Okay, it took me three days to post tasting notes; forgive me for being remiss. Before I go into details, I’ll just tell you that my opinion of my final product is basically a draw. I apple smoked the bacon on Sunday afternoon using about two tablespoons of chips in my Cameron stove top smoker for a little less than an hour. And here’s why I’m at a draw –
I really liked the smokey flavor and aroma (wood chips are totally my potpourri) but I didn’t really pick up the apple at all. It was kind of like it wasn’t even there. It’s entirely possible I just can’t get the flavor I’m looking for in such a small/short format.
When I fried up a test piece, I liked the texture but it was SALTY. I knew it would be, since so many others have mentioned this, so it definately needs to be blanched before cooking with it. I also didn’t really pick up the maple syrup or pepper.
So basically, I’ve got to do it again. I think my major drawback was using such a small quantity of pre-sliced belly. So my next go around is going to be with the full five pounds, and thus the full quantity of dry rub which I surmise will give me the flavor punch I’m looking for. And since my Cameron is a little too small for a five pound pork belly, I’m going to need to rig up something for the Weber. Time to hit the eGullet forum and see what others are doing with their set ups.
As for the bacon from this batch? I think it will serve a good purpose in Bacon & Whiskey Chili, so into the freezer it goes until I make my next vat o’ chili. 🙂