I used Surfy's Pre-mixed General Purpose Curing Salt (For Cooked Products) at the recommended amount Which is much less than I thought I would have use, it's only between 24 & 30 grams of the mix per kilo of meat if my memory is correct, I also added sugar at the recommended rate, which is about half the curing mix rate.
Two pieces of belly had the cure and sugar mix, whilst the other two pieces had black pepper added.
I placed two pieces of each in separate ziplock plastic bags, these in turn were placed into two more plastic bags (belt & braces), And kept in the fridge, I then turned and massaged them every day for five days.
Hey presto....... Bacon
It has become better with hanging in the fridge for two days to dry out
I tried the black pepper version tonight on butty's for tea, it tasted much nicer, and it was much easier to cut, being firmer from drying out
You could also taste more salt in the bacon, as opposed to when it had just finished curing
Oh by the way, I bought a second hand fridge off eBay, as I did not fancy raw bacon hanging With my other food
Nope, not yet. Only because at the time I bought it I also got huge bags of sawdust with it (lots of different varieties) as a birthday present. And on top of that I don't own a chipper/shredder. I don't want to use the stuff from my chainsaw because of the oil.
I do now have a circular saw which will be great for producing centimetre sized chunks, but I'll use them in my metal box smoker I have (a metal box with small holes perforated into it - about 30cm x 5cm x 10cm.
I've got the ProQ Cold Smoker - yes a bit pricey but quite a nice neat container. Used it once in the WFO last year which worked fine once I relit it (went out twice!) - the chilli peppers didn't really work, but the tinfoil tray of salt smoked beautifully and the tinfoil tray of cashews was great!! Looked at the container they recommend for using for smoking, but it appears to be a cardboard box, which is crazy for £20+! I hope to follow an idea I saw on the web to use 2 wooden wine boxes glued together and then put in some shelves.
Well I tried making my own smoke with varying degrees of success
I tried two types of channel, neither worked, I also tried a pile of shavings on the floor, the smoke stopped fairly quickly, all these were lit with a blowlamp
Then I tried a cutlery cullender, which I lit at the bottom with a blowlamp, this went to a smoulder after I stopped applying the flame, so I put the door on and left it, I knew I had some degree of success, when after ten minutes smoke was creeping from around the door, I left it for about an hour or more, when I opened the door it was a pea souper inside, you could have cut the smoke with a knife.
So once the smoke had cleared, I refilled the shavings, hung a piece of bacon from my quickly made frame, and re-lit the container, then left it over night
This morning when I opened the door of the oven all the smoke had gone, but this is what I found
This is my smoking set up, The barrel is my hot smoker and I have a pipe running into an old cupboard I picked up for my cold smoking. I smoke most things including our home made salt, butter and bacon. The only thing that I did not like was smoked eggs. The smoked cheese makes a fantastic addition to a risotto. But don't do what I did the first time and made the risotto with smoked rice,salt,bacon ,garlic and mushrooms !! Phew!! Smoke overload! What spices do you use in your brine mix? I also sometimes add orange peel.