Last question b4 starting--skin-on belly?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by stubborn, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. stubborn

    stubborn Fire Starter

    When applying the TQ and using a belly with the skin on, do you apply the TQ to the skin also, or just the meat sides?

    I think I've got the rest figure out.

  2. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I'd cut the skin off myself. That's some rind material . [​IMG]
  3. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yeah, skin off = better and more consistent TQ penetration.
  4. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you leave the skin on I  wouldn't bother adding cure to it, it woould absorb muck if any at all. Also you want to reduce the amount of cure by 10%.

    Here's a quote from the USDA's Inspectors Calculations Handbook

    < Pumped, Massaged, Immersion Cured, or Dry Cured Bacon (rind-on): The

    maximum limit for ingoing nitrite and sodium ascorbate or sodium erythorbate must be adjusted if

    bacon is prepared from pork bellies with attached skin (rind-on). A pork belly's weight is

    comprised of approximately 10 percent skin. Since the skin retains practically no cure solution or

    cure agent, the maximum ingoing nitrite and sodium ascorbate or erythorbate limits must be

    reduced by 10 percent. For example, the maximum ingoing limit for nitrite and sodium ascorbate

    or erythorbate for pumped pork bellies with attached skin would be 108 ppm [120 ppm ! 12 ppm

    (120 × .10)] and 495 ppm [550 ppm ! 55 ppm (550 × .10)], respectively.  
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks Dan,

    Didn't think about that 10%.  I know you sent me the book but I just didn't catch that part!  Oh well, still in the safe limits so no harm,no foul.

    I always cure with the rind on because I am too lazy to remove it before smoking.  It comes off a lot easier after smoking.  If you smoke with the skin on plan on a bit longer in the smoker.  I use stainless wire to hang bacon in the smokehouse and the skin helps keep the belly together, hanging straight.

    Good Luck

  6. pops6927

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

    Always leave the rind on, much easier to remove after smoking.  Check out any package of bacon; there is no smoke on the bottom of the slices as the rind gets cut off after smoking, not before.
  7. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    Not sure what having the skin on would have to do with adding cure or not. You need the cure no matter which way you make it or it won't be bacon.

    While i don't discount your source of information, i do think it is a little out of context. When home curing you should follow your recipe rather than adjusting for USDA guidelines. The example is intended more for large commercial operations that have the cure recipe down to exacting amounts as one could conclude from the PPM amounts. I would have an insanely difficult time trying to convert my recipe to PPM so i could reduce it properly. When home curing using tablespoons and teaspoons it's entirely within the realm of possibility that you are already off by 10%. If you then further adjust down by 10% you could be far off of the minimum cure you actually need.

    That being said i always cure with the skin on. Most recipes i have seen assume the skin is on when describing length of time to cure. Some mention to do it either way, but i found skin on gives something substantial in handling the meat during the process. It is also, like Pops6927 said much easier to remove it after smoking when the meat is warm. There's less loss of meat when the skin is easier to remove. In the end it's your choice as to what works best for you.
  8. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    Oh and wether your doing a dry cure or a wet cure both eventually end up with a brine cure around the meat. Especially if your using baggies to cure in where it takes less liquid to fill the space. In that situation when you overhaul that solution is going to cover everything wether you intentionally rubbed it into the skin or not.
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The recipes I use call for rubbing cure into the bacon three times. The liquid is pulled from the meat, dissolves the cure and then reabsorbed into the meat. I do not use baggies, I layer the bellies in a carboy and cover with plastic.

    I drain any excess liquid in the bottom of the carboy but the amount is usually surprisingly small. Never thought about reducing the amount of cure to account for the weight of the rind but I do not waste cure with a heavy application to the rind. Fortunatly the concentrations of cure we use as hobbiests are well within safe ranges and I do not expect to either over cure or under cure as long as some care is taken.

    Curing and smoking your own bacon is one of the most rewarding things you can try.

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