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Time for more bacon

Brokenhandle

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Was out of bacon except for some bbb. Local store had some bellies, 1st time I seen them there, 1st two I bought were 3.99 lb, then awhile later picked up 3 more for 1.99 lb
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Wanted to do a taste test trial so decided to go with pops brine, brined for 14 days, then the rest all dry cured for 12 days were bearcarvers (1/2 oz (1TBS) tenderquick/ lb belly and 1 tsp br sugar/ lb belly). Diggingdog farms cure calculator ( 2% salt, 1%sugar...used half white sugar and half br sugar, and cure 1 at proper amount per weight of meat). Disco's recipe...for each kg of belly 25.8 gr br sugar, 19.2 gr kosher salt, 3 gr cure 1 (I reduced the br sugar to same amount of salt). After curing and a soak in water, ready for a fry test (toothpicks are colored to be able to identify each one)

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This is one of the best parts! To keep it fair I was the only one that knew which was which so my wife and son had no idea. For the only reason that have used bear's and pop's before I wanted their unbiased opinions

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They went into fridge uncovered for overnight rest and to start forming pellicle. Next day life got in the way so was later in the day before going to smoker. First had to scoop path to smoker

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I did set bacon on counter with a fan blowing on while scooping and lighting smoker. Forgot to mention that all bellies were sprinkled with cr black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder after fry test. Into the smoker with amns lit. Cold smoked between 85 and 90 degrees for 4 hours due to earlier delay

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Tbs coming out of chimney, put bag over therm control due to some on and off snow flurries

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After an overnight stay in fridge again smoked for 7 hours, smoker temps between 95 and 100 degrees, hit 105 at the highest . More tbs coming out of chimney

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Of course had my little helper, trying to find where that wonderful smell is coming from. This is kya, be 1 year old on st. Patrick's day, wife already said no green beers for her!

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And another one... mama's home. One of the best pics I have of her posing

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Then after 2nd smoke a rest before going back to fridge for 2 or 3 days uncovered

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Finally all sliced up. I believe we ended up with about 18 lbs

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The final results of taste tests...bearcarvers, diggingdog farms, and disco's were all very tasty with really good flavor. Pops was still good but not as much flavor this time, my fault for cutting back on sugar and salt (used 1/3 cup of salt, sugar, and brown sugar). Last time was a bit sweet for us so still trying to dial it in to our tastes, but it's so easy so will keep trying. We will see if there's a true winner after trying each one by themselves.
Want to thank each one of you for the insight you all have given so I'm able to accomplish this bacon. I would have used the @ sign along with each of your names but once in awhile I do that my entire post or reply disappeared, not always but not willing to risk it on this post.

Sorry if it's really long but trying to learn from others and be as informative as possible.

Thanks for looking
Ryan
 

Steve H

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Nice stack of bacon! And that reminded me that I'm almost out.
 

SmokinVOLfan

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Hell yeah Ryan that bacon looks outstanding. Cool smoker too! Wish I could find bellies around here for $1.99 lb where did you find those? BIG LIKE and great write up too!
 

HalfSmoked

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Right on great post. Bacon at local Farmers market $6.99 lb so you are good to go.

Warren
 

Dirty Nails

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I've lived in the southeast for so long due to the Air Force that I often forget about weather in other parts of the country. I admire your efforts and I love the photos of the path through the snow from your house to your smoker. I award you, sir, HUGE POINTS.
 

SmokinAl

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Nice job on the bacon Ryan!
It all looks god & thanks for doing a side by side comparison.
For me personally I have found that we like the dry cured, cold smoked bacon the best.
But we all have our own idea about how bacon should taste.
I use cure #1 & DDF calculator. It always comes out good.
But it's good that you tried all the different methods to see what you like the best.
The one thing about Pops brine is you don't have to mess with it, just put it in the brine & forget about it for a couple of weeks. The only thing I don't like about a wet brine is the bacon doesn't seem to get as crispy as with a dry cure.
Al
 

xray

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Beautiful looking bacon Ryan! Love that walk in smoker too!!

Like!
 

JC in GB

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Very nice looking bacon. Your smoker is awesome as well. Is that a converted cooler?

JC :emoji_cat:
 

gary s

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Nice Looking Bacon really nice ! I wish I could Find Pork Belly's around here especially at those prices.

Gary
 

tropics

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Looks great I wish I could find some that thick.
Richie
 

sawhorseray

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Great stack of bacon, wonderful price on it, a all-time looking smoker, and a drop-dead gorgeous Dobie! What's not to like? I LIKE! RAY
 

smokerjim

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great looking bacon, nice right up.
 

Bearcarver

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From here, it All Looks Great, Ryan!!
Nice Job, and Awesome Thread of what you did!
Nice Pics & Awesome Smoker!!
Like.

Bear
 

jcam222

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Bacon all looks fantastic!! I must say I am envious of finding pork belly for $1.99 / lbs. I ever find that and the wife will be ticked because I’ll fire up our extra freezer and fill it LOL
 

Brokenhandle

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First off I want to say thank you for giving me a ride on the carousel! I am deeply honored! It's been a rough week, first time I seen it I was actually sitting in a hospital room visiting my mom so I appreciate it that much more. That plus mom looked better today and knew we were there and could actually visit with us.

Thank you again
Ryan
 

Brokenhandle

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Nice stack of bacon! And that reminded me that I'm almost out.
Thanks steve, and thanks for the like! Definitely don't run out of bacon, you either have to buy the store bought stuff or it's a long wait for doing it yourself!

Ryan
 

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