Cold Smoked Belly Bacon...With Q-View

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by gotarace, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. I picked up a skinless belly from my local butcher a few weeks ago for $2.24 a lb. and started my bacon adventure. The belly weighed in at just under 10 lbs and after a trim it weighed just over 9.3 lbs. I cut the belly in three pieces and used tenderquick and brown sugar for my dry cure.[​IMG]

    Here is the belly cut into three pieces. I weighed each piece and then weighed the correct amount of Tenderquick for each piece. I apply the Tenderquick first so i can see it is applied evenly and then i apply the brown sugar at a rate of about a tablespoon a pound. These pieces are then put into separate zip-lock bags with any Tenderquick or brown sugar that fell off during bagging and applying the dry ingredients. The bags of bellies were put in the frig and flipped and massaged once a day for 7 days. These bellies were just under 2 inches thick at the thickest part and i was taught that you cure with Tenderquick at a rate of 1 day per half inch of thickness plus 2 days for safety sake. I added a extra day because my schedule didn't allow me to be home after six days. After a 7 day ride my bacon was removed from the bags...washed off...then soaked for a hour in ice cold water. Then i cut a few pieces from the bellies and did a fry test.[​IMG]

    I'm glad i did the fry test because my wife and i both agreed the bacon was a bit salty for our taste. Back in fresh ice water for another 45 minutes...another fry test ...perfect. The bellies were then dried off...put on bakers racks and off to the frig overnight to form a good pellicle. This bacon was then true cold smoked in my MES 30 for 24 hours using hickory dust in my AMNPS. The smoker never got below 39 degrees and went to a high of 46 degrees. Cold smoking doesn't bring the deep color that smoking bacon with a bit of heat does but i can tell you the excellent smoke flavor sure is there. After the 24 hour cold smoke the bacon was wrapped and sent to the fridge for a 24 hour rest. I believe this is a important step as it lets the smoke meld with your bacon like we do with smoked cheese. It's time for the bacon to hit the slicer...


    The bacon was put in the freezer for 2 hours before hitting the slicer and this really helps with making the bellies easier to slice.


    And the slicing sure was a nice meaty belly. I already have a call in to the butcher for my next 2 bellies and the good news is they went down 15 cents a pound.


    Start of the 9 pounds of smoked bacon...this stuff is awesome. I packaged it up with the new vacuum sealer my wife got me for Christmas and maybe it will last a few weeks around the house. I have my doubts though as my brother showed up at breakfast Saturday and made his way out of the door with 2 lbs.[​IMG]

    Here it is all bagged up and ready for the freezer...note the 2 bags of ends and pieces on the top and top right. These are a awesome addition to Dutch's Wicked Baked Beans...potato soup...bean soup...etc. etc. etc. Thanks for sharing my bacon makin is time consuming but  well worth the effort!!!

  2. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That looks excellent, I need to find a lace to get belies here.
  3. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks great!! Will be cold smoking a belly on Sunday
    . Come out of the brine saterday. Cant wait to try some
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great job on the bacon. I just did a batch a few weeks back and I have been eating the crap out of it lately.
  5. gersus

    gersus Smoking Fanatic

    That's some good lookin' belly. Nice and meaty. 
  6. Thanks Rd...we a blessed with some fine butcher shops in the area. It sure is nice to get quality meat.

    Thanks jrod...hope your smoke turns out great. Homemade belly bacon is awesome.

    Thank you Ross...i know what your saying...i should have made he wife a few bacon roses for Valentines

    Thanks Gersus...that's the reason i ordered 2 more. Hope they look just like this one.
  7. scrappynadds

    scrappynadds Smoking Fanatic

    [​IMG]Really good looking bacon
  8. Everything looks GREAT from where I'm sitting. By the way, the color looks good, too. I'd say your project was a complete success!!!
  9. Inspiring!  Got me going on a batch today - thanks for posting...looks great!

  10. Isn't success sweet? That's some really good looking bacon! Nice job.

  11. Thanks's fun to share q-views with the smoking brotherhood!!

    Thank you for the positive feedback Luv2Q. Heat helps with the rich deep color but the flavor is all there with a cold smoke.

    Thanks John...Hope your bacon turns out awesome. I'll be looking for the q-view!!

    Smokin..Thank you. It is nice to share and enjoy our smoking projects. I need to get more curing!!
  12. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Guest

    Looks great.
  13. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Very nice bacon..
  14. Thanks Brian...sure is a leg up on store bought bacon..excellent smokey flavor.

    Roller thank you for the encouraging words..
  15. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    Awesome! bet you don't buy it at the store anymore.
  16. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The bacon looks great, nice job!!
  17. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great Looking Bacon!

  18. Teeznuts...It sure is nice getting quality smokey bacon for half price doing it yourself. I don't know where the meaty bellies like these go but you never see this kind of bacon in a store.

    Thank you Al...just finished a BLT for lunch. I swear bacon gets better with time.

    Thanks Todd...I'm a real fan of the AMNPS filled with hickory dust. Hope you never stop grinding that Dust!!!!
  19. Awesome thanks got some coming out of cure today found this very helpful .....i hope mine looks that good thanks for the post

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