Bacon semi-problem

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by nosuchreality, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. nosuchreality

    nosuchreality Newbie

    I picked up a pair of bellies from Costco during the holidays. Dry cured 8 days, always had luck with that before, and the slabs are not particularly thick.  Cured absorbed in, pulled a lot of water out and then pulled most back in.  Bacon tastes great, looks good, except...

    The belly and now the bacon has what can best be described as cellulite. the fat cap on the thinner part of the belly had a little dimply bumpy surface on it.  Kind of like an orange peel.  It's very soft.  Cooks up fine, but, slicing is a major problem.  It has no structure.  With a very sharp knife, it tends to just mush and pull under the knife, on the deli style slicer, it keeps pulling under and leaving a sliver of flesh behind that grows into a long overhang.  Sorry no queue pics, as I sliced the first half  up.  The remaining half, doesn't have it as noticeable.

    It's also very soft and prone to melting.  It literally starts to melt in your hand from handling and cutting. Even after having it in the freezer for 1.5 hours to stiffen up before deli slicing.

    Anybody run into this before?  I'm used to the pork bellies being quite firm.  Standard Costco belly, no water added, packed day before. Immediately into cure the day I bought it.
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I put mine in the freezer between 3 and 4 hours just before slicing to eliminate that sliver that curls under the cuts.

    Can't help you with the "Bumpy" surface.

  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pork belly has the lowest melting point fat of all the fat on a pig...
  4. isn't belly fat sometimes referred to as "Butter Fat" ? or is that just the fat from below the loin area, it will melt in your hand. when i get from my butcher what he calls "Butter Fat" he said it is from trimming an area below the loin area. it is a very WHITE colored fat (much like belly ) but i think softer yet than the belly fat.

    I thought this might be a good opportunity to ask , someone might have an answer.

    Thanks in advance ,

  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I think it's supposed to render at somewhere in the neighborhood of 90°.

    However I have smoked Belly with temps of 100° to 130°, and haven't had any rendering.

  6. Bear ,

    i totaly agree with you. all types of the bacon i do i try to keep in the 120 degrees. there just are some things that i want the fat to more blend in (if you will) than bee the white spots you typically are looking for like SS for instance.

    i was just more supporting Dave's answer but also looking for any clarification on the term "Butter Fat" next time i see my butcher i will see if i can pin him down better on where he is cutting it from.

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah, I heard the term Butter used years ago, but I can't remember what they were referring to (Brain Damage).

    I'm sure somebody here knows it.

  8. Bear,

    what i know is he refers to three types (consistancy) "back" (the most solid) then "Belly" and last "Butter". i usually have to call a day or two ahead and the comment is i will be doing the loin area and will save you some of the "Butter" it always seems to be 2-3lbs at most when i pick it up. it is a little different to work with but when you want the flavor/taste but not see it (so to speak) works wonders.And you are right somebody could have a reference to it.

  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here's all I could find for now:

    Pork butter is the one of the new items at Boccalone,  a salumeria in the San Francisco Ferry Building whose motto is Tasty Salted Pig Parts. Pork butter is the leftover renderings from lard manufacture (solid bits of meat, skin, etc.) that are blended with olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. They sell it for $5 dollars a pound and other foodies on the web are likening it to rillettes  or French potted pork.

  10. It is called leaf lard, comes from the inner loin area.
  11. Thanks Bear for your help

  12. TM,

    Thanks for your update,


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