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My latest bacon

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

@kokopuffs So I cured this less than my usual 7 days. I added a little molasses and brown sugar. Came out of the smoker a day ago and I will be slicing it up tonight. Sorry my picture taking skills are horrible but someday I plan to spend a week with @ChrisBelgium learning how to take better food photos. :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #2 of 29

Man that is sweet looking.  

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

@kuan Thanks! Usually I do a straight plain cure (Kosher salt and pink salt (curing salt)). The other problem I often have is my bradley smoker is not very good about getting up to temp and staying there. This bacon I smoked at 200 consistently for 2 hours and so it did not come out quite as crispy as my usual stuff. Although Bradley Smokers does not recommend it I have taken to putting a small sterno inside which seems to help it heat up and stay at the right temp.

 

You every make your own bacon? It really isn't all that hard once you get into it. 

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #4 of 29

That looks great!

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
 

@kuan Thanks! Usually I do a straight plain cure (Kosher salt and pink salt (curing salt)). The other problem I often have is my bradley smoker is not very good about getting up to temp and staying there. This bacon I smoked at 200 consistently for 2 hours and so it did not come out quite as crispy as my usual stuff. Although Bradley Smokers does not recommend it I have taken to putting a small sterno inside which seems to help it heat up and stay at the right temp.

 

You every make your own bacon? It really isn't all that hard once you get into it. 

 

Best thing to help keep your bradley smoker at the right temp is to put it into an enclosure. 

 

I went all out and got this http://www.homedepot.ca/product/32-cu-ft-storage-shed/930280 expensive but you can close the front doors and pop the top up (built in holder) and continue smoking even in the rain.  It also has room for all the smoker pucks and other goodies that accumulate.

 

If you don't want to go the expensive route even and big card-board box to block the wind and provide a buffer zone of still warm air will help greatly.

 

The bacon looks great!

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelGA View Post
 

 

Best thing to help keep your bradley smoker at the right temp is to put it into an enclosure. 

 

@MichaelGA I keep asking my wife if I can bring the smoker in the house but she is really being difficult about it. :lol:

 

Seriously I do have it in my garage which helps but with the Chicago weather lately it has been cold.  Once I get the temp set I can usually keep it where I want but forget about opening the door. Once I do that it is so small and so poorly insulated that the heat drops right out of it. For smoking my large cuts of meat such as hams I put a thermometer that connects to a digital read out on the outside. That way I can monitor temp without opening the door. 

 

I like the idea of the rubber maid enclosure I will have to look into that. Did you insulate it at all?

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #7 of 29

Not yet but I have thought about using that self adhesive hot water tank foil bubble wrap on the inside of the shed, or maybe closed cell foam board.   So far I'm still just thinking...

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
post #8 of 29

oh God that looks so good.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
 

The other problem I often have is my bradley smoker is not very good about getting up to temp and staying there. This bacon I smoked at 200 consistently for 2 hours and so it did not come out quite as crispy as my usual stuff. ...

 

I'm sure it tastes good but it looks a bit cooked: bubbles on the surface.  I try to keep my WSM smoker at <145F for as long as possible but the temps will ultimately creep to 155+.  Once each slab reaches 145F internal temp it is removed from the smoker otherwise if smoking any hotter, the fat will render.  Need to see a cross section of one of your smoked slices (or slab).

 

For me to ensure full penetration of the cure, I allow my slabs to cure for two weeks and I always score the skin to ensure that the cure penetrates on the skin side well.  Otherwise without the scoring, the cure won't penetrate skinside.

Go here and here to checkout some of the threads on bacon and get back to me if you have further questions.   Enjoy!    8)


Edited by kokopuffs - 3/21/14 at 5:13pm

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #10 of 29

Looks awesome Nicko!!!

post #11 of 29

First of all that looks fantastic. Second, I'm sure Chris Belgium's food is delicious but his photo skills are incredible lol.

post #12 of 29

Beautiful looking bacon Nicko!!!!

I made bacon once sofar, just with salt, sugar and some bay leave. I didn't smoke it, so didn't use any cure.

The next project (in my head sofar, not in action yet) consist of curing baking with some juniper mixed in with the cure (and salt and sugar) and then smoking it.

In my case, I will be smoking at quite a low temperature that won't actually cook the bacon (about 35 oC, roughly 100 F)

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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Life is too short to drink bad wine
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post #13 of 29

You should market it, Cheftalk Bacon!  I'd buy it!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #14 of 29

Hope to see some pictures of the bacon sliced, Nicko. Very nice work!

And "a propos", thanks, but there's nothing wrong with your pictures. They made me and others drool, so that's mission accomplished!

post #15 of 29

I love my homemade belly bacon but the price of fresh bellies is highers than just buying a good brand of bacon...

post #16 of 29

Yep.  Thanks to so many restuarants offering various pork belly dishes the price has gone up, like what happened with flank steak, tri tip, ...

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #17 of 29

That's happening here too.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
Reply
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
 

@kuan Thanks! Usually I do a straight plain cure (Kosher salt and pink salt (curing salt)). The other problem I often have is my bradley smoker is not very good about getting up to temp and staying there. This bacon I smoked at 200 consistently for 2 hours and so it did not come out quite as crispy as my usual stuff. Although Bradley Smokers does not recommend it I have taken to putting a small sterno inside which seems to help it heat up and stay at the right temp.

 

You every make your own bacon? It really isn't all that hard once you get into it. 

 

Looks great. I usually smoke mine in a Weber grill - decent enough temperature control for me. I need to build a proper cold-smoking rig, though.

 

As for the cure - I always include some brown sugar and some aromatics, e.g. garlic, juniper, bay leaf, crushed peppercorns or the like. Old pictures:

 

 

post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 

The finished products:

 

Bacon sliced and vacuum sealed

 

 

 

Bacon scraps cut into cubs or lardons and vacuum sealed

 

 

Un smoked cured pork belly for salted pork

 

 

 

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 

@GeneMachine do you use any pink (curing) salt? Looks great and I love the idea of juniper berry.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
 

@GeneMachine do you use any pink (curing) salt? Looks great and I love the idea of juniper berry.

Yeah, sure - my basic cure is salt/pink salt/brown sugar. Essentially the basic dry cure from Ruhlman's Charcuterie.

 

What really amazes me considering the home-smoked stuff is how well it keeps - if you let it dry a bit after smoking, it is still fine after two months in the fridge. Try that with most store-bought bacons....

post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 

@GeneMachine I totally agree and making your own bacon is so simply and there is nothing but what you put in it, in it! My wife does not care for the smoked bacon smell that permeates everything in our fridge but she loves the bacon.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
 

@GeneMachine I totally agree and making your own bacon is so simply and there is nothing but what you put in it, in it! My wife does not care for the smoked bacon smell that permeates everything in our fridge but she loves the bacon.


Same problem here. But the smell is worth it.

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
 

@GeneMachine I totally agree and making your own bacon is so simply and there is nothing but what you put in it, in it! My wife does not care for the smoked bacon smell that permeates everything in our fridge but she loves the bacon.

I have a separate fridge for my smoky and funky stuff - and the beer.... Helps to keep peace in the house :)

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post
 

I have a separate fridge for my smoky and funky stuff - and the beer.... Helps to keep peace in the house :)

 

Me too, out in the detached garage.  You may remember I made kimchee for the cabbage challenge. No way I could have kept it in the house and kept my marriage.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #26 of 29

Hehe.... I know THAT problem. I make my kimchee in a water sealed fermentation pot. 

 

Me: It is sealed, it barely smells, just a bubble through the seal every now and then....

She: The cats refuse to enter the kitchen.

Me: Ok, well....

 

The detached garage most certainly proved to be the better option here, too. It gets eaten with great gusto, though.

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post
 

 

Looks great. I usually smoke mine in a Weber grill - decent enough temperature control for me. I need to build a proper cold-smoking rig, though.

 

As for the cure - I always include some brown sugar and some aromatics, e.g. garlic, juniper, bay leaf, crushed peppercorns or the like. Old pictures:

 

 


Looks great.  And with your selection of herbs, veeeery German style especially with the juniper!  8)

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
 

The finished products:

 

Bacon sliced and vacuum sealed

 

 

 

Bacon scraps cut into cubs or lardons and vacuum sealed

 

 

Un smoked cured pork belly for salted pork

 

 

 

 

Yer learnin'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    8)

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post
 


Looks great.  And with your selection of herbs, veeeery German style especially with the juniper!  8)

 

Thanks, koko! And yes, juniper/bay leaf/crushed pepper is indeed a rather popular base for marinades and cures here. For that one, I added some thyme, rosmary and garlic fresh from the garden. I tend to play around a lot with my cures, never made the same bacon twice - that's half of the fun in smoking your own!

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