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Uncured Bacon?

Discussion in 'Processing For Meat' started by BarnyardBlast, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Oct 22, 2017
    BarnyardBlast

    BarnyardBlast Ridin' The Range

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    We recently brought back three pigs from the processor. My husband is the one who filled out the paperwork and he wanted nothing cured. He remembers being asked if he had ever eaten uncured bacon (which he hadn't). I cooked bacon today and it looked odd. It looked white after cooking rather than typical bacon color. It didn't taste as salty as bacon usually does. It tasted like cooked pork. It wasn't bad, just different.

    Is this typical for uncured bacon?
     
  2. Oct 22, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    This summer we slaughtered our own pigs and we "made" bacon. I didn't use the pink curing salt or sodium nitrite. The sodium nitrite is used to cure the meat, give it a pink color and kill bacteria that may lurk in the meat. Not wanting the sodium nitrite, I used regular table salt and brown sugar to make a brine and soaked the raw bacon in it, in the refrigerator for several days. Then I washed it off, patted it dry and my husband smoked it on the pit, the type with the offset smoker box, between 110 and 150 degrees for hours. Then I cooled it, sliced and vacuum sealed it. The bacon is freaking amazing! Smoky, it smells good enough to eat right out of the package, but it is still rawish and must be cooked. I bake bacon on a cookie sheet in the oven and it comes out perfect.

    Next time I will brine the bacon in a cooler with ice so the meat can more evenly absorb the brine.

    This is my pig thread, be warned, there are pictures of us slaughtering and processing the meat.

    https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/feeder-pigs-2017.35395/
     
  3. Oct 22, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    This summer we slaughtered our own pigs and we "made" bacon. I didn't use the pink curing salt or sodium nitrite. The sodium nitrite is used to cure the meat, give it a pink color and kill bacteria that may lurk in the meat. Not wanting the sodium nitrite, I used regular table salt and brown sugar to make a brine and soaked the raw bacon in it, in the refrigerator for several days. Then I washed it off, patted it dry and my husband smoked it on the pit, the type with the offset smoker box, between 110 and 150 degrees for hours. Then I cooled it, sliced and vacuum sealed it. The bacon is freaking amazing! Smoky, it smells good enough to eat right out of the package, but it is still rawish and must be cooked. I bake bacon on a cookie sheet in the oven and it comes out perfect.

    Next time I will brine the bacon in a cooler with ice so the meat can more evenly absorb the brine.

    This is my pig thread, be warned, there are pictures of us slaughtering and processing the meat.

    https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/feeder-pigs-2017.35395/
     
  4. Oct 22, 2017
    Simpleterrier

    Simpleterrier Overrun with beasties

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    Uncured bacon is called pork belly. It will just taste like pork. You have to cure belly to make bacon. If you would like to make bacon I would recommend going to smoking meats forum and doing some reading. I curred and smoked my pork belly this spring it turned out great. I curred with Morton's tender quick and cold smoked with a smoke generator that I made. Do some reading if u would want to make your own.
     
  5. Oct 23, 2017
    AClark

    AClark Loving the herd life

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    You really need to smoke pork belly to make it "bacon". I soak mine for a week in a brine in the fridge and then smoke it. You want to smoke it nice and low, and the smoke will make it the typical pink color. Lower temperature smoking for a longer period of time will makei t smoke more evenly. When I smoke briskets I do it at 250 degrees (ish, I use regular wood so I have to regulate it) and for an hour per lb. I'd smoke a slab of pork belly for at leat 3-4 hours, depending on weight, and at a lower temp for sure otherwise it will cook it.
     
    Pastor Dave likes this.
  6. Oct 24, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master

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    As others have said, it didn't taste like bacon because it isn't bacon...it's pork belly...just a cut of meat. I've seen people buy uncured butt, shanks and shoulders because they were cheap, thinking they would have the same taste as ham too. They were not pleased with the results.
    Plenty of instructions on the web on how to process your pork belly into bacon tho. Good luck with it. (I no longer eat bacon of any kind including "turkey bacon" .. cardiologist's orders... so I can't help ya)
     
  7. Oct 24, 2017
    Bruce

    Bruce Herd Master

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    Uncured pork belly "strips" that look like thick sliced bacon are also called "side pork" in stores. As noted, it won't taste a THING like bacon, just cooked pork with whatever seasonings you may have put on it.

    You can buy "uncured" bacon at some grocery stores. I found out a few months ago that the ONLY difference between "uncured" and "cured" is that the "cured" brine has "pink salt", the stuff with the nitrates/nitrites that keeps the meat pink. Otherwise the brining process is EXACTLY the same and "uncured" IS cured but without the addition of the "special salt"!

    Beware @BarnyardBlast if the reason your husband didn't want the meat cured was because he is sensitive to nitrates/nitrites, they give me migraines. All commercial cured meats have them. The referenced product has them and therefore its use would result in "cured" bacon.

    I made some bacon a couple of months ago, first time, it came out only OK. A bit too salty so next time I will rinse it longer. Since I don't have a smoker, I used liquid smoke which apparently is what all the commercial smoked foods, including cheese, use. I think I didn't put enough on because it just isn't "there". But DD1, who is a vegetarian, objects to the smell of the smoke. Next time I will do that part (added after all the brining, rinsing and "slow cooking in the oven") outside so I can load it up. The main ingredients in my brine were Kosher salt and maple syrup with some garlic and other spices.
     
  8. Oct 24, 2017
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    We call it "streak of fat, streak of lean"
    We put 2 hogs in the freezer this summer and only have 2 packs left
    As the others have said it's not bacon because it isn't cured
    But it is yummy
     
  9. Oct 25, 2017
    Simpleterrier

    Simpleterrier Overrun with beasties

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    If u don't cure your bacon then u want to hot smoke/ cook your bacon. With cure u can cold smoke it. The cure is what keeps bacteria from forming. So if you don't cure and u try to cold smoke then u could be asking to get sick
     
  10. Oct 25, 2017
    mysunwolf

    mysunwolf True BYH Addict

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    Fancy sandwich shops will call uncured bacon pork belly. We use it exclusively, we buy a smoked salt and sugar mix from our neighbors, cook the "green bacon" on low heat and sprinkle a good amount of that stuff on there, and the result is delicious.