Salty bacon

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Steveharford

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Salty bacon
« on: March 19, 2014, 07:27 »
Just cured my own bacon from pork loin for the first time. Really pleased with it but a bit on the salty side. The recipe called for it to be soaked in clean water for a couple of hours after the cure but I'm wondering if that was long enough. Now it is dried and in the fridge and we've had a couple of slices off it, would it be ok to give it another long soak and dry it again? Steve

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Trillium

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 19:52 »
In your shoes, I would. Just thinking about that saltiness gives me indigestion. That's the beauty of home -cured foods - you can always fix it.

You might also want to note on your recipe to cut back the salt a bit or to soak it longer in clear water.

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Steveharford

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 21:28 »
Thanks Trillium. I will soak it overnight and see how it goes. Difficult to judge the amount of salt as it was my first attempt and to be honest I was frightened of under curing it. I did follow a recipe but I guess you can't beat experience. Overall I was very pleased with the result which was a dry firm bacon with a good flavour. I will certainly stick at it. I  am also planning to smoke it once I perfect the curing part.

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Steveharford

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 18:07 »
Ok. I re soaked it and really enjoyed it as it was not at all salty. I have just cured some belly and some more loin and will be drying it ready for the weekend when I will be testing my 'just been delivered' cold smoker and six different types of sawdust. Really looking forward to this ! Might sneak some cheese in amongst it all too.

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Mrs Bee

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 18:43 »
Ok. I re soaked it and really enjoyed it as it was not at all salty. I have just cured some belly and some more loin and will be drying it ready for the weekend when I will be testing my 'just been delivered' cold smoker and six different types of sawdust. Really looking forward to this ! Might sneak some cheese in amongst it all too.

I would sneak half a side of cured salmon in the smoker too, along with some olives and sundried tomatoes! :D

Mary Berry visited a guy who smoked his own salmon and after watching him I have changed the way I do my salmon. Bliss.

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Steveharford

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 18:56 »
Yes. I intend doing my own salmon Mrs Bee. I used to catch my own in the days when I could afford the rent and the time and often had them smoked for me. The texture and taste of wild salmon is superb so hopefully one day I will be in a position again to do my own.... Note to self: lottery !!! Although fresh caught trout is more probable so I may start with that. Lovely taste and makes beautiful pate.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 18:56 by Steveharford »

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Trillium

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 21:36 »
Glad it turned out well for you, steve. That's why doing your own is better - you know exactly what went in and that you can also take some of it out.

Mmmm, smokers. On my list of to-do's. Plan to build my own out back.

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Steveharford

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2014, 03:51 »
Yes I intend to build a hot smoker some time but for now I am keeping it simple by cold smoking. This little unit couldn't be simpler and has so many good reviews I had to go for it. I will just sit it in my weber kettle BBQ. I will let you know how it performs. . http://www.macsbbq.com/cold-smokers

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Trillium

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2014, 14:21 »
That looks very handy indeed. I see it's available in Canada too. My thoughts were to get hold of a dead bar fridge (the small, under counter types), strip out the innards, install hanging racks and a place for the heat element to sit. Reluctantly, I know I'll also have to set up an anti-theft lock. Sign of the times.

I'll be interested to hear how it turned out before I invest.

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Mrs Bee

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2014, 18:22 »
Yes I intend to build a hot smoker some time but for now I am keeping it simple by cold smoking. This little unit couldn't be simpler and has so many good reviews I had to go for it. I will just sit it in my weber kettle BBQ. I will let you know how it performs. . http://www.macsbbq.com/cold-smokers

That is the one I use.  And you can do it in a large cardboard box. Learnt that at the course I did.

OH has built me a wooden cold smoker and I have a metal cabinet smoker too.

You can do without a hot smoker, just cold smoke your food and then cook it in an ordinary oven slowly.

If you haven't got a really good book on smoking try to get hold of a book called 'Smoking Food at Home with Smoky Jo.  I have several books on smoking but this is my bible. And it is very user friendly. ;)

I just love smoked food.

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Steveharford

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2014, 20:17 »
Hi Mrs Bee. I bought the book last week after seeing it recommended. Most likely on this forum, and you are right it is very informative and gives you confidence in the simplicity of the process. Well, today I smoked back bacon, streaky bacon, bell peppers, garlic, cheese, and sausages. The cheese was 'just like the real thing!' Really good. The bacon will be tested at breakfast tomorrow and the peppers will go into a chilli later in the week. While it was all smoking away we were gardening then went to the pub and to the butcher from where I bought a lovely big loin of Gloucester Old Spot. I've really got the bug now !

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Mrs Bee

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2014, 22:28 »
It was probably me who recommended the book, Steve. :D

And I. like you, am hooked, especially with the smoked salmon. Now that is addictive!!!! Forget the milk of the poppy, it is smoked salmon every time. :D :D :D
I like the brine recipes in the book for chicken as smoked chicken is another favourite.

Smoked raisins are interesting and are good as an addition to stuffing mixes for roast meat.

 Try smoking butter, olives and especially sundried tomatoes. Everyone who eats these are hooked.
You can make your own by halving tomatoes and sprinkling them with a little salt, sugar, thyme, crushed garlic, and I add a little olive oil and vinegar. Cook them in a very low oven for several hours until at the sunblush stage and then stick in the fridge until you are ready to start a smoke.

I have put a pork  loin in a brine for 6 hours just to flavour rather than do a bacon cure and then smoked it and roast it and that was delicious.  I smoked some double cream  and then used it to make a smoked chocolate icecream which had a peppery taste.

Will be interested to hear of your smoking exploits. ;)

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Trillium

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2014, 04:32 »
I was just checking out that book today at various sources, and for me it would run over $50 Cdn between cost, money exchange and shipping. Ouch!

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Steveharford

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2014, 06:55 »
Wow Mrs Bee! You really are the Bee's knees! :-). You sure you're not smokey Jo in disguise?   I will definitely be doing the salmon. Our big supermarket had whole ones on special offer last week. I will see if the offer is still on. The roast pork sounds delicious too and I will definitely be doing the tomatoes with this years glut.    Do you have any preferences for any particular wood dust? My palate is perhaps not honed enough to notice a difference. The flavour of my maple wood cheese was so similar to a bought applewood cheese tried alongside it.

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Mrs Bee

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Re: Salty bacon
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2014, 00:12 »
In all honesty, I can't really tell much of a difference between the taste of the food when smoked with different woods. The smell of the smoke from different woods was noticeably different when I did the smoking course and we went round smoke sniffing. :lol:

But the taste of the different smokes in food doesn't really shout out because of the brining or marinades, apart from hickory, which I use for the American style smoky BBQ, and the whisky oak which I sometimes use for the smoked salmon or oily fish.

Beech dust is the easiest to use and get a steady burn without going out.

Also a tip for getting the best out of the ProQ smoker which you have is to wash it out after you finish a smoke, using a toothbrush to push  into the mesh to get out all the bits of burned wood dust. Then dry it thoroughly and keep it somewhere dry.

I put mine in a warm oven to dry completely, and before I start a smoke I put in a warm oven again to make sure there is no dampness. 180 C for 5- 10 mins.

Also make sure the wood dust is really dry put the dust on a baking tray for at the same temp for about 5-10 minutes keeping an eye on the dust to make sure you don't leave it too long and set it on fire in the oven.

The reason I do this is I had a problem keeping the dust smoking after I had used the smoker for a few times and the guy at Macs BBQ suggested that I do this. Since I have, I have no problems and I can leave the smoker going over night for a 12 hour smoke with no worries about it going out.

I am not sure if I can advertise where I get my wood dust from on this site, but if you PM me I will tell you the place I use where the wood dust is good quality and a very reasonable price. ;) 



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