Today's Smoked Bacon

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Joined Aug 4, 2000

A raw, fifteen pound belly aka green belly aka side of pork.  (EDIT) The sheet pan that it sets on measures 26" by 18".


The belly's center section, skin-side up, has been scored about 3/8th inch deep to facilitation penetration of the cure since the unscored hide blocks it. Also to allow the belly to fit into my smoker, it has been divided into thirds.


All three sections of the belly have been scored.


Finished curing ten days later, note the deeper, reddish color of the meat. THAT's what nitrites do, color with a bite of flavor.  Shown are (EDIT) two cured pork bellies divided into thirds and weighing approximately thirty pounds overall.


Finished smoking, the scored side faces upwards to allow the fat to drop onto the newspaper. The meat is allowed to air-dry for a few days to avoid condensation and freezer burn once wrapped, refrigerated and then frozen.


Meat side faces upwards.


One whole, smoked belly divided into thirds.  THAT'S ALL, FOLKS!!!!!!
 
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Very nice Koko! What wood did you smoke with? BTW, I've scored the skin and not scored with no noticeable difference.
 
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I smoked using hickory chunks in my Weber Smokey Mountain smoker, @BrianShaw.  Since I cut slices perpendicular to the long axis of each piece, pre-scoring avoids my having to do it each and every time prior to cooking.
 
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Makes sense to me.  I'll do that on the next batch. The one I made a few weeks ago is all gone.  Mostly bartered with my carpenter friend for a custom cleaver block and the rest for christmas gifts.
 
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I find that a month in the freezer really lets the smoke flavor penetrate the bacon. It is good fresh smoked but gets better after a bit of aging!
 
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BTW hickory smoke wood imparts a much deeper red color to the meat.  I'm gonna' need to post a side-by-side comparison of apple wood vs hickory smoked bacon as far as color is concerned.
 
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I wanted to do a couple of bellies for gifts, but just didn't have the time or enough room in the fridge. Maybe next week..........They will be New Years gifts.

Those look good.
 
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I wanted to do a couple of bellies for gifts, but just didn't have the time or enough room in the fridge. Maybe next week..........They will be New Years gifts.

Those look good.
Bellies and tarts, they're all that I know ........  well.
 
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Very nice @kokopuffs!
What temperature did you smoke it at?
Mostly between 150F -185F.  the ambient temperature remained low, around 37F which requires that I micromanage the smoker's temperature if at all possible.  If the temperature hovered at 77F +, then temperature management of the smoker would not have required as much intervention.
 
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Ditto all the above comments!

I thought I would try makin' bacon last year but never jumped.

Question about the rind...what makes leaving it on vs removing better?

mimi
 
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....................Question about the rind...what makes leaving it on vs removing better?
mimi
Personal preference and I don't mind chewing the rind once the bacon is finished baking in the oven.  Rind removal prior to curing just takes some effort that I'm not willing to invest in.  Removal is probably a PITA.

The bacon slices are laid in a sheet pan that is then placed in the center of an oven preheated to 300-350F and allowed to bake for 10-15 minutes.
 
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I've taken it off in the past. A real hassle. I like to chew it but not my family. They get freaked out by the occasional teat. For them I slice and trim the rind before cooking. Removal is much easier then.
 
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