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Made some Beef Bacon
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smokin'gal
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Joined: 28 Jun 2010
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Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Jun 30 2010    Post subject: Made some Beef Bacon Reply with quote

The local stores in my area stopped selling beef bacon, so I decided to make my own. After finding a meat shop that could sell me beef belly (whole beef short plate primal cut, minus the ribs), I engaged in the process of making some cured beef bacon. I used Morton's sugar cure at a rate of 1/2 ounce per pound, cured for 7 days per inch of thickness. I completed the process and here are your pics of the process and results:

Beef belly rubbed down with Morton's Sugar Cure ( with fresh cracked black pepper added):


I placed each beef belly slab in foodsavor bags:


After 2 weeks, I thoroughly rinsed the slabs, and soaked them in luke warm water. Thicker slabs got a 1 hour soak , thinner slabs got 2 hours. They were then placed on cooling racks and left to dry in the fridge for 2 days and 10 hours:


Side-view of thinner slab cut:


Side-view of thicker slab cut:


Dried slabs stacked and ready for the smoker:


Slabs on smoker after a few hours:


So while the slabs are on the smoker, I decided to take some of the slab trimmings, and cut off a few slices of cured, unsmoked bacon for frying:



The taste is not what I'm used to from the commerical beef bacon I used to be able to buy. It's very "beefy" and has an obvious lack of smoke flavor. Since it was dry-cured, you can see that there wasn't alot of milky-white liquid oozing from the bacon. Also, I think the cattle used for this were grass fed, which I don't think I've ever tried. Nontheless, it is tasty and slightly salty, like bacon should be.

Here are the slabs after about 4 hours on the smoker:


I had been smoking them at 135 degrees, using hickory and cherry wood, and raised this to 150-160 degress towards the end. Here are the slabs fresh off the smoker:

Cherry wood really gives smoked meats a dark, mahogany color.

I let them cool and then refrigerated them overnight. I cut into one of the slabs the following morning, hoping to slice and fry up a few pieces - beautiful:


However, I needed to cut fairly thin slices and the creamy fat would just make a mess on the slicer. So, in the freezer the slab went.

The bacon slab finished freezing and I sliced it up on the Chef's Choice 667:


Frying up the bacon:


Beef bacon, cheesy eggs, and cinnamon sugar toast (breakfast for dinner):


Close-up of beef bacon:


beef bacon BLT, with Hawaiian spicy BBQ chips:


Last edited by smokin'gal on Jun 30 2010; edited 1 time in total
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broncosmoker
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PostPosted: Jun 30 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow beef bacon. Never had any or even ever seen it, but looks good.
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BigPhil32
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PostPosted: Jun 30 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

HOLY CRAP!!!!! That is freaking amazing! Thanks for sharing and for giving me even more motivation to make some bacon!!!
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KulinaryKila
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Joined: 09 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Jun 30 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

That stuff is screaming ABS's. Great pics looks delicious!!!!
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borncrazy
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Joined: 24 May 2010
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PostPosted: Jun 30 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

i recently saw beef bacon for the first time at my RD and i have to say yours looks about 1000 times more appetizing. Though i would never try it, but after seeing yours,i may give it a chance.
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whitey
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PostPosted: Jun 30 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

smokin'newb
WOW!
Very cool.Never heard of such a thing..
Nice job I bet that stuff is some Yummy bacon.
Whitey.
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OwenStubbs
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PostPosted: Jun 30 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider me educated as well! Never seen that, in stores, nor anywhere else. Looks tasty! Thanks for sharing!
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zysmith
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PostPosted: Jun 30 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

The purist in me always shunned 'alternate' bacon, after all swine is divine. But that looks freakin awesome! That would be great wrapped around a pizza fattie...
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borncrazy
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PostPosted: Jun 30 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

borncrazy wrote:
i recently saw beef bacon for the first time at my RD and i have to say yours looks about 1000 times more appetizing. Thought i would never try it, but after seeing yours,i may give it a chance.
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Dr Obvious
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PostPosted: Jul 01 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. I think I need to find some of that...
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Toga
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PostPosted: Jul 01 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow that looks awesome. I have never seen beef bacon. I sure would not turn my nose up at that!!
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smokin'gal
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PostPosted: Jul 01 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your comments. I don't think all beef bacon is created equal, although it's hard to find commercally in the first place. I used to be able to buy Gwaltney beef bacon. I was sad when they stopped selling it. But the stuff I'm making now tastes soooooo much better than what I was buying. I'm already curing another batch with garlic and herbs de provence added to the curing mix.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Jul 01 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

smokin'newb, just stick a fork in me cause I am done. Very Happy That bacon looks awesome, I would love to try some of that. Nicely done my man. Very Happy
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patruns
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PostPosted: Jul 01 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to admit, I passed over this thread several times when I saw it was beef, but after looking at the pics.....................man that is some great looking beefcon! I might actually have to try since I have never seen it before either. Well done! Smile
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smokin'gal
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PostPosted: Jul 02 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

patruns wrote:
I have to admit, I passed over this thread several times when I saw it was beef, but after looking at the pics.....................man that is some great looking beefcon! I might actually have to try since I have never seen it before either. Well done! Smile


Thanks. If you grew up eating pork and therefore, pork bacon, it will most likely remain your preference. However, beef bacon is very tasty, and unlike pork, doesn't make me ill. Laughing

I think most people people try to make beef bacon make it from brisket. The whole point of bacon is chewy meat and crispy fat, and you can't get that from a brisket cut (although fried pastrami is tasty). Beef short plate is the only cut I'd ever consider using for beef bacon.
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smokin'gal
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PostPosted: Jul 02 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

KulinaryKila wrote:
That stuff is screaming ABS's. Great pics looks delicious!!!!


What are ABS's?
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patruns
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PostPosted: Jul 02 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

smokin'newb wrote:
KulinaryKila wrote:
That stuff is screaming ABS's. Great pics looks delicious!!!!


What are ABS's?


I think he means ABTs......

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6253
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smokin'gal
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PostPosted: Jul 02 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

patruns wrote:
smokin'newb wrote:
KulinaryKila wrote:
That stuff is screaming ABS's. Great pics looks delicious!!!!


What are ABS's?


I think he means ABTs......

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6253


Ah, yes. I know I might get flamed for this, but I hate peppers. Green, yellow, red, jalapeņo, habanero... - just have a taste I can't appreciate. Texas Pepper jelly is about as much as I can stand.
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Rojellio Es Caliente
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PostPosted: Jul 02 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great!!!!!!!!!!!!

You didn't by chance include garlic, black pepper, coriander etc in the cure on one of those??? The way I understand it... that is the cut of beef used for proper NY Deli Pastrami. Brisket, Round Roast and sometimes Spare Ribs are merely a substitute.
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smokin'gal
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PostPosted: Jul 02 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rojellio Es Caliente wrote:
Looks great!!!!!!!!!!!!

You didn't by chance include garlic, black pepper, coriander etc in the cure on one of those??? The way I understand it... that is the cut of beef used for proper NY Deli Pastrami. Brisket, Round Roast and sometimes Spare Ribs are merely a substitute.


lol...no, I didn't use any standard "pastrami" seasoning, although I'm well aware of the fact that this "beef belly" cut was/has been the original cut used for pastrami. However, I bought quite a bit of this beef belly, and some pieces are more suited for pastrami, so I'll post more pics when I cure some for that purpose.
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