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Author Topic: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...  (Read 103545 times)

Offline MallardWacker

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BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« on: July 29, 2004, 09:16:26 pm »
A few people have been asking lately on times and temps for curing and smoking BACON.  I guess not all of us started with BuckBoardBacon and don't have directions, so I thought (I know that’s dangerous) I would make a reference post so we can point our friends to it when this question is asked again.  This will be the slimmed down version from BBB and HiMountain.

Preparation and applying cure.

Best meat size should be 3 to 31/2 inches thick or less.

Measure the amount of cure according to the weight of meat that will be cured.(this amount should be with the directions from where you have bought the cure)Use ONLY that amount, like I said  THIS IS NOT BUTT RUB HERE. More is not better.

Apply cure thoroughly over the meat (use it all), including any cavities, sides, or what have you.  Take your time and rub it in well.

Place meat in a non-metallic pan and cover.  I use a semi-throw-away plastic containers (Zip-Lock brand) I buy at WalleyWorld, the large ones fit a butt just right.

EDIT  If you use Butcher-Packer Cures, here is what it brakes down to:
This is the amount I use for dry rub, you can see why folks question me about the amount. I have had no problems with this amount, the meat comes out nice and pink with that iridescent type shine to it.

Broken down, it comes to this: (please forgive me if this is elementary, I do this for all of us from Arkensaw)Also, the scale I use measures only in 1/10 of pound.

1lb .32oz or .02lb
2lb .66oz or .04125lb
3lb 1.0oz or .0625lb
5lb 1.6oz or .1lb
10lb 3.2oz or .2lb

Hay, I know that this does not come out totally exact. This is smoking and not Newton' 2nd law.

I usually measure them in 2 and 5lb baggies, with this combo I can basically fit any weight.HTH

Curing times:

Your temp of the fridge should be about 40deg.  Much colder than that it might stop the curing process.
Just an note here: I have edited these temps as I was reminded by someone that the danger zones for meats by the FDA is the 40's.  He also stated that he keeps his fridge between 35-38 and has had no problems with the process stopping.  I know there are plenty of directions out there that state the higher temps.  I believe I might try a cooler temp to see what happens.

BBB says 10 days and turning the meat half way through.  If you like a bit of more intense taste, I regularly cure mine for up to 21 days and have excellent results especially if you are using a much milder type cure(maple sugar or brown sugar).  During this time the meat will start giving off some fluid, depending on your meat, this could be a lot.  Leave it in the container, no need to drain.

Preparation for smoking:

After it has cured rinse the meat well and let soak for two hours.  This is where some of us has screwed up.  Rinse the meat WELL, when you think you are done, do it again.  Unless you want really salty meat skip this and you probably won't want to make bacon again.  Let the meat stand at room temp for 1 hr.

Smoking times and temps:

Put meat in smoker and bring up the heat to 150deg and cook for 45 minutes WITHOUT SMOKE.

After 45 minutes raise the temp of the smoker 200deg and let the smoke roll.

Smoke till a internal temp of 140deg. This usually takes 2-4 hrs, depending. AT THAT POINT turn off the heat and let stand IN THE SMOKER for 1 hour.

A few words about internal temp.  I have started smoking mine to a internal temp between 153 and 155 deg.  It has been stated that Canada law say that everything (like this) must be done till a temp of 150deg.  At 151 or 152 all meat is suppose to be safe to eat with out any more cooking.  So with that in mind , choose your temps and cook or (re-cook)at you own liking. Listed below is a thread about the subject.http://www.bradleysmoker.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=322

The reason I bring this up is because when you first see your bacon it kind of looks like cured ham and you will want to eat just like that.  I wanted to smoke it long enough so I can do this.

Cuts of meat:

Of course this will be a personal thing here.  These are my thoughts.  I started off using butts.  They were fine and they do yield a great product but however, my suggestion is to go to a good meat market and choose your meat. A great cut of meat really makes a difference here. It seems when I purchase the ones in the cryovac that comes two to a package, they seem to be too marbled and fatty for my liking when it comes to bacon making.  Some one on the forum here suggested to use a pork loin, so I did.  I can get a whole one at Sam's for about $20.00 and that gives me three large pieces to work with.  I like the way the loin comes out, it's a lot leaner and you almost have to add a touch of oil in the pan if you are going to fry it.  The bottom line is the loin is easier to handle, you don't have to de-bone it, easy to make sandwiches, cuts of about 3/8 inch make a great steak for the grill.  Last but not least, I just like the flavor of a cured pork loin better.  Some others use pork belly to make real looking bacon, I would like to try this some day.  I would appreciate their thoughts.

Hope this helps.  Have FUN!
« Last Edit: April 10, 2006, 10:54:42 am by MallardWacker »

SmokeOn,

Mike
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Offline whitetailfan

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2004, 09:26:43 pm »
Nicely done MW

Easy reference from hereon in, just use the search if this topic gets buried a little.  Thanks for making the effort for our good[8D]

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Offline Cold Smoke

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2004, 09:32:45 pm »
Just recently ordered some fresh pork bellies from the local butcher and attempted to replicate Duck Killer's famous maple bacon recipe. Have been anxious to give this a try for some time. I really like the Buckboard stuff but being the bacon monster that I am wanted a to try a different twist. I used 1 cup of coarse salt, 4 Tbsp pickle cure, and 3 Tbsp maple flavoring (powdered form)and a nice 6-7 lb pork belly. Mixed up the ingredients real well and rubbed into the belly, tossed into plastic bag and refrigerated for 6 days. Tons of liquid after a couple of days. So after the 6 days I pulled from frig and rinsed well for 15 minutes and left in cold water for an hour. Smoked using maple- approx 3 hrs of smoke- pulled from BS at 160F. Tossed back into frig overnight. Sliced some up next morning-WOW! Super nice lean cut of meat (considering it was belly)and looked great. I had a  strong batch of coffee perculating, eggs ready to go...- . Tossed some in the old cast iron skillet and then into my gullet...Oooh...salty!![:(] Mucho salty. No maple flavor either.

It did turn out pretty good for my first non Buckboard bacon making attempt despite the saltiness. I had smoked a nice turkey breast the day before and made some a--kicking clubhouse sandwiches![:)][^]

Not sure why the maple flavoring didn't come through- I might drain the liquid next time after a couple of days and add the flavoring at this time. AND...drop the curing time by a few days- might kill some of the saltiness.



Cold Smoke

Offline PAsmoker

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2004, 09:51:18 pm »
Cold Smoke, I'm not sure I would cut down on the curing time.  You need to let the cure work it's magic to protect you at the lower smoking temps.  Remember, bacteria love to thrive in moist environments espc. in temps of 140* and less.  Here's a recipie I like to use when I make butt bacon (haven't used a belly yet, but that's next):

per 10lbs of meat
3/4c coarse salt
1 Tbs. cure #1
1c brown sugar
optional:honey or maple syrup

Work into the meat really well.  Let cure for 7-10 days.  Rinse well & soak.

I usually slowly bring up the temp in the smoker (to about 140-150) with the bacon in it so it absorbs copious amounts of smoke.  After about 2-3 hours, raise the temp to about 170 and bring bacon to a temp of about 140-150 depending on what you want to do with it (eat it cold or cook like regular bacon -- see other posts about this very subject).

I haven't tried BBB, just this simple recipie and I am very happy with those results.
The Original PAsmoker

Offline Oldman

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2004, 10:18:51 pm »
I got to say you guys are just great at all of this information. Your details are clear and clean.

Chez O Boy as admin can you not pin this thread? That way it will not get lost.
Olds

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Offline Hot Smokin Gal

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2004, 02:23:27 am »
Just posted a recipe I'm trying and got the usual error message but this time my post did not take.  Any clue why?

Offline Hot Smokin Gal

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2004, 02:34:38 am »
Okay try this again since my question why didn't post? came thru.
This is for traditional bacon rather than Canadian style bacon.

Recipe I found on line:

For 5 pound pork belly

1 c sugar
1 c salt

For above two ingredients I used Morton Sugar Cure.  Had ordered regular but received smoked flavor so I guess I'll see if I like it.

8 oz molasses
I actually used about 4 oz molasses and about 4 oz pure maple syrup

1/2 gallon water
1/2 gallon apple cider
ground course pepper

Heat half of water and dissolve in the sugar, salt, and molasses.  Cool and add rest of water and apple cider.  Press black pepper into pork belly and submerge in cooled brine.

Recipe says to brine for 3 days, however, all I've read for sweet pickle wet brines says at least 1 day per pound so I'm going to let it go for 10 days as I made enough for an approx. 8 pound pork belly piece.

When done brining, remove from brine and pat dry and let form pellicle.  Smoke for 4 to 6 hours.  I'm going to use a combination of maple and hickory pucks.  

Hope this wet brine method takes the maple and apple flavors better than Cold Smoke's exerience.  I'll let you all know how it turns out.  The brine tastes like it should give a great flavor to the meat.  I've also got the remainer for the pork belly (was about 16 pounds whole) going with dry rub per MallardWacker's suggestions.  I used Tenderquick and brown sugar for a rub.

I also started two green picinics with combination cure.  If they turn out great I'll share how I did them.

Offline MallardWacker

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2004, 02:01:27 pm »
Man, Iv'e gotts to try this brining thing, my problem is the fridge space.  Like the say, "if you want it bad enough you will always make room".

HSG: Please let us know how it goes!

SmokeOn,

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Offline Hot Smokin Gal

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2004, 03:06:38 pm »
Yeah, I usually wouldn't have room for all this unless I buy another fridge, but hubbies working out of town for several months so I don't have a stocked full fridge for a while.  Don't cook much when he's not home.  We just meet up at our land up in Bayfield, WI on weekends and I cook out over campfire or bring along the Bradley.  My past exerience with hams was with the Chief smoker.  We had bought a whole pig and sent it to the butcher for processing.  Asked for hams, but we got green ""ham roasts" so I tried bringing and smoking myself.  Didn't turn out too bad but these with the Bradley should be even better![:p]

Offline Cold Smoke

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2004, 04:46:28 pm »
Thanks PAsmoker and HSG- I'll likely get those other bellies (had ordered 25 lbs) brining this weekend- I'll try both recipes and let you know how they turn out. [:)][:D]

Cold Smoke

Offline Hot Smokin Gal

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2004, 06:50:44 am »
Hi guys.  I've got my bacon smoking.  First batch just came out.  Will try some in the morning.  Having a hcck of a time with maintaining steady temp because ambient temp keeps changing.  Was smoking first batch 4 1/2 - 5 hours pretty steady.  Now it warmed up outside and without adjusting anything on the Bradley, shortly after I put in my second batch of about 8 pounds of bacon (these are the ones I had salt/sugar packed so I had let them soak and did water change-outs) and the temp spiked about 250 on me in about 2o minutes.  Hope this won't affect my bacon too badly.  I'm keeping a pretty close eye on it.  Was hoping to get some shut-eye with the alarm set on the remote thermometer as it's already going on 1:00a.m. here BUT ---

Question for those that have used Maverick ET73 smoker thermomenter, do weather patterns affect the sensors?  It's been raining but I covered the transmitter and the stack for the bisquettes with part of the smoker cover to keep off the rain.  The receiver has been flashing a satellite icon and the temp readings are off the wall (says smoker temp is like 389 and meat at 186).

Offline Hot Smokin Gal

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2004, 01:48:36 am »
Okay.  I just got done slicing bacon and the kid and I sampled about 1/2 pound [:D]

Maple & apple brined bacon has a very subtle taste of apple and maple. Tends to burn easily if you don't keep a close eye with that maple syrup in it.  I would call it a success.  Smoked it with a combination of apple and maple bisquettes. (I think, it was getting pretty late).

The overly salty sugar/salt pack bacons are now resolved.  I sliced it up and then soaked again while I sliced the brined bacon. Fried up some more and voila - problem solved.  I smoked these with mostly hickory.  I think I like the combo smoke better.  Actually I left these in a little too long and bowl went dry so there is a slight acrid taste but I think when eating with eggs and whatnot or in baked beans or bean soup or whatever, its not going to be as noticeable as just eating bacon.  

For a first try, I think went pretty good.  Much better price than butcher we normally bought bacon from.  Got spoiled on their bacon vs. the crud you get in the grocery store but they get close to $5 a pound for it.  Was half that to order the whole belly.  I'd say I lost 1 1/2 to the skin and weight loss of curing.  Think I'll have to try it again when this is gone.

Next I'm going to try the buckboard bacon for my child that has a fat-phobia (won't eat any meat where he can see fat or feel a slimy feel of fat).[:p]

Offline Chez Bubba

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2004, 01:55:01 am »
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by DoW-Oldman</i>
<br />Chez O Boy as admin can you not pin this thread? That way it will not get lost.
Olds
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
Consider it done. Sorry I didn't do it earlier, I rarely check this board as I don't feel I have anything to contribute that some of the other members know far better than me. One of these days, I'll make the plunge. (And then be on here asking all kinds of questions.[:D])

Cure on[8D],

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Offline Smalls

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2004, 09:52:02 pm »
Smokin Gal,
 I have a pork belly ordered to pick up on Friday from the butcher.  When you say you used Morton Sugar Cure for the salt/sugar, did you use 2 cups to substitute for 1 cup of each?  Would you go heavier or lighter on any of the other ingredients?  This is my first belly, so anything you could add would be appreciated! Thanks
Bill

Offline BigRed

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Re: BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps...
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2004, 03:34:13 am »
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Hot Smokin Gal</i>
<br />Hi guys.  I've got my bacon smoking.  First batch just came out.  Will try some in the morning.  Having a hcck of a time with maintaining steady temp because ambient temp keeps changing.  Was smoking first batch 4 1/2 - 5 hours pretty steady.  Now it warmed up outside and without adjusting anything on the Bradley, shortly after I put in my second batch of about 8 pounds of bacon (these are the ones I had salt/sugar packed so I had let them soak and did water change-outs) and the temp spiked about 250 on me in about 2o minutes.  Hope this won't affect my bacon too badly.  I'm keeping a pretty close eye on it.  Was hoping to get some shut-eye with the alarm set on the remote thermometer as it's already going on 1:00a.m. here BUT ---

Question for those that have used Maverick ET73 smoker thermomenter, do weather patterns affect the sensors?  It's been raining but I covered the transmitter and the stack for the bisquettes with part of the smoker cover to keep off the rain.  The receiver has been flashing a satellite icon and the temp readings are off the wall (says smoker temp is like 389 and meat at 186).
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Hot Smokin!

I have the Maverick and had the same problem. I got water in the sending unit from rain. The readings went every where. I hope to dry it out and no more rain. I don't have the guts to do bacon. Good Luck!!

BigRED