Author Topic: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!  (Read 2821 times)

Libohunden

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2017, 11:06:55 PM »
Yours should look very similar.  I slather mine in maple syrup when I take it out.  This is the second belly I've smoke for bacon.  The first was incredible.  I let it rest for 4 days uncovered in the fridge before cutting it down to manageable sizes and vacuum sealing.  A few days after that I sliced a couple pounds with a carving knife and cooked it up.  Now, I need to stock up before the warm weather hits down here in Texas. 

Can't wait to see some finished product pics of yours!
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SconnieQ

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2017, 11:54:15 PM »
Getting ready, cut my wood chunks into slivers. 6oz that I'll use for the cold smoke phase. Not sure if I'll add more for the hot smoke yet. Maybe only like 2-2.5 oz if I do.

I haven't added any additional wood for the hot smoke phase. And I like it pretty smoky. I often use part hickory (with some cherry or maple thrown in). Since using all maple will provide a milder smoke, I think you'll be okay to add more during the hot smoke if you want to give that a try and see how it turns out. Letting it mellow in the refrigerator for a few days is important. Your first taste tests might be kind of strong.
Kari from Madison WI "77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality"
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SmokedGouda

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2017, 02:33:52 PM »
Quick mid smoke update: I've been doing full blast for 15 mins then off for 45 mins. I checked the wood box after the 2nd cold hour and it was basically all gone, so I added another 4.375 oz and this time 1 was a bigger chunk. There was plenty of ice in the bottle still, but I dumped the tray and added some more cubes too. I won't be adding more wood during the hot phase since I added it here. Next time I'll prob make sure the slivers are a little bigger so they don't burn up so quickly.
I'm almost done with the 4th cold hour, I'm gonna do 1 more then remove the cold plate and turn it up to 200 until IT hits 150.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 03:00:03 PM by SmokedGouda »
Phil from NJ
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Libohunden

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2017, 03:39:38 PM »
Looking good!  Man those are some clean looking side rails!  LOL

Can't remember if I posted a final pic of my bacon last night after I slathered both pieces with maple syrup.

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SmokedGouda

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2017, 03:41:25 PM »
Haha I actually just tossed the side rails in the dishwasher after my last smoke, so that's why they're so clean now haha.

Those look so good! Another few more hours before I can get some finished pics up...
Phil from NJ
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SmokedGouda

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2017, 09:03:28 PM »
Finally finished! I cold smoked for 5 hours and then removed the cold plate and turned it up to 200 (no wood left). The IT was about 70 at this point. Took just under 4 hours to get to 150 IT. It was between 16-22 degrees outside all day. I brushed them with maple syrup after removing them and sprinkled some black/red pepper flakes on a small portion. I licked my fingers after touching it and could easily taste the smoke already. I haven't tried a piece yet and will be waiting a few days to let it mellow out. (Plus I've been sick this weekend and have no energy to clean up more than I already have)

I'll post some pics after I slice them, but here are a few to hold you over...
The one in the smoker is at the end of the cold smoke phase. The double shots are before maple syrup went on. The individual bottom shots are with maple syrup.
Phil from NJ
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Libohunden

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2017, 09:21:48 PM »
Looks gorgeous!!!  Let it rest for a few days before slicing to let the smoke settle into the meat. Your going to love it!
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Donmac

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2017, 09:13:04 AM »
Wow those look really good guys!
Don from New Hampshire, 3D & #1 Owner

SmokedGouda

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2017, 10:02:00 AM »
I called out sick from work today, and I'm sitting at home with 9lbs of bacon in my fridge and it's tough to resist so I decided to slice a few pieces just to test it out. Wow is that smokey! Definitely going to give it a few days before I slice it and bag it.

How much does it tend to mellow out? Cause it's very strong at the moment so I hope I didn't use too much wood. (I did add more about halfway thru)
Phil from NJ
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NDKoze

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2017, 12:51:48 PM »
It mellows out a fair amount. I usually let mine sit in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Gregg - Fargo, ND
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SconnieQ

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2017, 09:46:50 PM »
If you used 6 ounces to start, then added another 4.5, it is definitely going to be on the smoky side. So you might want to let it mellow for 7 days in the fridge before you freeze. If it's still too smoky, then you'll know for next time how to adjust it. Everyone likes it a little different. Sometimes it's easier to evaluate it a month from now, when you pull a package out of the freezer, if you don't eat it all before then.
Kari from Madison WI "77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality"
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SmokedGouda

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2017, 04:43:19 PM »
Thanks guys! I'm going to slice it up this weekend, so that'll be 6 or 7 days. I'll be ok with a little more smoke flavor, but as it is right now it's almost inedible. Luckily the belly wasn't too pricey and my Costco seems to always have a decent supply, so a redo isn't too difficult!

I'll definitely use less wood next time, but might leave the chunks bigger than they were this time. I think that led to them burning up too quick which made me want to add more so I could have a few more hours of the cold smoke. The first 6 oz were gone in just 2 hours, which seemed way too quick considering I was going for a 5 hour cold smoke.

I doubt any Pitmasters have won a competition with their first attempt at something...
Phil from NJ
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TmanEater

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2017, 11:14:37 PM »
Phil-

I had a very similar experience on my first bacon as you just had. Your current pics are inspiring me to want to do another batch before spring this year. I thought the smoke was overpowering and I did many hours like you of multiple cold smoking waves. I've now let mine sit in the freezer for nearly a year the it's not nearly as overpowering as trying that first taste. I also find that the edges/ends were inedible. On my next go around I'm going to smoke less, mellow more, and slice thinner for the majority with thick cut slices on ~20% for comparison purposes.

See my thread here. The second link I commented that next time I'll do 2 hours and then up it to 200 until IT hits 150.
http://smokinitforums.com/index.php?topic=4312.msg38837#msg38837
http://smokinitforums.com/index.php?topic=4312.msg40041#msg40041
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Tony from Marion, IA

SmokedGouda

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2017, 07:31:24 PM »
Thanks Tman! I'm not sure how I missed your post before I started, I thought I read every single one hahaha

It makes total sense that the ends would be inedible since they're obviously getting hit the most. I'm going to wait till the weekend to slice it up and bag it. I'll cut a piece from the side but then also from the center so I can see how the flavor compares.

I have a feeling that the wood burned up so quickly for me because of the 15 mins on sessions were set at the highest temp so the wood must've started to burn quickly meaning I prob could've gotten away with only 5-10 mins on max or just a lower temp.

Next time I might try just setting the temp to 80-100 and let that go for 2-3 hours or until the wood is gone  and then remove the cold plate and up the temp to 200 after that. The 6 oz I initially wanted to use should've been plenty to give enough smoke flavor, just want to stretch the timing out so it's a light smoke for a long time instead of heavy smoke.
Phil from NJ
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SconnieQ

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Re: Merry Christmas! ... First Attempt at Bacon!!!
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2017, 12:52:07 AM »
On their own, the edge trimmings are too strong. I use the edge trimmings in beans, soup, scalloped potatoes, or anywhere else you want some smoked flavor where you would normally use bacon or ham hocks, etc.
Kari from Madison WI "77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality"
SI Model #1 with "Libby the dog" poultry skin eating accessory
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Anova WiFi Precision Cooker (sous vide)