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Author Topic: Bacon  (Read 1220 times)
zxcvbob
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« on: August 19, 2019, 08:13:53 PM »

This year is the worst garden I've ever had, but I am getting a few really good tomatoes (Big Brandy variety, which apparently has no disease resistance at all)  So I've been using them for BLTs.  I have been dismayed with supermarket bacon lately, even the supposed good stuff.  You have to cook it very slowly and let it simmer in its own juices until the water is boiled away before you turn up the heat and actually fry it.  By then you've lost almost half the weight and don't even have any bacon grease to show for it.

I went to Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe (that's the name of the place) and bought a half a pound of their market-cured bacon, and 2 slices of the same thing with applewood smoke instead of hickory or oak or whatever the regular stuff has.  I asked whether it was dry-cured and the counter guy didn't know.  $6 per pound, which is not that much higher than the watered-down supermarket stuff.  What a difference!  Not so much in how it tastes, but in the cooking.  This stuff starts rendering fat almost immediately.  It cooks much faster, and doesn't shrink near as much.  2 slices is more than enough for a BLT if the tomatoes are good.  I cut 2 slices in half before I fry it.  Use 3 pieces for the sandwich and munch one.
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charby
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2019, 08:19:16 PM »

This place hands down has the best bacon I have ever eaten. If you make to West Bend, IA, you have to stop in.

https://skoglundmeats.com/all-products
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zxcvbob
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2019, 08:28:42 PM »

This place hands down has the best bacon I have ever eaten. If you make to West Bend, IA, you have to stop in.

https://skoglundmeats.com/all-products

Thanks.  Closest I ever get is Clear Lake, IA, maybe once or twice a year.  But if I took US-169 instead of I-35 it might not be too far out of the way...
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2019, 03:49:18 AM »

Thanks.  Closest I ever get is Clear Lake, IA, maybe once or twice a year.  But if I took US-169 instead of I-35 it might not be too far out of the way...

Checkout Louie's Meats in Clear Lake.
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sumpnz
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2019, 11:47:01 AM »

If you can get decent belly meat it's stupid easy to make your own bacon.  0.6 ounces salt (non-iodized) per pound of meat.  Mix in sugar to your preference (I like about half the weight of the salt for the sugar).  Sprinkle about a third of the salt mix on the meat per day for 3 days leaving it covered in the fridge but draining any liquid each day.  Let it equalize in the fridge for a few days, up to a week.  Then smoke it (cold preferably) for however long it takes to get the amount of smoke flavor you like (I do 1-2 hours).  Then hang it in the kitchen for a few days and then start cutting off slices as needed.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2019, 04:33:44 PM »

I've made my own bacon a couple of times.



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zxcvbob
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2019, 05:22:04 PM »

When I was a kid and we butchered one or two hogs per year, we made bacon.  Used Morton's sugar cure, and the stuff was good but way too salty.  (and jowls made better bacon than real bacon)  If I was making it now, I'd either use Morton TenderQuick, or mix my own cure using pink salt (Prague powder)  But I think good belly meat is even more expensive than bacon.  I should ask around...  Also check on the price of fresh jowl meat...
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sumpnz
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2019, 05:31:15 PM »

Nitrite is not required.  If you cold smoke in an airtight smoker it's a good idea, but if you hot smoke or use a really drafty smoker (so it's not anaerobic) nitrites are unnecessary.  It does give a characteristic flavor and if that's you're after there's nothing inherently bad about using nitrites.  But from a food safety perspective the ONLY thing nitrites do is inhibit growth of clostridium botulinum in warm, anaerobic environments.  If there's never a warm anaerobic environment botulism won't grow and nitrites are nothing more than a flavoring agent.
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Silver Bullet
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2019, 09:23:44 PM »

Or you could make your own bacon the way Ken M (internet hero, google him) does:

Ken M:  "We make our OWN bacon and its healthier with tastier flavor."

Joe:  "?"

Ken M:  "My wife crushes hot dogs with a rolling pin."



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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2019, 06:02:28 PM »

I made my own wiltshire cure using Alton Brown's recipe. He didn't use any nitrites in his.
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sumpnz
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2019, 10:52:21 AM »

Last round of bacon curing I used dark brown sugar instead of white sugar.  Unanimous vote that was a good move. 
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2019, 03:43:02 PM »

Screw sugar.

Molasses.

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charby
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« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2019, 11:19:14 AM »

Screw sugar.

Molasses.

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I'm going to do that next time I make canadian bacon.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2019, 05:33:12 AM »

Screw sugar.

Molasses.

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Molasses mixed with bourbon and brushed on the bacon in the final few minutes of baking.
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