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First Belly Bacon Finished! Update on 4/16/12!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

OK, I am pretty excited for this one.  I finally got a hold of some fresh pork belly and am doing some real american bacon!  I ended up with about 22 pounds total from a 3 belly case.  These are trimmed up without the skin so it is all good!  Actually I thought they were a little thin, but hey for $2 per pound no skin, I am not complaining at all.  I eyeballed the bellies and cut each in half.  I ended up with one 4 pounder, two 3 3/4 pounders and three 3 1/2 pounders.  My 3 year old, Jackson, helped me get them rubbed with TQ, brown sugar, onion powder and garlic powder.  I ran out of TQ on the fifth one so I will have to pick some up tomorrow.  I still have one of the 3 3/4 pounders in the fridge waiting for that.  Jackson really enjoyed helping.  Especially vacuum sealing and loading them in the fridge.  I plan on letting the cure for 9 days, flipping and massaging daily, so I will try and keep you updated on their progress.  Here are a couple pics so far.

 

IMG_9219.JPG

 

The bellies as I saw them when I opened the case!

IMG_9220.JPG

 

 

After cutting in half, adding cure and seasoning the vacuum sealing, I had Jackson load them into the "Fridge of Wonders"!!icon_mrgreen.gif

IMG_9221.JPG

 

 

And yes, the "Fridge of Wonders" is in my living room!  yahoo.gifYou can't see if from the picture, but my oversized lazyboy is just to the left!!  beercheer.gif

IMG_9222.JPG

 

Thanks for looking!  I will keep adding updates as I go!

 

Bigfish


Edited by bigfish98 - 4/16/12 at 5:05am
post #2 of 19

Awesome! Can't wait to see some q-view!

post #3 of 19

Looks good so far 

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  I will post some more pics tonight after I get some TQ and pack up the last one. 

 

One question for those who do this a lot.  The bellies I got were kinda thin towards the middle.  Is that normal or is it just a bad butcher job?

 

Thanks,


Bigfish

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

OK got everything rubbed now!  Here is what we have so far.  The one on the bottom left is the same as the rest except for the addition of Black Pepper and that all the cure hasn't dissolved yet.

 

IMG_9224.JPG

 

 

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I can hardly wait until next weekend!!

 

Thanks,

 

Bigfish!

 

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfish98 View Post

Thanks!  I will post some more pics tonight after I get some TQ and pack up the last one. 

 

One question for those who do this a lot.  The bellies I got were kinda thin towards the middle.  Is that normal or is it just a bad butcher job?

 

Thanks,


Bigfish



They do a real hack job on skin-off bellies sometimes!!!


Martin
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

OK Here is the update.  I thought it best to put it at the end of the thread.  I had a sick helper Friday, so I cold smoked the bacon in my MES for over 12 hours with my AMNPS filled with a mix of cherry, maple, oak and apple.  After it burnt through once, I refilled it, set my MES to 100 degrees and let her run again until the AMNPS burnt out.  All in all, it smoked for about 30 hours.  I took it out of the smoker, sliced a couple slices for tasting and into the fridge it went.  I decided to let some mellow in the fridge while others are in the freezer for when I have time to slice.  I ended up catching what my helper had Sunday so I didn't get anything done.  I will update with pics of the slices when I get to it.  Here are some pics of the smoking and the finished product!

 

IMG_9485.JPG

Here is the fry test.

 

IMG_9487.JPG

Here is the start of the smoke.  you can see the AMNPS in the bottom left.  I did one set of black pepper bacon on top.

 

IMG_9489.JPG

Here is a better shot of the AMNPS.

 

IMG_9585.JPG

Here it is fresh from the smoker.

 

IMG_9588.JPG

Now that is pretty!

 

 

Thanks,

 

Bigfish

post #8 of 19

Fine Looking Bacon you got there...Great Job...JJ

post #9 of 19

Delicious

post #10 of 19

That is some great looking bacon and the color is awesome! icon14.gif

post #11 of 19

Nice finished color, great job bigfish98!

post #12 of 19

icon_cool.gif

Now thats some good looking bacon you have there. Now runout for the tomatoes and some lettuce n mayo too.

post #13 of 19

Very nice indeed and a job well done for your first try. I just placed my order for two bellies, rind/off @ 2.09/lb. I am very happy with the price and we shell see what they look like on Friday. 

 

 

post #14 of 19

Very nice bacon, great photos to. BLT coming up. I can just tell. CFicon_smile.gif

post #15 of 19

Looks like you have the process nailed. Question where can you buy bellies in Bismarck for $ 2.00/Lb?

Keep on posting. Great images.

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spirit View Post

Looks like you have the process nailed. Question where can you buy bellies in Bismarck for $ 2.00/Lb?

Keep on posting. Great images.

 

I ordered mine from Cloverdale Meats in Mandan.  That was their price at the time.  I am sure it fluctuates with the price of hogs.  But it should stay fairly close to that. 

post #17 of 19

Thanks for the info, I called and it's selling at $ 2.00/#.
 

post #18 of 19

Great prices at Cloverdale in Bismarck, my wife was just there again today!
 

post #19 of 19
Looks great! Yum!
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