first time belly smoke

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by jimalbert, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. jimalbert

    jimalbert Meat Mopper

    no, i dont have a wegmans close, but the next time i get to allentown ill make sure to stop at wegmans and pick up like 10 packs!Q!!!!!!!!  :)
  2. jimalbert

    jimalbert Meat Mopper

    Thanks very much bearcarver BTW

  3. sound1

    sound1 Smoking Fanatic

    Another sparky..that explains the fanatic thing.  You can't go wrong with Bear's CB recipe, it tastes great. I have one curing now but trying the maple sugar changeover for it...Syrup is ridiculously expensive around here and it worked great on a batch of BBB.

    While visiting one of my kids stationed in Ft. Knox, I met an old guy that gave us some of his shine made from his great grandpas still and wife has chosen my next build,[​IMG]  the still
  4. jimalbert

    jimalbert Meat Mopper

    Yes... Its all addicting.  Still's are quite easy to do.  I have some really good plans if your interested in them.  Except for the 3" copper its not too bad.  There are alot of links I have to sites where you can buy a evap tower that screws onto a beer keg also.  Many people love them.  I dont make shine for straight purposes (except for the occasional out of control party) but we have an old "coalcracker" drink here in the area called boilo and it is lemons, oranges, cinnamon, caraway, alot of other spices, and the only true way to make it is with shine.  So you either gotta fork out the big bucks for it or make your own. 
  5. sound1

    sound1 Smoking Fanatic

    The 3" copper is a big $$ hit...this guy's is a pot still, solid copper and HUGE. he double/triple runs for what he wants. Bet the thing would get $20k ++ in scrap copper prices alone...

    I'm looking at building a reflux model, probably 3" x 4-5 feet, stuffed with copper "pot scrubbers" ...have not decided on what I want to go with for heat..but thats a discussion for another thread/forum...LOL
  6. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Making and operating a still is illegal .That being said here is a great link to make a distillation apparatus for water purification [​IMG].
  7. oldthymer

    oldthymer Newbie

    It is legal in many states provided it is for personal use and not for sale. I believe it is illegal at the federal level but that really doesn't matter unless you are selling it.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  8. smokinal

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

    How did this thread get from bacon to moonshine, [​IMG], although even the sausage maker,  sells a book on how to make moonshine.
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    Lets get back on Bacon.

    I don't know where you would start a moonshine thread but I would guess the homebrew area would possibly be a better place.  That way people with more experience making alcohol and the legalities of it can participate.


  10. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    That a very good book you recommended AL.It has a detailed list to make a copper pot still.It also has recipes to make different liquors.
  11. Why does everyone use TQ, isn't it just Cure 1 added to plain salt. The pink color helps when mixing with salt. The amount of cure will change with the method of use. Mixing into ground meat will use the least, rubbing on the meat will use more, and making a brine will use much more.

    For bacon I always use the recipe in "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing"

    Just last night I rubbed a belly with 1 cup salt mixed with 4 tbs pink salt. Then covered with 2 cups raw honey. In the fridge for 4 or 5 days, then smoke at 140 degrees to IT of 128 degrees.

    I have found that scraping with a sharp knife after rinsing, really lowers the salt taste.

    I plan on posting some pics this weekend.

    Again, I highly recommend "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing". It is in most libraries, so there is no need to buy it, but you will want your own copy.

    MMMMM bacon!
  12. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  13. tjohnson

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

    Not "Everyone" uses TQ

    My first few batches of bacon were cured with Morton's TQ,  It worked well, but I wanted to control the amount of salt, so I now use a recipe that uses Cure #1.

    No, TQ is not just Cure #1 added to salt.  It's nitrites and a very small amount of nitrates added to salt, using a method to evenly distribute the nitrites and nitrates throughout.

    Cure #1 is Nitrites that have been added to salt and a red food coloring is added to distinguish it from regular salt.

    Cure #1 and Morton's TQ are not interchangeable at the same quantities in a recipe.

  14. [​IMG][​IMG]I seem to be misunderstood as checking all your links and advise, TQ is cure with extra salt and sugar. It might technically be closer to Cure #2, but nitrates are for extended drying times and not necessary for bacon. Quote: "Unlike cure #1, you don't use any additional salt when making sausage." Maybe because it has extra salt added?


    My question is why you would go out of your way to get TQ, when you already have Cure #1. It reminds me of buying premixed antifreeze, marginally more convenient but much more expensive.

    TJ, please be careful about decreasing the salt in your cures.The salt creates osmotic pressure that pulls the cure into the meat and draws the moisture out. Sugars add to this effect.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  15. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    I am a big proponent of using simple cures and an advocate of using Cure1 especially when you intend to bring the meat to frying temperatures.   

    I can't give you numbers, without some research, as to the amount of salt required to create sufficient osmotic pressure to move the cure into the product.  I don't think any of us are starting with pure Sodium nitrite and making our own cure mixes.  We start with Cure 1, a cure mix, 1 part sodium nitrite and 15 parts salt.  The Cure1 mix used alone in the proper amounts is sufficient to make safe, good tasting bacon.  Any additional salt we add to the cure mix is strictly for flavoring and if dry curing to assist in drying the belly.  Like you said, Sugar will also help pull moisture from bacon and I have found that the reduced humidity of the family refrigerator also goes a long way to drying the green bacon.

    Many members use TQ because they have success with it.  Their recipes call for TQ and why mess with a good recipe?  When trying to make a lower salt bacon most of use will use Cure 1 and control the amount of additional salt we add.. 
  16. jimalbert

    jimalbert Meat Mopper

    I also would like to continue using the #1 I have readily available.  I will however try to get some Morton's tenderquick because bearcarver has a lot of good recipes all using tq.  I used his bacon recipe for the cure except I substituted cure #1 for the tenderquick (not interchangeably), but used the directions on the cure for proper amounts.  The only thing that I wonder about is the time used to cure, because he cured his for 9 days with tenderquick, so should I be curing for 9 days with cure #1?  I am not in a rush to smoke this, I actually was planning on smoking on Friday which would be more than 9 days, but I have off that day, so i could more easily tend the smoker.  I am just concerned that it will be too salty with 9 days of #1 on it.  My butcher said he only cures his bacon like 3 days, then off to the cold smoker.  What is everyone's thought's?


  17. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Cure 1 does everything it is going to do in 3 days at normal refrigerator temps.  I would say 4 days is better.  Always allow at least 3 days from the application of the cure.  I make 3 applications of cure (when I do dry cure)on 3 day intervals.    The extra time after the min 3 days is for flavor equalization.   The longer you wet brine the more salt you can pickup if you extend the cure time.  People that dry cure limit the amount of salt they apply and do not have that problem

    When I am trying to dry out my bacon I will leave it in the fridge, lightly wrapped in saran on a cooling rack to draw moisture for up to 10 days after the final cure application. If you apply sugar and spices the "rest" time allows the spices to be absorbed by the bacon.
  18. jimalbert

    jimalbert Meat Mopper

    Thanks for all of the info alblancher.  I cured it last Sunday night .... so.... 11/27.  Followed the directions on the cure for amount, and then used 2 tablespoons of brown sugar for each 3 pound piece.  When I do my Canadian bacon, I think I will do the same thing.  Follow the cure amount on the package and then just use some brown sugar.

    Thanks Again,

  19. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Glad to have you with us and hope see lots of Qview of your bacon projects
  20. jimalbert

    jimalbert Meat Mopper

    Thanks.  I appreciate it.  Well here goes.  I dry cured my pork belly with #1 and brown sugar for 7 days.  Removed from the bags that were in the fridge, soaked in ice water for 1/2 hour.  Cut a few test slices, and fried them up.  Virtually no salt at all.  I actually would have liked it a bit saltier.  Threw some garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper on them, and let them rest on the smoker racks in the fridge over night.  Next day set my Masterbuilt Electric 30" (I would assume that is what MES 30 means when people refer to it on this site) for 110*.  I maintained a temp of 114 for about 12 hours, unfortunately, I had a hard time keeping the wood smoking at that temp so I think I need to invest in one of the smoker trays that Todd has.  I smoked with Hickory and Mesquite.  It did have a good smokey flavor, but I wish I would have lit the smoker hot for an hour or so and then dropped the temp back down to 110 when the wood was good and hot.  Anyhow, It does taste very good and I think it was my first successful dry bacon cure/smoke.  I will post a few pics for you.

    After 7 days of cure:


    Going into the smoker:


    Out of the smoker 1:


    Another View when it came out of the smoker:


    I will take some pics when I slice and get them up.  Let me know your thoughts.  And once again, thanks for all of the help guys.


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