Author Topic: Smoked Bacon on the Weber  (Read 308 times)

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Offline Tatoosh

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Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« on: June 24, 2012, 11:28:54 PM »
I made my first smoked bacon yesterday.  I had done a hot finished bacon in my kitchen oven a few weeks back as a test run.  This time I did a dry cure with a sweet note at my wife's request.  It featured salt and Prague powder, then honey and Muscovado brown sugar for sweetness.  Cured for 6 days in my fridge and then rinsed, dried, and stored in the fridge overnight to form a "pellicle" that protects the exterior and grabs the smoke.  I used my Weber and Smokenator with a 8 to 12 lumps of charcoal and some foil wrapped hickory chips to smoke.  That took about 6 hours of smoking.  This was not the set and forget approach because I wanted to keep the temperatures down while keeping the hickory smoking, so it was a balancing act that took a fair amount of attention. 

The results were well worth it.  Dry cured bacon sometimes is very salty and has to be soaked in water to remove some of that salt.  But this time there was no problem.  We cooled the bacon after smoking, then chilled it in the freezer for slicing.  We cooked up a few slices and it had nice sweet notes that balanced the smokiness.  No overwhelming salt taste either. So my wife was pleased and if I hadn't put the stop sign up, all of it would have ended up being consumed by the family in a feast of bacon gluttony!  I managed to save a couple of pounds for breakfast next week.  I will be doing this again. 


 
Banana Ketchup Is Not Pizza Sauce - Weber 22.5 OTG, Smokenator 1000, Kettle Pizza Insert, White Mountain 6qt Elec, Cuisinart ICE-20 1.5qt, FMS 1500D sous vide - Mabuhay Pizza!


Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 01:05:06 AM »
hmm, haven't tried that in the LBE.  Description made me drool a little, nice job!
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline FeCheF

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 06:03:53 PM »
Looks good tatoosh. I would love to try smoking my own bacon but in my area it cost more to smoke it yourself! If im going to go through the work of doing something myself, i expect to save some money. The way things are going, it will cost more to buy a whole pig/cow and butcher it yourself then buy it already cut and trimmed up! wtf

/end rant

Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 06:20:22 PM »
awesome work tatoosh!

bacon is definitely my next project. I've got a cabinet propane smoker that I'll use to finish it. Really looking forward to it. I'll probably start with Ruhlman & Polcyn's Charcuterie recipe. I do dry cured salmon gravlox every other week and the process isn't all that different for bacon.

I would love to try smoking my own bacon but in my area it cost more to smoke it yourself! If im going to go through the work of doing something myself, i expect to save some money. The way things are going, it will cost more to buy a whole pig/cow and butcher it yourself then buy it already cut and trimmed up! wtf

/end rant

I hear you FeCheF. I'm not sure what products you're comparing in your area, but most commercial bacon is pretty terrible when compared to the small batch stuff finished with real smoke. Buying decent bacon at Costco versus getting a pork belly from my local butcher and "baconizing" it myself cost about the same for me. But, there's no comparison in quality, and since you're here I'm sure you can appreciate and enjoy the process itself. The cost discussion is one of quality/quantity, economies of scale, and the whole factory farm system (ugh, I sound like one of those guys now)..

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 10:57:21 PM »
I've seen plenty of home-cured bacon that just looked terrible. Yours looks great. It's the best I've seen my a big margin.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2012, 12:47:04 AM »
Thanks for the comments guys.  It is pretty easy to make and with a bit of trial and error, you will likely be making bacon much superior to the store bought stuff.  

I really do need to get a copy of Charcuterie shipped over here.  There is a lot I need to learn about different cures and approaches. Luckily, pork belly is pretty inexpensive here.  It goes for a smidge over two dollars a pound, though it is sometimes sold in smaller 1 kilo chunks for "Lechon Kawali".  I will grab a few of those next time since they are often cheaper than a larger slice of pork belly and easy to handle.  When we come back to the States in a couple of years, I am sure that "sticker shock" will hit me good.

FeCheF, I know a number of smokers in the East/Northeast area.  They often complain about prices too, but they are still smoking.  Here it is both price and quality considerations.  There is cured bacon but no smoked bacon where I live in the Philippines and even that takes some hunting.  I am sure there are some specialty butcher stores in Pennsylvania offering true smoked bacon.  If you see some, you might try a bit of it.  That might just change your mind about the time and cost to make it.  

R2-bayou, if you decide to cold smoke your bacon, which I think lets you get a nice even smokey flavor to it, take a look at cold smoking.  Then if you want to finish by bringing the bacon up to 150F internal you are set.  When I did that with my oven with a 4 pound piece of pork belly, it took almost 3 hours, much longer than the 90 minutes to 2 hours I'd read about to get to the specified internal temperature.  But at normal smoker temperatures (200F to 225F), it should get a pretty good smokey flavor over the 2 to 3 hours.  

I don't have the A-Maze-N smoker box, but adding one of them to a cabinet setup would probably work well for cold smoking.  I am seriously considering shipping their pellet smoker box with a supply of smoking pellets over here.  Todd, the maker, is a very nice guy who "gave" me some hickory chips he wasn't going to use for cost of shipping.  I have a couple of online smoker buddies who are using them to do their cold smoking for meats and cheeses.  
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 12:49:19 AM by Tatoosh »
Banana Ketchup Is Not Pizza Sauce - Weber 22.5 OTG, Smokenator 1000, Kettle Pizza Insert, White Mountain 6qt Elec, Cuisinart ICE-20 1.5qt, FMS 1500D sous vide - Mabuhay Pizza!

Offline FeCheF

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2012, 06:59:21 PM »
Thanks for the comments guys.  It is pretty easy to make and with a bit of trial and error, you will likely be making bacon much superior to the store bought stuff.  

I really do need to get a copy of Charcuterie shipped over here.  There is a lot I need to learn about different cures and approaches. Luckily, pork belly is pretty inexpensive here.  It goes for a smidge over two dollars a pound, though it is sometimes sold in smaller 1 kilo chunks for "Lechon Kawali".  I will grab a few of those next time since they are often cheaper than a larger slice of pork belly and easy to handle.  When we come back to the States in a couple of years, I am sure that "sticker shock" will hit me good.

FeCheF, I know a number of smokers in the East/Northeast area.  They often complain about prices too, but they are still smoking.  Here it is both price and quality considerations.  There is cured bacon but no smoked bacon where I live in the Philippines and even that takes some hunting.  I am sure there are some specialty butcher stores in Pennsylvania offering true smoked bacon.  If you see some, you might try a bit of it.  That might just change your mind about the time and cost to make it.  

R2-bayou, if you decide to cold smoke your bacon, which I think lets you get a nice even smokey flavor to it, take a look at cold smoking.  Then if you want to finish by bringing the bacon up to 150F internal you are set.  When I did that with my oven with a 4 pound piece of pork belly, it took almost 3 hours, much longer than the 90 minutes to 2 hours I'd read about to get to the specified internal temperature.  But at normal smoker temperatures (200F to 225F), it should get a pretty good smokey flavor over the 2 to 3 hours.  

I don't have the A-Maze-N smoker box, but adding one of them to a cabinet setup would probably work well for cold smoking.  I am seriously considering shipping their pellet smoker box with a supply of smoking pellets over here.  Todd, the maker, is a very nice guy who "gave" me some hickory chips he wasn't going to use for cost of shipping.  I have a couple of online smoker buddies who are using them to do their cold smoking for meats and cheeses.  

Yeah we have local butchers that sell their own smoked and double smoked bacons in all sorts of smoked woods. They charge $9.99/lb though. :o

You can make a good cold smoke generator from a tin can, a electric hot plate, and an aquarium air pump and some black steel pipe. I smoked some cheese a few days ago when it was 100 degrees outside! The bucket reservoir was filled with  water ice and the drip pan under the cheese rack was filled with ice. I smoked the cheese for 2 hours and the temp never went above 60 degrees. That 40 degrees below ambient temperature!

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2012, 12:25:35 PM »
FeCheF, your cheese sounds great and since your set up to do cold smoke, you really should give it a try once for the heck of it.  Well, for the flavor of it actually. I am curious what the difference in price between pork belly and bacon is in your area. 

A cold smoker is very simple to make, that is very true.  I just watched an Alton Brown episode where he built one out of a large cardboard box, the electric heater and a couple of wooden dowels.  I am fantasizing about the A-Maze-N unit and maybe a steel box if I start doing bacon and hams in greater quantity than my Weber 22.5 inch kettle will handle.  Since R2-bayou is already curing it is easy to step up to the next level for him.  And if he wanted to smoke the salmon he'd be in business pretty easily without much investment. 
Banana Ketchup Is Not Pizza Sauce - Weber 22.5 OTG, Smokenator 1000, Kettle Pizza Insert, White Mountain 6qt Elec, Cuisinart ICE-20 1.5qt, FMS 1500D sous vide - Mabuhay Pizza!

Offline deb415611

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2012, 12:40:54 PM »
beautiful bacon tatoosh!

once you make good bacon it's hard to go back to the commercial stuff.  I make it two or three times a year - I have a hard time finding good bellies around here so I started buying snake river farm kurobuta bellies - so much better but pricey.  The pork belly you used is great looking.

here is my last batch - maple on the left and black pepper on the right - both apple wood smoked 


Offline Jackitup

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2012, 01:21:28 PM »
Nice job on the bacon. I've done several hundred pounds over the years, looks great.
Jon
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!


Offline RamirOk

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2012, 04:18:49 PM »
That looks great, we don't have a culture of smoking food where I live and after seeing a lot of post from you guy I want to learn how to do it.
Any book recommendation or a place to start? I see these 2 (http://www.amazon.com/Backyard-BBQ-Smokology-Richard-McPeake/dp/0971801428/, http://www.amazon.com/Charcuterie-Craft-Salting-Smoking-Curing/dp/0393058298/) have good reviews.

Offline wheelman

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2012, 04:43:39 PM »
Ruhlman's Charcuterie - highly recommended!
bill

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2012, 05:19:19 PM »
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2012, 07:35:03 PM »
This calls for a brief start-to-finish howto... for example, do you freeze after smoking?
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline deb415611

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2012, 07:36:35 PM »
Ruhlman's Charcuterie - highly recommended!
bill

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Sausage-Recipes-Meat-Curing/dp/0025668609/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Rytek Kutas would be another, great book. Len Poli's site is also VERY good.

 http://lpoli.50webs.com/Sausage%20recipes.htm

all three of these resources are great

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2012, 07:42:24 PM »
Thanks deb... I admit it, I'm lazy.  <<comitts seppuku in self-disgust>>
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2012, 07:57:26 PM »
Here's some Canadian bacon I did awhile back. AWESOME on pizza as well as sandwiches.

Jon
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!

Offline deb415611

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2012, 08:02:52 PM »
Jon - awesome looking CB


here is a link for how to on bacon, the ingredients are the same as ruhlman's, the smoking directions are lower temp than the book suggests though
http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?542-Maple-Cured-Bacon

I smoke at a slightly higher temp.  I also will play around with the recipe - i'll take out the maple syrup and use savory herbs or pepper




Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2012, 10:42:22 AM »
My Canadian buddy's side and back bacon recipe.  With me at the helm: http://www.wcbbqa.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=138  :)
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Offline RamirOk

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Re: Smoked Bacon on the Weber
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2012, 01:35:40 PM »
Ruhlman's Charcuterie - highly recommended!
bill
http://www.amazon.com/Great-Sausage-Recipes-Meat-Curing/dp/0025668609/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Rytek Kutas would be another, great book. Len Poli's site is also VERY good.

 http://lpoli.50webs.com/Sausage%20recipes.htm

Thank you very much I'm going to order those books and that site has a lot of information but I guess I'm going to start with the books to learn the Why's and not only how to do it.


 

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