Sunday, November 16, 2014

Making Bacon, Part 2

Well, this isn't the most informative post on how to make bacon.  But there are pictures, so that counts as eye candy at least, right?

The bacons cured in the refrigerator for nine days.  On day ten they were taken out of their zippy bags and soaked for several hours to remove excess cure and salt, then patted dry and left out on the porch (it was cccccccooold outside) until the next day.  Paul smoked them for several hours at a low temperature, around 150 degrees, not so much to "cook" them, but to impart a hickory taste to them.

We put them back out on the porch (it was still ccccooold outside, even during the day) to cool off and firm up for slicing.

I must say, we're pretty spoiled.  Having that meat slicer is awesome when it comes to home meat processing (thanks again, Dad).  But if we didn't have it, I'd probably just cut the bacons into 2 pound chunks (come on, what family eats just one pound of bacon?!) and freeze it like that.  Then when we wanted bacon, I'd just slice it as needed.

Then came the real test......the taste test!

It was good, but not exactly what I was expecting.  I used Morton's tender quick and added maple syrup, so I knew it was going to be a sweeter bacon, but I suppose I was hoping for a more "bacon'y" taste.  And there wasn't really that much fat in a lot of the slabs so there wasn't much in the way of drippings to save (you DO save your bacon drippings, right?!).  Not only wasn't there a lot of drippings, but the maple syrup flavoring was too powerful for what I would normally use the drippings for.

Don't get me wrong.  This bacon is delicious.  But it's not your typical Oscar Meyer package of bacon.  I think I'd call it a "custom flavor".  Which, technically, it is.  Maple flavored and hickory smoked, to be exact.

What I should have done (slaps self in the forehead) was made two or three different bacon rubs.  Then we would have been able to modify our recipe easier.  As it stands now, we have thirty two pounds (minus much taste testing and snacking last night) of this new Hickory Maple bacon and probably fifteen pounds of the "normal" smoked bacon left from the last hog.

Variety (albeit somewhat limited) is the (bacon cure) spice of life, right?


  1. Thanks for posting this Carolyn. I've never tried making my own bacon but now since you've made it look so easy it's on my list of must try. Just don't eat all of it this week! :-)

  2. Any bacon is good bacon right? Have you ever tried baking your bacon? That works really well. You just have to give the cookie sheet a good scrub while it's still pretty warm. Don't you wonder about people that don't save their bacon drippings? Poor souls missing out on cabbage roasted with bacon drippings. Poor, poor souls! :)

  3. I have purchased bacon from an organic grower, and it is very much different than what you buy in the store. Some day, if we ever get other meat animals, I will have to invest in a meat slicer too. Your bacon does look very good!

  4. Well, if ya ever get tired of it, you can just send me some. I will "suffer" through eating it for you. *Places back of hand on forehead.*

  5. Carolyn,

    Bacon or any food not filled chemicals and preservatives always taste different. Enjoy your bacon!!!!