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Anyone made bacon before?


Eggcellent_adventurer
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I’m having my first crack at making bacon at the moment having brought my self a pro q cold smoke generator. 

 

I’ve just finished 5 days of curing in a salt, demorera sugar, black pepper, bay and juniper berry mix. It’s now wrapped in muslin and hanging in my shed for a few days. 

 

Im planning to use some maple wood dust in the cold smoke. Does anyone have an idea how long it should smoke for? 

 

Cheers

Neil

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Needs to smoke 6-10 hours 

I take slightly different approach.  I coat in sugar , salt, spice mix and vax pack drop into salad crisper in fridge turn over daily . Leave 10-14 days . Unpack clean off and hang for same amount of time it cured for . I personally don't use muslin . Smoke 6-10hours chill 24hrs slice and enjoy . I personally prefer muscovado sugar or even treacle,  for a more robust flavour profile . I have tried maple syrup but cost to gain makes it impractical.   Vac pack method still called dry cured and I would encourage you to check things like pintrest for recipie ideas. Please note like all these things it's down to personal taste if you like it and eat it then that's all that matters. Most people on pintrest posting bacon recipies are Americans , and advocate the use of wild hog or heritage pork belly for bacon . I worked as a chef for 25 + years and consider my pallet fairly educated and I cannot personally recommend premium pork for a robust bacon . Personally I buy pork loin when it's on special offer from Morrisons and buy a whole loin.

Also the use of cure is totally up to yourself  . I personally don't if it's for personal use and if it's for friends and family I tend to use 50 percent of recommended , just as a way of getting that pink store bought look rather than preservation.  Pork loin is purchased and vac packed in salt/ sugar within 1- 2 hours , as long as salt / sugar is at correct level and meat is fresh . 

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Hi Neil

I smoke my bacon over Hickory for about 24 hours. This does not have to be all at once and in the summer this is done over 3 nights. 

You have an interesting method there. Is it one you have developed yourself or is it based upon one you have found? Black pepper, bay leaves and juniper would be a good flavour combination :thumb1:

One of the challenges of curing bacon this way is consistency in managing the overall salt content. Are you finding that it is about right for you? I prefer a more traditional dry cure method as it is a lot less work than the one you describe - and where you add a precise amount of salt so that you end up with a known concentration (of ~2.5% )

Attached are the curing details for the bacon I sell commercially. You can use the pepper, bay leaves and juniper as the flavouring, however you would need a lot less than in your recipe. For a 1 Kg piece of pork you would need:

  • 9 g of freshly ground ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8-10 crushed juniper berries.

Dry Cure Bacon (WoodSmoke) - Step by step - 25g seasoning.pdf

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15 hours ago, John Anderson said:

I take slightly different approach.  I coat in sugar , salt, spice mix and vax pack drop into salad crisper in fridge turn over daily . Leave 10-14 days . Unpack clean off and hang for same amount of time it cured for

I do the exact same method for us,  in fact, we went to Booker on Sat for a loin and also a 10kg box of ribs.  I'll start the curing tomorrow when I have some spare time to play.

 

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Edited by Icefever
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  • 2 weeks later...
11 hours ago, Eggcellent_adventurer said:

Thanks all. This was my first attempt and followed a River Cottage recipe. The flavour was fantastic, best bacon I’ve ever tried but it was a lot of work. I like the idea of vac packing so will give it a go next time. 

The vac packing makes it a lot cleaner and easier to manage multiple batches

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Definitely vac as it makes a huge difference to the end game.  I also vac with cure and leave in the fridge then hang to dry and then smoke. I never seen the tripe/quadruple cure method, is that really necessary, And final clean off with vinegar?  How does that affect the final flavour? 

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As this was my first attempt it’s a bit difficult to comment on if the various steps were really needed but all I can say is it was totally amazing! Vastly surpassed my expectations. 

 

I dont think the vinegar really affected the flavour but I’d imagine was more to stop the cureing process. I’d read other recipes that asked for the belly to be washed clean at that stage but didn’t like the idea of that. 

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