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Old 12-30-2012, 08:18 AM  
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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Homemade bacon

Anyone ever made it?

My brother got me America's Test Kitchen's DIY cookbook (they're the peeps that do Cook's Illustrated), and it includes a good lookin' recipe for homemade bacon that they swear beats the pants off most anything you can buy... plus, since you have it in slab form (which seems to be pretty hard to find unless you order it), you can do nice things like lardons.

Anyhoo, after wandering all over the butcher shops and grocery stores in Montgomery (only one could get it, and it was $8/pound), I asked the meat manager at Publix if he could get any, and he said yes. And it was only going to be $3.19/pound. I went to pick it up this morning and the guy had made a mistake - my 5-pound order was 11.44 pounds, but it was marked at $2.69/pound. The manager said he knew that was more than I wanted, but if I'd take the whole thing, he'd take another 40 cents off per pound.

So I have 11 pounds of pork belly in my fridge, some pink salt on the way for the cure, and a box full of apple wood in my shed. And bacon will be made.

They also have a recipe for pancetta, which I'll attempt at some point, too.

Last edited by Fried Meat Ball!; 12-30-2012 at 08:24 AM.. Reason: Fixing a typo
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:44 AM   #16
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
No posts yet about how homemade bacon gives us a lardon? Tsk, tsk.


Rep, good sir.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:48 AM   #17
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When you cook it, put it in the oven cold on a foiled tray, turn the oven on to 300 degrees and let it cook for 20-24 min until perfectly golden brown.

It literally melts in your mouth.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:50 AM   #18
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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Originally Posted by Buck View Post
When you cook it, put it in the oven cold on a foiled tray, turn the oven on to 300 degrees and let it cook for 20-24 min until perfectly golden brown.

It literally melts in your mouth.
That's how I do my regular bacon. With the recipe I'm using, you smoke the bacon to 150. They say after that, the bacon is ready to eat, so you can eat it cold or put it in a skillet (or oven) and cook as you normally would.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:58 AM   #19
KCUnited KCUnited is offline
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I've never cured pork belly, but I cure pork loin into back bacon often. It's a 5-7 day cure, I've never used pink salt, I use Tender Quick. I smoke it at 150 degrees to around 145/150 internal.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:08 AM   #20
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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Originally Posted by KCUnited View Post
I've never cured pork belly, but I cure pork loin into back bacon often. It's a 5-7 day cure, I've never used pink salt, I use Tender Quick. I smoke it at 150 degrees to around 145/150 internal.
Hmm. CI says not to use Tender Quick, but they don't say why.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
That's how I do my regular bacon. With the recipe I'm using, you smoke the bacon to 150. They say after that, the bacon is ready to eat, so you can eat it cold or put it in a skillet (or oven) and cook as you normally would.
I can't eat it any other way now. I can't stand the non-uniform cooked level of bacon in a pan. This is my weekend breakfast every weekend.

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Old 12-30-2012, 11:12 AM   #22
KCUnited KCUnited is offline
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Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
Hmm. CI says not to use Tender Quick, but they don't say why.
There are several pink salt/tender quick debates all over the Internet. I use tender quick out of convenience of availability and have always been happy with how my cures have turned out.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:23 AM   #23
rockymtnchief rockymtnchief is offline
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I can't eat it any other way now. I can't stand the non-uniform cooked level of bacon in a pan. This is my weekend breakfast every weekend.

One plate??? That's just an appetizer for my bacon dinner!
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:25 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by rockymtnchief View Post
One plate??? That's just an appetizer for my bacon dinner!
Only 9 pieces of bacon can fit on my tray at one time or else I would make the whole package.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:47 AM   #25
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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Originally Posted by KCUnited View Post
There are several pink salt/tender quick debates all over the Internet. I use tender quick out of convenience of availability and have always been happy with how my cures have turned out.
I bought a pound of pink salt on Amazon. That should last me about 400 pounds of meat.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:51 AM   #26
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:54 AM   #27
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This just proves how good it is to eat LOW on the hog.

I used to help my grandparents make bacon when we'd butcher hogs. Totally worth the grief. Here's your goal: Burger's Bacon
Burgers is about 3 miles down the road from me. If you can recreate that, your gonna be in hog heaven~
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:01 PM   #28
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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I'll be starting my cure tomorrow. I didn't order quite enough maple sugar, but I added some grade B dark amber real maple syrup to some sugar (like you would for homemade brown sugar) and did a side-by-side taste comparison and feel confident it'll taste great. So next Sunday I should be smoking my pork belly and have an 11-pound slab of bacon!
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:04 PM   #29
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Thank you for reminding me of bacon. I was getting hungry. Now I know what I'm eating.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:14 PM   #30
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Bacon is high in cholesterol. It will choke your arteries down and KILL you. I'd advise eating a Turkey breast instead.
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