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Makin' Bacon

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Post Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:53 am
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 424
Location: Redwood City, California

The butcher called this morning and the fresh pork belly that I ordered has arrived! Looks to be about an 8-10 pounder. I'll start the cure tonight. I've been reading the "Meat Hook Meat Book" which is wonderful, and I was inspired to try my hand at bacon. I'm dying to give this a try! Book: http://www.amazon.com/Meat-Hook-Book-Bu ... +meat+book

I recommend it to anyone wanting to learn a bit more about butchering and meats in general.
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Post Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:10 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 424
Location: Redwood City, California

DAY 1: Ok, got my belly. 8.3 Lbs. Cure is 3 Lbs Salt, 2 Lbs Brown Sugar, Healthy pinch of Pink Salt (not that I need it but I am experimenting). Added some cumin a few red pepper flakes and drizzled with rum and maple syrup.

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Belly is a fresh one - skin off.

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7 days to go of flipping every day.
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Post Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:44 am
Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 292

I did a book signing w Tom Mylan. He's a very knowledgable guy. I, too, strongly recommend his Meat Hook Meat Book.

Post Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:19 am
BaasPro medium
medium

Posts: 196
Location: Alvaton, KY

Look forward to seeing how this turns out!
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Post Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:12 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 424
Location: Redwood City, California

DAY 2: Flipped, Fat Side Up. Not as much liquid in the bottom as I had expected, but after 7 days I figure there will be a lot more.

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Post Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:37 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 424
Location: Redwood City, California

DAY 3: Flipped again. The belly is getting stiffer, and it looks a little more leathery. Some liquid on the bottom. The whole fridge smells like rum (and I didn't use that much), fortunately it's the garage fridge. :drunk:

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Post Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:04 am
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 424
Location: Redwood City, California

DAY 4: Much more liquid now. The ends are deep red and shiny, like candy. The meat is firm and leathery. Flipped fat side up. 3 More days to go.

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Post Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:22 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 424
Location: Redwood City, California

DAY 5: Are you sick of me yet? :P Anyhow, flipped meat side up. Lots more liquid, noticeable shrinkage (not the Seinfeld episode kind), meat firm and just yielding. Deep candy apple red. Here are a couple shots of what's going on. 2 more days and I smoke it over apple wood.

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Post Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:49 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 424
Location: Redwood City, California

DAY 6: Almost there! Flipped fat side up. Lots of liquid. Looks like everything is going according to plan. One more day!

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Post Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:16 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 424
Location: Redwood City, California

DAY 7!: Late to post, but she's ready! The cumin stayed strong throughout the process. A little of this stuff goes a long way, but I think it will be a good addition. Lots of liquid (almost to the top of the belly). Meat is very firm and deep red. Tomorrow I'll take it out, wash it off, pat it dry and dry it in the fridge. I'll start smoking around noon at 170. I'm working from home that day :wink:

Image
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Post Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:29 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7561
Location: Stoughton, WI
Great thread! :thumbup: I'm definitely looking forward to seeing and reading the results from tomorrow!

Post Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:16 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 424
Location: Redwood City, California

DAY 7: Finished! Firm and red. I Washed it off and dried it with paper towels. It's now on a rack in the fridge drying. Tomorrow I will smoke over apple wood at around 170 for 5 hours - looking for an internal temperature of 150. At that point I will slice, shingle and pack. Will post pictures then.
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Post Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:32 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 424
Location: Redwood City, California

Finished! Very happy with the results. I would do this again in a heartbeat. Slightly salty, slightly sweet. I'm going to bring it to my butcher to slice it on the big deli slicer for me. I cut off the end and fried it up... Fantastic. Way better than commercial bacon. Sorry about the crappy photo. I was too excited!

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Post Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:32 pm
scorched_porch User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 424
Location: Redwood City, California

One last entry - I case you are dying to know how much bacon an entire fresh belly makes - it makes a friggin' lot! Just over 8 pounds to be precise.

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Post Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:24 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7561
Location: Stoughton, WI
Great job! Now you need lots of bread, lettuce, and tomatoes... :wink:

Was the pork belly you used pretty typical size-wise? Or was it larger than most? I'd like to put a belly on the smoker someday but that's a lot of meat...

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