Food Tre's kitchen, episode one: Making Bacon (lotsa pics) - NO APRILS ALLOWED

tre

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Oct 15, 2004
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That's right, nothin is more manly than making your own bacon. Here we go:

You need the following ingreadients:

-10 lbs of skin-on pork belly
-4 tsp of pink salt, also known at DQ Curing salt
-1/2 cup of kosher salt
-1/2 cup of maple sugar (or brown sugar)
-1/2 cup pure maple syrup

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Mix everything together (not the pork yet dummy) to make a thick paste

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Rub it evenly over your pork belly

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Seal up your meat in large ziploc bags. They're gonna hang out in the fridge for a week. You need to turn them over every day to redistribute the cure - massage that meat good!

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After a week, the meat gets harder to the touch. Rinse the cure off, and pat dry. Put it on a rack over a sheet pan, and back in the fridge overnight - this dries off the meat so the smoke sticks better.

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Take it out, let it come to room temp while you fire up the smoker. I used a combination of applewood and maple

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Smoke it to an internal temp of 150F. Maverick dual probe thermometers are the shit, I highly recommend.

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Just out, let it cool down a bit
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Remove the skin. Keep it for adding flavour to soups, beans, etc.

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get out the slicer and go to town

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and you have made bacon!

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LOTS of bacon

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GLORIOUS BACON

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then I pull out the foodsaver, and vac seal it in manageable sized packages. I leave a bunch as slab bacon, because it's great to cut into matchsticks and toss into a salad, and stuff like that. Also great thick cut on a sandwich.

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Hooray, hope you enjoy! Feel free to ask any questions. 10 lbs of pork belly yielded 7 lbs of finished bacon.
 
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Re: Tre's kitchen, episode one: Making Bacon (lotsa pics)

Can a mod please edit the thread title to include "No Aprils allowed". kthx
 
Holy crap that's amazing. The EpicMealTime guys are in Canadia. Do you know them? If not, they should know you.

edit: And how often do you use your smoker and what's its cost. I think I'd like one, but Im concerned that I wouldn't use it.
 
Holy crap that's amazing. The EpicMealTime guys are in Canadia. Do you know them? If not, they should know you.

edit: And how often do you use your smoker and what's its cost. I think I'd like one, but Im concerned that I wouldn't use it.

the smoker was about $300. It's a bradleysmoker. They make these little pucks that auto-feed into it every 20 mins. I use it maybe 15 times a year, ribs, chicken, etc. I smoked a 15 lb pork shoulder this summer at the cottage - took about 20 hours, but was fucking unreal. We made a weekend out of it and called it the aporkalypse. i'm gonna work on smoking sausages next year. It's hard for me to use it in the winter....
 
edit: And how often do you use your smoker and what's its cost. I think I'd like one, but Im concerned that I wouldn't use it.
I've got a Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker, and I use it every week or so. A Bradley smoker like what he's got costs a bit more, but is still relatively inexpensive and it's pretty much as easy to use as an oven. I'd probably use a Bradley as often as my oven if I had one.

There's damn good food to be had off smokers. Ribs (there's no better way to make them), pulled pork, all forms of chicken (whole, wings, thighs, etc), sausages, homemade jerky... I smoked a turkey last christmas and it was incredible. I've even done experiments like smoked chili con queso and smoked nachos, and again, incredible food. Oh, and obviously YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN BACON - and homemade bacon absolutely *destroys* anything you buy at the store.

I'd highly recommend one. Hit up http://www.virtualweberbullet.com and have a drool at what's on there - it's the fan website for the smoker I've got, but pretty much all of the food on there can be made on a Bradley or other type of smoker. Their forums are an endless source of inspiration/information too.
 
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I assume I can store it outside all year in Florida on my lanai? Interesting.

And you have a typo tre. I had to look up pink salt, never heard of it. It's DQ curing salt. ;)
 
I assume I can store it outside all year in Florida on my lanai? Interesting.

And you have a typo tre. I had to look up pink salt, never heard of it. It's DQ curing salt. ;)

ya, my wireless keyboard was dying, it was frustrating.

I store mine in the garage, i have a cover for it. It's the size of bar fridge. I don't know if you'd want to store it on your lanai, it keeps quite the smoky smell once it's well seasoned.


Also, the Bradley smoker forums are pretty friggin amazing.