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Thread: Making Bacon!

  1. #1

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Making Bacon!

    I'm finally making good on my goal of cured meat projects for 2015. In this case I followed, faithfully as I can Dardeau's bacon recipe. Any errors you see are entirely mine


    First step is to make the cure. One 3# box kosher salt, one 1# box dark brown sugar, fill remainder to 1Gal with white sugar, 1tbsp pink #1.



    Mix until uniform in color/distribution.



    This is a dry cure approach...so place the pork belly into a vacbag....



    and pack all around with the cure...



    then seal. this is the cure starting to draw juices from the belly after only a few minutes



    and again after 5 days. at this point I flipped it over and let it run another 5 days on the other side.



    Then pull them out and thouroughly rinse each side to stop the cure.




    Let rest in fridge overnight to airdry.



    This is a new technique for lighting a charcoal grill that I got from MuchoBocho...4 cotton swabs soaked in 90% isopropyl underneath a carriage of charcoal.



    now, the coating....a little more than a pound of whole peppercorns...



    go into the dry grains container of the VMix...



    and are ground until they are broken down a bit. There is more of a spread of coarseness than I'd like...I'd prefer each corn to be broken into about 1/4-sized pieces...but I'll take this...



    Spread onto all surfaces of the bellies...using a bit of EVOO to help adhere more evenly



    then put into two layers in the Kamado (I CANNOT thank MuchoBocho enough for encouraging me to break the budget and get this...I've been a hardcore charcoal grill guy for 20 years, and this thing is a revelation).



    I tried to keep it right at 250F, but the temp wandered from around 225 to 275.



    but it helped to get a delightful carmelization from the osmosed sugars (hattip to Dardeau again, for the temp recommendation, I'd have tried to hit no higher than 120F otherwise.).




    Nice, steady stream of Cherry smoke for about 3 hours...



    Cross section of the nice piece of belly from the more expensive vendor...



    And the 3rd slice off the same belly.





    I'm absolutely pleased with my first cured meat product. so stoked to get on to the next thing...not sure what it is though....


    Many thanks to Dardeau and MuchoBocho for their help!
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  2. #2
    Senior Member buttermilk's Avatar
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    You nailed it! Most people miss a handful of those steps the first time around.

    Did you get enough smoke from three hours? Temperature accuracy is inherently problematic when smoking. I'd suggest working on a web-bulb thermometer setup as well as targeting lower temps. Wet-bulb gives a more accurate estimation of surface temps, helping to avoid hammering the outsides of your product. An overkill reference is here: http://meathaccp.wisc.edu/assets/Wet_Bulb.pdf

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dardeau's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I smoked some yesterday, this is what I use.

  4. #4

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dardeau View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ImageUploadedByKitchen Knife Forum1441970705.941443.jpg 
Views:	113 
Size:	9.7 KB 
ID:	28935

    I smoked some yesterday, this is what I use.
    Very nice! I'm making about 15lbs more this weekend...well...starting it I should say. It took about 2 hours of phone calls and a 90-minute round trip, but I am finally in possession of a 10lb skinless belly at a reasonable price ($3.5/lb)...and from the folks that make my absolute favorite commercial bacon (http://www.petitjeanmeats.com/Pepper...roductinfo/45/). This is in addition to the 5lbs I have from my Dallas trip in the freezer.




    I was trying to think of a way to spice it up as part of the cure....maybe throw about 2C of peppercorns in with the cure? would that have any effect on the flavor of the cured product?
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  5. #5
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    bay leaves, star anise, coriander, juniper berries, fresh thyme

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Danny, I'd treat the blackstrap and the flat differently. Maybe cure the flat and porchetta the blackstrap. You've got the gear.
    One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

  7. #7

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by panda View Post
    bay leaves, star anise, coriander, juniper berries, fresh thyme
    Hmmmm...that sounds right up my alley!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mucho Bocho View Post
    Danny, I'd treat the blackstrap and the flat differently. Maybe cure the flat and porchetta the blackstrap. You've got the gear.
    I did a quick google but couldn't figure out what blackstrap refers to (the only thing I found was a reference to backstrap a.k.a. the tenderloin of a deer)....?
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Danny, My terminology might be vernacular for this region of the country, so it might be called by another name. But I'm referring to what most Europeans call bacon, its not the thin part of the belly, but the last four or five inches of it. Its the part that is much thicker and has a higher meat to fat ratio. Its the last five inches of image 4080

    http://www.cwb.com.au/products/pork/

    looks like this

    http://www.finestsausageandmeat.com/...-smoked-bacon/
    One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

  9. #9

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mucho Bocho View Post
    Danny, My terminology might be vernacular for this region of the country, so it might be called by another name. But I'm referring to what most Europeans call bacon, its not the thin part of the belly, but the last four or five inches of it. Its the part that is much thicker and has a higher meat to fat ratio. Its the last five inches of image 4080

    http://www.cwb.com.au/products/pork/

    looks like this

    http://www.finestsausageandmeat.com/...-smoked-bacon/
    Got it. I'll have to wait until it's thawed to see what's what with the proportions.....you have a favorite porchetta recipe handy?
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Danny, I've been wanting to try this recipe. This looks fun and easy?

    http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2...porchetta.html
    One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

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