Originally Posted by baydoe
Good afternoon everyone... I have a few quick questions about this brine and pork bellies for bacon. So after the belly has been in the cure and ready to come out, please correct me if i'm wrong, your suppose to rinse the belly off and pat it dry and leave in the fridge for a day?
I read that pops brings the IT of his bacon to about 135- 146... with his smoker temp @225-250... do you start the smoker off at 225, or do you cold smoke for awhile then crank it up to 225?
The bellies I bought were on sale 2.49 per lb. but i was not ready to brine them yet.. I have them in the freezer, can i start the brining process with the bellies frozen, or do i need to have them unthawed first?
What are some other thinks that you guys have added to the brine while playing with taste that you have enjoyed?
are you suppose to season the bacon with any kind of rub after it is done in the brine and b4 it goes in the smoker, or just soak and smoke? thanks for all of your help!
Well once the meat is cured you can cold smoke it with no heat at all. You can hot smoke it running the smoker at one temp. Or you can do the bump up process like used when smoking sausage. That process you start low 120-130 for an hour and then increase the temp 10 degrees every hour until you get the smoker up high enough to get to your meat to your desired IT. You need to have the smoker be around 25° higher than your target IT.
I am a cold smoker for bacon. I hit mine with smoke for 6-8 hours, no heat, rest overnight in the fridge. I repeat this process until I get the color I want. I have gone as much as 24 hours total smoke. I then let it rest 3-4 days in the fridge and then vac pack and freeze. This needs to be cooked prior to being eaten.
It is best to thaw the bellies first.
I have tried adding flavors to the brine, and have found that it is better to add the flavoring after pulling from the brine. Make sure and air dry the meat so it will form a pellicle. You can speed this up with a fan, or if in a big hurry hit with a hair dryer on low.
You can season it if you like. I like to add pepper and garlic powder, sometimes chipotle. Prior to soaking it slice a piece off and fry it to test how salty it is. We use 1/3 cup -1/2 cup of salt instead of the full amount called for when making Pop's brine and have found that is perfect for us. You can adjust the salt amount but do not adjust the amount of cure.
Good luck with your smoke and please post some photos!