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Trying My Hand At Bacon - 4 Flavors - QView

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by Preacher Man, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Preacher Man

    Preacher Man Fire Starter

    Pork Belly's went on sale around here for $1.88/lb so I decided to try out bacon for the first time.

    I vacillated between just doing a basic recipe for the first time, or trying to get all fancy and try all different ones. I went the fancy route, and invited a buddy to give his input.

    My first invention was an Italian style bacon.
    2 1/2 lbs Pork Belly
    1/2 t. Cure #1
    1 T. Kosher Salt
    1 T. Dried Basil
    1 T. Dried Oregano
    1 T. Dried Thyme
    1 T. Dried Parsley
    1 T. Garlic Powder
    20181109 (1).jpg

    My second invention was to use a prior invention from my garden called jalapeno pesto. I struggled with this one because it's not really a wet brine nor was it a dry rub. So I added the same amount of cure to the mixture as before.
    2 1/2 lbs Pork Belly
    1/2 t. Cure #1
    8oz. Jalapeno Pesto
    20181109 (2).jpg

    My friend said he brought his finest culinary creations: One he coated with Tony Chachere's Creole and the other he coated with black pepper.

    Into ziplocs and the fridge they went for 9 days.
    20181109 (3).jpg

    After the 9 days we cold-smoked them for 5 hours with applewood.
    20181109 (4).jpg

    All sliced up and vacuum-sealed.
    20181109 (5).jpg

    I thought all the flavors turned out excellent. The jalapeno pesto one was awesome in the pre-smoke test, but then the flavor seemed to get overpowered after the smoke. The Italian will be the perfect addition to a spaghetti sauce.

    I do wish I had a meat slicer. It tried chilling them in the freezer for 3 hours to firm them up before slicing, but it will still really difficult getting what I thought was a decent bacon thickness. I don't like thin, but ours were more like ham slices. It seems a bit difficult to fry them properly at that thickness. I'm hoping someone has a slicer on their Black Friday sale.

    Also, my bacon wasn't near salty enough like I think bacon should be. Oh well, I love having room for improvement. I think next time I'll not talk myself into getting fancy and just try a pretty basic cure recipe I've seen floating around this forum and compare, then start adjusting flavors from that point.
    tallbm likes this.
  2. meatallica

    meatallica Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I have to hand slice also. I put some on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil @375° this morning. That worked pretty good for getting crispy
  3. Preacher Man

    Preacher Man Fire Starter

    How thick is thick cut bacon from the store anyway?
  4. I have a small slicer at home, but when I'm doing bacon, I take it back to my butcher that I bought the bellies from, and he slices it for me. He charges me $1/lbs to slice, but it's totally worth it to me to get a nice consistent slice.
  5. hondabbq

    hondabbq Smoke Blower

    I do the same thing. I make standard bacon plus I came up with about 8-9 different flavors.