First bacon, and a few questions...

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by ellymae, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Howdy folks. I have been smoking for about 10 years and have wanting to try bacon since I went to a local BBQ joint and tried theirs and it was... heaven.

    I got a pre-cured piece of belly, gave it a light dose of my basic pork rub and threw it on the BGE for a hot smoke of about 4 hours. It's been in the fridge since last night and I will slice and cook some up this morning.

    I also got a 14 pound pork belly that I cut into 6 sections. I froze 5 pieces and am dry curing 1 piece. It is about 2.5 pounds and I went with a cure of equal parts kosher salt and light brown sugar. It has been resting in the fridge since yesterday afternoon. I wanted to add TenderQuick but could not find it in my local grocery - apparently curing meat is not popular in southeastern PA.

    Now comes the questions...
    Is it necessary to use the Tenderquick or will this bacon turn out without it?
    I have read some folks hot smoke and others cold smoke - which do you prefer and why?
    What is your favorite dry cure recipe?

    Thanks for your responses.
  2. sixpack

    sixpack Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    I would not cold smoke without the cure you'll be in the danger zone to long.
  3. azrocker

    azrocker Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

  4. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi L-M!

    I prefer cold smoking bacon at temperature under 100 degrees. (both canadian bacon and slab) Like the other does have to be cured though.

    The smoke flavors the bacon...doesn't cook it, so you have more options on how you want to use it later.
  5. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the replies folks - I will order up some TenderQuick - called my local butcher and they don't carry it. I will hot smoke the slab I have dry curing now andd we will see how that turns out.

    Sliced up some of the pre-cured bacon I smoked yesterday and it was pretty tasty.

    Hey there cowgirl - you are a goddess here!
  6. irishteabear

    irishteabear Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can get TQ at Wegmans. That's where I buy mine.
  7. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not a goddess L-M.... I just talk too much here. [​IMG][​IMG]
  8. azrocker

    azrocker Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I also found it on E-Bay ended up with cupboard full.
  9. ol' smokey

    ol' smokey Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Mortons TQ works well I personally use Mortons Sugar Cure. Also, using whats called pink salt, insta-cure #1, you can make your own cure using this recipe from the book "Charcuterie". In addition you could also add flavors like maple, honey or brown sugar to this. You can get the insta-cure #1 at

    1 Lb. Kosher salt
    8 oz. sugar
    2 oz. insta-cure #1
    Use at a rate of 2 oz. per 5 lb. of meat.

    Good luck

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