1/15/2018 – Bought a very meaty 3.95 lb. (1,791.7 gm) slab at Hong Kong Market for $3.49/lb. Dry cured for almost three weeks. Cold smoked for 6 hours.
3:30 PM – Mixed the cure, salt, and sugar per http://diggingdogfarm.com/page2.html that provided the results as follows. Put it into a shaker and applied it evenly on all sides.
The parameters set in the calculator were:
Weight of Meat in Grams… 1791.69 grams
Cure #1 % Nitrite… 6.25%
Salt % Desired… 2 %
Sugar % Desired… 1 %
Parts Per Million (PPM) Nitrite… 156
Cure #1 Needed…4.47 grams
Salt Needed…31.64 grams
Sugar Needed…17.92 grams
Total 1845.72 grams
2/3/2018, Saturday – The slab has been curing for almost three weeks as I had to wait until the weekend. Ambient temp is 47° and humidity is 81% with occasional drizzling rain. The slab and cure have been in a ziplock bag and when removed it was sticky–as in it already has a pellicle. Cut a corner and test fried it. Salt level is fine.
7:00 AM – Made wire hangers from a coat hanger to support bamboo skewers that were stuck through the slab to hang below the top grate in the MES. Lite Lumberjack pecan pellets in the Amazen tray and started the smoke. MES temp is 54° and the smoke drifted out the top port with no power to the MES. The slab hung between my first andouille sausage smoke here.
1:30 PM – After 6 hours of smoke I pulled the bacon slab so I could heat up the MES and hot smoke the andouille patties. Put it on a 1/4 sheet pan under plastic wrap and into the refer. Good smoky smell with a slight brown tinge to the fat.
2/4/2018, Sunday, 2:45 PM – After pulling today’s butt from the MES I let the heat drift out and the door ajar for maybe 10 minutes while I got the bacon slab and put on top of the Q-mat. The ambient temp is in the high 50s and with the MES having been hot this 2nd smoke was really not a cold smoke. I had sprayed the bacon with Pam as the surface was smooth and dry–the smoke would never and stuck. With the Pam it did acquire a nice smoke coloration. Opened the door several times and the warm air and smoke bellowed out. Given the temp I only left it in for 1.5 hours.
Put it on a 1/4 baking sheet with plastic wrap cover and into the wine cooler.
Advice from Smoking Al at https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/bacon.264319/#post-1719651
After 2 weeks, I rinse mine off. If you want to, after rinsing it you can cut off a couple of pieces & fry them up to make sure it’s not too salty. Usually, with this cure it won’t be, but if it is, just soak it in water for a couple of hours.
Then let it sit in the fridge for 4 days uncovered.
Then cold smoke it for 10-12 hours.
Then back in the fridge for 4 more days uncovered.
Then into the freezer for a couple of hours & then slice it.