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John Setzler

Some Man Cave Bacon

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I have been wanting to start this project for a LONG time and stuff just kept getting in my way, but tonight I got the ball rollin' here in the Man Cave...

 

We're gonna start out with an 8 pound Kurobuta pork belly from Snake River Farms....

 

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I was gonna trim this down a little until I opened the package and was just amazed at what it looked like so I decided to just leave this one whole and dedicate the entire cut to bacon...

 

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I made a curing rub for it...

 

1/4 cup kosher salt

2 tsp Prague Powder #1 (pink curing salt)

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

 

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I packaged this loosely in a vacuum seal bag and tossed it in my fridge where it will live for about 10 days and I'll flip it over once or twice a day during that time....  We'll pull it out, rinse it off and smoke that bad boy in 9 or 10 days.  

 

I haven't made up my mind which smoking wood I will use on this project yet.   It will either be Maple, Apple, or Hickory.  I like all three when it comes to bacon...

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Would a chunk or two of all three woods (or, a combo of two woods) complicate the smoke too much and muddle things up? 

 

Never tried two or more different smoking woods at the same time.

 

That's an option, but for me I would prefer a single wood... much like a single malt whiskey :)  For me, smoke wood is as much about the aroma as it is smoke flavor so I tend to stick with a single wood in any given cook.  I have mixed woods in the past with interesting results, but I'm not as keen on that as I am just a single wood.  Apple and Hickory mix well when you use maybe a single chunk of hickory with two or three chunks of apple.  Cherry and peach mix well also.  

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Would a chunk or two of all three woods (or, a combo of two woods) complicate the smoke too much and muddle things up? 

 

Never tried two or more different smoking woods at the same time.

I often use a pecan and hickory mix on bacon and sausage as well as other cooks where I want to mellow out the hickory somewhat. I also like a hickory, cherry, and maple blend for general smoking but have not as I recall used it on a bacon yet although I think it would be a good blend for that.

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Would a chunk or two of all three woods (or, a combo of two woods) complicate the smoke too much and muddle things up? 

 

Never tried two or more different smoking woods at the same time.

I often use a pecan and hickory mix on bacon and sausage as well as other cooks where I want to mellow out the hickory somewhat. I also like a hickory, cherry, and maple blend for general smoking but have not as I recall used it on a bacon yet although I think it would be a good blend for that.

 

I  used 1 stick of hickory and 3 sticks of pecan yesterday on a ham and it turned out great.

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I have always wanted to do a cook with berkshire pork. I am curious, have you used premium products like this in the past? I just want to know if the difference is noticeable before I spend the money to purchase & ship the product.

 

Any answer to that question from me would be completely subjective :)

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I have always wanted to do a cook with berkshire pork. I am curious, have you used premium products like this in the past? I just want to know if the difference is noticeable before I spend the money to purchase & ship the product.

 

Any answer to that question from me would be completely subjective :)

 

I get where you're coming from (most food related opinions are subjective) but I'm guessing if you spent the coin,  you feel it is worth it.  I checked out their website and decided to sip the Kool Aide and bought 2 racks of Kurobuta spare ribs & 2 Northwest strip steaks.  My son in-law has ordered from them before & feels their product is outstanding.  I look forward to trying their stuff for myself.

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