Wet cured bacon: The whiskey & rum edition...
So this time around, I thought I would try to see if there is any use in doing a little pre-funk on the bacon prior to curing. In doing so, I grabbed a bit of inspiration from the bacon I get from my local butcher,she makes an excellent whiskey herb bacon (among a ton of other things).
As a comparison, I threw together a spiced run and a whiskey variety. In each I put in ~ 1 Cup of the alcohol, sealed them up, and let them sit for 4 days in the fridge.
Then I mixed up the following wet cure
* 16C Water * 1C Kosher Salt * 1/2C brown sugar * 3oz #1 Cure. This is as per the instructions, read your own cure for suggested amounts, not all cures are the same.
And sealed these babies up for 10 days in the fridge again. After the cure, I took them out, rinsed them off and cut off a bit of each for a little taste. One of the drawbacks of this hobby is that you must try all these awesome experiments… I figure that I cannot loose, it is either bacon or really good bacon!
After a little taste, I hung it back in the fridge for a few days to get a nice pedicle formed.
This was smoked in a two stage process, perhaps more due to necessity than design. I was intending to smoke it low (not cold) @ 140 for 4 hours but had a rib emergency and needed the smoker to do some dinner ribs for a football game. It received about an hour of apple chip smoke before I pulled them out and put them back in the fridge. The next day I did a hickory/apple cold smoke (it was around 50°F in the smoker) for about 6 hours until I got the color I wanted.
After pulling from the smoker, I stuck it in the fridge overnight to mellow (I really got to let that garage fridge air out one of these days, I start salivating whenever I go grab a beer). The next day, I tested them out at breakfast. The girls and I had a taste comparison. And then sliced them up and sealed them for storage.
Taste & Comments:
I can taste the differences between the whiskey & rum mixes, which is a bit surprising. Both are really great and I need to really limit myself on the intake. Here are some thoughts:
* I personally like the spiced rum better than the whiskey version. I think the spices in the rum do something that is just missing from the whiskey, which is perhaps a good thing as the whiskey was a bit more expensive than the rum! * When you get into the ‘meaty’ portion of the belly, it is a bit salty, perhaps 10 days in brine is a bit too long, next time perhaps 7 will be tried. * Overall, I think the dry curing of the bacon is a bit more my style. I don’t mind giving it a rub and a flip every day or so and it does not take up so much space (and cure). * Can’t go wrong with bacon. My butcher posted to fbook recently that there are two kinds of people, those who like bacon and those who are sad… Couldn’t agree more.