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Making bacon (and more) UPDATE
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ComradeQ
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11 12 8:29 am    Post subject: Making bacon (and more) UPDATE Reply with quote

Hey guys! I'm new to the forum and just picked up 2 pork bellies for around $15 total (around 3.5lbs each) so I thought id make some bacon with them. I made some before (first time) and smoked them at around 180, turned out great but I did end up rendering some of the fat. I don't have a cold smoker and try my best using a BBQ and some smoke pouches. Was thinking of grabbing an Amazin smoker for this batch so I can cold smoke it. What do people think of that smoker?

Also, any suggestions on bacon cures? I'm gonna try the honey bacon that Harry does but I also wanted a more traditional one.

Last, I used the remains of my first batch of bacon to make an English pork pie, with uncured belly, pork shoulder, and of course my bacon. Not sure if it belongs here but it does contain my bacon so I've added a few pics for the forum. Waiting for it to set and will slice it tomorrow. I know it's not BBQ but it is damn tasty. If anyone comes from a British family they will likely know what this is.

Happy to be here!

Before baking:


After baking:


Sorry, newbie to this, got it right now!


Last edited by ComradeQ on Tue Jul 17 12 11:59 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Beer Can BBQ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11 12 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watch out smokey is coming for you your pictures are to big you may want to take a look at the sticky on posting pictures they should be no bigger than 650 on the longest side. But other than that the pie looks great i want to see what a slice looks like out of that bad boy.
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11 12 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the heads up, I did resize it. With the pork pie you need to let the pig trotter jelly set in it so by tomorrow it will be ready to slice, I'll take a pic then Wink
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11 12 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please read PMPNLT650pxOTLS! 854 x 640 the 640 is fine but that's not the longest side... the 854 is! Wink Laughing Wink
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12 12 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Beer Can BBQ, the pie was delicious! Best I have ever had.

AfterSlicing:
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12 12 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your understanding and correcting it!
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12 12 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I decided to do the honey bacon and some maple bacon. I'm already planning on doing more, found a place in downtown Toronto that has huge, meaty Berkshire pork bellies for roughly the same price I paid for the ones I'm curing now. Will see how they turn out first ... but I want more bacon!

A question ... I'm smoking it using a #10 can and some charcoal. I did leave the rind on these two bellies, never tried with rind on. How does it affect the flavour and texture of the finished bacon? Is it preferable to remove the rind before or after smoking? Or should I leave it on and slice it? I'm stuck debating these stupid details while the bacon cures, need to distract myself from the dry aging goodness!
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12 12 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My team mate and I do buy pork belly's and make our bacon together, I like rind on, he likes rind off.

We have noticed over time that if you take the rind off you do get some additional smoke penetration, the rind on tends to have a great smoke flavor on the meat side, and a good flavor not a great smoke flavor.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12 12 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bellies come in already skinned, But I imagine if you like crispy bacon, leaving the rind on would add another crispy component to your finished cooked product.
I see skinning a belly with a knife being a tricky and difficult operation.
While watching "How Its Made" a few weeks back, I saw that a skinning machine is used to remove the rind on raw bellies with very little product loss. A similar machine is used for skinning fish fillets. It is like a flashing machine used at tanneries.

One of my goobers left the door open on my deli-cooler for a few hours, so it decided to take a "Dirt Nap" a little over a week ago from being overworked, I have the god of refrigeration souls coming in to try and resurrect it this week (hopefully) so I can catch up on our bacon requests.
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13 12 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, so if I am choosing to remove the rind I should probably do it prior to smoking? I've got two bellies about 3lbs each and maybe 1.5 inches, curing using your scaled down honey and maple recipes Harry, and figured on 5 days with the rind on. Does that sound about right or should I add more time because of the rind? Also, will it affect it if I remove the rind after curing but before smoking?
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13 12 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S - Crisp bacon has its place but if I'm to be honest, I prefer it slightly soft. So if I'm cooking like that with the rind I'm assuming it might be too tough and chewy?
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Beer Can BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13 12 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about steering you wrong on the size of the pictures, That pie looks great i may have to try that some time. I cant wait to see some more pictures of your cooks.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13 12 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ComradeQ wrote:
Hmmm, so if I am choosing to remove the rind I should probably do it prior to smoking? I've got two bellies about 3lbs each and maybe 1.5 inches, curing using your scaled down honey and maple recipes Harry, and figured on 5 days with the rind on. Does that sound about right or should I add more time because of the rind? Also, will it affect it if I remove the rind after curing but before smoking?


Leaving the rind on should not effect cure times, it may actually be easier to remove after being cured due to a different texture of cured raw meats. The colder the meat is, the easier it will be too skin it IMO, warm pork is like working with Jell-O IMO
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18 12 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: Started smoking my bacon using a blend of two parts apple wood to one part hickory. First response decides how long i smoke for, lol!



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zysmith
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18 12 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks great
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18 12 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After nearly 7 hours. One more hour and im pulling it. Did some cheese for two hours too, a medium cheddar, looks perfect!

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Jarhead
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18 12 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ComradeQ, that smoke generator looks familiar. Laughing Laughing Laughing
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18 12 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes sir jarhead, it worked great! Thanks again for your help! Last pics for today. Took them off after 8 hours, very happy with the colour, bagged and put in the fridge to rest and firm up. It was all i could do to not sample it but i held strong. My big taste test will be my breakfast tomorrow morning. I can't wait!



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patruns
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18 12 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks great!
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19 12 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had the maple bacon this morning. I have to say, this is seriously the best bacon i have ever had! Gonna do a Salad Lyonnaise for dinner with the honey bacon to test that. This is honestly so good i'm gonna go out this weekend and buy more pork bellies! Must ... have ... more ... bacon! Now on to the money shots (cue gratuitous food p*rn music now)



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