Just another issue with my belly........

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by chopjaw, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. My first attempt was not how I wanted it to go.  I bought strips instead of a slab.  SO Now I have bought a slab of pork belly.  I also bought a scale and measured with exact weight.  Plus I had the time away from work to make this happen...

    I have 2- 5lb slabs curing in the fridge.  They were weighed and the calculated cure#1, plus salt & sugar was added.  I have one slab made that I put bourbon in (to try out) and the other is just Cure, S&P. 

    My initial plan was going to cure them and pull after 7 days.  Dry and back into the fridge for a 24hr period to form the pellicle, and then  smoke.  Here's where the problem is, I was called out of town and have to leave this coming Sunday.  Saturday was going to be my 7th day of curing and I was going to pull and smoke of Sunday.  This is where I need your help.  I'm thinking of pull the meat on Friday, wash and back into the fridge to get the pellicle and smoke on Sat.  OR just keep the meat curing....

    So my question is this:  Can I leave the belly in the cure for 14 days (until I get home) and then pull and wash, then back into the fridge to form the pellicle?

    Will 14 days in the cure hurt the meat?  How long should I keep in the fridge after I wash them?   I plan on smoking the belly at 140°-150° for about 6hrs.

    Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated....
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
    mowin likes this.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    14 days in the refer on cure etc. is the best of all scenarios....   That will allow for the salt, sugar, cure etc. to really penetrate in a uniform manner....  that is what you want...   
  3. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    I agree with Dave, I cure mine for 14 day. Can't over cure, but you can under cure.
  4. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic

    Yep let go for a few extra days...you can't hurry good bacon.

    Safe travels

  5. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All good advice, let in cure til you get back to it
  6. Dave, as always you give great advice and thanks again my man!

    How long to fridge after 14 days of cure?
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It seems like the longer each process step takes, the better the bacon...   Meaning much more mature flavor...depth of flavor...   I think my last batch sat for 7 days in the refer after the rinse from the curing step...  then smoke for 2, 6 hours periods with a 12-24 hour rest in the middle....   then at least 7 days rest again in the refer...  All of the resting periods were without wraps...   open air so to speak...    I'm gonna liken the process to dry aging beef...   the meat tenderizes, ages, and the flavor intensifies....

    Some might say I'm full of it but, it tastes that way to me, and me and Bride are the only ones that matter..   In fact it was her that noted the last batch was the best bacon she had ever had...   She noted the depth of flavor...   I don't argue with Bride...  I may be an idiot but not that stupid...
  8. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good advise above, you can't over cure but you can under cure. 14 Days👍
  9. whistech

    whistech Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Dave, do you rest in the fridge between each smoke? Thanks, Arlie
  10. I would think yes but a great question..
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No...  You want any meat that you smoke to be above ambient temps so condensate does not form...   water is bad on meat you are smoking.....

    If the temp is below 50 F, I don't worry about it for the 12 hours or so..  Smoke is an "anti bacterial" or something like that...  so I read somewhere...  Then the meat is reheated to smoker temp before the smoke is added...
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  12. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    That is exactly what is happening. You can also liken it to making a country ham, prosciutto or the Italian version of bacon, pancetta.

    Mmmm cured pork products. I'm impatiently waiting for mine. Comes out of the cure on the 2nd at 8 pm....the hardest part is being out of bacon and waiting for the new stuff....need to plan this out better!!!
  13. jeff 1

    jeff 1 Smoke Blower

    I would leave in cure. Once you get back rinse and test fry a piece to see if it is to salty and then you can soak in ice water for 30 min or so. After I let it set and dry in fridge to leach moisture out for a day I will usually put them on hangers and hang them in front of a fan to finish drying and form the tacky outside. I double smoke mine sometimes with 10-12 hours of smoke each time. After the first session I bring them in and let them breath hanging on the hangers in front of fan then hang them or put on racks in fridge over night. Next day I do same process with letting them hang in front of fan for a while before it goes back in the smoker. I cold smoke mine also. Hot or warm smoke will be a bit different.
  14. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    Considering salt is absorbed into the meat at a faster rate than sugar, going to 14 days *should* produce a less salty bacon because the sugar will have time to penetrate the meat.
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    gibsorz, afternoon

    I've heard that...   Is there somewhere you can link to that has any kind of reputation that can be cited ...  I'd like a reference for folks when I mention that.....  

    Thanks,  Dave...
  16. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    I've read 2 articles :

    Sugar absorption http://www.genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/sugarbrine.html

    Salt absorption

    Their scientific method seems well thought out and they do have sources as well.

    Of note on the test,the sugar penetrated 5mm in 24 hours, where as the salt goes a full 17mm.

    The just of it being sugar molecules are larger than salt molecules, so take longer to penetrate through the meat. Their conclusion is "The diffusion rate is at least 5-10 times slower than salt" If you were to use a sugar of smaller molecule than table sugar (like they did), absorption would increase. I wonder what the smallest sugar molecule would be and how it would effect penetration.

    They say common sugar will penetrate meat at a rate of .4 of an inch per week. So with the skin removed on bacon, a 2 inch slab would be fully penetrate in about 18 days (.4 inches from either side =.8 per week. 2/.8=2.5 weeks).
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks very much....   That explain bunches.....   I owe you.....    Dave
  18. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

  19. Welp,

    After 14 days curing.  I removed and smoked.  I smoked the belly for 14hrs.  1hr per day in the cure.  Not sure if that is what you are supposed to do but that's what I did.....:)

    Day one with homemade bacon is like prom night at the hotel..... (no not really but almost..)

    There is allot I will do different next time.  I am looking at getting a meat slicer and a Vaccum bagger so I can really do it right.  Gotta wait for funds. 

    Thanks again for all of the help!  I could not of done it without you..

    Enjoy the photos..

  20. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The bacon looks delicious! If you sliced those by hand you have some serious knife skills!


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