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Thread: Making Bacon!

  1. #1

    Zwiefel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Little Rock, AR

    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 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
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Chicago, IL
    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:

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