Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork

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mayor al
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Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Wed, 09/26/12 5:23 PM
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We completed our first batch of Bacon today, and started the curing process on the second chunk of Pork Belly.
 
The first batch was done using the recipe that comes with the Morton's Sugar Cure. Basically one and a half cups of curing mix with one cup of Brown Sugar added and mixed in.  The result is a bit salty for our tastes...I am not a fan of 'strong' country ham either.  The Bacon is fine for sandwiches and with other food, but to eat plain it is a bit salty for our tastes.
After rubbing in the curing mix, we allowed the pork to sit in sealed bags in the refrigerator , turning it once a day for 5 days. The rinsed it off and put it in the smoker for 6 hour
Then sliced and packaged the bacon for our normal use amounts
Batch number two saw us cut the curing salt by 50% and doubling the Brown Sugar amount. it is in the refrigerator now, I will report on how the taste changed with the recipe. Batches 3 and 4 will follow when we settle on the mix ratios. We are smoking over applewood and will do one batch with Maple Sugar and maplewood smoke
Bacon cure mix-


Batch one being sliced and packaged for use.



tiki
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Wed, 09/26/12 6:32 PM
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i'll be over for breakfast!
 

pnwchef
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Wed, 09/26/12 8:09 PM
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It looks great Al, was it smoked in the Smoke house ????????

ann peeples
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Wed, 09/26/12 8:54 PM
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I am jealous! So is Bob!

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Wed, 09/26/12 10:42 PM
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The big Smokehouse is 80% complete...but these bellies have to be done now, so I used my Masterchef electric smoker with Applewood from our trees.
Annie, There will be some with us when we head north.

FriedClamFanatic
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Wed, 09/26/12 11:18 PM
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Interesting!.............will await the results.  Made a new batch of my boneless country ribs today (see other post on making bacon), using a linguica style recipe with brown sugar........5 day cure......came out really nice.
 
I noticed you slice and then freeze it?  I just freeze chunks and thaw a piece to use in the next few days.  you notice any difference?

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Thu, 09/27/12 10:58 AM
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first time here...so can't compare yet. We slice then freeze portion size pkgs.  Will report when we test quality after a time lapse.

joerogo
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Thu, 09/27/12 2:44 PM
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Hey Al,  Is this wild boar from your hunting trip?  

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Thu, 09/27/12 3:28 PM
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Joe,  yes this pork is from the two hogs we shot on our recent hunt. We selected the two largest and most domesticated looking hogs from a herd of about 50 that was working its way thru feeders in the woods. Some of the hogs would be called Feral Pigs as they look almost farm fresh, but the attitude and behaviors are sure like the big razorbacks in the herd (pack?). Anyway we took these two...total about 640 lbs hanging weight. We got four chunks of Pork Belly to try to turn into bacon.
Here are the hogs ready to butcher.

 
BTW the second batch is curing much better. We are turning it twice a day, and will do 5 short days til smoker time.

joerogo
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Thu, 09/27/12 3:50 PM
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Al, how is the rest of the meat?  I am told that wild boar/pigs are only good for hams and sausage because the meat is tough.

chewingthefat
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Thu, 09/27/12 5:36 PM
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Al, I got some garlic bacon from ? on the internet, it was delicious, ever thought of adding some fresh garlic to the cure?
Wish I could remember the company.

ann peeples
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Thu, 09/27/12 7:17 PM
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Looking forward to some.......

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Fri, 09/28/12 12:03 AM
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Annie
Tom, We decided not to add the garlic but make it brown-sugar/maple 'tint'
 
Joe, Large Boars can be 'gamey' but the smaller hogs and the sows don't get that 'male' hormone that alters the overall flavor. We have had sausage, loin, ribs, and bacon so far and it is as good or better than 'store-pork'.

FriedClamFanatic
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Sat, 09/29/12 12:14 AM
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CTF..when I make my "bacon", using boneless style country rib, i always use a generous amount of garlic in the recipe.....that and redwine vinegar help give it a nice edge and flavor

chewingthefat
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Sat, 09/29/12 1:15 PM
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FriedClamFanatic


CTF..when I make my "bacon", using boneless style country rib, i always use a generous amount of garlic in the recipe.....that and redwine vinegar help give it a nice edge and flavor

FCF, sounds delicious!


mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Sun, 09/30/12 11:06 AM
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OK  batch 2 is in the smoker.  This one seems to be less salty with a brown-sugar tinge to the brine.
5 hours to go now at 190 degrees.


ann peeples
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Sun, 09/30/12 2:37 PM
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Mouthwatering!

tiki
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Sun, 09/30/12 3:02 PM
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that looks AWESOME!
 
 

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Sun, 09/30/12 3:31 PM
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OK, When we took the meat out of the smoker, the top rack...a thinner piece, was done completely. We are snacking on it !!!  The others will be treated like partially cooked bacon, to be fried to crisp it up. The balance of sugar and salt is just right in these pieces.
Here is the finished meat as is came out of the smoker...Totals about 11 lbs.




  I think this batch will be "Just Right" on a "Three Bears Scale of 1 to 3"

tiki
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Mon, 10/1/12 12:45 AM
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i am envious! Happy breakfasts and blts!
 

FriedClamFanatic
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Mon, 10/1/12 1:00 AM
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looks great........hope it tastes so too!

kevincad
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Mon, 10/1/12 10:39 AM
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mayor al


OK  batch 2 is in the smoker.  This one seems to be less salty with a brown-sugar tinge to the brine.
5 hours to go now at 190 degrees.


What kind of smoker is that?

lleechef
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Mon, 10/1/12 11:16 AM
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Al and Janet,
Absolutely lovely and I'm sure it was delicious!!

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Mon, 10/1/12 3:12 PM
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Boy Al, are you lucky. Bacon prices are heading up and that's no "boloney"
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2012/10/01/bacon-shortage-baloney-but-prices-to-rise.html

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Mon, 10/1/12 6:49 PM
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Kevin,
My full-sized "OutHouse Smoke House" is about 80% completed. we had hoped to have it done in time for this project, so as to be able to do all of the Pork Belly at one time...but construction delays have slowed it done a bit.
Here's the foundation and then you can see the size of the project...in its 'being built'  location. When done, we will move it onto the foundation, beside the steps to the deck.  The firebox will extend down the slope and be connected with stovepipe for about a 6-8 foot distance. It is 4x4x7 foot and will have white-oak barn siding over the plywood when done. (our own wood from a downed oak tree).

 
Better view of the project.  A full report will be posted when we get it "Smoking"

The smoker being used is one of the Masterchef electric boxes...About $199 at Lowes the last time we looked.  We use a mix of Jack Daniels charcoal pellets and our own applewood for smoking fuel.
TO ALL-  Yeah it looks good and tastes great also.  We are going to do the final Batch of 4 chunks of Pork Belly starting their cure tonight, then into the smoker on Saturday.
 
<message edited by mayor al on Mon, 10/1/12 7:14 PM>

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Sun, 10/7/12 11:41 AM
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UPDATE-
The last batch of Hog Belly is out of the 'cure' and into the Smoker. 4 hours at 190 degrees with maplechips and some hickory mixed in will do the job this time. We totaled about 30 lbs of finished Bacon (before frying), sliced and packaged for the winter use. I'll add a photo to this post when we get the meat out of the smoker this afternoon.

ann peeples
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Sun, 10/7/12 12:15 PM
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Fantastic!

Twinwillow
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Sun, 10/7/12 7:21 PM
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Someones going to bacon heaven!

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Mon, 10/8/12 4:20 PM
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OK, Here is the last batch of the Missouri Hog Belly to Bacon conversion adventure.
The final product looks and tastes like Bacon...not smoked pork. This is our best yet. we totaled the whole project at between 25 and 30 lbs of sliced Bacon and useable scraps for "Beans N Things" !




tiki
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Mon, 10/8/12 5:13 PM
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Mam o man--heat some of that up to go with my sourdough bread,fried green tomatoes,fresh crisp romaine and Hellman's and you just might have a world champion quality BLT!

pnwchef
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Mon, 10/8/12 6:12 PM
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Al, looks great.....We will be finishing 2 pigs soon, so they are ready to process when the weather cools down in a month or so. What was the second cure rub Recipe when you dbl the sugar and cut back the salt. could you explain the whole process of what the ingredients were and what you did..................Thanks ..............Bill

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Mon, 10/8/12 6:49 PM
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Bill
We bought a bag (5 lbs) of Morton's "Sugar Cure" Game Curing Salt. Apparently Morton makes several 'flavors' of curing salts..we saw several others on line when searching for the basic recipes.

 
So we started with several large chunks of Missouri Hog Belly, ranging from 2-3 lbs to 12 lbs in size.
We washed and pat-dried the pieces selected for each batch ( we made three seperate batches)
Then with the clean/dry pork belly sitting there,
We mixed a blend of the Morton's Sugar Cure Salt with Brown Sugar...at a ratio (suggested by Mortons) of TWO cups of Salt-cure to ONE cup of Brown Sugar. After mixing that, we did the typical 'rub',  like I would for BBQ, on the meat.  When that was finished, we stuffed the chunks of meat into zip-loc bags and returned them to the refrigerator for 5 days of "curing".


We turned the meat once a day, and drained off the liquid as ordered by Morton's instructions. 
 At the end of the five days, I heated up my electric smoker, using hickory and applewood chips for smoke and put the meat in for about 6 hours at 190-195 degrees.
Cooled it down then sliced and packaged Batch One.
 
Batch ONE was a bit salty for our tastes. it will be fine for cooking in Beans and soups, but eating 'plain' would probably not be part of our choice.
 
So with Batch TWO  we altered the ratio of Salt to Sugar...using ONE cup of the Morton Salt Cure to TWO cups of DARK Brown Sugar.
Same timing in the cure...but we shortened the smoking time to 4 hours  The results can be seen in the pile of slabs labeled Batch 2  above.

Today  we sliced and packaged the final batch.  Using the ONE cup of salt-cure to TWO cups of brown sugar in the cure-rub, Five days in the cure-cooler, and then to add a touch of individuality, on two of these pieces we sprinkled Maple Sugar Crystals on the cured bacon before it went into the smoker.  We don't think that did much of anything to the meat in the final evaluation.
 
What you see here is the final batch, sliced and ready for freezing.  Lot of time involved, but in stages and not all that much labor.

starfire62
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Mon, 10/8/12 10:15 PM
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al  did you rinse your bacon after you cured it before you smoked it?i did mine 2 yrs ago and it was great.i also  made pepperbacon with mine it was awesome.me and my wife still laugh at this.i smoked it and let it cool on counter and dog ate about half of it.i did nt push it back far enough.

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Tue, 10/9/12 2:30 AM
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Starfire--
Yes, we rinsed and patted dry again after removing the pork from the curing bags.  (forgot that step--thanks for the reminder.
 
We have two Scotties..those short legs deny them the ability to reach table height...and old age is trimming their ability to jump on the furniture at all.

icecreamchick
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Tue, 10/9/12 11:43 AM
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Looks great, Al!  We have the same electric smoker, and it does a good job. Love that you're building a bigger smokehouse. What a great project!

318
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Thu, 10/11/12 12:53 AM
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For some reason looking at all of this bacon is making me want to slap somebody!!  Looks very good, had to literally stop myself from reaching at the screen.

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Thu, 10/11/12 6:50 AM
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  Thank You.  It does taste good also !

mayor al
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Fri, 10/12/12 5:27 PM
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We did our first Venison Jerky today. 4 lbs of roast converted to 2 lbs of very good Teriyaki/Sweet Jerky Strips... Most of which will be headed to my son in Afghanistan in a CARE Package along with some U of Louisville drink cups and other things to make the time go by quicker.

starfire62
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Re:Making Bacon-- Hog Hunt produces fine Pork - Sun, 10/14/12 10:02 PM
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al    have you ever thought of smoking it with corn cobs.i  go to this place all the time when i'm up in vermont.its the best bacon i ever eatin.dakin farms.they have a video on how they smoke it with corn cobs.