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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 01-08-2013, 07:19 PM   #1
PatioDaddio
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Default Recipe: Homemade Bacon!

Homemade Bacon!

I'm almost embarrassed to say that I've just recently discovered the
wonders of homemade bacon, despite having a food blog for four years.
No, scratch that, I am embarrassed! It really is sad, and I repent here and
now for all the world to see.



For some reason making homemade bacon is shrouded in some sort of
strange and mysterious veil of complexity. Once you see how easy it is it's
like you've been smacked in the head with a clue-by-four. This
compounded my embarrassment.

My friend Meathead over at AmazingRibs.com (a great barbecue site, by
the way) wrote the following, and he's absolutely correct.
Makin' bacon is surprisingly easy and the results are quantum
leaps better than the stuff from large commercial producers.
Once you have the basic recipe down, you can vary the
ingredients to make a flavor profile to suit your taste. It is a
simple two-step process: (1) Curing, and (2) smoking.
Here, let me show you how easy this is. My recipe is simpler than
Meathead's, but the results are incredible.

Ingredients
2 lbs Pork belly
2 Tbsp Morton® Tender Quick®

Method
About the pork belly: Get the best that you can find, preferably
locally-sourced and all-natural.



Unwrap the belly, rinse it, then pat it dry with paper towels.





Sprinkle the Tender Quick® evenly over the entire outside of the belly
(don't forget the edges), put it in a gallon-sized zip-top bag and seal,
removing the excess air. Refrigerate seven to ten days, turning and
massaging the bag every two days or so.

Start your smoker and prepare for indirect cooking at low heat (about
225-250º). Use whatever smoke wood you like. I used a blend of 2/3
hickory and 1/3 cherry which worked beautifully.

Remove the pork from the zip-top bag, rinse well under cold running water,
and pat dry with paper towels.



Smoke the belly indirect until it reaches an internal temperature of 150º.
Remove it to a plate, rinse under cold running water (to help cool it
quickly). Pat dry with paper towels, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and
refrigerate. It'll keep in the refrigerator up to two weeks.



Slice, cook as you normally would, serve and enjoy!

Now that you have some killer bacon, go make yourself some pig candy.

-----
John
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Unread 01-08-2013, 07:21 PM   #2
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You're killing me...............Thanks is not enough
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Unread 01-08-2013, 07:25 PM   #3
Mason Dixon Bowhunta
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I need to try this, thanks
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Unread 01-08-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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That looks fantastic but, is $3.99/lb normal for pork belly up there? Or anywhere? Just seems kinda steep.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 07:41 PM   #5
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John,
Your website/videos/recipes have given me so much inspiration. Thanks for everything!! Like you, I was intimidated by bacon but this post has given me the balls to try it
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:02 PM   #6
PatioDaddio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cholloway View Post
That looks fantastic but, is $3.99/lb normal for pork belly up there? Or anywhere? Just seems kinda steep.
No, despite the fact that it was from Whole (paycheck) Foods, the price was less than that at my local butcher (his was $4.49/lb). It was $5.99/lb at Whole Foods last Friday.

John
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:08 PM   #7
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Thanks John for the great pictorial!
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:15 PM   #8
grilling24x7
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I bet this is just amazing with some eggs and homemade biscuits. Oh yeah, I"m ready for a big breakfast!
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:20 PM   #9
Big George's BBQ
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Thanks John Tried this once it was good but feedback was that it did not taste like bacon
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:24 PM   #10
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Love it. Nice work!
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:27 PM   #11
PatioDaddio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big George's BBQ View Post
Thanks John Tried this once it was good but feedback was that it did not taste like bacon
That's really weird, because mine definitely did. Maybe it's not that it "doesn't taste like bacon", but that "it doesn't taste like commercial bacon". I don't know, it's just a thought.

John

Last edited by PatioDaddio; 01-08-2013 at 09:19 PM..
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:31 PM   #12
Big George's BBQ
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I did soak it a number of times to get out the salt after the cure That could be it I also used Tender Quick and not the pink salt I thought that could of been it initially
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:32 PM   #13
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That is on my to do list for sure. Thanks for posting👍


Have fun and happy smoking
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Unread 01-08-2013, 08:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big George's BBQ View Post
I did soak it a number of times to get out the salt after the cure That could be it I also used Tender Quick and not the pink salt I thought that could of been it initially
The TQ contains both sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite (both kinds of "Prague powder"), so that's weird indeed.

John
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Unread 01-08-2013, 09:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big George's BBQ View Post
Thanks John Tried this once it was good but feedback was that it did not taste like bacon
Maybe you just need to change up up your seasonings, adding more pepper, a combination of white and black pepper, or more brown sugar...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big George's BBQ View Post
I did soak it a number of times to get out the salt after the cure That could be it I also used Tender Quick and not the pink salt I thought that could of been it initially
A soak-out is fine.... and TQ verses a #1 cure won't make something less bacony flavored. Like John mentioned TQ has 2 curing agents in a salt and sugar carrier, pink salt just has one curing agent also in a salt carrier. Because nitrates and nitrites are is such small concentrations they are suspended in the carrier for safety.

It's common to soak-out your bellies following the cure, times can range from 4 hours to 12 hours depending on your threshold for saltiness. More important though is an equalization step, which is a refrigerated rest following the soak out. You see, when you first rinse your cure off, there is a higher concentration of salt near the surface... the soak-out helps remove some of that saltiness, and the equalization gives the mobile liquids, salt and seasonings within the belly time to settle down and equalize. I like to equalize overnight before smoking.
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