Author Topic: Made my own Bacon  (Read 5535 times)

Offline onthekeg

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Made my own Bacon
« on: January 30, 2011, 09:58:04 AM »
My Dad and a friend butchered 5 pigs a couple weeks ago, and I mentioned to cut out the bellies and I will cure and smoke them.

I rubbed them with sea salt and maple sugar a couple weeks ago.  Smoked them yesterday.  Turned out quite tasty!  The belly pictured is 8lb.
Here are some pictures for proof


Offline ullarsskald1989

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 11:09:09 AM »
Mmmmm...bits o' pig =)
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Offline euge

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 11:29:10 AM »
Bacon is proof god loves us.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline The Professor

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 11:50:28 AM »
Congrats...home made bacon is the best, hands down.   Haven't made American style bacon in a few months, but did up some pancetta last week, and am going to do some Irish style in a couple weeks.
Yum.
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 11:56:30 AM »
I have tears in my eyes, I'm so happy.
A man works hard all week, so he doesn't have to wear pants all weekend.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 12:32:20 PM »
That looks awesome, is it really as easy as you described?  I've wanted to do it, it's on my list of things to look up to figure out how to do :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tubercle

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 12:36:32 PM »
Stack a couple of them slabs and use them for pillows. Sweet dreams.
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline denny

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2011, 01:01:27 PM »
I did that about 35 years ago.  Back in my heavy hippie days a friend and I figured we should be in touch with where our food came from so we raised, slaughtered and butchered a pig by ourselves.  The meat was incredible, but once was enough for me.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2011, 03:01:16 PM »
That's going whole hog Denny ;D

I just figured I'd get a pig belly from the butcher.  How big is a pig belly?  Was the 8 lb one typical, or is that just part of one?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tubercle

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2011, 03:55:05 PM »
The "official' sow belly on the Chicago Board of Trade is 18 lbs.
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2011, 03:58:59 PM »
The "official' sow belly on the Chicago Board of Trade is 18 lbs.
Did you pick that up from watching Trading Places? ;D
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tubercle

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2011, 04:15:42 PM »
The "official' sow belly on the Chicago Board of Trade is 18 lbs.
Did you pick that up from watching Trading Places? ;D
 
 Tubercle used to trade on CBOT ,CME & NYME; cotton, corn, sugar, soybeans,& Canadian dollars. IIRC, sow bellies are actually traded on CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange).

 Don't do this with the grocery money. Its like going to the track. If you can't afford to lose it, don't bet it.

  Tubercle started out with $10,000 in the account and 5 years later ended up with $9,800 in the account. At one time it was up 9x and another time it was 1/2.

 It was actually fun and I learned a lot. Lost a little sleep from time-to-time ;D
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2011, 04:26:54 PM »
I'm not a gambler - I lack the patience and get bored too easily.  I was a favorite with guys I worked with who liked to start off their keg parties with Texas Holdem - after a few hands I'd go all in just so I could go do something else.  It was only a $5 buy in anyway :)  If I'm gambling I expect to lose, and I do lose, so I don't do it.

I still want to get a pork belly and make bacon though, so back to my original question . . . is it really as easy as rubbing it with a mix for a few days, then smoking it?  That's it?  No aging or anything?  I'll go do some reading, just wondering how the OP, onthekeg, did it.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2011, 05:07:32 PM »
There are plenty of ways to make bacon!  A book on curing/smoking/charcuterie is a great starting point though.

Curing, I guess the big question is whether to do it salt-only, or to use something with nitrates/nitrites (curing salts), or a more complex sugar/salt/nitrate blend which is probably more common.

Smoking...well, cold smoking, hot smoking, somewhere in between?  It's a bit tricky.  I guess it also depends whether you want it smoked and ready to eat, or smoked and ready to cook.

The last step of aging and/or drying is probably reserved for the more European varieties of bacon such as slanina and (I think?) pancetta (I get that and prosciutto confused).  I love the balkan style bacon...slanina isn't my favorite, though its good, but for eating "raw", I do love a bit of smoked beef bacon.  That is heavenly stuff.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Made my own Bacon
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2011, 05:23:52 PM »
I did a bit of reading and I'll probably do it with salt, pepper, and sugar.  I'll leave out the nitrates/nitrites.  And I'll cold smoke it for a few hours, slice it, and freeze it in portions.  ;D

That will be the first one anyway, I might do a variation for the one after that.
Tom Schmidlin