This will be the third time that I have attempted to make Homemade Bacon.
The first two times were less than impressive.
I have decided to try one more time.
Pretty simple for the seasoning:
Fresh Ground Pepper
Thyme and Rosemary are optional so I left them out.
About a 3 1/2 pound slab of pork belly with the skin on.
All the parts are ready to go.
I cut off about a quarter of the pork belly and plan on cooking that separately.
Seasoning rubbed on and into the zip-style bag
This stayed in the fridge for a week, and once a day it gets turned over.
Now, this may be just another boring bacon disaster post after having tried twice before to make my on bacon.
This time I have a secret weapon……………………………….
Meet Mr. Smokey !!!!!
For my fifteen years of service at work, I was given this smoker.
I’ve been cooking with gas for about 20 years (and I love it), but I started out way back when grilling with charcoal. I also had never used a chimney starter. Back in the day, it was just gasoline poured on to start the charcoal. The chimney starter works well to get the coals going.
Lit charcoal ready to go………………………..
Back to the pork belly.
Rinsed off in the sink and patted dry.
I cut the skin off.
I shouldn’t have done that until after cooking.
Oh well. Not likely to be my only mistake of the day !!
This is about after 4 hours on the smoker.
The pork belly looked a little lonely so I put a small piece of beef ribs on to keep it company.
The beef ribs were fantastic !!
OK, once again it at least looks like bacon at this point.
It stayed in the fridge overnight.
Slicing it up, it looks even more like bacon. (We know looks can be deceiving and disappointing)
The sliced bacon looks and feels different from the two other attempts.
Well, here goes everything !!!
Time to fry it up.
Well, my daughter said it was the best bacon ever !!
Woo, high praise indeed.
The wife said it rivaled the specialty bacon that a local person sells at the farmer’s market. (I’ve never had that so I can’t make a comparison)
I thought it was very good. It definitely wasn’t what I expected (not very salty like modern processed bacon.) It was definitely good.
Well, the good news is that I know exactly how much bacon my cast iron will hold. The bad news is that my bacon hoard is exactly that much less !!
Putting the homemade bacon to good use !!
Some overall notes:
It’s nice being able to slice the bacon thick. My slices are about 1 1/2 X thicker than the thick cut bacon you buy in the store.
This bacon doesn’t shrink very much.
This bacon is not easy to overcook and burn like processed bacon. It cooks up to the almost perfect mix of not crispy/crispy but not burnt.
This is the third time that I have used my smoker and I really like it. It’s not a “set it and forget it” device. I need to maintain the heat by putting more charcoal on.
This smoker is kind of a poor design. To me, one of the biggest problems is that when the coals burn down, there is no where for the ash to go and that hinders getting new coals going. (I can fix that I think !!)
I hate smelling like I sat around a campfire all day when I use the smoker.
I’ve probably inhaled more carbon monoxide than a small Chinese village.
I cooked up the other piece of the pork belly and it was great !!