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Posted: 3/25/2002 11:29:59 AM EDT
Because I process alot of pork, I have been interested in making homemade bacon. I finally hit the web, combined some recipes, took a chance and got some great results. Since it is kind of a neat thing to do, and since most people don't do it themselves anymore, I figured some folks here might have some tips, tricks and techniues to pass along, or just be curious how it is done. I just finished making my first batch of homemade bacon. Here is how I did it: Start with a slab of 'flank meat' from a pig. This is the meat from in front of the hind leg, all the way to the sternum and around the back edge of the ribs. On cattle, this is the area where you get the 'flank steaks.' Wash it well and remove any hair, blood, dirt, fecal material (especially on a gut shot or hastily field dressed animal, trust me, just trim away that a meat that looks 'iffy' and be SAFE) Mix up a batch of cure. This is the 'old fashioned' cure. 1:1 ratio salt to sugar. I added in a cup of brown sugar to flavor it. How much cure you need depends on the size of meat. Start small with a 1 cup 1 cup batch. Completely cover all sides and folds of the meat. NO outer surface should be left uncovered by the cure. The reason for this is salt and sugar draw moisture out from teh cells of the meat. The lack of moisture causes the cells to shrivel. Since they have shriveled, bacteria have no water in the cells to use for their medium to spread. Dry cells = sealed meat = preserved. Place the meat on a shelf in your refrig. Place a pan under it to catch the dripping (the salt draws out moisture) Leave it there for two weeks right above freezing, but not frozen. The meat will lose about half its volume. Remove from the refrig and cut in to 1 pound hunks. This will be messy, lots of salt and sugar will fall onto your floor, be careful. Place into ziplock bags and freeze. To cook, remove from the freezer and rinse VERY well to remove excess salt and sugar. Slice while frozen. This was my first batch of real bacon. It was a little salty, but it cooked up nice and crisp. Excess grease was save to be used for flavoring beans, breads, biscuits, etc. When I find out how to cold smoke the bacon, I will let you guys know. Next time I am going to rinse the slat/sugar cure off before I freeze the meat. This is an imperfect method of making cured bacon. It will preserve the meat for a while, but since some moisture remains bacteria can still spread, keep frozen for safest meat. TheRedGoat ps. From tasting the results this morning, I am certain the bacon I made is 'just like my great grandmother used to cook' for some of you out there. Old fashioned, simple recipe, tasty results.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 11:31:30 AM EDT
BTW, I received your IM. I e-mailed you back Talk to you later! Eric The(Compliant)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 11:36:04 AM EDT
Sounds good. I still have a soft spot in my heart for fresh side though.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 11:46:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garheadjr: Sounds good. I still have a soft spot in my heart for fresh side though.
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What do you mean by "fresh side"? There are three reasons for making bacon, to preserve it, to flavor it and to add texture to the finished product. I tried cooking the side meat without curing it. It gave a decent result, but there was too much water in the meat so the texture was like country ham. There was even some water 'boiling' in the pan with the uncured bacon attempt. TheRedGoat
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 11:50:24 AM EDT
Wow - how ironic! I just ordered canadian bacon on my pizza.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 11:53:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 1GUNRUNNER: Wow - how ironic! I just ordered canadian bacon on my pizza.
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Weird too, because I just sent off an email that mentioned beer. Shiny side out, right? TheRedGoat
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 11:56:24 AM EDT
Bacon toast and two eggs....that is REAL breakfast. It is VITAL to fry the eggs in bacon fat!!!
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 11:57:55 AM EDT
When I had my pigs I was going to set up a cold smoke house out of an old upright freezer, (Just need racks or hangers in it.) I believe you need an adjustable vent on top and run a small (3") stove pipe from a smoke box to it. I am sure there are some diagrams up on the web. When we raise our next batch I WILL have a smoke house ready for them! Really makes it worth while.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 12:14:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Wildweasel: When I had my pigs I was going to set up a cold smoke house out of an old upright freezer, (Just need racks or hangers in it.) I believe you need an adjustable vent on top and run a small (3") stove pipe from a smoke box to it. I am sure there are some diagrams up on the web. When we raise our next batch I WILL have a smoke house ready for them! Really makes it worth while.
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Guess what? Today I was explaining to the head maintenance man here about the homemade bacon. I had also brought him a pound of my homemade jalapeno breakfast sausage. He remembered there is a Stainless steel, 7 foottall, side by side refrigerator that is due to be hauled off tomorrow since its compressor died. Guess who is now going to be able to haul off this "Instant Smokehouse" ?!?! They are even going to help me load it! 1 pound of sausage just turned itself into my newest outdoor smoker! All I need to do it attach a piece of tin to cover the top (where the compressor used to be) and cut a vent for the smoke in the bottom! Woot-Woot! It is sometimes very good indeed to be me! TheRedGoat
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 12:23:07 PM EDT
Excess grease was save to be used for flavoring beans, breads, biscuits, etc.
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A true Southerner. I love the taste of eggs scrambled in the bacon grease. There's nothing better.z
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 12:23:43 PM EDT
Try using maple syrup and adding a smoker. This is a great way to make hams as well. Fis_Prod
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 12:43:08 PM EDT
Mix up a batch of cure. This is the 'old fashioned' cure. 1:1 ratio salt to sugar. I added in a cup of brown sugar to flavor it. How much cure you need depends on the size of meat. Start small with a 1 cup 1 cup batch.
I tend to like the smoked style bacon better. Have you considered added ground pepper to the 1:1 mix, that would give it a spicy taste. Lucky you, hunt wild boar in your free time. All we have here to hunt are liberals; they just give up, and the're inedible
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 12:48:44 PM EDT
Go you scrounging fool you! A man after my own heart! My mom allways gave me shit for horse trading and dumpster picking but she goes with me to the tranfer station now and goes through the barn for books and stuff too! If you have problems finding a diagram (If you need one) let me know I am sure I have some at home.
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:06:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 1:10:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Chaingun: I tend to like the smoked style bacon better. Have you considered added ground pepper to the 1:1 mix, that would give it a spicy taste. Lucky you, hunt wild boar in your free time. All we have here to hunt are liberals; they just give up, and the're inedible
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You gotta cure it before you smoke it. Curing takes out the excess water, that way, when you smoke it it does not get sticky and slimy. Good idea on the black pepper, mater of fact a darn good idea! Wildweasel, my father in law is a grand champion dumpster diver. No kidding, he makes maore more from dumpster diving than he does from his Teamster's retirement check! When you get things from the dumpsters your profit margin is 100% and all sales are in cash. People thinkn dumpster diving means digging in rotten meat looking for a soup bone. It is amazning the kind of items that get tossed into a dumpster from major stores. Most customer retruns head tothe dumpster. Doesn't fit? Wrong Color? Missing a manual? Won't start? Toss it into the dumpster and get a credit from the manufacturer. From lawn mowers with a choke and throttle cable mix up to a truck load of liquor in cases, he has seen it all in a dumpster. Making me hungry Big_bear! TheRedGoat
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 3:00:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat: It is sometimes very good indeed to be me! TheRedGoat
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I am getting tired of you being able to use that line!
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 3:13:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 1GUNRUNNER:
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat: It is sometimes very good indeed to be me! TheRedGoat
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I am getting tired of you being able to use that line!
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Man my life is soooo good, I just can't stand not bragging about it! So many people hate their jobs, I LOVE mine! They can't stand their wife, mine is perfect*! Good job, lots of time off, I don't even work Fridays! I hunt at least once, sometimes twice per weekend. Plenty of guns to choose from! With a good job, time off, a nice wife, time to hunt and wonderful friends, I have NOTHING to complain about these days! TheRedGoat * a few times every week I would trade her for a sharp stick in the eye, but most of the times she is perfect! I am sure she would trade me for even less on those times....
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 3:51:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 4:17:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/25/2002 4:22:14 PM EDT
Funny stuff, would make a truly unique signature pic for some lucky member. TheRedGoat
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