I got several buddies together to make a big batch of bacon...the goal was to do 100 pounds this go around but things escalated quickly. Emails were flying back and forth, the number of sides we were buying climbed rapidly until we settled on doing 17 whole sides for the seven of us which turned out to be 201 pounds (clearly over our measley 100 pound goal that we set).
We ordered the belly's last week, they were ready for pick up on Monday. Last night we did a "curing party" where we prepped all the meat and fired up the smoker to cook up one of the fresh sides.
I took a few pictures along the way but it was controlled chaos in my small kitchen with that amount of meat, people and seasonings and spices. I'll upload some of the pictures we took last night maybe later on this evening if I get a chance to get them uploaded after work.
Until then here are a few teaser shots I took on my phone...
Loaded up at the butcher's shop
Stacked up in the kitchen
One of the fresh sides we smoked for a little treat - ground up some cayenne from my garden, sea salt, cracked pepper and real maple syrup - smoked over hickory until 190 degrees.
Words can't describe how awesome this was.
We did a variety of flavor profiles...here are some that I can remember off the top of my head:
- brown sugar, cracked pepper
- honey habenaro
- honey jalapeno
- cayenne, sea salt, cracked pepper, maple syrup
- sriracha, hot pepper blend
- Rulhman's pancetta blend (garlic, thyme, allspice, juniper berry, etc)
- molasses, brown sugar, habenaro, cracked pepper
I'll update this thread with some additional pictures from last night as well as update it the night(s) we smoke and slice...stay tuned.