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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:16pm - Jul 29,06
Posts: 358

Post Posted: 02:51pm - Aug 5,16 
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so i got a pork belly and curing kit for a gift recently. the curing kit came from here:

http://www.mancrates.com/projects/bacon-curing-kit

for the kit, you cure the pork belly that it comes with for one week in the fridge, mixing the brine with water. at the end of the week, it provided a smoking bag that you pop in the oven, has hardwood impregnated into it somehow, but i have a nice smoker so i went that route.

here's the pork belly after a week of curing in the fridge:

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my smoker, ready to go:

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i heated the smoker to 220F and used a mix of apple wood and hickory. per the instructions, the goal is to reach an internal temperature of 150F, but no higher since that would render the fat to liquid. took about 90 minutes of smoking to get there.

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had a nice ribeye in the fridge so i thought i'd toss that on there also. with only a sprinkle of garlic on it, i put it over the hot charcoals in the smoker to finish it. turned out really, really good!

at the end of the smoke, 150F, it had taken the smoke very nicely:

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so the next step is to chill what is now bacon so that you can slice it up:

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i liked mine on the thicker side. pop it in the pan and hold on to your taste buds!

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was without a doubt the most flavorful, delicious bacon i've ever had, not too salty with a hint of maple. the kit made about 2 pounds so i froze half for later, unsliced. it was a far easier process than i would have guessed, given the kit. certainly, you could get a pork belly and mix up a cure yourself, but i got the kit as a gift, so no complaints from me!

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:11pm - Jan 12,14
Posts: 381
Location: Fourchon, LA

Post Posted: 04:16pm - Aug 5,16 
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Thanks! I have been wanting to do that for a while now. How does it compare price wise to store bought bacon?

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 07:28am - Oct 19,14
Posts: 885
Location: Chicago

Post Posted: 05:49pm - Aug 5,16 
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I haven't made bacon in forever. Thanks for the inspiration! The next time I'm at my dad's place I'm firing up my smoker.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 10:16pm - Jul 29,06
Posts: 358

Post Posted: 10:12pm - Aug 5,16 
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choupiquer wrote:
Thanks! I have been wanting to do that for a while now. How does it compare price wise to store bought bacon?


honestly, i have no idea how much it cost since it was given to me and i don't really want to ask the price from the gift giver. sorry.

next time i do it, i'm going to go to the butcher and get a good pork belly, find a recipe for the cure online and do it that way. i suspect the man crate thing was waaaaaay overpriced like any all inclusive gift basket you buy online. definitely plan on using a recipe that has just a little maple syrup in it, didn't realize i liked it as much as i did!

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 03:15pm - Feb 11,03
Posts: 1914
Location: crystal lake

Post Posted: 08:06am - Aug 6,16 
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Price varies depending on what cure you use and what the price of pork bellies are. Costco is the cheapest around me that I have found. 2.99 a pound. There are a couple different cures out there High Mountain makes on that you can pick up from Gander, I'm sure BPS and Cabelas have their own brand. I use Mortons Quick Cure;
Quote:
Morton® recommends dry curing pork belly. The rate of cure is 7 days per inch thickness using one application of Tender Quick® or Sugar Cure® (Plain or Smoke Flavored) over the entire belly of 1/2 oz. or 1 TBS per pound of meat.
At 7 days per inch, it takes the cure 7 days to penetrate 1/2 inch from both sides to reach the center. This calculates to be 1/14 of an inch per side per day to reach 100% saturation.
A 2 inch pork belly would then take 14 days minimum to cure to the center, which is 1 inch.
Morton® then recommends a two day equalization period resulting in a minimum of 16 day's cure time for a two inch thick pork belly.

When curing I use 2 gallon ziplock bags and place the bellies and bags in a large aluminum pan in case of leakage. I also add 3/4 cup of brown sugar, this will give you a sweet salty piece of heaven . Word to the wise after your cure time cut yourself a slice and fry it up, if it is too salty then do a quick (a second or 2) rinse in the sink before you return to the fridge for the pellicle stage (24-48 hours) on a grate to drain. I then smoke mine to 160 cut the heat and let cool back down before returning to the fridge for a couple days where it will continue to firm up, then on to the slicer and vacuum pack machines. I do about 30-40 pounds at a time.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:11pm - Jan 12,14
Posts: 381
Location: Fourchon, LA

Post Posted: 09:11am - Aug 6,16 
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Thats probably about $4/lb for premium bacon. Very good deal.

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