Trying out the "True Dry" vs vac sealed dry bacon

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Florida Chris

Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jul 22, 2023
116
155
Gotta give SmokinEdge SmokinEdge and DougE DougE credit for this one. Their "true dry brine" bacon efforts looked amazing! I had to try it. And compare to vac sealed dry brine.

Started with this lil thing.

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Split it in half best I could. 2213g for the "true dry" cure and 2205g for the vac sealed dry cure. I think I did OK just eye-balling it!!

They basically got the same treatment. (give or take a couple tenths).
- 33g Salt
- 16.5g Sugar
- 5.5g Cure

White pepper and gran garlic added by my (generally poor) judgement.

This one goes in the vac.
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This one is on the rack.

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Impatiently sitting around for the next 2 weeks to see how things turn out. If the True Dry Brine starts to look too dry it will get sealed up. And if that happens I'll take the vac seal sample out to air dry for a few days . Seems like the best I can do to make things equal for the taste test challenge between the two.

If anyone has suggestions otherwise to equal the playing field, I'm open to suggestions. I mean, we have two weeks, right?
 
You will be rewarded. The flavor so much better and the browning or crisping in the pan is so much better. It’s a win.

Looking good so far. This anticipation fades once you have a few cures under your belt and know what the end result will be.


OK. This is where I might get some shade thrown my way.

I don't even really eat bacon too much. It's not that I don't like it. It's just more that I'm not that into breakfast. I've made a few batches of bacon. I think I have about 6lbs of back bacon in the freezer right now. I've done belly twice and Canadian three times.

I appreciate it much more when I make it myself, and that makes me do more weekend breakfasts, freezer breakfast sammies for work, or the best thing EVER...

Breakfast for dinner.

For me right now it's more that I love to cook and create. Whether that means I enjoy it myself or enjoy sharing it with friends. As long as someone gets a smile from it I'm happy.

And my initial impression is that this technique is going to make me and a few of my friends smile!
 
OK. This is where I might get some shade thrown my way.

I don't even really eat bacon too much. It's not that I don't like it. It's just more that I'm not that into breakfast. I've made a few batches of bacon. I think I have about 6lbs of back bacon in the freezer right now. I've done belly twice and Canadian three times.

I appreciate it much more when I make it myself, and that makes me do more weekend breakfasts, freezer breakfast sammies for work, or the best thing EVER...

Breakfast for dinner.

For me right now it's more that I love to cook and create. Whether that means I enjoy it myself or enjoy sharing it with friends. As long as someone gets a smile from it I'm happy.

And my initial impression is that this technique is going to make me and a few of my friends smile!
Yeah, you will smile alright. You like bacon cheese burgers? There is another way to go.
 
Yeah, you will smile alright. You like bacon cheese burgers? There is another way to go.

Oh ya!!!! Bacon burgers rule! When I bought the belly a prime brisket just happened to fall into the cart too. That's going to used to break in my grinder. Half will be patties.

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I also like to cut some bacon thin for wrapping other delicious things like steaks or scallops. Bacon wrapped anything is damn good but it has to be cut thin enough to crisp up.
 
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Well, day 11. Made the judgement call to wrap the "true dry" in Saran wrap. My fridge has some pretty aggressive air flow and it was starting to look a bit dry.

Sorry, no pics. Long day at work, belly full of jambalaya, and just too lazy right now. But it looks GOOD! Question for SmokinEdge SmokinEdge and DougE DougE .....

How did you guys prep before smoking? Rinse off and form a pellicle? My plan was to rinse and dry both the "true dry" and the vac sealed tomorrow night, rest in fridge to dry until at least Friday. If I get off work early enough Friday, cold smoke (cherry) 4hrs, rest overnight, cold smoke again Saturday 4 hrs (cherry), rest overnight again, smoke Sunday to 145 using hickory. Depending on life events, I might just do 1 of the cold smokes, rest overnight, and then cook to temp the next day. Thoughts on my plan??

For slicing, I have a Besswood 10" deli slicer. I lost my notes from last time, but I think I was using settings around 1.5 for thin (used for wrapping foods) and 4.5 for thick (breakfast cut).

Open to suggestions from any of the SMF crew!!! And I promise I'll have pics for the next update.
 
I do not rinse but do let it sit at least over night uncovered on a rack in the fridge before smoking. With an EQ cure, there really is no need to rinse.

Your smoking schedule looks fine to me other than I'd just go with a blend of both woods each session.
 
The dry bacon or the bagged bacon neither need rinsed, actually I suggest you don’t. The bagged bacon doesnt need a pellicule. That is really more for fish. Damp it dry with paper towels and roll. This isn’t complicated.

I understand the concern of the dry bacon looking “to dry” but honestly 14 days is fine and it all is good after smoking. Maybe a little dry ring but the flavor development is the key.
 
I do not rinse but do let it sit at least over night uncovered on a rack in the fridge before smoking. With an EQ cure, there really is no need to rinse.

Your smoking schedule looks fine to me other than I'd just go with a blend of both woods each session.

The dry bacon or the bagged bacon neither need rinsed, actually I suggest you don’t. The bagged bacon doesnt need a pellicule. That is really more for fish. Damp it dry with paper towels and roll. This isn’t complicated.

I understand the concern of the dry bacon looking “to dry” but honestly 14 days is fine and it all is good after smoking. Maybe a little dry ring but the flavor development is the key.


I will heed the advice of you both. "True Dry" is coming out of the Saran wrap after I hit "Post Reply" button. If I have time to start the smoke tomorrow night I'll update with pics.

Appreciate the tips, guys!!!
 
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And so it begins! Only day 13 but if I want to get a couple days of cold smoke it needed to start today or wait until next weekend.

True Dry on the left, vac sealed on the right. Being in Florida, 79 degrees is best I can do for cold smoke this time of year. I'll be taking it off around 7 for an overnight rest in the fridge until round 2 tomorrow.
 
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View attachment 694255


And so it begins! Only day 13 but if I want to get a couple days of cold smoke it needed to start today or wait until next weekend.

True Dry on the left, vac sealed on the right. Being in Florida, 79 degrees is best I can do for cold smoke this time of year. I'll be taking it off around 7 for an overnight rest in the fridge until round 2 tomorrow.
Looks good. Waiting for the final fry test
 
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Round 2 of the smoke begins. This is after 4 hrs yesterday and fridge rest overnight. Dry on the left, vac sealed on the right. Moisture in the vac sealed one pulled a little gunk off the grates that *someone* didn't clean well enough!

Oh well, just a bit more seasoning, right?
 
Been thinking about and I might switch up my plan a bit. Rather than hot smoking to temp tomorrow I might just let them sit in the fridge for a few days after today's cold smoke. Then slice up and vac pack.

What are the pros / cons of just cold smoking vs. hot to temp? Is it just preference of flavor?

I've only done hot to temp in the past but these are looking kinda pretty as is.
 
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Round 2 cold smoke finished. Fat side shot:

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Dry on the left, vac seal on the right. This pic made me realize I should have noted which end was which at the start of this experiment. Thick vs. thin. The vac seal has incorporated all of the seasonings nicely while the dry still has some, well.... dry. Once it's sliced I don't think the dry bits will be an issue. Just little pockets of flavor!

And here's the meat side:

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Both look pretty dang delicious!!! Back in the fridge for a rest. Still not sure if they'll be smoked to temp tomorrow or chill for a few days before slicing as-is.

Maybe amp up the experiment a notch? Cut both in half again and do a hot smoke vs. cold smoke battle??

They're about 4.5 lbs each so I have options.......
 
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