Skip to main content

The Great Bacon Experiment

Devin and I watched an episode of Alton Brown's "Good Eats" the other night. Alton was making bacon from a big ole slab of pork belly. Devin became inspired to do this himself.

So a few days ago, I found myself at our local meat shop, looking at a giant frozen folded over piece of pork belly. I was quite certain we were in over our heads.

After discussing our plans for the pork belly with the butcher, he offered to thaw and skin the massive piece of meat for us. He told us it should be ready in about a day and a half.

A day and a half later, Dev came home from class with a huge piece of pork belly. Here's the story of what happened next...

We used Alton's method, which you can find here.

We decided not to smoke the entire piece of meat. I wanted to do some internet research and find some other uses for our windfall of pork. Dev cut the huge chunk of meat in half and we froze half.

The remaining half was cut into 4 quarters and put in gallon storage bags with a Alton's brine solution (really yummie with molasses and apple cider). It hung out in the ice box for 3 days, sucking up all the briny-ness. Here's what it looked like after we removed it from the brine and dried it off.

We liberally peppered the pieces and then set up our drying rig. Dev set up towels and some cookie drying racks on the kitchen floor in front of a fan. This step is performed to develop the "pellicle" of the meat before smoking it. I have no idea what that means. Here's the rig....

Note Dev's sexy legs, complete with manly cut.

After an hour in front of the fan, we moved the slabs of pork to the smoker outside. In Alton's method, he used a cold smoking procedure. We only have a regular, grill type smoker. We adjusted the 4-6 hour estimate of Alton's method to about 3 hours of hot smoking time. Here are the luscious pork slabs during the smoking process.

After smoking for 3 hours, we removed the pork to a baking sheet and put it in the freezer to firm it up enough to slice.

How beautiful is that??

Here are some shots of Dev slicing the home made bacon...

What about the taste, you ask?

It is amazing. I don't think it will ever get crispy like store bought bacon, but the flavor is so superior, I don't think it will matter. It's slightly sweet, not salty at all, and much porkier than commercial bacon.

This will truly make the world's best BLT of all time!


Anonymous said…
Ewww! He'll smoke a pork belly but won't eat catfish??
Mimi said…
LOL...I hadn't thought about that. I'll share your comment with him!
Tracey in WA said…
I saw that episode too!!! Glad to see it turned out great ... will have to get my own belly and try it, thanks for the review!
Kevin said…
That bacon looks really good! Making your own sounds like great fun!
Mimi said…
Thanks Tracy and Kevin! It was pretty fun, and I'm definitely enjoying using the bacon in various dishes this week.

Popular posts from this blog

Carrot Cake!!!!!!

I made my very first ever from scratch homemade cake at 7,500 feet above sea level today. I have made many homemade cakes before, but that was back home in Savannah, which is practically 2 feet below sea level.

After many dismal failures (including box mixes) I have finally made a cake from scratch that turned out decent. No- better than decent. I think this is the best cake I've ever made. No joke.

It all started when my fried Emmy posted on her blog about receiving as a gift from her hubby, a copy of "The Joy of Cooking." By the way, you should go read her blog. She is nauseatingly multi-talented. She cooks and knits beautifully, as well as a bunch of other stuff I learn about every freakin' time I read her blog. So go over to her blog right now.

Anyhoo...she read the high altitude instructions and cranked out a beautiful red velvet cake that made me drool. After reading that, I decided it was time to stop being a wuss about baking at high altitude and try a…

Sunday Love...

This is what Sunday morning looked like at our house. I was inspired by some beautiful strawberries I bought at the store yesterday, so I wanted to make a special breakfast.

What says "I Love You" more than a stack of hot, homemade buttermilk pancakes???

Well, I'll tell you what. A stack of hot, homemade buttermilk Strawberries Romanoff Pancakes with Brown Sugar-Sour Cream Sauce. That's what.

A very good friend of mine from back home in Savannah, Jared, sent me for an engagement gift a year subscription to "Southern Living" magazine. He explained that he didn't want me to "forget how to be Southern." Although it is doubtful that I will EVER not be Southern, it was a very sweet gift. And I must admit I was so excited the day it landed in our mailbox that I had to fight every instinct in my Southern body not to plop on the couch right then and there and read it cover to cover and commit it to memory.

In the April 2009 issue of "Southern L…

Gouda Mac and Cheese

IMG_1102, originally uploaded by All Things Mimi. Dev loves gouda cheese.
We had a hunk of it in our fridge.
So...I decided to make mac and cheese out of it.
Unfortunately, I wasn't going by a recipe, so I can't tell you exactly how I did it. I can give you a blow by blow, but that's about it.
I started by sauteeing an onion in olive oil and butter (if I had to guess at amounts, I'd say maybe a couple of tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil). Oh- and I started boiling the elbow pasta. I boiled about half a pound of pasta for 8 minutes, then drained it.
Back at the cheese sauce...
After the onions had softened (about maybe 5 minutes), I added flour. How much? I have no idea- maybe a quarter cup? I let it cook like a roux for about 5 minutes. I added a little salt and a few drops of hot sauce at this point. I had managed to eek 2 cups of dairy liquid out of my fridge- I had about 1/2 cup of 2% milk, about 1 cup of half and half and maybe 1/2 cup of white wine. …