Making Homemade Bacon *finished product* | TigerDroppings.com

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Kantz
LSU Fan
Over Yander
Member since Feb 2013
151 posts

Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


I've seen several people lately talking about homemade bacon and I'm interested in trying this myself. I have some questions about it though.

1. Where to find the cheapest pork belly..I don't mind driving an hour or so out of BR
2. Curing salt. Are you using it, and where to find it.
3. Cold smoke versus hot smoke. Which of the two are you employing. I have a charcoal grill I can hot smoke on, but I'd like to cold smoke if there is a way to rig one up because..
4. I figure the cold smoked bacon keeps better than the hot smoked. If hot smoking, what are you doing with the bacon? Eating it all at once, or storing in the freezer?



This post was edited on 3/14 at 1:04 pm



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Rohan2Reed
Grambling Fan
T'uela me la pela
Member since Nov 2003
70255 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


quote:

1. Where to find the cheapest pork belly..I don't mind driving an hour or so out of BR


Call grocery stores and butchers near you and ask 1) if they have it, and 2) how much per pound. You shouldn't be paying more than about $6 bucks/lb. Some places have it as low as $3.50.

quote:

2. Curing salt. Are you using it, and where to find it.


Some grocery stores carry it; also check Whole Foods, Fresh Market or any butcher shops. Can find it online really cheap too. Pink curing salt is what you need along with kosher salt and table salt.

quote:

3. Cold smoke versus hot smoke. Which of the two are you employing. I have a charcoal grill I can hot smoke on, but I'd like to cold smoke if there is a way to rig one up because..


I smoke on my charcoal Weber. Coals and soaked apple woods chips on one side .. pan of water/beer/cola/wine/whatever on the other then the belly goes on the upper rack placed above the pan. Smoke about 1.5 hours per 3lbs of belly.

quote:

4. I figure the cold smoked bacon keeps better than the hot smoked. If hot smoking, what are you doing with the bacon? Eating it all at once, or storing in the freezer?


I cut mine in chunks and freeze them then thaw out as I need more.

Good luck brother. Homemade bacon is fricking phenomenal and fun to experiment with.






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timbo
LSU Fan
Red Stick, La.
Member since Dec 2011
1895 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


I got over 6 pounds of frozen pork belly at La Morenita. Paid around $20.

I couldn't find curing salt. I checked out Albertson's and Whole Foods, maybe Calandro's too. I ended up going to Cabela's and getting this bacon cure mix which was salt, sugar and sodium nitrate. I don't know how well it worked, because I had the belly in the fridge for 2 weeks and it didn't cure like in the photos I saw of other homemade bacon. The meat looked pink and fresh, it was firm and didn't have that Silly Putty consistency that it was supposed to get.

I smoked the pork belly at around 225 for 2 1/2 or 3 hours. (I polished off a 6 pack of Canebrake while I was doing this, so time gets a little fuzzy)

I ended up slicing the pork belly the next day. Some of it went into a pot of chili and the rest we cooked it for a Spanish Town Mardi Gras party. So it was all gone a day later.

It turned out pretty good, maybe a little too salty. I'll probably do it again, but I'll order curing salt from Amazon.



This post was edited on 2/14 at 1:12 pm


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Martini
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2005
27397 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


LaMorenita Grocery Florida at Wooddale has it. I paid $1.99 lb a few months ago for the whole 18 lb belly then trimmed up a bit myself.

Pink curing salt can be bought at Oak Grove Smokehouse on Jefferson Highway in Prairieville across from the new St Elizabeth medical center. A bag was about 3-4 bucks. Maybe not that much and you don't need much.

I hot smoked on my green egg and I have a lot vacuum packed in the freezer.

Search be because there was a really good thread on it several months ago.






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Rohan2Reed
Grambling Fan
T'uela me la pela
Member since Nov 2003
70255 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


quote:

I got over 6 pounds of frozen pork belly at La Morenita. Paid around $20.


Good price right there.

quote:

I ended up going to Cabela's and getting this bacon cure mix which was salt, sugar and sodium nitrate. I don't know how well it worked, because I had the belly in the fridge for 2 weeks and it didn't cure like in the photos I saw of other homemade bacon. The meat looked pink and fresh, it was firm and didn't have that Silly Putty consistency that it was supposed to get.


Yes it's very important to have the right amount of salt (kosher, table salt and pink salt - sodium nitrate) .. and you also need, IMO, brown sugar, chopped garlic and bay leaf. It should take about 7-9 days for the pork belly to cure. You need to monitor it every couple of days and add a little more salt mixture if you see it's not getting firm.

quote:

I smoked the pork belly at around 225 for 2 1/2 or 3 hours. (I polished off a 6 pack of Canebrake while I was doing this, so time gets a little fuzzy)

I ended up slicing the pork belly the next day. Some of it went into a pot of chili and the rest we cooked it for a Spanish Town Mardi Gras party. So it was all gone a day later.


Good stuff

quote:

It turned out pretty good, maybe a little too salty. I'll probably do it again, but I'll order curing salt from Amazon.



That's a good idea. I think i'll check that out myself. Gotta use the Prime account I got on something!






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Kantz
LSU Fan
Over Yander
Member since Feb 2013
151 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


Thanks guys, definitely gonna try this out.





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timbo
LSU Fan
Red Stick, La.
Member since Dec 2011
1895 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


It was your thread a few months ago that inspired me to do this.

And yeah, I should have added more cure. I paid $8 for enough mix to cure 20 pounds of pork, so there was a lot left over. To be honest, I would rather the pork not cure enough than to be stuck with 6 pounds of rotting meat.

I put the word out to my in-laws to hook me up with some wild hog belly. I've gotten backstrap from them before. So hopefully they will come through.






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Martini
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2005
27397 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


Go talk to the man and his wife at Oak Grove Smokehouse. No need to order from Amazon. He will sell it to you and he will tell you exactly how to do it. Free of charge and the guy knows his shite. If you want to make sausage he has the seasonings and the casings as well and likes helping people out.

And at LaMorenita next time you can tell them you want fresh and they will pull a hog out and cut it for you for the same price.






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Mr Mom
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2012
368 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


You can also get pink curing salt at Red Stick Spice Market on Jefferson near Bocage.





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CajunAlum Tiger Fan
LSU Fan
Broussard
Member since Jan 2008
2413 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


quote:

Search be because there was a really good thread on it several months ago.


Do you remember the title of the thread? I can't find it.






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OldSouth
LSU Fan
Folsom, LA
Member since Oct 2011
8318 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


quote:

You can also get pink curing salt at


Academy. Cheap as hell.






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Rohan2Reed
Grambling Fan
T'uela me la pela
Member since Nov 2003
70255 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


here's a link to the thread I made:

LINK






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Kantz
LSU Fan
Over Yander
Member since Feb 2013
151 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


Thanks R2R, that's perfect. I'm gonna go on a pork belly hunt on my day off and get started on my own. What type of beer did you use? Any reason or just personal preference? Did you cover your Weber? Thanks for all the help!

quote:

Try it with duck breasts next time.


Saw this suggestion from Martini in the thread you linked, great idea. Gonna try this while I'm at it.






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Rohan2Reed
Grambling Fan
T'uela me la pela
Member since Nov 2003
70255 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


quote:

What type of beer did you use? Any reason or just personal preference?


Just an Abita Amber. Need some liquid in the smoker to keep the bacon from drying out. I also used coffee once. Along with keeping the belly moist it adds subtle flavor.

quote:

Did you cover your Weber?


Covered with vents half-way. Added more soaked woods chips a couple of times as well once my pile got low.

there's plenty of other recipes and tips online as well if you are looking for other opinions. good luck!






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Neauxla
New Orleans Saints Fan
New Orleans
Member since Feb 2008
28761 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


Is it better than the expensive stuff at the store? Or just fun?





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Rohan2Reed
Grambling Fan
T'uela me la pela
Member since Nov 2003
70255 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


Never bought "expensive" bacon at the store, just the plain ole packaged stuff. And I can tell you that homemade bacon is FAR superior to that stuff.

It's also FAF.






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Kantz
LSU Fan
Over Yander
Member since Feb 2013
151 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


Thanks to yall who helped me out. I picked some pork belly up today and am on my way to curing.

I'll keep the pics updated every couple of days so everyone can see the process I'm going through.

Also picking up some duck breasts tomorrow and I'm gonna cure them for a couple days in the same seasonings to make some duck bacon too.

eta: all pics in updated anthology post on page 3



This post was edited on 3/15 at 1:27 am


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Neauxla
New Orleans Saints Fan
New Orleans
Member since Feb 2008
28761 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


I've heard of duck prosciutto but not bacon





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Oenophile Brah
USA Fan
The Edge of Sanity
Member since Jan 2013
4567 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


quote:

I've heard of duck prosciutto but not bacon


Had Duck prosciutto friday night at a delicious meal at Herbstaint. I'll do a review when I get some time. Truly exceptional.






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Kantz
LSU Fan
Over Yander
Member since Feb 2013
151 posts

re: Making Homemade Bacon *finished product*


I've never heard of it either..but its duck and bacon. Hard go go wrong with that!





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