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Here I Go Again

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Picked up this frozen belly around thanksgiving but am just now getting around to having time to do it. Its not the thickest belly, but it will do. I got it all cut up, TQ and brown sugar measured out, and have it all wrapped up in bags. Into the fridge for 10 days, and then into the smoker. I cut this belly into some smaller slabs then usual, i found that if they are just about the same size as the gallon bags then the zip lock on the bags get cure and sugar on then and then they dont want to close right, plus it will make it a little more manageable when it comes to slicing. I will probably do a slab of two of pepper bacon, my favorite. And for some of the real thin sections i think ill cut them out and leave them in a big chunk, then i can pull them out whenever, dice them up and give them a quick fry, and throw them in some baked beans or salads. Well here is the view so far, not too much going on.





All slabbed up.



Ill post more when i get them out and into the smoker and sliced up!

post #2 of 23

Good looking bellies!

post #3 of 23

Man I wish I could find bellies like that around here 

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Scarbelly View Post

Man I wish I could find bellies like that around here 


Ya, im sort of spoiled. I have two butchers in my home town, 5 mins from where i live now, that have bellies on the regular.

post #5 of 23

Bellies look good. Wish I could find them here that way th_crybaby2.gif

post #6 of 23

can't even find them here   102.gif

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

10 days have passed. And yesterday was the day for smoke. Saturday night i pulled the slabs from the bags, rinsed them off and soaked them in ice water for 45 mins. I usually do 30 mins but the last couple batches came out a little salty, so i tried a little longer. In my pictures you can see that some of the meat turned a little brown. I seem to get this everytime i do this, so i dont think im doing anything wrong, i think its the brown sugar soaking into the meat. So after i soaked the slabs i pulled them out and pat dried them. Then cut a couple test peices and fried them up. Awesome as usual. So i put them on racks and into the fridge. I did do 2 slabs of pepper bacon (my favorite). Then at 5am Sunday morning i go up and fired up the smoker and threw these peices in and went back to bed. I used apple wood, using my tin can and soldering iron method. I didnt get back up till 9am and when i went and checked the smoker it was still smoking. 4 hrs on a can load of wood chips is pretty good. So i reloaded and let it go. After 10 hrs of cold smoking i pulled them from the smoker, and wrapped them in saran wrap and into the fridge until i get home from work tonight and slice it all up. So here are some pics until tomorrow with the sliced pics.


In the water bath.



Dried off



In the pan



Out of the pan



Regular slabs ready



Pepper slabs ready



In the smoker



Regular slabs out of the smoker



Pepper slabs out of the smoker




Just a real subtle color change, nothing big, just enough to let you know something happended.


So there you have it until tomorrow when i have it all sliced.





post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

And now for the sliced pictures. I put 4 of the 6 slabs in the freezer for 9 hrs before slicing and it definately made it easier to slice. I have 2 slicers, one is my trusty old low end slicer. The other was a new one from JCPenny. I tried the new one and it didnt work right, even with the frozen bacon. The gap between the blade and the holding plate is too big and the bottom of the meat just sort of smeared to the point where after i sliced about 6-8 slices i had a big flat chunk hanging off the bottom that i had to cut off. So i went back the the old cheap slicer and it worked good.


I ended up with 20 packs of 12-13 slices, just enough for the wife and i for a breakfast (not all of it at one sitting!). Also on the one end of the belly it was really thin, so i cut those sections out and left them in bigger chunks, i figure we can chop up those bigger chunks, fry them up and stick them in salads, soups, or baked beans. I vacuum sealed them all up. And rotated stock in the freezer. Good thing i did this batch cause i was a little lower than i thought on bacon from the last batch i did in september. Well enough of the talk, on with the Q!


One plate of regular and one plate of pepper sliced up.



The second plate of regular and the first package.



All 20 packs.



The smaller chunks. Two regular and one pepper.



Thanks everyone!

post #9 of 23

Nice Job!...JJ

post #10 of 23

Great looking bellies and an equally great job of prepping, smoking and slicing!!!

post #11 of 23

OH man that bacon is looking good. I'm counting down the last few days until I can test mine. I cant wait.

post #12 of 23

Great looking bacon I have a 10lb belly curing now!  can't wait

post #13 of 23

Been waiting for bellies to go on sale again.  I'm down to my last 5 pounds. 


Yours does look great though.

post #14 of 23

Thanks for the Qview


Nice looking Bacon!

post #15 of 23

nice lookin bacon!  what part of western Pa you from?

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone!


Big Casino, im about an hour north of Pittsburgh. I see your from north of the Burgh too.

post #17 of 23

Bacon Looks-Great.gif



Not to hijack.gif or any thing but I was wondering if this was the slicer you had from Penney's, wife and I have been looking at it. Meat Slicer, cooks Die Cast - jcpenney

I need a good cheap slicer. 

post #18 of 23

Great looking bacon! I used to live in Zelienople, Cranberry Twp and Pleasantville! Ex was originally from Titusville

post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by SmokinHusker View Post

Great looking bacon! I used to live in Zelienople, Cranberry Twp and Pleasantville! Ex was originally from Titusville

Alot of mothers side of the family is in zeli, and my wife works there, we go down to Balldingers at least a couple times a year. Im in New Castle. Small world huh! 



post #20 of 23



Good luck and good smoking.

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