1st Attempt at Smoked Bacon

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by slimjimuk, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Very lucky to have a starter kit kindly sent from Wade, with a very easy step-by-step guide on Makin' Bacon' .....

    So, here we go!

    Took EXACTLY 1kg of belly, nipples and all!

    Mixed a bag of the special salting powder with half a bag of the Lemon & Black pepper flavoring and rubbed it all in.

    Dropped it into some vacuum bag roll and sealed it up. (Making sure ALL the curing mix went in with it)

    So... here it is, day one.

    Just need to work out what exactly I am going to cold smoke it with... and how long I need to do it for.
    Instructions say 48 hour smoke and a 48 hour rest.
    Right now there is no way I have enough dust chips to smoke it for 48 hours, so I need to do some research on what I will need and resource it. Guessing dry chips/wood will be better than dust.

    Also need to get hold of a slicer for when it is done. Although, saying that, im getting pretty pally with my butcher. So I MIGHT be able to pursuade them to slice it for me ;)

    Good news is, I have ten days to sort it out, as it takes that long, turnign it everyday, to cure!

    Exciting times. [​IMG]
  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A great start - keep us posted.

    You do not have to smoke for 48 hours straight - you can break that down into smaller time slots, placing it back in the fridge in between. I smoke for 48 hours however it is personal preference and you may find you like it less or more smoked. 48 hours is a good starting point though for your first .

    You can hang it in your new smoker. Do you have a cold smoke generator - ProQ ot AMNPS?
  3. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great start with the Bacon.

    Wade has you covered on this.

    Time of the smoke is personal choice, depends on how strong/flavour you like.
  4. Yup, I have a ProQ. Only seemed to last about 8-ish hours.
    I thought that the 48 hours needed to be a "solid" but I will be abe to do it in stints now, putting it in the fridge when I am not smoking.

    (Saying that, it is cold enough round here at the moment to leave it outside!)

    I LOVE strong smoked bacon. So maybe 48 hours won't be enough? [​IMG]
    Guessing I could try some as I go to see how the flavour is coming along...

    My main issue will be having enough chips/dust to smoke for that long.
    I have some of the Q dust, which I bought here. But not exactly cheap for a 48 hour smoke!

    Where do people reccomend buying "dust" from which may be more economical and taste good?
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That does look quite expensive however I could not see how much you were getting for your money. You might want to give James (Smokewood) a call as he sells a lot of dust for smoking and I think he gives discount to SMF members - http://www.smokewoodshack.com/#!smoking-dust-store/c1xnx
  6. Exactly what I was after, thank you my good man.

    Any specific type of dust you reccomend for your lemon/black papper rub?
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use hickory on mine but Oak works well too.
  8. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Hiya SlimJim,

    Wade has got you well covered in the bacon department,  he kindly walked me through the process of making bacon what seems an age ago. but was only last year.  Since then I have gone onto making  about 20 or so. Wade & Smoking Monkey are definitely right when they say that once you have made your own bacon you will never go back to shop bought again.

     I have experimented with different woods and I personally prefer using a 50/50 mix of Apple & Hickory. Wade has kindly sent you the link to our website and we give all SMF members a 15% discount, which I will pm you the details.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  9. Just placed and order with Mr. Smokewood himself. Thanks gents.

    Checking some info on the quring process. I was going to turn once a day for 10 days but @smokewood mentioned he cures for longer. 2 weeks....

    Should I up my time by 4 days?
  10. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Hiya James, tis me again.... I found my original post here http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/235995/first-attempt-at-bacon with my first attempt at bacon.  

    What is more interesting is the additions to the post that Wade has added including some great photo's which should answer your question, but basically It all depends on the thickness of the meat being cured.
  11. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When dry curing, although it is possible to under cure timewise it is not really possible to over cure - within reason. I usually cure loin pork as back bacon (which is thick) and within 10 days the cure has fully penetrated. With belly pork the process will usually take even less time. You will be more than OK with 10 days - though I sometimes leave it 12 or even 14 days if I am busy.

    You will definitely see if it under cured when you cut it as you will see a definite ring of different coloured meat at the centre. 
  12. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jim, better to go longer, as Wade has pointed out, can't over cure, but you sure can under cure. When you find out that it's under cured it's too late!
  13. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just to clarify a little,,, 10 days will be more than sufficient for belly pork - It will actually be ready in 7 or 8 days. 10 days is also fine for most sizes of pork loin (back bacon) however 14 days is fine too. From experience, if you vac pack the meat while it is being cured it requires less time than if it is cured in a zip-loc bag.

    What you are trying to achieve during this initial curing time is to get as much of the cure as possible taken up by the outer surfaces of the meat - so that it will diffuse in towards the centre.  When you first put the pork and cure into the bag you immediately start to get a concentration gradient forming throughout the meat - high concentration at the surface and low concentration towards the middle. As the time progresses the concentration of the cure starts to equilibrate throughout the volume of the meat, and even after you remove the bacon from the cure this equilibration process does not stop (unless the meat is either cut, or frozen). This is why it is important to turn the meat regularly as it is curing to ensure that the cure/brine remains in as close contact with all of the meat surfaces as possible.

    The calculations for ingoing Nitrite within most dry cures here are towards the top end of the permitted maximum - however the effective concentration range for Nitrite is quite large. So, providing there has been sufficient time given for enough Nitrite to be taken up at the beginning to ensure that the end concentration is still within the effective range, does it matter that full equilibrium has not been reached during the initial curing period? No - because it will continue to equilibrate during the following resting period, also whilst it is being smoked and also when it is subsequently sitting in the fridge waiting to be sliced or frozen.

    The time each person leaves it in the cure is all part of the "art" and different techniques lead to the different artisan variations.Are you wrong taking it out at 10 days? No.  Are you wrong leaving it in for 14 days? No. So long as the minimum time has been given for the take up of the cure then it is whatever you feel most comfortable using.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
    slimjimuk likes this.
  14. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Thanks Wade that's great, thanks for the info
  15. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I once had a ring of a more 'raw' looking meat in a small section of the bacon once, even though I turned it regularly and left if for 14 days, which was strange.
  16. Hoping to smoke on Saturday, which will be 13 days since I started.

    Jusr waiting for the dust from http://SmokeoodShack.com to arrive....  [​IMG]
  17. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    No pressure then, I am hoping it will arrive for Saturday fingers crossed, If it doesn't arrive by Saturday it will be Monday.
  18. Woo Hoo!!! Just arrived. 😎

  19. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That Smokewood is not bad!👍
  20. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    He has his uses [​IMG]

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