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Makin’ Bacon Part 2: The Cure

Originally posted on


Well things have been so busy in and out of the kitchen, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write the follow up to Makin’ Bacon.  Now that I have some spare time and have peaked your interest with the Sci-fi smoker, here’s the follow up.

I should have written this article first, as this was actually the first step, leading up to the Makin’ Bacon DIY smoker, but that article was way more fun.  As discussed in the previous article, we purchased the pork bellies from Lavergn Western Beef in Navan Ontario – this place is a must stop for a foodie!

The whole process of making bacon starts with the curing process.  The meat should be coated in salt and other spices and stored in the fridge for 7 days.  We broke our bellies down into different sized cuts and stored them in large ziploc bags with different cures in them.  The meat should be turned over every day to ensure a proper cure.

On the 7th day, remove the bellies from the cure, rinse them off thoroughly under water and let air dry in the fridge for 12 hours – this drying process will form what is called the pellicle, a tacky film that will allow the smoke to adhere to the meat. This is a crucial step in the making bacon process.

We tried several different spice combinations for the cure.  We did a BBQ blend, a sea salt and maple blend, black pepper and thyme, and a final combination of kosher salt, brown sugar and maple syrup.  This last one was the most successful in my opinion.

Finding the proper ratio is the tricky part.  On our first attempt we tried 2 parts salt to one part sweet – this batch turned out way too salty.  The second crack at it we tried a 1 to 1 ratio, but we found the end product was not salty enough.  In the first case, it is possible that all we needed to do was spend some more time rinsing the bellies after the curing process, but I’m not sure.

We have yet to try another combination, but I suspect something in between will get us where we want to be.  Since we use an outdoor cold smoking method, we won’t be able to try this out again until the winter – which of course in Ottawa, is never that far off…

Bacon Sacrilege!


They started with a good idea:  Gummy Bacon.  Delicious, who doesn’t want bacon-flavoured candy!  But wait, what’s this?? It’s STRAWBERRY FLAVOURED?!?!?!

Gummy Bacon is a great way to scare folks. Here’s how: take some out of the package when no one is looking, cover them in plastic wrap, and wait in your office kitchen. Then, when folks come in, take a strip out, lament how you just don’t have time to cook it, and then eat it anyways! They will be shocked, and you’ll enjoy the nice gummy taste of strawberry – it’s a win/win situation.

How is that win/win??  It’s more like LOSE/LOSE/LOSE/LOSE!

Hangovers: Bacon is the CURE!

Eat a bacon sandwich to take care of that morning-after-the-night-before feeling:

“Bread is high in carbohydrates and bacon is full of protein, which breaks down into amino acids. Your body needs these amino acids, so eating them will make you feel good.”

Ms Roberts told The Mirror: “Bingeing on alcohol depletes neurotransmitters too, but bacon contains a high level of aminos which tops these up, giving you a clearer head.”

I definitely could have contributed to this research study.  I don’t feel normal on a hangover day until I’ve had some bacon.

Makin’ Bacon Part 1: DIY Cold Smoker

Originally posted on


After several days of research, planning and preparation, FineDiner Dave and I got together at my parents place this weekend to smoke some bacon.  This article is the first in our three-part Makin’ Bacon Series.

Other articles in this series will explain the Curing process we used, as well as the actual Smoking and finishing of the meat, and we’ll probably get into some of the things we did with the final product.  One thing’s for sure, Makin’ Bacon is FUN and we’ll be doing plenty more of it!

Midnight Snack – Oysters Rockefeller

Originally posted on by Eric Rochon


So it’s quarter to twelve, my buddy Marc shows up with thirty or so east coast oysters. Actually from the Mallet Oyster company in New Brunswick, they were the St-Simon ones. One of his co-workers is from the east coast and has access to the supplier that ships them directly  to Ottawa. I love oysters, so we proceeded to shuck and eat a dozen RAW.  Marc suggested we cook the rest.

I do not recommend this

Mike Nelson (of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame) is going to eat only bacon for a month:

Now for the fine print: “Bacon” shall hereafter refer to the cured and smoked fatty cuts of pork, either back, side or belly. In other words “American bacon”. No “Canadian bacon”, which is really just lunchmeat. No pork chops. No turkey bacon. No “tofacon” or any such horror. Just bacon.

No condiments allowed. No syrups, or hot sauces, or pureed vegetables in the form of ketchup. No sauces at all. Just nature’s finest bacon, all by its dignified self.

I am making allowances for the following beverages: beer, wine, martinis and water. No juices, no V8, nothing that could be construed as “healthy”. This is somewhat arbitrary, I grant you, but one bit of madness at a time, is my reasoning.

Anyone who’s been paying attention to our Recipe Box feature here at will know that we are nothing if not big fans of Bacon around here.  But this guy is insane.  Absolutely mad.  But also awesome.  A true Bacon hero.