Bacon Suggestions

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Bacon Suggestions

Postby Odin » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:02 pm

Looking for some ideas about making bacon, from pork belly, skin off, 14 pounds. I usually just season with salt, brown sugar and cure. Always dry cure bacon. I’d like to try something different. Looking for some input, from members, on what they’ve made that tastes great. I’m not looking for general recipes there are a ton of them out there. Something you have made personally. Thanks
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby wheels » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:26 pm

Sorry, I'm boring in the bacon department. Just plain, smoked and maple here.
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby Shuswap » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:42 pm

I've been making Brican's maple bacon but my last cold smoked belly was very bitter with creosote (my error). The next batch I followed the maple bacon process but decided not to smoke it at all and just pre-cooked it. We really liked the flavor.
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby wheels » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:16 pm

My family like the maple bacon unsmoked also.

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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby ComradeQ » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:46 pm

I like the maple bacon too, also add honey bacon, black forest bacon, and for special occasions my vanilla bourbon bacon.

I like to smoke all my bacons, depending on what I am going for decides the type of wood and the amount of smoking.
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby crustyo44 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:05 pm

As of late I smoke my EQ cured belly bacon with the addition of Brican's Black Forest spice with extra nutmeg added. Before smoking I rub on this spice mix, including the nutmeg again. That's the way my grandkids like it.
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby badjak » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:27 am

I recently made a sichuan bacon (based on the recipe here: https://honest-food.net/sichuan-bacon/)
and another slab with juniper and bay leaves.
Cold smoked them and they both came out very good
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby Odin » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:57 pm

Thanks for the responses some interesting ideas there. The Black Forest sounds tasty and I have all the ingridents. One thing I haven’t done is unsmoked bacon. I’ll go the boring route and try that one Wheels.

Badjak I did try one Asian style, not bad but not great. The juniper berries and bay leaves sounds like it may taste a bit corned beefy. I have one in the process now but with beef.

ComradeQ the bourbon should great but the alcohol would be a problem maybe for younger children. Most people think alcohol is cooked off when used but that’s not so.
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby ComradeQ » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:26 pm

Odin wrote:Thanks for the responses some interesting ideas there. The Black Forest sounds tasty and I have all the ingridents. One thing I haven’t done is unsmoked bacon. I’ll go the boring route and try that one Wheels.

Badjak I did try one Asian style, not bad but not great. The juniper berries and bay leaves sounds like it may taste a bit corned beefy. I have one in the process now but with beef.

ComradeQ the bourbon should great but the alcohol would be a problem maybe for younger children. Most people think alcohol is cooked off when used but that’s not so.


Agreed, I burn down the bourbon to try and reduce some of the alcohol and then reduce the syrup down with homemade vanilla sugar and maple syrup added. Once reduced I add some of this syrup to the curing bacon but the alcohol will still be there slightly but it is very much an adult flavour. I am playing with an idea of dehydrating this syrup to make a concentrated dry rub but that is a work in progress ...

The black forest I use very traditional black forest ham ingredients for the spice rub - juniper berries, coriander, black pepper, bay leaves, garlic and molasses to mimic the dark surface that traditional blood would bring. I need to find my percentages but I am 1.5 hours into a power outage and can't use my computer to pull up my notes.
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby badjak » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:29 am

Odin wrote:Badjak I did try one Asian style, not bad but not great. The juniper berries and bay leaves sounds like it may taste a bit corned beefy. I have one in the process now but with beef.


The Chinese one (Asia is big...) is better for use in dishes than to eat as bacon and egg.

The other one doesn't even remotely resemble corned beef (which I hate....) :)
It's probably closer to what is described as a black forest one than anything (I just didn't use coriander, rest is pretty much the same)

I tried to copy the ingredients below, but it gets a bit garbled up as I kept a log in excel.
So I am just going to give you the ingredients I used:
Note that I have an 8% cure, so if you use the recipe, please recalculate...
And my slab of bacon had the skin on, otherwise I would have used 120 ppm cure

juniper bacon
per kg

salt 20 gr (2%)
cure 8% 1.375 gr (110 ppm)
sugar 10 gr (1%)
garlic flakes or powder 2 tsp
bay leaves 1 leaf
black pepper 1 tsp
juniper 1 tsp
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby Odin » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:40 pm

Badjak

I really suck at math came you do the math for me on the 8% cure based on the one Kg? Just can’t figure it out.
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby wheels » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:45 pm

What cure are you using Odin? There something not right with the cure calc - 8% of 1000 isn't 1.375g. In any case yours is likely to be different.
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby badjak » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:42 pm

How so?
Not right?

1.375 gr cure of 8% sodium nitrite per kg pork gives 110 ppm nitrite, which is what I was aiming for.
1.375 x 0.08/1000 = 110 ppm

I checked and double checked via my own calculations and also via wheels calculator, so if anything is wrong, I would like to know
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby Odin » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:26 pm

I see the confusion with the 8% issue. How would you determine the cure needed if you didnt know the cure amount, 1.375? Without using the web calculator how do you get the 1.375? Not really important just wondering. Yes Wheels I use 156ppm most of the time.
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Re: Bacon Suggestions

Postby badjak » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:46 am

I just wrote a whole reply and now it is gone...

Will try again.

Bear with me if this is too simplistic
And moderators, if it is too far of topic, please feel free to split it or whatever.

When you want to cure bacon (or sausages, or ham) you need sodium nitrite. The amount needed is normally expressed in ppm (part per million).
1 ppm equals 1 mg per 1 000 000 (1 million) mg which is the same as 1 mg per kg.
Now say you want 156 ppm, this means you need 156 mg per kg meat.
So far so good.
Now you need to look at your cure. You probably have a cure of 6.25%, which means it contains 6.25 gr sodium nitrite per 100 gr, or 6.25 mg per 100 mg.
You want 156 mg, so you need 156/6.25 x 100 mg. In this case that equates to 2496 mg, which is 2.5 gr per kg meat.
You know need to multiply the amount of meat (in kg) with this figure to get the total amount
I hope you normally work in metric, cause it gets more complicated in imperial.

I used 110 ppm and a cure that contains 8% sodium nitrite, therefor my figures will be different.
A totally different question is the amount of cure to use.
I did quite a bit of reading of the research reports of the last 2 years ago.
While Marianski still uses 180-200 ppm for bacon, nowadays it seems most reports advocate the use of around 120 ppm and no more than 156-160 ppm.
The minimum amount for safely curing bacon seems to be around 100 ppm (which is Denmark's maximum amount!) Some curing seems to take place at 50-60 ppm.
I decided 120 ppm sounded safe. I used 110 because I used skin on belly pork.

I use a jeweller's scale for weighing cure, so it is pretty accurate
Generally when measuring out the cure, I write the amount down as a range, minimum x, maximum y and am happy with anything that falls in between those values as you cannot measure accurately within 2 or 3 decimals. I then write down the actual amount and see what I actually used (just for my own interest).

Sorry for the long winded answer.
Hope it helps
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