Monday, January 24, 2011

Makin' Bacon!!!! Part 2

Ok, so here's my FINAL follow up to making bacon. It's easy. We left off with refrigerating the pork belly in a ziploc and turning it over every day or so to keep it curing evenly. When the belly begins to turn from squishy to firm, you are ready to cook the bacon. If you have a smoker, good for you and do you want to be friends? If you don't have a smoker, follow my instructions.

Remove your belly from the brine. Rinse thoroughly, trying to remove as many loose chunky bits as possible, like your pepper. If you were making something like a cured pork loin (canadian bacon), you'd place it a fresh baggy, and back in the fridge for a day or so for the salt content to equalize a bit more. Loins probably need less brining time than fattier pieces. I made one a few months ago and it was a bit too salty. Brining for less time would have fixed this.

Once the hunka meat is rinsed and whatnot, set it on a rack over a sheet pan, and let it come to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 250ยบ or so.

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When the bacon is warmed up, and so is the oven, pop the pan in the oven. It'll usually take a couple hours or so, but pull the meat out when it reaches an internal temperature of 155-160. It's cooked. Let it cool, then refrigerate or freeze. Slice it as needed, and be rewarded with tasty salty porky deliciousness on demand. I've had it stay good for over 2 weeks before, but I'd suggest portioning it out better and only having 1 weeks worth defrosted at any one time. Gentle heat is the best way to fry this up. A baking sheet or pan on medium-low will be your best bets.

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