51.5 pounds of pork belly

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by dairyman, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. dairyman

    dairyman Fire Starter

    Picked up 51.5 pounds of pork belly today for $1.69/pound. It's a lot of meat but I couldn't pass it up. It was all or nothing. Is it better to freeze it raw and pull what I need or cure, smoke, freeze and pull what I need.
     
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    To me it would depend on how much bacon you eat.
     
  3. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    az
    smokin' deal...............no pun intended.  i don't see why you can't freeze it.
     
  4. dairyman

    dairyman Fire Starter

    I usually fry up a pound every weekend for breakfast. But I have a feeling that we'll be eating more bacon than usual.
     
  5. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    If you have the smoker space and a way to slice it all then you could do it all at once if not then freeze them raw and take them out as you can/need them
     
  6. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I say if you can cure, smoke and package it all at once that's my opinion.
     
  7. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    az
     but then he would be tempted to have a "baconfest" and eat damn near 50# of bacon in one weekend......................oops, that would be me.[​IMG]
     
  8. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member


     You say that like's it's a bad thing. [​IMG]
     
  9. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    1) Do you have the capacity to brine it all in one big batch?  And smoke it like such?

    2) What is the condition of the pork right now?  Is it squeaky clean fresh or is it degrading?  If it is less than fresh right now, pickle it first, then freeze it up as salt pork and take it out in stages and just smoke what you can use.

    3) If you freeze week-old pork as fresh it will just get worse when you unthaw it.
     
  10. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I would have to agree with Pops on this one... pork is not an "aging" meat.

    Don't know what to tell ya... we do some fresh side every year, and it seems that if you don't eat it up within six months, it gets an old taste to it - I don't know for sure, but I think it is the fat because we've never had that problem with chops/roasts/etc.  Then on the other hand... the home cured bacon/ham I've had seems to do the same thing if you let it set too long.

    If it were me, I would cure it, smoke it, and eat the hell out of it till it was gone!  I'm thinking with a few give aways to friends and family, you'll go through 50#'s of bacon in short order.
     
  11. send me 25 lbs and your problem is cut in half  [​IMG]
     
  12. dairyman

    dairyman Fire Starter

    Thanks for the help. I'm gonna cure it all today and tomorrow and then smoke it when the time comes. I would happily send you some if I could. I can get this pork belly for $1.69/pound anytime, the problem is I have to buy it by the case. I need to find someone to split it with.
     
  13. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    That is a good price good luck with the curing and smoking and don't forget the Qview
     
  14. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]

    That is a good price on the bellies. Now I would like you said cure them all and smoke them.Then you can slice them and freeze them and take them out as you need. Jerry knows what it like to smoke a handful of bacon. Don't ya  
     
  15. jd438

    jd438 Newbie

    Commercially it can be done either way, but if it is for long periods of time, usually it is in raw state, as curing doesn't do much for slowing fat rancidity.  Either way the least amount of air contact will work the best for you. 
     
  16. dairyman

    dairyman Fire Starter

    Finally got done skinning and curing all the bellies. That was a lot of work, but I'm sure it will be worth it.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    How did you cure the bellies?
     
  18. dairyman

    dairyman Fire Starter

    I used TQ. Half of them I added maple and the other half I added brown sugar. The ones that got brown sugar will get onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper before they go in the smoker. Not sure if I'll add anything to the maple ones. This is my first time doing bacon so it's all a learning experience for me. If any one has any suggestions I would appreciate it.
     
  19. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    My last comment would be to let them hang as long as you can before you slice, package, and freeze.  My last batch of bacon ended up hanging in the smoker for a full day after the smoke (started smoking Sunday morning, and when I was finished, I killed my fire and left them in until Monday night), then I wrapped and had to let them sit in the fridge until the weekend (Monday night til Saturday).  It is GOOD bacon.  My thoughts are, it is much like cheese.  If you can let is set a bit, the smoke will mellow throughout and it does make a difference.

    On the slicing, set them on cookie sheets and let them stiffen up in the freezer if you can.  This took me about 2 hours and made the slicing much easier.

    I can't wait to see the pile of bacon you're going to end up with !
     
  20. jojo22

    jojo22 Smoke Blower

    I thought the maple flavor was added in the smoke, how do you add maple to the cure??
     

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