Bacon....curing and smoking.

So, since I've been in Australia it's become obvious that I've got little chance of finding decent bacon. I was spoiled in London, Sillfield Farm stall at Borough Market, smoked streaky cut to preferred thickness.......wet brine and cold smoked. No white shit in the pan, didn't shrink and the fat was incomparable for an egg.

All that's gone, so I'm turning my hand to curing and smoking my own. Cold smoker is sorted (old wine barrel), saltpetre found.......and now it's time to get a brine recipe.

Anybody out there curing their own bacon? Seems good recipies are hard to find, so any suggestions welcome.

Home made sausages I've got down, but bacon is another step altogether.
 
It's certainly featured here before but I'm too idle to search. I'm a serrano (and definitely Iberico) devotee, but most bacony products have a place in my fridge. If you're too idle too, a standard commercial lump of Sainsbury's ham left uncovered in the fridge for a month or two should dry out to produce a concentrated flavour, which when sliced and grilled is as good as (and in my opinion, better) any back bacon. Good uncooked, too.
 
So, since I've been in Australia it's become obvious that I've got little chance of finding decent bacon. I was spoiled in London, Sillfield Farm stall at Borough Market, smoked streaky cut to preferred thickness.......wet brine and cold smoked. No white shit in the pan, didn't shrink and the fat was incomparable for an egg.

All that's gone, so I'm turning my hand to curing and smoking my own. Cold smoker is sorted (old wine barrel), saltpetre found.......and now it's time to get a brine recipe.

Anybody out there curing their own bacon? Seems good recipies are hard to find, so any suggestions welcome.

Home made sausages I've got down, but bacon is another step altogether.
As you have your cold smoker sorted, there should be a plentiful supply of free kangaroos. How about 'roo biltong?

ETA there are recipes online but yours can be a cold smoked version https://www.huntshack.net/food/kangaroo-biltong/
 
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If you're too idle too, a standard commercial lump of Sainsbury's ham left uncovered in the fridge for a month or two should dry out to produce a concentrated flavour, which when sliced and grilled is as good as (and in my opinion, better) any back bacon. Good uncooked, too.
2 possibly stupid questions:
ham, is it cooked first or raw?
when you say uncovered, is that just sitting on a plate or with foil over the top but with air gaps?
 
I dry cure my own bacon using supacure.
Tastes far better than shop bought, shrinks less & no white crap exhuding as it grills.

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There's a pork loin sitting curing in the fridge right now.
 
Nope, cooked ham, just sitting on a plate, top shelf.
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Most fridges now are 'frost-free'; ie dehumidifying, so the environment is dry, and leeches moisture out of the delights on the shelves. To speed up the process, slice the ham. The fridge can dry out cut biltong if it's too wet, too, just as an aircon unit does. Works for beef (very finely sliced beef makes a bresaola if cured, and cecina made crispy and suitable for a few days at sea).

None of this is to do with the OP's post, but worth pursuing if you like full-flavoured dried meat.
 
2 possibly stupid questions:
ham, is it cooked first or raw?
when you say uncovered, is that just sitting on a plate or with foil over the top but with air gaps?
I'd be interested in knowing too. I would assume the ham is not cooked as it has already been processed to make it ham.
 
Instructions please........pretty please.
Get hold of a pork loin, skin off.
Weigh the meat, then take 5% of that weight of supacure & rub well in all over the meat & fat, making sure you get it into any nooks & crannies.
I then put it in a poly bag on a dish in the fridge & for 5-7 days I give it a good rub through the bag with the salty liquid that comes off the meat & turn it over every day.
After that, I take it out, give it a good wash under the tap, dry it off, wrap it in a single layer of cheesecloth & leave on a rack in the fridge for 2 days before slicing, vac packing & freezing (it's a good cure but not one that'll make the bacon last for weeks in the fridge).
The slice of each end is usually rather salty, so they get a good rinse & go in a bacon butty as soon as I'm done packing the meat away.
 
Note of caution prompted by @Oddbod 's post; if you buy a slicing machine, make sure it's properly expensive and of 'professional' quality. I bought a thing a few years ago which had neither of those qualities and slung it out a day later.
The one in the photo was only just over £100 but it's a German make (though made in China to their spec) & does a god enough job on bacon & other meats, cheese & bread too.
 
Posted this before, my home cured bacon just finished off in the Bradley Smoker after three hours over oak, hickory or applewood pucks, depending on how I feel. I’ve used saltpetre and mixed my own cure in the past, but these days get it from Tongmaster in Scotland.

I like a sweet cure, so own my mix was:
30g salt per kilo
30g sugar per kilo (White or Demerara, it’s up to you)
1g saltpetre/Prague powder per kilo

A useful tip if buying from Tongmaster is to just buy the standard salt cure and then add 100% sugar by weight to the mix for a sweet cure which makes it double the weight, or 100% extra free, rather than buying Tongmaster’s own sweet cure. ;-)

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I might give this a shot actually!
Mods - can this be moved to the cookery forum please, where it’ll be easier to find later on.
 
Nope, cooked ham, just sitting on a plate, top shelf.
View attachment 393640Most fridges now are 'frost-free'; ie dehumidifying, so the environment is dry, and leeches moisture out of the delights on the shelves. To speed up the process, slice the ham. The fridge can dry out cut biltong if it's too wet, too, just as an aircon unit does. Works for beef (very finely sliced beef makes a bresaola if cured, and cecina made crispy and suitable for a few days at sea).

None of this is to do with the OP's post, but worth pursuing if you like full-flavoured dried meat.
No such thing as too wet biltong.

Drool...
 
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