First time making bacon... help!

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by travisty, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Hi i am making bacon for the first time, and following the recipe from Charcuterie, with a few modifications as suggested in one of the forums. The porblem is that i have had the bacon in the dry rub for 7.5 days now and it still hasnt "firmed up" like the book and others have suggested it should. I will say that i intend to go with a brine next time, like many have suggested to me in the forum. But i think that i must not have gotten enough of the dry rub on/into the meat in the bag.
    So should i wait a few more days, should i just smoke it now, or should i open it up and add more salt to the package and re-seal it for a couple days??? or should i just throw it out and statrt over?
  2. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    you are probably best off to 1st post the weight of your bacon and what you used for the dry brine, measurements of cure etc.....
    that way the EXPERTS on this site will have something to work with and can give you the info your looking for..

    DONT THROW ANYTHING OUT !!!!!!    YET  :0)

  3. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Yes, sorry my bad, im new to this! Anyway I have 5lds of pork belly skin off, and it is the exact recipe from Charcuterie, which is a dry rub of kosher salt, dark brown sugar, cure#1, pluss i added a Sezegged rib rub in there as well. Today is day 7 and it still doesnt feel much firmer than day 1, additionally there isnt much liquid sloshing around in the bag, probably a half a cup (it started completely dry) and most of the liquid came on the 2nd or 3rd day.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  4. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    how about the exact measurements... the Pros are gonna want to make sure there is enough cure for the proper weight of belly.

    myself i do a dry rub cure for bacon and there isnt a whole lot of fluid that comes out. this belly is not going to be rock hard or totally dehydrated. i flip the bacon daily, and let it brine for 10 days to 2 weeks. as long as there is proper amount of cure and the fridge is at a proper temp it can stay for a long time.


    dont panic ... someone will be around. BUT do as i have mentioned, measurements of ingredients, tble spoons, t spoons, grams, ounces, whatever the actual brine is that you made and used.

    another thing you will be reminded of is always keep track of your process for future. the recipes, how long it brines, temps when smoking, outside temp... blah blah blah.

    keep a smoking bible going as your own reference for your own smoker.

    hope this is helping....also read as much as you can on the site, it has a great search engine. and dont be shy about sending a PM to any of the GURU'S on here. this is a wonderful, helpful brotherhood you are signing up for  :0)

  5. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    c'mon... somebody help this fella ...
  6. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Alright everyone, it turned out nice and firm on the 8th day, so i went ahead and smoked it up at 220 for 2.5 hrs. I have pics, so ill post some a later today.

    Sorry for all of the bad info before, i do most of this in the spare time i have at work, so the recipes and stuff are all at home, and by the time i get home from work i just feel like vegging out instead of looking up the recipe to pots.
    Again it was the recipe from "Charcuterie" which was somewhere about 1/4 C. Kosher salt, the same in brown sugar, and 1 tsp of Cure#1, also i cut down the recipes amount of maple syrup, cause i dont love maple flavor, to just 1tsp, in addition i added 2 Tbls of "Sezegged Rib Rub" (i was working with 5Lbs pork belly)
    Rubbed that all on, put them into vacuum seal bags (on the recommendation of a friend) then sealed them up (i didnt suck out all of the air, just got it down to what i may have been able to get out aof a freezer bag, perhaps a bit more)
    Then into the Fridge for 8 days turning and massaging every day, then i pulled it out, rinsed it well, put it on a rack over a pan, and into the fridge for about 20 hours to develop a nice pelicle.
    Then i pulled them out and threw them into the smoker, i have a Big Chief, but i have built an insulated box around it out of styrofoam r-tec board so on a cold day (i live in AK) i can get it to maintain about a 200-220 degree temp. I smoked the bacon (half hickory, half jack daniels white oak chips) for about 2 and a half hours and it got to an internal temp at the thickest point of about 155 degrees.

    Pulled it out and sliced a few pieces off, and it was just to die for!!! i havent died or gotten sick, so im assuming i did everything right. Its now in the refrigerator well wrapped in plastic, and ill pull it out tonight and slice it with a meat slicer. ill seal and freeze some, and eat the rest!!!

    Again, ill post some pics here tonight or tomorrow!
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
  7. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    i have made bacon a few times and that is pretty hot. for smoking sausage and bacon ya dont want to go over 170 as you will render the fat.


    you will be overwhelmed by the info that is on this site.

    lets see some pics

  8. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So you cooked your bacon in the smoker? I guess that would be all right, as long as that's what you were going for. Most people here either cold smoke over several days, or warm smoke (120°-130°) for 12 hours or more. Looks like you got the proper amount of cure #1 for that size belly. That's half the battle for newbies right there.
  9. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Ya i was just following the instructions from the Charcuterie book i have, and have seen some recipes on here that say to hot smoke it at 200-220 for 2 hours. Basically most of the resources i had used said that was the best way to mitigate any disease risk, and the 2 charcuterie books i have (one being the main popular one by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. and the other called "charcuterie made simple") highly suggested cooking it up to 150 internal temp before slicing to make sure it is safe to eat when stored for a while.

    Anyway i will try some other methods in the future, and i am glad to have this site now and all of the helpful input, even though it is sometimes information overload.
  10. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you have the correct ammount of cure #1 (amount per lb of meat) and cured it for the correct amount of time (time based on thickness of meat) the internal temperature shouldn't matter. The cure inhibits the the growth of bacteria.

    I highly suggest this book: Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas

    It is the bible around here. It will shed some light on what is safe and how to cure these things.

    I am making 30lbs this weekend and it has been curing for 2 weeks. I will cold smoke for 12-16 hours (100* F max). It should be safe because the meat is properly cured.

    Some people do "cook" thier bacon in the smoker but never seen a hot smoke as you describe, it would definatly render the fat out at those temps.
  11. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Ok, sounds good. i will give these cold smoking recipes a try. i think my main issue is that i dont have very much heat control with my modified big chief, so i am limited to what will work there. obviously my next step is to get a better smoker, but my wife finally gave in and bought me this one (wish shed of bought me the cheapst masterbuilt instead) so i dont think i can push it to upgrade just yet. think ill need to give this thing a good year or something before i can convincer her to let me spend that money.
    Ill also look that book up and grab a copy!
  12. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    This is my modified Big Chief with the insulated box i built out of R-tec board and some wood corner trim!

    Fresh out of the smoker!

    All the yummy ends and pieces, ill save these guys for my famous Bacon Chilli

    All sealed up!
  13. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    its all a learning process here but its all alot of fun ... the best thing about smoking meats and sausage making is  YOU CAN EAT YOUR MISTAKES ...   HA HA HA



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