Newbie questions regarding making bacon

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by sawyerrt10, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. sawyerrt10

    sawyerrt10 Smoke Blower

    Never tried making bacon before, but may leap i with both feet! Couple of questions.

    Is there a difference in taste and texture using belly meat or a boston butt?

    What is the internal temp I should be aiming for?

    What temp should I keep my smoker?

    lastly, I read on here that most store their bacon for curing in ziplock bags, does anyone vacuum seal them instead? does it make a difference?

    Those are the main questions I have, I am sure there will be more.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. wutang

    wutang Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Yes there is a texture difference between belly bacon and shoulder/butt bacon. But they are both great. The shoulder bacon is a little bit leaner and to me tastes slightly "hammy." Like a ham-bacon hybrid.

    When I made belly bacon I cold smoked it at temps under 100 for several hours, knowing that I would be frying it to cook it later. Here is a link

    When I made shoulder bacon (Buckboard bacon) I used a cure kit from Hi-Mountain and followed their temp instructions that came with the kit.

    Oops. Looks like my pics in the buckboard post were a victim of the is link to another place it was posted (mods don't shoot me, I just want him to be able to see the difference with pictures.)
  4. tlzimmerman

    tlzimmerman Meat Mopper

    I am also interested in this topic, if any of you all who have made bacon can enlighten us.
  5. Guys, there is tons of information on this site related to what you are asking about. Spend a little time searching around (do a search) and you will find all the info you need and so much more!

  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Check out the Smoking Bacon tab there is lots of info there about making bacon.

    I have only made Buckboard Bacon once and it turned out awesome so I can't really help you with the difference between belly meat and butts meat but I am sure they are both awesome. I smoked mine at 225-250 since I was doing ribs at the same time and I pulled mine at 140-145 since I will be frying mine when I eat it. I am not sure about vacume sealing vs ziplock bag. I have only used a ziplock bag method but it would probably work either way.
  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Is there a difference in taste and texture using belly meat or a boston butt?
    You make regular that you are used to see out of bellies and butt for some buckboard bacon and the texture is just about the same.
    What is the internal temp I should be aiming for?
    I always shoot for about 156*or so. But you can low temp smoke it where you start real low about 80* and slowly work your way up to about 100* with alot of smoke. You are going for the color and the flavor the most.
    What temp should I keep my smoker?
    same as above
    lastly, I read on here that most store their bacon for curing in ziplock bags, does anyone vacuum seal them instead? does it make a difference?
    I like to put it in a food saver bag and start removing the air but not all of it so it will have some room for the liquid to move around.
  8. sawyerrt10

    sawyerrt10 Smoke Blower

    Thanks to all that replied! I have looked at all the threads and will be attempting some buckboard bacon very shortly. I have an 8 lb BB thawing in the frig right now. Gonna use either tenderquick or sugar cure (maybe both, just not on the same piece of meat)

    will post pictures once i start the process
  9. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I haven't made true Buckboard Bacon out of a butt yet but will be shortly. I have done a few lbs of belly bacon though [​IMG] Its really not hard but you will need to cure any bacon. You can do Canadian Bacon from pork loins, Buckboard Bacon from butts, or traditional bacon from pork bellies. If I'm doing Canadian Bacon then I start at temps of under 100 degrees and build up and I will take the internal up to about 160 before I take it out of the smoker and that way its ready to eat and we often use it on sandwiches. Belly Bacon and what I'll do for Buckboard Bacon is keep the temps low I like 100-110 and I don't want the internal temps of the bacon to get very high as I'll be cooking the bacon before serving it. All I'm after while smoking it is the smoke flavor. After smoking I leave it in the fridge for a couple days then slice it and vacuum seal before freezing. One of the easiest best ways I can tell you to get started is to get a Hi Mountain Buckboard Bacon Kit from Bass Pro or Sportsman's Warehouse or mail order one from here it has the cure and the seasonings and a short set of instructions. I actually buy this in the bulk packs and use it for my belly bacon too.

    Have fun and enjoy one thing I will caution you on tho is that once you make some of your own you may never buy bacon to eat again [​IMG]
  10. sawyerrt10

    sawyerrt10 Smoke Blower

    That's the plan! i am fully retired and trying not to buy stuff when i can make it!
  11. Sawyer-

    All good advice above. Might I also suggest you try a hot smoke of the bacon also. The best bacon I ever tasted(before I made my own) was from a german sausage maker in town. He told me to try the hot smoke method and I will never go back to cold smoke again! Good luck- I am sure you will be happy with your results.
  12. davef63

    davef63 Smoke Blower

    thats interesting, im curing my 2nd belly for bacon. the first one i did i smoked for around 14hrs at around 70* smoker temp. after 12 hrs i cut a chunk off and fried it up, and girlfriend said it wasnt very smoky, so naturally for the last 2 hrs i really poured the smoke to it. mistake, not bad but a hint of bitter smoke instead of that deep mellow smoke flavor. so this one i was planning a long cold smoke of real thin smoke, perhaps even 2 days [with no smoke at times] but when i see pics of guys doin it at 130* or so i really like the color it develops. so i dont know what way to go. when you say hot smoking, what temps are you talking? [smoker and it] dont mean to jump on someones thread here with the questions if i did sorry.

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