins. Mix hot tea with desired amount of sugar (totally taste dependent) and enough water to bring to a gallon. Let sit in fridge over night or longer.

    No bettet way to make it. Trying to make it so it can be drank quickly really doesnt work, has to sit overnight to really work.
     
  20. bgolden49

    bgolden49 Fire Starter

    I'm preparing to smoke 6#  of pork belly for maple flavored bacon, I'll be using a dry cure, but was thinking about injecting the meat with maple syrup and spice that would boiled in approx. 1 gallon of water. I was hoping to let this sit for 48 hours, drying the belly and then dry curing. The cure would sit about 8 days before smoking.

    Is this a practical approach?

    Bill G
     

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