TQ's bacon tutorial

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TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by TuscaloosaQ » September 24th, 2012, 7:38 am

By request some time ago people asked me to do this so here it is. I have smoked over 400#s of bacon and this works for me, there are many ways to do it but by trial and error i landed here

this is one of the bellies out of a 60# case some people square it up but I cure the whole belly, then square it after smoking. I freeze the drops I cut off for later use in seasoning vegetables,soups, and for adding to burger or sausage when grinding my own

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I have tried several ways to cure,pink salt,no cure at all except kosher salt ( the method with no cure leaves a product that tastes more like ham than bacon) some people worry about nitrates and such friends let me tell ya you eat em everyday. So that being said I use "Morton tender quick" as my cure with excellent results

This is my basic ace in the hole, what i use.. Use 1 tablespoon of morton tender quick (per pound of meat) then i still add kosher salt, from there you have to experiment to see what you like and how much of it. I use pure maple syrup, garlic powder, sometimes I will use fresh honey instead of the syrup you can use all sorts of spices and the amount you want i never measure anything but the tender quick..... use it as it says and do not!!! use any more than it calls for (1 tablespoon per pound of meat!!!)

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I do cut the bellies in half so when i get through addind my stuff it will fit in a large zip lock bag, I mix everything in a meat lug (plastic pan) it needs to be non reactive to the cure and such, so use something plastic.

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cure is added and seasonings it will be messy!!!! there is no rocket science to this madness, heck I even used some of dinks chick and but rub along with other stuff and it came out great

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After the cure and seasoning is added i put the belly in the fridge keep the temp in the fridge below 40 degrees as long as the bellies are curing. I try and flip the bellies everyday if I can sometimes it is every other day, but massage the belly to work everything in as you flip it over. That is what I do it just makes sense to me. The belly will start to render some liquid out of it that is the process taking place, it will also start to tighten up some. Some get stiffer than others. I use to cure for 7 days this last time i went 10 and will always go 10 from now on it was better to me. After the curing process wash the belly good, you can cut a piece and fry it to see if it is to salty if it is soak in water for a while and pour off you can do this as many times as you need to. I have only had one batch a little saltier than i like and after i smoked it i soaked the belly and poured the water off a couple of times and it was fine. You do not have to add the extra salt like I did, but that is what I do, the tender quick is enough to cure the belly and if you use only tender quick it will never be to salty in my opinion, i just have to tinker with stuff.

Note: after the belly has been washed let it dry. I put it back in the fridge for a day it will form a pellicle on it this allows the smoke to adhere to the meat better. I smoke with pecan and hickory and I smoke it heavy!!! everyone loves my bacon and once you get it down you will never buy bacon again!!!!!!!!!!!!

in the smoker and smoking like a mug!!!!

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I smoke mine with the skin on it is easier for me to remove the skin after smoking. People say smoke to an internal temp of 140 degrees personally i have never checked an internal temp I smoke it to it looks like i want it to. The belly is cured i am just adding smoke to it... smoke it fairly cool so you do not render the fat out. The last batch I smoked cooler and longer , it was much better. I was 200 degrees and under but as you look at my smoker the fire was on one end and the meat on the other. This smoker is reverse flow with removeable charcoal grates added and i was on the charcoal grates not in the firebox with my heat and wood

finished product with skin still on

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yes that is a hog nipple, belly with skin on, then removed it is easy to remove the the skin.. just do not!!!! take the fat with it!!!!


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a pic of the skin it should come off in one piece

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well guys that should get you started, I do not have the monoply on home cured bacon , but i would not change a thing. I read up on this process for a long time and this works for me
Last edited by TuscaloosaQ on September 24th, 2012, 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by Gizmo » September 24th, 2012, 7:53 am

Thank you TQ!
I would like to try that.
Just so I'm clear - what would I ask for at the meat counter to get a piece to get started?
Pork belly?
Bacon slab - unsliced?
Weight?
:)


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by SmokinFF » September 24th, 2012, 8:00 am

Sounds good. Real close to the recipe we use. I'll post ours with some pics come January when we do our annual pig killin.



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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by TuscaloosaQ » September 24th, 2012, 8:01 am

Pork belly Rick and i would ask for the skin on. I was paying 1.89$ a pound it has gone up to 2.35$ a pound and I can see it getting higher, with the corn being scortched and all. I went back and edited some of my thread mainly spelling. I can weld and fabricate but my puter skills suck!!!!!! Rick start out with a 5# belly


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by SmokinFF » September 24th, 2012, 8:04 am

You ever have any trouble with the bacon burning while you fry it? We had that trouble, since we switched to sugar free syrup.



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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by TuscaloosaQ » September 24th, 2012, 8:06 am

Smoking FF it must be nice to have your own hogs!!! Actually we are coverd up with wild hogs on my familys farm and some of my best bacon has been off of a 185# wild hog. It just does not have as much fat and you have to smoke it really cool


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by TuscaloosaQ » September 24th, 2012, 8:09 am

yea smoking FF I did at one time now since I cured the bacon a little longer and cooked it cooler in the skillet it is much better. Also smoking it cooler helped also,the bacon in the pics i was cooking in a hurry cause i had to get to work.


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by The Czar » September 24th, 2012, 5:54 pm

This was "sticky" worthy and so it has been done.... :LG:


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by Gizmo » September 24th, 2012, 6:16 pm

Thanks for the advice TQ
I'll try to get one done here this fall if there's time between builds :D


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by Frank_Cox » September 24th, 2012, 7:34 pm

Very, very nice post TQ! thanks for making it a sticky dcman! I will try this asap..... :LG: :points: :points:


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by alleyrat58 » September 24th, 2012, 8:09 pm

Two items of interest as part of this post first the bad news... http://www.latimes.com/business/money/l ... 1787.story

Now here's some good news - TQ - I noticed you said you were cutting your bellies in half so they fit in the bag. Try these
http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-5 ... -Poly-Bags

I use them at comps for briskets and butts and such. Work great to hold large cuts of meat for marinating!


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by TuscaloosaQ » September 25th, 2012, 7:26 am

Thanks Frank,and DC I finally got it done "the post" making your own bacon is fun and vey rewarding.....Alleyrat 58 thanks for those links the one about pork prices confirm what I had been concluding in my own mind. Hey thanks for the tips on the bags also gonna get me some!!!!!!!!


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by TuscaloosaQ » September 25th, 2012, 7:32 am

[quote="TuscaloosaQ"]Thanks Frank,and DC I finally got it done "the post" making your own bacon is fun and vey rewarding.....Alleyrat 58 thanks for those links the one about pork prices confirm what I had been concluding in my own mind. Hey thanks for the tips on the bags also gonna get me some!!!!!!!! Riock you sound like me and Tyler we are on a couple of builds now, will finish a trailer wednesday and just finished a patio model a week ago just have not posted pics yet. Good luck on the bacon making excursion everyone itwill be fun...... Something just told me DC aint gonna turn down no Bacon!!!!!! :o :ymhug:


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by SoloQue » September 25th, 2012, 11:48 am

TuscaloosaQ wrote:Rick you sound like me and Tyler we are on a couple of builds now, will finish a trailer wednesday and just finished a patio model a week ago
TQ y'all should be rolling in the orders if even 1/5th of the folks who asked for your number give you a call. A whole bunch of tailgaters are stopping by and asking me where I got my rig when I'm down tailgating with my daughter and her (hungry) friends. What amazes me is that every week I get new faces stopping by and the place just aint that big, so eventually you gotta get a few calls. I just tell'em to mention my name and they get a 5% mark up :D

They keep askin and I'll keep tellin (until you tell me you're booked) :kewl:


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by The Czar » September 25th, 2012, 5:31 pm

DCMAN AND BACON = :D


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by TuscaloosaQ » September 26th, 2012, 6:50 am

That sounds cool Solo the last 2 cookers are performing very well and people are really happy= TQ happy!!!!!!


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by SoloQue » September 27th, 2012, 12:18 pm

TuscaloosaQ wrote:I was paying 1.89$ a pound it has gone up to 2.35$ a pound and I can see it getting higher
Just got a quote for 3.27 a lb and thats the friendly, hey your wife is one of my best customers, price. If I understood correctly at 3.27 he will be losing money if I do not order by the end of this month. They already have pork on a sliding scale of cost increase. It's going to be a lot like when the oil spill happened in the gulf and certain foods ran scarce. If they don't already have it in the warehouse stores are going to have to pay dearly or just let stuff run out. My wife bought 6 months worth of shrimp less than 2 hours after the spill was announced. She got a raise 2 months later when the bosses realized just how wise a move that big purchase really was. If you have a freezer, get your beef and pork bought up now, gonna be a crazy bad winter cost wise.


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by Smokeone » September 29th, 2012, 7:45 am

Thanks for the good news, Solo. :(


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by SoloQue » October 4th, 2012, 12:40 pm

The wife just called and she now has 3 bellies for me fresh off of the delivery truck. I'm gonna go with the following ingredients:
Belly #1
1 tablespoon of morton tender quick (per pound of meat), kosher salt, honey and pecan meal.
Belly #2
1 tablespoon of morton tender quick (per pound of meat), hickory salt, maple syrup.
Belly #3
1 tablespoon of morton tender quick (per pound of meat), Dale's, Worschestershire, Franks Hot sauce and coarse black pepper.
This last one is gonna be for sandwiches It might be great or it might just be terrible

I'll post pics as things move along. Biggest things is pulling out a calendar for a start date to be sure I will be able to actually smoke when its time


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by Smokeone » October 4th, 2012, 1:05 pm

Sounds tasty! I'll have a pound of each. :)

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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by The Czar » October 4th, 2012, 1:20 pm

Yep...you taking orders yet? :-w


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by TuscaloosaQ » October 4th, 2012, 4:41 pm

Totally cool Solo I hope it turns out great. I started curing 30#s yesterday and ran out of tenderquick and had to ue pinksalt on the rest. Tender quick does a better job to me. Where did you get the tenderquick i rode arounf town for 2hrs yesterday and coulf not find any...... Finally ordered some off of amazon. let me know if there is a source in B'ham..... Also I cured my last batch 2 days longer than suggested and smoked it a lot cooler.. much much better. be sure and soak in water for maybe 30 minutes and pour off do a couple times after curing... Then let air dry in fridge one day to allow the pellicle to start to form can't waut so see the results


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by SoloQue » October 4th, 2012, 6:23 pm

My better half is tracking some down for me. There are a few specialty meat markets near her that should have it since they make their own sausages. I'll keep ya posted whenI find some, or I'll say uncle and order from Amazon as well. I have heard the same thing that the pink salt just doesnt quite do as well as Morton


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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by SmokinFF » October 6th, 2012, 8:26 am

Just an FYI fellas. LEM has tender quick for $4.99 for a 2lb bag.
They're pretty quick on shipping



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Re: TQ's bacon tutorial

Post by Puff » November 1st, 2013, 10:22 pm

Ok, it's been over a year since TQ wrote up this great tutorial, has someone done this and can report back on how it came out?


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