Jump to content

Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.


Making Bacon


  • Please log in to reply
248 replies to this topic

#241 CatPoet

  • legacy participant
  • 1,235 posts
  • Location:Småland

Posted 05 July 2014 - 02:41 AM

Depends on which breed of pig they are,  we have pigs here who  are know to be lean and it  all up to what the piggy gets to eat.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

#242 Norm Matthews

Norm Matthews
  • participating member
  • 1,229 posts
  • Location:Kansas City , Kansas

Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:22 AM

Some American hog raisers are bringing small farm methods and heritage breeds back on the market. 


Edited by Norm Matthews, 05 July 2014 - 08:25 AM.

#243 DiggingDogFarm

  • participating member
  • 1,405 posts
  • Location:Finger Lakes Region of New York State

Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:27 AM

Yes, there's always been some old-fashioned pork on the market but that's certainly not what "we generally buy in the supermarket these days."

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!

#244 Norm Matthews

Norm Matthews
  • participating member
  • 1,229 posts
  • Location:Kansas City , Kansas

Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:51 AM

Quite true. Heritage pork is not easily found and isn't cheap either.

#245 CatPoet

  • legacy participant
  • 1,235 posts
  • Location:Småland

Posted 05 July 2014 - 09:32 AM

Swedish pork isnt that fatty, due to the laws. Pigs cant be kept in small pens or be fed antibiotics with out a good reason  nor can the be slaughter with antibiotic or drugs in their system, They have to have nature identical  food,  bedding and  few more things.  

So the pork we buy in the supermarket comes from pigs that have had  fairly good life OR you can  chose to get organic outdoor if you have the money.   And  also there is many   outdoor, natural  running pig farms that sells their meat online and all you have to do is place an order and pick up or ask them to come home to you.  And if you want to spend even more money, you can choose half breed  or boar from a local store.

Edited by CatPoet, 05 July 2014 - 09:33 AM.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

#246 Chris Hennes

Chris Hennes

    Director of Operations

  • manager
  • 8,379 posts
  • Location:Norman, Oklahoma

Posted 05 July 2014 - 10:08 AM

Bear in mind that even a heritage breed known for its marbling (e.g. Large Black) are often crossed with faster-growing varieties that are leaner. They also tend to be pastured, which can lead to a leaner hog. The flavor is still good, but if it's fat you are after you'll definitely want to see what feed is being given to a pastured hog.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations

#247 glennbech

  • participating member
  • 351 posts
  • Location:Oslo

Posted 05 July 2014 - 04:59 PM



It seems that hot/cold smoking is a preference. With hot smoking - I guess temperature control becomes an issue. If you don't have fancy equipment there is a limit to how much time the bacon can stay in the smoker. I personally hot smoke for 1-2 hours, to around 135, which is good for my taste. I use hickory, cherry or apple spoon in a weber coal bbq. The smoke output is massive :)


Vacuum curing works great. You can rub your pork belly well with cure, shake of the excess and seal it. If I were you, I'd measure the thickness of the bacon and take notes so you can improve your recipe according to your taste over time. With the pork I usually get (skinny industrial) - 4 days seems to be the sweet spot according to my family's taste.


Remember to hang/dry the cured bacon at least 24 hours before smoking (you probably know this) - to develop a sticky pellicle that smoke can adhere to. I have also hanged/dried my bacon after smoking for 24 hours before vacuum sealing for storage - with great results.    


For food safety; don't skip nitrate salt in the cure. 


Here is my last batch



Edited by glennbech, 05 July 2014 - 05:00 PM.

#248 ChrisTaylor

  • host
  • 2,469 posts
  • Location:Melbourne

Posted 05 July 2014 - 05:46 PM

Yesterday I cold smoked two different kinds of bacon for 12 hours over macadamia pellets. The pellets are supposedly made only from the nut itself and the shell. I found with my soldering iron-based smoker, at least, in which the heating element has direct contact with the wood that pellets produced a more consistent level of smoke than 'sawdust' does.


Note that tastings were done as soon as the bacon came out of the smoker. I plan on leaving them to air dry in the fridge for a day or two before portioning/freezing.


Anyway, I used two different recipes for bacon. The first was based on the very simple bacon recipe in Ruhlman's book, although I messed with the spicing a little: a bit of pepper, a bit of sugar, a few juniper berries. Significantly less salt than the second one. I didn't so much measure the salt to the gram as rub salt all over the piece of meat and vac pack it and leave it alone for a week. This batch tastes smoky but doesn't taste as cured as the second piece. I could see this piece working well for breakfast rashers.


The second piece was cured in the fashion detailed in John Currence's book, although again I made some changes to the spicing. A lot more salt, a hell of a lot sugar, a lot of pepper and some dried bird's eye chilli. I went easy on the later as I wasn't sure how much heat would transfer into the meat. I only vac packed this one for four days before smoking it but, perhaps due to the higher quantity of salt and slightly thinner cut of meat, find it tastes more cured than the older one. It's a bit salty but not horribly so like the first time I attempted this recipe (the first time round, I got lazy in cleaning off the cure before smoking the meat). Maybe slightly too salty for a breakfast rasher--although I was wasting a bit off the end--but I reckon it'd work nicely in a burger, salad or pot of beans. It's nowhere near as sweet as I'd have expected from all the muscovado sugar I used or from all the molasses-coloured water that filled the bag.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org


I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

#249 punkin

  • new member
  • 5 posts
  • Location:NSW Australia

Posted 10 July 2015 - 11:55 AM

Hi everyone. My searching skills are not up to the task of finding information on doing bacon bones, but i will be processing half a backfatter next week and i would like to design a brine to do the bones for soups with a brine.


I'm happy with 3% salt in my regular bacon (i cold smoke and then bring up to temp in a custom home made smoke box) and i'm wondering how salty that is going to make the small amount of meat as i'm thinking that the bones themselves although part of the calculation will not absorb he salt?


I don't think i should guess at the meat weight as the salt will be too low to protect it in the brine.


Any advise from those who have done this before?

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Charcuterie