Second Bacon cook
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Second Bacon cook
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Thread: Second Bacon cook

  1. #1

    Second Bacon cook

    Its been over a year since I did Bacon. It is hard to find the pork bellies where I live. I paid 3.49 per pound. I think that is on the high side, but who knows..

    I bought nearly 20 pounds of Pork Belly. I thought it was skinless, but it wasn't.

    I did a 9 day dry cure, using the "sticky" by member "Frozen Tundra". I followed the directions in that thread precisely. On day 6 I added flavoring to a few of the slabs I had: maple syrup, Jim Beam bourbon plus a touch of molasses, and a combination of both syrup and bourbon to a third slab. 3 slabs I did simply as the regular unflavored cure, though to the dry rub mixture I did add a bit of black pepper and garlic powder - not much. Oh, and I also had a small fist-sized piece of belly that I cured and added some Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey to on day 6 too, more on this later.

    I gave it one day to dry up after a rinse at the end of the curing phase, resting in the fridge. I didn't hang it to dry, but used a "jelly" pan and rack setup and stood the slabs (six total) on their sides and anchored them together with some BBQ skewers. After they had dried, I smoked them "cold", which, in FL with ambient temps ranging from high 50's to low 40's over about 36 hours using a blend of "flavor" pellets (Apple, Jack Daniels, and Hickory - thought I had more apple...) in amazin' tube smokers. I used some meat hangers I got online to hang the bacon from the top rack position of my MAK 4 star, hanging from the upper grate inserts. I removed the grease trays/flame zone trays and the Fire-Can cover, setting the pellet smokers to the outside of the grill and hanging the meat to the inside. I set a Maverick grill probe on the top side of the upper racks. Grill temps ranged from low 80's up to a maximum of 104 throughout the process. I would occasionally open up the grill to cool things down, with unusually low ambient temps here in FL in the 50's.

    I'll post some pictures later.

    The flavored bacon tasted great! I would have preferred a little more sugar in the cure for the unflavored bacon vs the default values I used from the Frozen Tundra thread calculator, but its still way better than commercial bacon. The Jack Daniels Honey bacon was phenomenal!! The other flavored bacon was good too, the maple perhaps a bit underdeveloped. Would give the bourbon flavored bacon more dwell time too.

    Question.

    What is the BEST way to use flavors like maple syrup, bourbon, or others, to add to the bacon? I am wondering if adding earlier in the cure would interfere with the curing process and be unsafe. I wonder if adding after the curing would leech out the "cure" and be unsafe. I think maybe a 12 day cure with more dwell time of the flavoring would be helpful.

    TD

  2. #2
    Dick,

    I've been experimenting some with maple flavored ham/bacon & sausage the past year or so. I just posted about a maple flavored ham I recently made: MAK-Smoked Beef Kielbasa & Maple Ham for Church Brunch

    Here's the thing about using Maple syrup: If you use enough maple syrup in Ham/Bacon/Sausage to get a good distinct maple flavor, then the meat ends up being too dang sweet!

    You have to use a combo of both Maple syrup and Maple Flavoring, or fenugreek, in the brine/dry rub.

    Look at any commercially made maple flavored bacon, ham or sausage and that's exactly what you will see; a Combo of Maple syrup and Maple flavoring.


    Note: Fenugreek contains the exact same flavor compound (sotolon) as Maple. In fact it's what maple flavoring is made from.


    Hope this helps a little!

    Cliff

    P.S. I can send you the recipe for my homemade fenugreek syrup if you'd like to try it sometime.
    Last edited by TentHunter; 01-09-2016 at 10:55 PM.
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  3. #3
    I'd love the recipe please!

  4. #4
    I am so glad I read this article. Now I know new ways to cook bacon. I am so sad there is no bacon in my fridge right now to experiment. I really want some bacon. Right now.

  5. #5

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