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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

This is going to sound stupid from someone who raises pigs.....
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Cindi    Posted 02-24-2003 at 12:58:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
But how is bacon made? Is it something you can do at home?


Linda    Posted 02-24-2003 at 22:45:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
You don't have to smoke pork to make bacon and ham. I'm sure the flavor is improved if you do, but if you just want to experiment, here's how you do it.

When I moved to Utah, I had a couple of pigs processed locally. The processor is clean, efficient and I trust him completely. However, his bacon and ham is not to my taste.

I called the processor I had used in Montana and picked his brain about curing hams and bacon the way he had done it for me when I lived up there. He directed me to his local supplier (salesman) in Billings, and told me to ask for maple cure from F.W. Witt Co. based in Yorkville, IL. I did, and the salesman sold a large box of cure to my "meat company." I've never regretted the purchase.

For thinner slabs of pork, the cure is rubbed liberally all over the outside of the meat. The meat is placed in a plastic bag in the frig for 5 to 7 days, turned as needed, then removed from the bag and rinsed thoroughly in tap water. The bacon is ready to eat.

For hams, buy a special metal syringe, mix some of the cure with water (I can't remember the proportions, but any good butcher could tell you), and inject the cure deep into the thick parts of the meat, especially along the bones. Around the bones is where the meat will sour if the cure does not get completely through all of the meat.

Rub the dry cure liberally all over the outside of the hams. Place the meat in plastic bags in the frig for 5 to 7 days, turning as needed. After the 5 to 7 days, remove from the plastic bags and rinse thoroughly with tap water.

This is called a quick cure. The meat will not keep out of the refrigerator or freezer, as well smoked bacon or ham might.

This method produces a good flavored bacon or ham that is far better than any you could buy at a retailer. It's a pretty easy process, too.

There are other suppliers of good cures, too, I'm sure. But, this is the only brand I have used.


Many    Posted 02-24-2003 at 17:30:29       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Forget about bacon try fresh side meat.


Old Sarge    Posted 02-24-2003 at 13:10:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Yes and if you have lots of Hickory it is some of the best around.

I used an old referigerator for years, just cut a hole in the bottom, fasten a stove pipe adapter to it, cut a vent (small one)on top, then put your fire box about 50' away. That way your smoke is cold before it gets to the box.

You might try contacting Wolf or Auigie over on Tractor Tales. They are known for their sausage, and raise, butcher hawgs. Watch theem tho or they'll slip you some of Augies World Famous Skunk Sausage.


Hal/WA    Posted 02-24-2003 at 15:27:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you use an old refrigerator, be sure it has little or no plastic in the interior. The best ones came from the 40's and early 50's and have full porcelin enamelled metal all over inside with metal brackets to hold shelves.

Plastic melts and outgasses icky stuff you don't want in your meat, both from a health and taste standpoint. I have seen little smokers made out of refrigerators that used old electric frypans to supply the heat for the smoke. In my area, mostly applewood chips are used for smoking, but lots of nonconifer woods can be used. Experiment! It's fun. If you smoke fish, clean out any residue they leave before smoking pork. Good luck!


Yankee in Ok    Posted 02-24-2003 at 13:20:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Old freezers,fridges work great.As old sarge said make sure your fire box is far enough from your smoke box to cool the smoke before it gets to the meat.Check with the library on books on smoking meats or food network web site.Alton Brown of Good Eats did a show on that.Good luck and let me know how it turns out.


Cindi    Posted 02-25-2003 at 03:35:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks for all the answers. I don't know how we're going to do it yet, but I have lots of good info to start with.


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