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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 01-01-2014, 01:50 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by Just Passin' By View Post
Are you finding it cost effective, or would you have to increase the amount to reach that point?
I ordered 4 oz of pink curing salt and it was $9. I still have to buy the pork belly. I think it'll cost more making it homemade, but heard it's well worth it.


http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/curing-salt
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:51 PM   #152
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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Originally Posted by Just Passin' By View Post
Are you finding it cost effective, or would you have to increase the amount to reach that point?
The best thing I can say is since I started making my own, I literally haven't bought bacon since. It's cost effective, depending on how much you're paying for pork belly. I get mine for about $2.20 per pound. But what I like most is having the choice to cut it as thick or thin as I want. There is no treat more fantastic than homemade bacon lardons.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:55 PM   #153
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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You cured it with brown sugar?
I used brown sugar as part of the cure.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:57 PM   #154
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I used brown sugar as part of the cure.
If you think it's better than maple, I'll try the brown.


Did you use light or dark?
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:58 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by Inmem58 View Post
If you think it's better than maple, I'll try the brown.


Did you use light or dark?
I liked the maple, but I didn't feel like the cost of maple justified the very faint maple flavor. I've used white sugar spiked with Grade B maple syrup, maple sugar, and brown sugar, and brown is my favorite. I used dark brown.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:02 PM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
The best thing I can say is since I started making my own, I literally haven't bought bacon since. It's cost effective, depending on how much you're paying for pork belly. I get mine for about $2.20 per pound. But what I like most is having the choice to cut it as thick or thin as I want. There is no treat more fantastic than homemade bacon lardons.
Thanks for the info. I'd planned to do this earlier in the (last) year, but something came up. It looks like I'll want to find a good price on the salt before trying it.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:04 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by Just Passin' By View Post
Thanks for the info. I'd planned to do this earlier in the (last) year, but something came up. It looks like I'll want to find a good price on the salt before trying it.
By salt, I presume you meant to say the pork belly. Try the meat market in a local grocery store. I get mine from Publix, which is the only place I can get it without ordering from a butcher (who wants to charge me 4x the price).
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:10 PM   #158
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Could be salt. Because I paid $9, can you find it somewhere cheaper than $9 FMB?



I ordered it from that link I just posted.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:15 PM   #159
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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Could be salt. Because I paid $9, can you find it somewhere cheaper than $9 FMB?



I ordered it from that link I just posted.
I bought a pound for $13.50 from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Didn't really get worried about the cost because a pound will be more salt than I can use in 10 years when you use one teaspoon at a time.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:20 PM   #160
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It was the salt. I like $13.50 a pound a lot better than I like $9 for a quarter pound. Part of this, for me, is to make it at least a somewhat cost effective alternative to the crappy stuff we're now spending $4 and more a pound on, so every bit helps.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:41 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by Just Passin' By View Post
It was the salt. I like $13.50 a pound a lot better than I like $9 for a quarter pound. Part of this, for me, is to make it at least a somewhat cost effective alternative to the crappy stuff we're now spending $4 and more a pound on, so every bit helps.
Yeah I sorta blew it :-(
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:48 PM   #162
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Yeah I sorta blew it :-(
Nah..... First time is usually the learning time, and those things matter less. I'm just trying to get a head start and get right to it, because I really don't like the direction food prices have been going.


I was going to corn some briskets. I took one look at the price of the briskets, laughed, and decided that I'd stick with the commercially made corned beefs for about 1/3-1/4 the price.
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