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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Makin' Bacon

     This blog should probably wait until I can show you pictures of the finished product.  There will be enough pictures that one blog won't realistically hold them all.  Last summer my mentor in the world of barbecue, Tim Boucher, gave me a nicely trimmed pork belly.  I really wanted to make my own bacon just to see if I could do it.  It took me a while to get to it because I lacked the "cold smoker" attachment to my Traeger grill, and I couldn't find any "Pink Number 1 Curing Salt".  I ordered the smoker attachment from Traeger and found the curing salt on line at a supplier for folks who make their own sausage.  Now I'm ready.

     These are the ingredients for the dry rub.  When thoroughly mixed, they are massaged into the pork belly.  I was pleasantly surprised, when I dug it out of the bottom of the freezer, to find only the slightest trace of freezer burn on one edge.

     Here's the raw pork belly prior to the dry rub.  Actually, before applying  the dry rub, I used a spritzer bottle to spray it all over with a dose of Jack Daniels.

     That's parchment paper under the meat, not a paper bag.  In this case the dry rub makes a pretty substantial layer.  The remaining bourbon you see in the sprayer will be used to baste the meat while it is spending a day being smoked.  Here's the pork belly with the dry rub.

     The next step is to put it in a large, sealable plastic bag and refrigerate it for a week, turning it daily.  That's where it is now.
     While I was traveling around to various meat markets in my search for curing salt, I explained my quest by saying, "What else are you going to do with a pork belly?"  On three occasions the quick answer was, "Deep fry it."  I guess that's a southern thing.
     I'll show the next steps when I do them.  The schedule may be influenced by the fact that my hip surgery is a week from tomorrow.
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