First Bacon Attempt Advice

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by acd4476, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. acd4476

    acd4476 Fire Starter

    So I'm going to try my first attempt at brining a pork belly to make some bacon this Friday. Before I make the leap I'd like some advice/preferences.  I plan to use pops brine as I just got my prague powder and his brine method seems the most fool proof.  

    1.) Do you use the full strength (1c of salt/sugars) or lo-salt (1/2c of salt/sugars)?  

    2.)  What are the best spices other additives to make this bacon the best?

    3.)  Do you heat your brine to make sure everything is dissolved or mix everything using cold water?  I know if I heat I should let it cool, likely overnight in the fridge, as to not start cooking the meat.

    4.)  I plan to let it go 14 days.  Do you rinse your belly or straight to the smoker?

    5.)  Hot or cold smoke?  If hot, what temp?  I know to take it to 146.  

    Thanks everyone!
  2. fullsmoke

    fullsmoke Meat Mopper

    You need to soak it in fresh water for 2 hours to pull some salt out of it at least that's what I do I smoke mine for one hour no smoke at 140 then start smoke and temp at 200 until IT is 150 . I use a dry cure for 10 days on Bellys and I do Canadian bacon for 5 days
  3. smokinal

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

    I used to brine my bacon, but switched to the dry cure method. I think the bacon comes out much better.

    Here is a thread I did not long ago. It's really not that hard to do.

    If you use this cure calculator & have a good scale it's really simple.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I use Pops Brine at 1/2C Morton Kosher (1/4C Fine table or Sea salt)/Gallon and 1C Brown Sugar...No Soak needed as the Salt/Sweet is perfect for my crew. I do Rinse. I too am a 10-12 hour Cold (Ambient) Smoke guy. An option, heat a Qt of water to dissolve the Salt/Sugar and draw flavor out of the spices. Go simple as Al suggested. Add 3QT COLD water then the 1T of Cure at the end. Add the Belly and Refer for 2 weeks. Dry the Cured Belly in front of a Fan for an hour or so, to form a Pellicle and Smoke. There is No Need to get Cured Belly Bacon to any IT, unless you like to eat it right out of the Refer with no further cooking...JJ 
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  5. bena

    bena Meat Mopper

    All the suggestions are by experienced /knowledgeable members.  There is a section on bacon that you can review under cold smoking/ that I would encourage you to spend some time researching.   From that research you will have the directions to make a great slab of bacon.    You will just have to decide on which method you want to try first since you will most likely want to make more immediately! ;-).

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