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Smokehowze

Artisan Belly Bacon

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Artisan Belly Bacon using a 'Sweet Cure'

 

For this bacon, I wanted to push up the sugar percentage in the equilibrium immersion cure more toward what some might refer to as a ‘Sweet Cure’ bacon at 6% sugars in the curing brine.  Just to give us a taste comparison to belly bacon using lower sugar concentrations in prior bacon batches. I also slightly increased my typical salt percentage up to 2.5%.  

 

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The bacon flavor after the final fridge rest has become quite uniform and well balanced throughout the meat.  Quite good to eat freshly sliced (since it is fully "cooked") , but outstanding when carefully fried off at low to medium heat due to the higher sugar. It cooks and crisps nicely with the outer edges developing a nice caramelization.  It has a much sweeter finish on the palate when eating a slice.  Quite rich.   Quite filling. Great for breakfast, outstanding on BLTs.

 

 

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This started out at just under 10 lbs.  I utilized an equilibrium immersion cure approach at the higher sugar level.  Cure #1, salt, brown/white sugar, and some fine ground black pepper in the brine.   Smoked in my converted electric kitchen oven smoker using a graduated time/temperature profile starting at 130 and not exceeding 170 degrees heat.   After immersion , a solid day in the fridge uncovered to dry.   Dusted lightly with fine ground black pepper before hitting the smoker.  A total cook time of 11.5 hours with 10.5 hours on the hickory smoke using pellets in my smoking maze. Internal meat temps were between 147 and 150. Yield after smoking was about 80% by weight from the initial meat weigh-in.

 

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A 3 day fridge rest wrapped in peach butcher paper equalized the bacon and it firmed up nicely. Chilled for a bit in the freezer and sliced on the Berkel 827A at a thickness of 1/8 inch. Finally the bacon was chamber vacuum sealed in a mix of 1/2 and 1 pound packages.  Ready for future good eats.

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The family says this recipe is a keeper. 

 

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  • Similar Content

    • By John Setzler

       
       
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    • By John Setzler
       
       

       

       
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      I know I said I was going to do a brisket in my last post, but I was talked into trying a pork belly for the first time instead. I followed the recipe and smoking directions of a friend and while we were pleased with the results, I'll definitely make some changes next time. The first change will be to not plan on the pork belly as the main focus of the meal. I think we would have enjoyed it much better if we would have served it as an appetizer. Next one will also get a little more of the fat cap trimmed off and I'll sear it on the griddle after a good smoke like @John Setzler described in his pork belly cook.


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