Need advice on what went wrong!! Help

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
Nov 17, 2013
Chillicothe, Ohio
I made my first belly bacon and the meat part of it turned out very dry and tough when fried.
I dry cured it per Bearcarvers instructions do to the weather being so cold I did add 1 extra day in the cure 10 days insted of 9. Then cold smoked it for 12 hours using Hickory pellets in my amnsp.
The smoker never got over 50 deg. Any help? What went wrong?
What did the weather temp have to do with the time you cured it..... It should have been cured at a temp of 38 ish degrees.....

Can you copy the method you used here, so we can help you......
Rinsed each piece, dried them good with paper towels, and rubbed them good with 1/2 ounce (1 TBS) per pound of belly. Also added about a TBS of brown sugar with each pound of belly. Put each piece in it's own zip-lock bag (along with any TQ that fell off, because the cure was measured exactly----never throw away any cure that falls off), squeezed the extra air out, zipped them shut, and put them in the fridge. I kept the fridge between 37˚ and 38˚ for 9 days, massaging & flipping each bag every day.

On day 9 I removed them from the fridge, rinsed them off in cold water, and soaked them in ice water for 1/2 hour. Then I patted them dry, cut a couple slices, and did a fry test for salt Perfect!
Patted them dry again, laid them out on two smoker racks, not touching each other, sprinkled black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder on them, and put the racks in the fridge over night.

They cured for 10 days in my 37 deg meat fridge. The weather out side was what i was refering to.
It was going to be -13 deg. on the smoke day if i took the meat out of the bags on the 9th day and let it rest for 24 hours in the fridge.
Sounds like everything should have been good to go.... Try frying at a lower temp, with a little oil in the pan, and maybe a Tbs. of water to get the fat starting to render... You may have a belly that wasn't "enhanced"... injected with brine and cure at the meat house.... I've done those bellies and they cure up better using a brining/curing liquid.....
there's nothing wrong with the belly bacon you have made... It's just really old school... A little steam in the frying pan on a lower heat.... along with some bacon grease or oil will help it out .... the bacon you have should be intense in flavor... I really like "old world" bacon for that reason.....

Try baking it... 375 on a rack for 20 minutes or so.... that's my favorite way to cook bacon.....

Double check that you sliced Across the Grain. With the Grain makes for some chewy Bacon...JJ
Thanks for the advice!!
  I bought the belly from a local meat packing/ slaughter house that i have dealt with for years. I know for sure it wasn't enhanced. I am not giving up on bacon next time I think I will brine it in pops brine. The flavor on the batch I did is excellent!! It will get eaten, if nothing else I will grind it up and eat it like sausage patties. 

JJ I believe i cut it against the grain. I cut it on what i would call the short side not with the length of the slab of meat. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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