Project Baconage

So. You might know that I am a spurious individual given to the occasional impulse purchase. In this case it was about 10 pounds of primo Kurobuta pork belly from Adventure in Food. Given that my significantly better half is from Western Mass, it’s pretty much local to me.

Also, quite a nice purchase at around $7.99 per pound. This bacon was cooked two ways. One with my stovetop hot smoker, and cold smoking with the help of one Chef Christopher Tanner.

I’ll get the math out of the way. The hot smoked bacon lost about 25% of its weight while smoking. So it was closer to $10.50 per pound for hot smoked bacon. I didn’t weigh the cold smoked bacon, but I don’t think it lost very much weight. Cold smoked and all. Next time I’ll try to be a bit better with my measurements so I can nerd out and create a graph on weight variances.

The hot smoked bacon is delicious and 100% cooked. 180-200F with maple wood chips until the bacon registers around 160 F and the meat looks pinky and good. Kind of like super delicious fatty ham. Just use Ruhlman’s cure and you’re set. A few weeks, 6 weeks…. it’s all good.

I enlisted The Profussor in this cholesterol laden drive. Parce que je suis égoïste et je voulais une autre personne à essayer ce lard.

Any way. Step 9723 of Project Bacon is to petition your chef friends to cold smoke your bacon out of the kindness of their hearts ‘coz they have cold smokers and you don’t. Pull out all the stops – compliments, pouty faces, promises of first born children. This is science, damnit! COLD SMOKED BACON THAT YOU CURED, HULLOO!

Your chef friend may explicitly tell you “You NEED to cook this. DON’T eat this raw. Whatever you do, don’t eat this raw. COOK IT.” Clearly, my reputation for putting things in my mouth precedes me. Okay, cause I might have just tried a wee slice of raw bacon. But I didn’t cause Tanner was all concerned about me eating raw pork. Sheesh.

So I just cooked the bacon. SO GOOD. Best part of making your own bacon is slicing pieces to your own desired thickness. THICK BACON!!

Here is what the bacon looked like raw. Huuuuge props to Chef Tanner for vacuum sealing it for me too!

Bacon lurve! So making your own bacon isn’t exactly easy, but oh man is it worthwhile. SO FREAKING GOOD.

But the down side is that it is so yummy you will want to eat tons of delicious bacon slices whenever you open the fridge and the bacon is just sitting there. Sitting there in the bag. Un eaten. Poor bacon, come to my belly.

  1. grace said:

    now this is a project i can fully support. to be able to slice one's bacon to the desired thickness is simply spectacular. 🙂

  2. p – Oh man, I should have brought some with us when we went to the water!

    Lili – Hell yeah!

    grace – why thank you! 😀 I'm glad to have such stupendous supporters!

  3. This was great stuff. Raf told me that I should just make my own bacon. He said, “Oh, it's so easy.”

    He's a dick.

    I love him, but this is no small task. Perhaps it's not as hard as deboning a whole raw chicken, or making head cheese at home. But what's even easier is when your friends make it and share theirs with you.

  4. Anonymous said:

    So you leave the rind on all the way to the end (taking it off after smoking)? Also did you say “weeks”? I've been doing it following Ruhlman (haven't smoked yet so a low oven roast after curing) and his cure time is about a week or 6 days.

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