View Full Version : Variation on Bacon

04-03-2013, 08:04 AM
Hey people, I've been getting more and more into both curing and preserving meats lately as well as my usual bbq obsessions. One cannot even think about smoking and curing without wanting to make bacon, haha, so my experiment began.......

I work at a local, family owned, meat market. I have worked there for some years, and I have been able to learn a LOT from the head cutter. I have actually butchered whole hogs with him. If you have ever done any meat cutting or butchering, you know how much it helps you understand your own BBQ. You are able to learn all of the different cuts, where they come from on the animal, and to what style of cooking they lend themselves to. You also become more familiar with all the oddball cuts and little trimmings that come off of larger cuts, some of which are very tasty.

The head cutter gave me an odball piece off the rib end of a pork loin (the first three pics), that he had sliced thick, about a 1/2", and told me to fry them up in the morning with breakfast, he said it was like bacon. I thought it was great! Sliced thick it's very meaty and somewhat bacon-esk as well. After enjoying these on a couple occastions I dediced I would try to make bacon out of it, escpecially since the cut itself resembles bacon so much.

It took me till my 3rd try to get it down, but I did it. Homeade bacon that I cure and smoke myself, and he charges me .99 cents/lb, haha. The slices come out much smaller, so be prepared to used a lot of slices at once if your feeding a couple people, but your not gonna find "bacon" that price anywhere else, and it really is delicious.

Here's what I did:

Dry Cure
Equal parts Sea Salt and Brown sugar
Fresh ground Black Pepper to taste

Make as much cure as you need to cover each individual piece with a pretty good coat. Cover each piece in the cure, then wrap in saran wrap for 1 day, flipping the pieces of meat halfway through, or 12 hours in. Lots of liquid will come out, I suggest putting the wrapped pieces in a bowl or something to collect the fluid.

After the pieces have cured, take them out of the wrap and rinse them thoroughly in cold or cold-ish water. Pat them dry and then put them in the fridge, uncovered, for another day or so, get them kind of sticky/dry to the touch.

Once all this is done, I hang them in my smoker for two hours (minimum, I like a good smoked on my bacon) at 170 degrees. Use whatever wood you prefer the flavor of. When there done smoking, wrap them in saran wrap again, for a day or so, letting the smoke settle and the piece of meat get nice and cold, firming back up, making it ready to slice. I should note that I have sliced it in both directions, one is longer than the other, and there isn't really too much of a difference in textures, so either is fine.

Once all of this is done, your ready to enjoy your own bacon. I want to try a batch using maple sugar in place of brown, that sounds even better to me. I don't use any curing salts, just sea salt, but I'm still here, haha. I've heard that using celery powder also creates a naturally ocurring nitrate, if your interested. I hope people get something out of this, I certainly have. I think it's a nice blending of being resourceful and knowing how to cure at home. Thanks for reading and enjoy your spring BBQ's.

04-03-2013, 08:32 AM
You're killin' me, Smalls... That looks real fine!

04-03-2013, 08:48 AM
Looks tasty...

04-03-2013, 02:34 PM
Looks ddeeelicious

04-03-2013, 02:39 PM
Wow, nice. There are some funny little cuts off a pig you never hear about until you butcher one up

04-03-2013, 02:41 PM
Looks good. Got some belly curing right now.


Fatback Joe
04-03-2013, 02:45 PM
Looks good and at .99/lb you can't really go wrong.