Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Makin bacon....

Hello - Good Morning - Howdy - Whats up or WHAZ UP....... What is with that saying anyway, hhhmmmm??? Well, as the title states, I am makin bacon. I had 3 pork bellies left in the freezer from our to hogs this summer. They needed to be used up because even when it is frozen, you should use pork within 10 months. It tends to freezer burn quickly and I have no knowledge as to why. Sorry. Anyway, this is how you cure it before you smoke it.
First take the pork bellies and give them a good wash and let them dry on a towel - after they have thawed out in the fridge of course. I dont like to freeze them and then cure them, but I had no choice at this point. SO, here are the raw, uncured pork bellies.

You need to make sure you have enough time to do this, it can take some time, but is so worth it in the end. Next you need this stuff...

I use Kosher salt, always have - because it makes the flavor of the food come out instead of 'salting' it. Does that make any sense? Salt is more of an a flavor enhancer than it is a seasoning. What, those are the same thing...ooooohhh sorry, my bad.... *smirk* I am trying to sound smart ok, I need that in my life today - smartness - other than that of a 10 year old who has become a bit mouthy the last couple of days. I think its cabin fever - he is out the door today for ALL DAY... boy, I really lost it that time didnt I - sorry....

ANYWAY! You need Kosher salt, good brown sugar and pepercorns for grinding. This part is what takes the time and most energy. You must salt the meat and rub it in REALLY WELL. This is what cures it for smoking....

The salt must be rubbed into EVERY CRACK of the meat. I know that you want an exact measurement, but I dont have one. I sprinkle it on like the picture above and rub it in like I am wishing for a Geni in a bottle..... then flip it over and do the other side. I do this until the bellie is watery - about 10 minuetes each side.

Once you have salted both sides really well, its time for brown sugar and pepper. The salt is more important because that is what cures the meat, this is what adds flavor. Grab a pepper grinder and grind a nice layer of pepper over the belly. Use your own judgement as to how much pepper to use. Eveyone is differant and I personally LOVE pepper. Now grab a handfull of dark brown and sprinkle it on the belly. Now start rubbing baby - rub this also for about 10 minutes per side. This is the best hand treatment you can get for free!!!

Make sure that you do the edges of the meat also. I do it on a coookie sheet and when the rub falls off the meat, I pick it up and keep rubbing it in. Till it looks 'wet' again - about another 10 minutes on each side.

When you are done with this - put them into a big plastic container with a lid.
When I put the first bellie in - I put salt on it. Not as much as before, but some. Then I put another belly on top of it, salt it, lay the next one on and salt it. Then I put it in the fridge for about 5-7 days. It will start to make its own brine - if you did a good job salting - and you need to rotate them everyday or everyother day. Ya know what I mean? Top one goes to the bottom and turn them over etc...

SO in a few days I will show you how I smoke them in the smoker I made. The smoker cost me about $60 to make and its EASY!! Talk to you in the morning - have to go get groceries and 'hiney wipe' as the boys call it. I tried to go yesterday, but the 7 inchs of snow got in the way. My van is like trying to drive a pig on ice - ever tried that. I probably would have gotten farther with the pig. I traded my Ford Escape in, it had 4x4 and I MISS IT... the van is SO not my personality. Give me a truck with bigs tires anyday man!!!


Susan said...

Oh, Heidi, what fun! I would love to make bacon with you. Finding pork bellies down here is another story. I am sure it will taste great and am really interested in your smoker.

Thanks for the comment about my barber. Isn't life fun?

Living on the Spit said...


I love bacon any and all ways it can be made. I like then sliced, thick slab, maple applewood, peppered, jowl bacon, and just frying up white meat bacon...bacon, Bacon, BACON!

Yeah, you can send me some, okay?

Something else for ya now that I want to go make some bacon...gee Heidi, thanks!

Silly boys, trucks are for chicks!!!

Love ya,


Joanna said...

if there is one thing that I could eat for all eternity, it would be good bacon. Hey, that would be a goos survey - your 5 favorite things to eat -

sweet peas
tiramisu (any flavor is fine)

Suzanne said...

Hoo Yeah....pork belly's!!! I used to listen to the farm report on WGN in the mornings. I was a stinkin' city kid and never knew what a pork belly was. Anyway the pork belly prices were always up and down. HA.

I'm dying to see how you smoke them. BTW, the reason the pork belly starts to feel wet is the salt is drawing the moisture out of the meat,.

My stepsister, who lives in Australia, ate bacon at EVERY MEAL for the three months she was visiting the U.S. I mean EVERY MEAL. She coudnl't get enough of it, as I guess bacon is something entirely different in Oz.

Gee, you really know how to do so many things.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

Train Wreck said...

Girl you don't only bring home the bacon,na na na na and fry it up in a pan,na na na na, You know how to make bacon! You seriously need your own Tv Show!

Peggy said...

Let me know when the bacon is ready and I will pop in for breakfast!LOL Girl I get so tired reading what all you do each day plus take care of kids. Now I am craving a BLT.... thanks

Big Hair Envy said...

You know what? Ree has NOTHING on you, because YOU are the REAL Pioneer woman!! So THERE!

I can't wait to learn more about your smoker...

Betsy Bryan said...

I'm a city girl and thought that you just let Hormel do this for you. I'm learning so much from your blog!

Happy New Year

Britt-Arnhild said...

Inspired by you I have now made rømmegrøt.
Take a look in The Blue Café.

COFFEE MAN said...

Sighs , well that is very informative . i remember as a kid having bacon at home from hogs we slaughtered . as a kid i guess you dont realize the effort involved .

However when you said "makin Bakin" i had somthing waaaaaaaaaaay different in mind . LOL

have great new year kiddo see ya in the coffeeshop

The W.O.W. factor said...

Hello??? Anyone home??
I'm here!! and I smell the coffe and bacon...yea! in time for good company and breakfast!
Wow Lady! this is awesome! YOu could and would fit right into that life we had and wished we had again!!!
downwards to an older post!
but hey...where's Milk Dud? I need to give him a squeeze! Need me to babysit a spell?

ang said...

Can I come live with you? I love bacon, it is my all time fav'-o-rite meat. I only thought I could cook until I found your site.

Clay said...

I am so glad you posted this! We're not up butchering our hogs ourselves....yet. So, the cured meat costs us more to have done at the butcher, so next year I'll try this!!! Plus, our bacon came back this year tasting more like ham, we have to salt it before we fry it. Can't wait to see the smoker.

Mikey said...

That's looks DELISH!! I'm having mad bacon cavings these days, since having a Kentucky ham for Xmas. Super yum!!
So you log w/horses?? You MUST do a blog post on that!! I would love to come try it, but I'm afraid I'd wet myself holding the lines. That is scary stuff!! But props to you for doing it, and I hear you on getting them in where heavy equipment can't go, and it's good that it doesn't tear the forest up as much as mechanical logging. I like that.
You are some kind of amazing woman!! Is there anything you can't do??? I'm in awe. And I hope you take pictures and post it, because I'm fascinated by it.

Big Hair Envy said...

I'm SO excited that you are going to be hittin' South Beach with me!!! It will be better to do it as a cheating when others are looking:) Right?

We start tomorrow!!! Have you checked out their website? It's amazing.

DayPhoto said...

You are sure one smart cookie I am constantly amazed at what you know.

Thanks for sharing!

KC said...

Thanks for saying Hi to us we love your blog. Give the kids a hug for us. love ya

Freth :0p said...

I've been hanging on for weeks now!! ... what happened to Bacon Part 2 ????

Sara said...

I'm looking forward to the smoker part, too.
I'm so glad I found your blog!
Stay warm!

Nancy said...

Another lesson! I had no idea how bacon was made. Another great and interesting post!!! Anxious to see your smoker now. You are a remarkable young lady!!!

This catches me up reading all the posts I've missed. I have enjoyed myself immensely!!!!

((( HUGS )))