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Monday, November 7, 2011

Backloin (Canadian), Slab and Peameal Bacon in the Cure

This is the back and side bacon from one of the Spots... (the name of the breed :)).

I squared and trimmed the sides....

I divided the two slabs into 4 pieces. Each piece weighed between 5 to 6lbs.

I prepared the cure...

for two slabs I combined 1 TBS tenderquick (PER POUND) of meat
with 1 tsp of turbinado sugar (PER POUND) of meat
to this mix I added
I TBS garlic pwd
1 TBS black pepper
1 TBS onion pwd and
1 1/2 tsp cayenne

Rubbed the cure into the meat, making sure to cover the sides well.

I cured the third slab with
1 TBS tenderquick (PER POUND) of meat
mixed with 1 tsp turbinado sugar (PER POUND) of meat
to this I added 1 TBS black pepper

The fourth slab was cured with tenderquick, turbinado and jalapeno powder..

I wrap the slabs in clear wrap, then place in a pan to catch any drippings as the cure draws out the moisture.

The 4 slabs ready to cure for about 7 days...

Then I trimmed the back loins. You can leave the fat on but I like to trim most of it off. I store the back bacon in the freezer after smoking. The fat goes rancid quicker than the meat while in storage so I prefer to remove most of it.

I made a brine cure for the back loins
I use a mixture of Tender Quick and water
then add sliced onions
1/3 cup of turbinado sugar
10 cloves of garlic
1 TBS black pepper corns
and cayenne peppers (just a few)

I place a sheet of plastic wrap over the loins, then cover with foil. I also add a weight to keep the loins submerged while curing.

These will cure for 5 to 7 days.

I made peameal bacon with one small loin.

To the tenderquick water brine I add
about 1 TBS of each...
juniper berries
whole black pepper corns
2 bay leaves
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp whole cloves

The bacons need to cure in the fridge or in a place where you can maintain a temperature between 36 and 40 degrees F.

I will turn these every day and check them on the 5th day to see how they are curing... they usually take 7 days. Then they will be ready to cold smoke.

The  Finished Smoked Bacon


Big Dude said...

Looks like you've been a busy girl. I need to make some Canadian bacon. I've considered curing my own bacon but Benton's is the best I've ever had so I don't bother - especially with the outrageous pork belly prices. However, if I had the bellies wandering around out back, I'd surely be in the bacon business.

LindaG said...

Okay. So I gather from your post that only the loins need to be refrigerated while they cure?

And does all of it need to be smoked after it's cured?

And what is 'cold smoked'?

Sorry for all the questions, but we plan on having pigs and I figure this is good to know.
Do you slaughter your own pigs or buy the meat from a friend?

Thanks for this post! :-)

JP said...

It all looks great, nice thick pork bellies. Much better than the commercial pork bellies that I've been able to obtain, but I'm not able to raise my own hogs. I'm not familiar with this Tender Quick product, and I noticed that you don't use any pink salt in your curing. Does the Tender Quick have sodium nitrate or nitrites (to prevent bacteria during smoking)?

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I'm drooling just thinking about all that bacon.

cowgirl said...

Thanks Larry...things have been busy around here and I'm trying to get ready for deer season too.
I've not heard of Benton's bacon.. bet it's good stuff. Not sure what belly prices are either. I see a lot of folks on the cooking forums buying bellies to make their bacon. Wonder if it is cheaper than buying store bought bacon...
I like the homegrown kind. I know what I put into the pig and know that they have good lives.
I can picture a couple of pigs in your backyard, next to the dock. :)
Thanks again Larry!

Dave~ said...

Mmmm MMM! Man Jeanie, I do loves me some pig! :D Looks like you're going to be set for pork for a while...You lucky girl!


cowgirl said...

Hi Linda! With this method, all of the bacons will be cured in the fridge. They will need to be cured throughout so they will not spoil when I cold smoke them at low temperatures.
Yes these are my own pigs. I usually get help when it is time to butcher. I dont mind scalding a small pig but a large one is too much work. The quickest way to clean one is to skin it like a deer.
I cold smoke bacons and hams in my smokehouse. The temperature stays low....under 83 degrees F to smoke the meat and not cook it. Pork fat renders at temperatures above 84F... I do not want to cook the meat.
You don't have to smoke bacons and hams at all... but I love them smoked. :)
After a ham is cured and smoked you can "age" it if you like. They can age for a year.
I don't care much for aged hams...they are ok but pretty strong. It's also to hard to wait that long to taste them.

I think you will love raising your own pork. It is pretty tasty and knowing the animals had a good life means a lot to me too.

Thanks Linda!

cowgirl said...

Thank you JP! Are the commercial pork bellies very expensive? I've not checked around here..
Tender quick is made by the Morton Salt company. It is a blend of salt and cure that is premixed and easy to use. Yes the cure is included in the mix. I love it because my local grocery store carries's easy for me to obtain.
I use it a lot in quick curing pork chops, venison and other meats before grilling or hot smoking too.

Thanks JP, good to see ya. :)

cowgirl said...

Thanks Kirby!! I'm looking forward to using some of this bacon during deer season. I will have a house full of hunters for a few days. :)

cowgirl said...

Thanks Dave!! :)

LindaG said...

Thanks for all the information, Cowgirl. Much appreciated! :)

Jim said...

Jeannie, I really like your break down on curing bacon! There are so many different ways to cure bacon and it is very refreshing to see your approach. I slaughtered a hog (milk fed sow) this past friday at Jim Curley's farm and I plan on curing some of the bacon using your ideas. Jim uses just the salt and sugar approach to curing and it is good, but I like my bacon a little sweeter and seasoned up. I also like your trimming the fat like I do. We use this fat to make some good ole soap.
thanks: Jim Dorchak

JP said...

I can't remember how much I paid for commercial pork bellies last time I got them, back in July, but I don't recall them being excessively expensive. Certainly not as much as some good commercial bacon, I don't think. The hard part is finding them, because nobody seems to carry them anymore, so you have to have a butcher that is willing to special order a case for you.

Plus, when we get them, they are skin on, and our dog pack loves the cured and roasted pig skin snacks that result, so that's a bonus.

Marc van der Wouw said...

Wow lucky girl... thats a nice piece of pork... home grow pig?

Triple T said...

Hay Jeanie! I am also going to prosses two of my hogs in a few days. I'm thinking about skinning them instead of scalding. Do you have any thoughts or comments on this. If my smokehouse is not complete by the time i'm ready to smoke will I be able to go ahead and cure the meat and keep in fridge untill i'm ready to smoke them or do i need to freeze them? Great post I really enjoyed reading it THANKS! Hope you have a blessed day! Your friend Mark:)

cowgirl said...

You're welcome Linda!

cowgirl said...

Thanks Jim! I like to spice up the meat a bit too. Once I have the correct amount of cure I like to experiment with flavors.
Good luck with your bacon! :)

cowgirl said...

Thanks for getting back to me JP! I've never purchased bellies and just have no idea what they run. The folks on cooking forums get them through ethnic grocery stores I believe.
My butcher does not sell pork, his family owns a ranch and they raise the beef that they butcher and sell in their small shop. They butcher beef for people like me who are not set up to handle butchering their own beef at home.

I'm not sure if the grocery store meat markets could order them or not. Some day I will ask them. :)

When I have the time and energy... I leave the skin on. When I'm too tired or the hog is just too big to bother with.. I skin them.
Thanks again JP, good to see ya!

cowgirl said...

Marc Thanks! Yes it's home grown pig.
Hope you are having a great week! :)

cowgirl said...

Hey Mark! Hope you keep me posted on your smokehouse and pigs!
Yes you can skin them instead of scalding. It's fine.
Also if it is going to be awhile before you can cure and smoke the meat... go ahead and freeze it, then cure it later.
Good luck Mark! Thanks..

Chris C said...

Once again Jeanie you have impressed me! I love the detailed steps in the cold smoking process you did! It helps explain a lot! Your cold smoke house has inspired me and I will be making one here soon. I bought the book "Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Design". It’s a little dry but full of information! Hopefully by next winter I will be curing my own! Good luck with your upcoming deer hunt! I have an Elk hunt to get ready for!

Chris said...

Hey porky, bad news for you, "You're cured!"

Looks like you have some serious bacon going on there. Can't wait to see how you use all the finished product.

David said...

Must be the time of year! I just ordered some pork belly to pick up on Saturday, I can't wait to get it and some loins into the cure. Also going to be doing duck breast proscuitto. Looking forward to firing up the cold smoker. Hungry and I just had dinner! Keep up the good work!

Triple T said...

Hay Jeanie! I've got a question. Do i need to wash the bacon off after it cures 7 days? If so then won't i loose the other spices when it's washed? Is it ok to vacuum seal the bacon? Sorry for all the questions. Hope you have a blessed day! Your friend Mark:)

cowgirl said...

Thanks Chris! Good luck with your smokehouse build. I'd love to see pics when you get it going. I think you will like curing and smoking your own foods.
Good luck with elk season too. I've been watching a herd of whitetail from my front porch. Looks like they might be in rut now.
Thanks again Chris! :)

cowgirl said...

lol Chris....Thanks, Hope you have a great weekend! :)

cowgirl said...

David Thanks! Good luck with your smoke too!! :)

cowgirl said...

Hi Mark!
Yes you do need to wash the bacon off after it cures to remove all of the cure. It is very salty.
When the bacon cures with the spices, it becomes infused with some of the spice. You can smoke the bacon as is then or add more spice before smoking. I usually do both so I have a variety of bacon.

It's ok to vacuum seal too.
Looking forward to hearing about your first bacon Mark. I hope all goes well for you! :)
Thanks again...

RK said...

Mmmm bacon! I'm looking forward to hear how the Jalapeno one turns out and what you serve with it... :D

cowgirl said...

Hi Richard! It's good to see ya. Hope all is well in your part of OK.
I'll post pics of the bacon when I get it all smoked.
Thanks for stopping by! :)

LB @ Bullets And Biscuits said...

My husband has been on me to learn how to cure hams and make bacon but I haven't had the time to research it. This is great step by step photos and even better you shared your recipes! Most people don't want to share that part ;). We've got (4) deer in the freezer so far the next deer may be the "guinea pig" in curing , hahah

Thanks agin for sharing!

cowgirl said...

You're sure welcome LB and thank you! Once you get the cure amount right, you can experiment with your favorite spices.
Congrats on the deer!