CB and Belly Bacon

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by dirtyduc83, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. dirtyduc83

    dirtyduc83 Fire Starter

    Hello All,

    I've had 3 different pieces of belly curing in different cure/brine recipes and also did some CB from a chunk of leg that was cut up.  It was cheap and thought it would be good to use to try out some CB.  Loin was 5.99 at my local QFC!

    All were cured for 10 - 12 days.  The CB dried in the fridge for 48 hrs, the bellies for 60 hrs.  My first bacon try turned out acrid and I feared it was due to not letting a pellicle form well enough, along with too much white smoke.  

    Pops Brine

    Bear's dry cure (also used for the CB)

    Some other cure recipe using Cure #1

    I didn't take any shots of the CB while it was smoking as I did it last night and it was too dark.  I smoked at 200 for about 4 hours to hit 145 IT.  The CB turned out awesome!  Way better than anything I've ever purchased at the store.  Here's a shot of it after I sliced it up. 

    The bacon is currently cold smoking at about 70 with some occasional spikes up to 80 when the MES is trying to maintain temp.  I'm using a mix of Bear Mountain Maple pellets and  Todd's hickory.  This seems to give me a nice smoke and maintains TBS well.  I have had a lot of trouble cold smoking and getting too much white smoke.  I did the MB mod and added an elbow to the exhaust on the gen 2. Seems to be maintaining a good draft and I can easily see through the smoker window.  I may move to warm smoking Bear's and compare that to the only cold smoked pieces.  If I do that, i'll pull the cold smoked at 4 hours, bring up temp on the Bear version for 4 hours then later return to cold smoking the other pieces for 4 hours.  Total of 8 hrs smoke time for all pieces.  

    Here's my setup.

    I'm colorblind...but this is looking like TBS to me?

    Will update later!
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great Start, DD !![​IMG]

    Be Back Later!!

  3. dirtyduc83

    dirtyduc83 Fire Starter

    All three bacons done. Top is Pops brine at 6hrs smoke under 80 degrees smoker temp. The peppered is 8 hrs with last two hours at 100 degrees smoker temp. Bottom left is Bear style at 10 hrs with the last two hours at 130 degrees smoker temp. No fat rendered from what I can tell.

    The color on the 10 hr smoke is great. The 6hr belly actually has a sharper smoke aroma than the other two. The addition of heat seems to mellow the sharper smoke.

    Tomorrow I will firm it up in the freezer and slice.

  4. dirtyduc83

    dirtyduc83 Fire Starter

    Some sliced shots! Slicing by hand was not the easiest but the slices are decently even.

    Still have half to slice but decided to let a couple chunks age a bit in the fridge.

    bearcarver likes this.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks Great !!![​IMG]

    Nice job slicing by hand too!!![​IMG]

    Beautiful Bacon!!---------------[​IMG]

  6. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  7. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks like a great variety of bacons!
  8. dirtyduc83

    dirtyduc83 Fire Starter

    Thanks guys. This batch turned out great compared to my first attempt. I also determined that I prefer the firmer texture of the dry cured bacon. The cure #1 bacon and the Bear style are my favorite. 10 - 12 hrs of smoke seems just right for my taste. I might be a bacon smoking addict! I'm planning on doing some experimenting next time with some added flavors.

    I plan to do some more canadian bacon. I'm amazed at how much better and cheaper homemade bacon is! I estimate my cost to be about $3.50 a lb vs $6.99 a lb for decent bacon at the grpcery store.
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---You're hooked!![​IMG]

    No Hog is safe in the Great NorthWest !![​IMG]

    10 to 12 hours is my amount of smoke too!![​IMG]

    No way could I slice Bacon that nice by hand though!![​IMG]

  10. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    Very well done.
  11. dirtyduc83

    dirtyduc83 Fire Starter

    Decided today that I would use the trimmings from slicing and make some bacon jam with it. I didn't want to use up more of the good stuff on this bacon jam. So I bought a pack of bacon at the store to supplement as I only had about 3/4 lb of trimmings and the recipe called for 1.5 lbs of bacon. What a difference between the two! Even raw my bacon smelled smoky and delicious. The store bought stuff...not so much.

    Fried up the bacon tonight in preparation of making the jam tomorrow. My bacon has a great distinct smokiness while the store bought stuff had little to no smoke flavor. I'm still impressed at how much better homemade is and I'm still an amateur bacon maker. Excited to make the bacon jam tomorrow. Planning to add some bourbon to the recipe.

    Anyone else made bacon jam? I'm thinking it will be amazing on a burger with smoked blue cheese.

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