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Newbie Makin' Bacon!

swamp puppy

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Ok, so i have a successful first run under my belt smoking a couple of racks of ribs...so now i am an expert.  right?  lol ;)  For my next adventure I am in the process of making bacon.

4.8Lbs of very nice looking pork belly....  check.

find a cure recipie i like..... check

make said cure and apply it to pork belly....check.

I took a couple of pics of the belly with the cure on it and already in a ziplock...i wasn't thinking straight and didn't quite start the photo journal before that, so once i get the pics up that is where it will start.

For the Cure i am using a recipie called "Sweet Sweet Bacon" which seems to be all over the internet in primarily based on sugar and molasses with minimal parts salt, pepper, and of course, a tsp of insta-cure #1.

The cure went on last night (monday) and is destined for the smoker on saturday all things going well that is.

Stay tuned for updates and pics... This could be really good or it could be an epic fail.  lol.
 

mballi3011

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swamp puppy

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hmmm...  well, friday and saturdays are really the only time i have to get anything in the smoker, so i was thinking that this weekend would be a good time.  I hadn't really considered leaving them in the cure for 2 weeks.   I will have to try that.  Maybe i will do this batch this weekend and my next batch, which won't be far behind, leave in the cure for longer like you suggested and see how i like that.

thanks!

Ed
 

eman

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4 days cure will be cutting it real close . You can't really overcure but you can under cure . I'd go till next weekend.
 

swamp puppy

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So, on another note,  what are some recommendations for temp/time when i do get around to smoking it?  i know i need to hit a minimum target of 150F internal, but what do folks suggest is the best way to get there? 

I was thinking something along the lines of what i did for the batch of ribs which was 225F for a few hours or until i hit the temp mark of course.  Also, i am assuming that i DO NOT want to add water to the pan when smoking the bacon? 
 
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swamp puppy

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yeah, i thought about the fact i would be cooking it later and not needing to "cook" it in the smoker.  lol.   thanks for the links guys.  both were helpful.
 

swamp puppy

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well, i am very happy with the decision, based on the input of the awesome folks here at SMF, to have cured the belly for 2 weeks instead of the 4-5 days as originally planned.

The belly hit the smoker about 15 minutes ago and this was what it looked like going in...



 

pineywoods

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Looks like a great start!!
 

Bearcarver

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Nice looking slab going in!

Did you rinse it off real good & do a salt-fry test on a couple slices, before smoking it?

Bear
 

Bearcarver

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rinse - yes.  test fry - no.  i figured it was either good to go or not. 

Oh----Well, if you test fry it, and find it much too salty after curing it for 14 days (probably a bit longer than needed), you can soak it for as many hours as it takes to get rid of that extra salt flavor.

So many guys don't start doing that until their second Bacon Smoke.

Maybe you'll get lucky--I hope.

Bear
 

malisaw

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Oh my - that looks tasty already!!!  You are sooo gonna love that bacon - it'll ruin ya though!  I can't bring myself to buy bacon ever again...Not even on a cheeseburger!!

Don't forget to remove the skin after you smoke it.  Mighty meaty looking bacon there boy.
 
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swamp puppy

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Thanks bear.  yeah, hopefully i get lucky.  This cure was mostly brown sugar and molassas with just a small amt of salt so hopefully it won't be too salty.  live and learn!  thanks for the tip.
 

rbranstner

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I love bacon. You are never going to buy bacon from the store again.
 

Bearcarver

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Thanks bear.  yeah, hopefully i get lucky.  This cure was mostly brown sugar and molassas with just a small amt of salt so hopefully it won't be too salty.  live and learn!  thanks for the tip.

That mix sounds like you'll probably be alright this time. I'll keep my fingers crossed for ya.

Don't forget the final pics, especially my favorite---SLICES !

Bear
 

swamp puppy

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well, got my AMNS today and on the advice (posted above) from another forum member i decided to toss the bacon back in the smoker before slicing.  it's out there now happily smoking away.  The AMNS seems to be doing a kick butt job..only had to re-light once after the initial torching and that was probably just due to not getting a good "burn" started the first time.  Slicing up 6 pounds of various cheeses to task the AMNS with tomorrow...
 

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