50 lbs of bellies and 10 days of cure equals Bacon Bliss!!
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50 lbs of bellies and 10 days of cure equals Bacon Bliss!!
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Thread: 50 lbs of bellies and 10 days of cure equals Bacon Bliss!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tatonka3A2's Avatar
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    50 lbs of bellies and 10 days of cure equals Bacon Bliss!!

    Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!!!


    Started with approx. 50 lbs of pork bellies. Cut each belly into 1/3's so that I could seal them in a gallon ziplock nicely with the cure. After trimming I ended up with about 44 lbs. No fear, that extra 6 lbs all went back into the freezer for this years SausageFest Party

    Here is the stack all trimmed and ready for the cure.



    I used 2 different recipes - one being just a mix of tender-quick and brown sugar and the other was using TJohnson's brown sugar cure recipe. Here is a pic of some of the slabs with the brown sugar cure.



    After 10 days in the fridge I removed them and did a good rinse and a test fry and decided to soak for 30-45 mins. Sampled again and it was good to go! Here is a shot of all the slabs laying out to dry before going into the smoker. 1/2 of the batch that was just the tender-quick and brown sugar I added some fresh cracked black pepper.



    Into the smoker @ 100° with no smoke to finish drying.

    Last edited by Tatonka3A2; 10-30-2012 at 07:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tatonka3A2's Avatar
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    cont....

    After an hour I started the AMNPS loaded with a blend of Hickory, Cherry, and Maple and lit it at both ends.



    Here is a shot about 4 hours into the smoking.



    7 hours in...



    Finally out after just under 12 hours of smoke. Let them rest for an hour and then into the fridge to firm up.



    Here is 1/2 the batch after 2 days in the fridge.



    Slicing -



    Here is 1 tray ready to be packaged.



    Packaged and ready for the freezer.


  3. #3
    Moderator scooter's Avatar
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    I see we're preparing for the worldwide pork shortage next year....or contributing to it! lol
    Don't they keep better if they're stored whole and sliced when needed?
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Tatonka3A2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter View Post
    I see we're preparing for the worldwide pork shortage next year....or contributing to it! lol
    Don't they keep better if they're stored whole and sliced when needed?
    Just settlin' in for winter! 25 miles from the nearest grocery store and once you try homemade bacon you will not want to buy store bought again!!

    I have never tried keeping the bacon in a whole slab - we have sliced everything. In fact we slice our summer sausage, cotto salami, bologna, and regular salami all before packaging for the freezer. Never had a problem and have done our venison both ways. Very handy out camping, fishing, or a road trip where you would want it all sliced. Who would want to clean that big a$$ slicer every time - if you own one get it all done in one shot. I wanted to use bacon, and it would take 3 times as long to thaw when I did want to use it.

    As far as the bacon goes I weigh out 12 oz and then lay it semi-flat like you would buy in the store and then wrap in cling wrap or wax paper and then into the foodsaver bags. The only reason I do this is because it comes out of the foodsaver package nicer when wrapped up first and none of the juices from the bacon get "sucked" up when sealing.
    Last edited by Tatonka3A2; 10-30-2012 at 09:00 PM.

  5. #5
    Administrator Big Poppa's Avatar
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    What a fantastic and fabulous cook...I keep saying Im going to make my own bacon and never get around to it....5 Stars.

  6. #6
    Administrator Big Poppa's Avatar
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    I think this is a hall of fame what do you fellow forumites think?

  7. #7
    Senior Member muebe's Avatar
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    That is great Tanya!

    I also need to make my own bacon
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  8. #8
    Better hope the neighbors don't catch wind of this AMAZINGNESS or they will skip the trip to the grocery store & head to your house!

  9. #9
    Administrator Big Poppa's Avatar
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    Right on Kristen....."tatonka...I just ran out of bacon..can I borrow 25 lbs?"

  10. #10
    Great work! I have approximately 40 lbs of bellies in my freezer awaiting the curing and smoking process. Just recently did 16 lbs worth but it pales in comparision to your massive undertaking.

    You can also order presentation boards custom cut to fit your vac bags. In keeping with the rules of the forum I won't disclose the name of the provider but if you are interested, send me a PM and I will shoot you the info.
    Here is a pic of the packaged bacon on the presentation board.
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