Home Made Bacon

Discussion in 'Geek Recipes' started by sgtraven, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    It was about time i tried my hand at some smoked bacon.

    Brined in salt/nitrate mix and ziplocked in liquid for 5.5 days.

    1. Hang out to dry for a few hours for the tacky skin to form
    2. Smoke for 4 hours with cherry, apple and mesquite mix of wood chips
    3. up the heat a little to finish off
    4. freeze for easy carving
    5. carve with my newly sharpened shun knife (will have to sharpen it again after carving frozen belly)
    6. cook (YUM)

    Verdict is, i dont know why i havent done this already, 1kg of bacon is definately not enough. next time 4-5 kg's and will freeze/give to friends and family
    note: with sharp knife and frozen product you can get very thin/uniform slices of bacon, no need for a slicer however a slicer would be easier

    Pics Below
    [​IMG]
    Bacon - hung to dry by Brett Robinson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    Bacon - Smoked for 4 hours by Brett Robinson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    Bacon - Frozen for slicing by Brett Robinson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    Bacon - Sliced by Brett Robinson, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    Bacon - YUM by Brett Robinson, on Flickr
     
  2. Jim G

    Jim G Member

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    Dang, that looks good. The thought of doing this has never occurred to me until now... bloody good idea!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    the great thing is it hasnt been sitting in a vac packet for 3 weeks and you know whats in it.

    the only problem is finding nitrate (pink salt...not the murray river kind)
    your butcher may be able to hook you up, a specialist supplier or online.

    remember MEASURE IT or it could make you or your family VERY SICK

    next try im doing a dry rub instead of a brine
     
  4. username_taken

    username_taken Member

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    looks great!

    I make bacon all the time :)
     
  5. OP
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    sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    yea, i think i will be the same, wouldnt mind doing a fatty with the bacon.

    next time im going to see if i can get a wider belly section for longer strips
     
  6. dan441

    dan441 Member

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    looks great!! Can you share where you got your measurements for how much nitrate to use?

    p.s. great use of the tripods!
     
  7. renagade

    renagade Member

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    Looks great Brett!
    I'm trying this myself but with small pieces of pork belly and no nitrate. I accidently ordered pork belly instead of pork ribs so have to use them somehow.
    Mine won't be as good as yours because of the cut.
     
  8. --B--

    --B-- Member

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    looks sensational

    where do you bacon makers get your meat from? just down at the local butcher?

    does it work out cheaper than buying bacon from the supermarket? or is the quality where the benefits lie?
     
  9. scon

    scon Member

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    Pricewise, it would be quite similar - you can generally get decent quality pork belly for $15 and under. Some asian grocers have it as low as $8 but I prefer getting free range when it comes to pigs.

    Home made bacon, quality wise is much better though, like just about all charcuterie. I'm planning on making a batch over the next week or two and will put up some results.
     
  10. username_taken

    username_taken Member

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  11. OP
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    sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    most packets of nitrate are of a different concentrate i.e pink salt ect.
    your REALLY dont need much at all

    measure according to the packet alternatively ask your butcher or the store you are buying from.
     
  12. Phark-You

    Phark-You Member

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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  13. OP
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    sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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  14. GrueHunter

    GrueHunter Member

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    I'd recommend using a dry / moist curing rub rather than a brine. The texture of the final bacon seems to be much better, and it crisps more easily, throwing fat rather than water. Here are the two versions I use (both from Charcuterie):

    Maple-cured smoked bacon

    2 oz / 50g kosher salt (about 1/4 cup)
    2 tsp 12g pink salt
    1/4 cup / 50g maple syrup or packed dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup / 60ml maple syrup

    Mix dry ingredients to combine, add maple syrup, mix well. Rub over entire surface of a 5 lb / 2.25kg pork belly. Into a ziplock bag, into the fridge for a week, turning daily. When meat is firm, remove from the bag, rinse, pat dry, place on a rack and place in fridge overnight to dry out. Hot smoke at ~200oF to internal temp of 150oF. Cool til handling temp, remove skin, cool completely, refrigerate / freeze.

    Italian-cured bacon

    2 oz / 50g kosher salt (about 1/4 cup)
    1 oz / 25g caster sugar
    1 tsp / 5g pink salt
    5 smashed cloves garlic
    1 tbsp / 10g black pepper, partially cracked
    3 fresh bay leaves, rolled, sliced, then chopped

    Dredge the belly in the cure, sprinkle over the flavourings, pressing in. Proceed as per maple bacon.

    Pics of results here.
     
  15. phantom220

    phantom220 Member

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    Just wondering what sort of BBQ/smoker you used to make this SgtRaven? Do you could you could do it in a Weber Smokey Mountain?
     
  16. OP
    OP
    sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    You could pretty much do it on any type of BBQ. The wsm is perfect. I did mine on a kamado, it was also perfect for it
     
  17. Silent Remorse

    Silent Remorse GAMING OVERLORD

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    After searching for decent, reasonably priced and easily accessible streaky bacon, I've found the only place that meets those requirements it is an hour round trip.

    A local meat market sells very good quality pork belly for $9.50/kg (!!) so I've bought 1.3kg of it and will try one of the brining methods (haven't had much luck with dry rubs in the past). I'll take some photos too.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    give dry another shot, i have found it infinately nicer than brine for bacon.
    the brine made the fat texture weird and the bacon SPITS when you cook it.
    it also doesnt render as well...
     
  19. Silent Remorse

    Silent Remorse GAMING OVERLORD

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    Can you do a dry rub without pink salt? I want to do it today but I also don't want to run around the city looking for it. I read one of the linked sites you can just use extra salt and freeze it earlier?
     
  20. OP
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    sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    you can just use normal salt (dont need to use more)

    http://www.localfoodheroes.co.uk/?e=561
    http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=1009925

    1kg pork belly
    22g Salt
    8g Sugar

    just remove the kwikurit, its a little more risky but if you are very clean then there is likely no problem.
    you will need to hot smoke it after.
    Cure is so if you want to eat it raw or dry hang it it doesnt get botulism ect, if its straight out of the cure into the bbq or onto the pan there would likely be no problems for a 6-8 day cure.

    it will also not get that nice pink colour or store as long

    with out cure it will also not taste as "hammy"
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012

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