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Part 2: Tired of watery flaccid mass market bacon? You can make it yourself at home, it may take a while in your fridge but ...
it's certainly worth it. Next the rinse, and drying it for smoking.
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Seven days later and our bacon, and we can call it bacon at this point because the pork bellies have now cured in that salt-sugar mixture, and over the course of seven days, everyday I would just kind of flip it over, and that's just to make sure that all this moisture that's inside the bag, that came out of the pork. So that's all the water that was pushed out of the cells by the salt, and you want to make sure that this cure gets all over. And so that's everyday flipping and making sure that you are moving the moisture around and moving the liquid around.
This is cured bacon essentially and I'm going to take it a step farther and smoke it, but you don't have to. So, you could at this point do the same as I'm going to do here, pull it out of the brine and give it a good rinse under a tap, cold water just to wash all of that brine and sugar and salt off the outside of the pork, or bacon at this point.
If you are not going to smoke it, you can go ahead and cut the skin off the outside, portion it into meal size portions and then seal it and freeze it. Even though it's cured you still have to refrigerate this and it's only going to last so long in your refrigerator. So it's best to freeze which you are not going to use right away. And cook it just like you would cook bacon from the supermarket. But because I'm going to smoke it, I'm going to rinse all of the pieces just like I rinse this one, I'm going to place them on a rack and then I'm going to put this in the fridge for 12-24 hours; in my case, probably 24 hours.
What you want to do is, have it dry out and something called the pellicule, which is a French word for skin or film or small skin, is going to form on the outside. And this just helps it when you take it to the next step and smoke it, it's something for the smoke to stick to and it really improves your flavor in the end. So, I'm just going to rinse the rest of these, thrown them back in the fridge, and then tomorrow we are going to smoke them.