My First Bacon Cure/Smoke

Bought 3.5 lbs. frozen pork belly at B&W Meat Market. Thawed and cut into about 4″x6″ chunks.

2/14/2016 – Prep’ed 2 quarts of Pops6927 Regular Curing Brine from Full recipe is below. Used 1/2 of all ingredients.

1 gallon of clean water
1 cup plain, regular non-iodized table salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon of Cure#1

Put meat and brine in deep SS mixing bowl, weighted meat down into brine with 1 gal. ziplock bag filled with water. Covered with plastic and into refer for 14 days per Pops.

2/26/2016 – After 12 days of cure soaked the chunks for 30 minutes in filtered water. While they soaked lit the Amazen tube with hickory in the Weber Kettle.

7:40 PM – Put the meat chunks and scrapes on a grid and placed the lid on the kettle. Sprinkled one of the chunks with course ground black pepper. Ambient temp was 54 and kettle internal was at 72.

8:15 – Ambient is 54 and kettle is 76. Thermometer is 50.20160227 first bacon

1:30 AM – 2/27/2016 No smoke coming from the kettle.

5:00 AM – Removed from smoker to refrig. Small areas on the scraps were burned from the Amazen. Ambient Temp is 41.

7:00 – After one chunk chilled in the freezer sliced five slices and fried. Strong smoke smell in the kitchen. Did not taste like bacon from the store and did not make as much bacon grease as that from the store. Edges burned easily likely from the sugar. Should have soaked longer as fairly salty.

Immediately after the slices I fried some of the trimmings and with them being thin they had a lot of hickory smoke taste and smell. Less salty as being thinner the more salt leached out during the short clean-water soak. Still not much bacon fat and the edges did burn easier that would have expected due to the sugar.

12 noon – As they are too smokey, salty and sugary soaked them in ice water for 30 minutes.

Next time…

See discussion about soaking to provide more even salt distribution inside of the meat. Scroll halfway down the long page.

Greatly reduced the sugar.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email