First time Bacon

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by h2so4ca, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. h2so4ca

    h2so4ca Meat Mopper

    So this is my first time making bacon. I picked up two 10 lb skinless pork bellies from Restaurant Depot.

    They have been sitting in Pops Brine for the last week and will do one more week before I get ready to smoke them over hickory pellets 

    for 12 to 24 hours.

    My plan is to do these in my WSM by removing the water pan and just putting my AMPS in the bottom where I would normally put charcoal. I can fit a whole belly on each of the two racks. I did a test smoke yesterday and with just the AMPS smoking I could keep the 

    temp in my WSM at 75 deg over night. During the day due to ambient temps it got up to 105 deg's . I have read that I can do a 12 hour smoke and then remove the bellies for a time to the refrigerator and then do a second 12 hour smoke. 

    Does anyone see any problem with this plan? I have a week left of it sitting in the brine so I have time to make changes.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Should work.... Make sure you bring the belly temps up to ambient before putting back in the smoker..... Condensate will form on the cold meat... you want the meat dry when smoking....

    Have you got room for a pop bottle, full of frozen water, in your smoker along with the meat.....
  3. h2so4ca

    h2so4ca Meat Mopper

    I should have plenty of room to put something full of ice in there. What temp would you recommend that I keep the smoker at? 
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    70 deg. or so..... smoke for 6-12 hours..... pull and refer for a day or so..... partially freeze and slice.... use that taste test as a guide for your next bacon....

    I have smoked bacon for 36 hours over 6 days..... 6 hours/day.... Bride didn't like it... now I'm down to 4 hours cold smoke and she thinks it's perfect..... Too much smoke can be a bad flavor... I started with Pitmasters Choice.... it's very mild and almost sweet.... now I'm using hickory pellets.... BTW I use the AMNPS and mailbox mod for cold and hot smoking...

    Here is an interesting explanation of cold smoking from "Old World" folks....
  5. h2so4ca

    h2so4ca Meat Mopper

    Thank you for the information. I am going to do a test smoke tonight and fill what would normally be my water pan in the WSM with ice. I'll see if the combination of night and a large pan (it will hold 3 gallons of water) of ice will allow me to be at that temp.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ]Have you got room for a pop bottle, full of frozen water, in your smoker along with the meat.....[/I

    I wouldn't use ice..... use ice in a sealed container.... the ice will add moisture to the air and dissolve the pellicle....
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  7. h2so4ca

    h2so4ca Meat Mopper

    I can do that, I have some large metal containers that seal that I can put the ice into. 

    The test smoke I did for temp last night was right at 70 deg all the way through. So I think that will be alright.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thumbs Up
  9. h2so4ca

    h2so4ca Meat Mopper

    One of the 10 lb bellies, the other one is on the rack below. 

    The WSM is smoking along at 66 deg's with the AMPS in the bottom

    full of hickory pellets. 
  10. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Your gonna love that bacon.
  11. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I've yet to do a Belly , it is a 'save money for the purchase' item.  Sure hope things don't get much higher or I'll be learning to Smoke Worms  and the little critters in the "Hood".[​IMG]

    Have fun and . . .
  12. h2so4ca

    h2so4ca Meat Mopper

    One of the trimmed ends. 

    This was smoked for 16 hours over hickory. 

    I fried up some of the trimmings to give it a try. It taste very good but I think for the next batch I will do a little longer in the smoke.

    The flavor seems to be a mix of bacon and ham. Of course it hasn't sat for any time after the smoking so that may change a bit. 

    I also think that it needs a bit more salt in the flavor profile. I used Pop's brine and for a first attempt I think it is a great start. 

    In the next batch I think I want to lower the sugar content of the brine by 1/4 of a cup per gallon and increase the salt by the same amount. Then I think I will increase the smoking time to 20 to 24 hours. 

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