Saturday, November 29, 2008


So I made another batch of bacon. Ran up to Penn Dutch in Hollywood and got a whole pork belly for a very reasonable price. This time I took photos of at least some of the process.

I split the belly in half and made about 4lbs of maple bacon and 4lbs of cracked black pepper. Basic recipe out of Charcuterie, basic cure + maple syrup or black pepper. Here you can see them side by side after curing.

The big revelation on this one was I finally got my smoker to cooperate and not overcook the bacon. I use a Weber Smokey Mountain "bullet" smoker, and while it does a great job of holding 225 for 10 hours it doesn't really like to go cooler. But this time I did a modified 'Minion Method' start and it kept a great 180 for several hours. Just fill the charcoal pan about half full, sprinkle whatever wood you're using (I used maple, alder and a bit of hickory), and add 20 lit briquettes. Fill the pan with cold water, and the lit coals will slowly spread keeping the temp nice and low. Worked like a charm, didn't get any dry or toasty bits and got to an internal temp of 140 before I pulled them.Here you can see the pepper bacon being trimmed into two nice sections, and some knobby end bits. Those were chopped up and used in a soup. Both maple and pepper came out great, the best attempt yet.


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