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It’s a totally different thing then store bacon...even when I buy the “fancy” store stuff. First time I made some I thought I screwed up. I tried crisping it up like normal cheap store stuff and just kinda scorched it (partly because of the sugars from the cure I think.) I realized that for me this homemade stuff isn’t about crispy it’s about cutting it thick, warming it up good in a frying pan, and then eating it like a cut of beef (fork and knife.) I cut a. Oriole of 1” thick strips once and wrapped it around a 2-3 lb ribeye steak (yea...steak...not rib roast...like I said in an earlier post I’m fat. ) I called it The Swanson after Ron Swanson on Parks & Rec. It was amazing. I’m sure I have pics on here of it somewhere but I’ll find one and post it again.


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Found it...here's The Swanson...smoked and then seared on the flattop griddle. I'll admit it though...I didn't finish this thing in one sitting. I actually threw some veggies into the mix and it screwed me.
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I’d call it a dry cure cause it’s all dry products but it doesn’t produce a good bit of moisture so is it technically a dry or wet?

I’m really bad about having a base re Joe but then adjusting it each time based on the last results but I’m stupid and never write the adjustments down. So I’m sure these measurements aren’t completely right from what I did but basically:

Jalapeño
1/2 pork belly-Approx. 5 lbs
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup pepper
1-2 teaspoon cure (old pack from a jerky making kit...ran out of my Prague powder)
1 jar strained jalapeños (86 oz jar from GFS)

Put pork belly in 2.5 gallon zip lock bag. Mix ingredients and put half into bag on one side of belly and spread around and then flip and do other side. I used to put the ingredients on first then out belly in bag but all the little granules would get into the zip lock strips and it would never close right. Once both sides covered I put half jalapeños on one side, flip, and the rest on the other. Squeeze air out of bag, seal, and put in fridge. Let it sit in there for 7 days but flip it once every night. Pull belly out and rinse all loose stuff off in sink. Then usually I’ll cold smoke it in an apple/cherry mix for several hours and then fire the smoker up, set it at 180° which is my lowest setting and the “extreme smoke” setting and let it run until the IT of the belly is 145°-150°. Let it sit in the fridge overnight on a wire rack to cool off and firm up and then hand slice it the next day.


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You may have tried this already but if not you can probably fix your ziploc sealing problem by folding the top of the bag (with the zipper) back so you're starting to make it inside out. Put it back far enough so you can get the meat in and then when you're ready pull it back forward. Might make life a little easier.
 
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We buy whole beef tenderloins when they’re on sale and I’ve been saving the trimmings. I thawed out 2# today and ground it up with some fatty pieces of Chuck roast. Made for some good burgers.

my plan was to cold smoke them a bit then cook them on the egg but time constraints led to using the old Weber gasser.



 

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We buy whole beef tenderloins when they’re on sale and I’ve been saving the trimmings. I thawed out 2# today and ground it up with some fatty pieces of Chuck roast. Made for some good burgers.

my plan was to cold smoke them a bit then cook them on the egg but time constraints led to using the old Weber gasser.





GASP!!!!!! o_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_O
 

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Ribs, wife’s homemade instant pot Mac & cheese....

Big Joe 3, B&B lump, hickory chunks, FireBoard 2 Drive

Mimicid Matt from Meat Church’s latest video. Really happy with how they turned out.



 

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Filet burgers round two...

Just nothing as good as meat cooked over real wood or good lump charcoal. Recently I’ve been using Jealous Devil lump. It burns really nice with very little ash.



Gave em a little smudge with the pellet tube then lit the egg.


 

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Well my MES 30 decided to call it quits on me after 4 years. I haven't tinkered with it yet but its reading 300 degrees and thus the heating element will not come on. Somehow I gotta find out why it thinks its 300 in there when its actually cold.

Anyway, I might be in the market for another smoker anyway. I can't decide between a pellet grill, kamado style, one of these The Harvester - Premium BBQ Smoker,
just so many options. Might even do another MES if I can't get mine up and running.

Even though charcoal can be a pain compared to an electric like the MES, I feel like the flavor is different using the charcoal. I like the versatility of the kamado but not sure about doing those long cooks on them, please help. lol
That Harvester looks cats meow. EZ access to everything,and looks well made. I question maybe the quality of the metal if it’s American or China ?

I think the EZ way out is a Traeger. I’m no expert on smoking but I’ve eaten Traeger with cherry wood chips on wild boar and was never the same again. Certainly the person smoking it knew what he was doing in spite of getting blind on Jack Daniels.


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How do you cure your bacon? I’ve done them using the wet cure, tender quick cure and with pink salt cure.
All have produced good results with taste
Last batch I used the vacuum sealer. I keep the seasoning pretty simple. I don’t measure anything but I use
Salt
Garlic powder
Maple sugar (wife makes it at home)
And a smidge of rosemary.
Just seasoned the belly, tossed it in the bag and vacuum sealed it. Flipped the bag about halfway through the aging process.


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