Originally Posted by linesout
I am completely new to smoking meat - but I recently acquired two things: a simple Brinkmann electric smoker, and a meat share at a local butcher's. We got a little over a pound of pork belly in the box and were told to slow cook it, so I'd love to try the smoker and put some out for a housewarming cookout this Saturday.
I found this recipe and it looks good: http://www.bradleysmoker.com/recipes/smoked-pork-belly/
ut we're still totally clueless on how to make it happen. If anyone would like to take pity on me and answer my embarrassing questions, I would really really appreciate it.
1. The recipe doesn't mention brining - should I brine the meat before marinating? If so, what are the ratios of water to sugar/salt to weight of meat in general?
2. I know the woodchips need to be soaked beforehand - but how much generally needs to go in the smoker?
3. This line in the recipe:
- Apply two hours of smoke and continue to cook for approximately 2-3 more hours.
Iprefer pecan, but apple and maple also works well. If you want a stronger smoke flavor use hickory.
Does it mean that the meat is exposed to the smoke for 2 hours, and then I remove the smoking element and let it cook another 2-3 hours?
4. Can anything else go in the smoker while we're making it, like a brisket or something, or would the cooking processes be too different?
As you can see from my questions, I'm really starting at square one haha. But I can't wait to get the hang of it and make delicious meat on the regular!
Good morning and welcome to SMF!
I see it is your first post. If you could swing by role call and introduce yourself to receive a proper welcome. If you add your location it will help with some questions to give a more spacific answer.
Don't be embarrassed to ask questions. This site is here to help each other out. So ask away.....
Ok so now onto your yummy cut of deliciousness you have.
The recipe looks to be a good one. You do not need to brine with using it. Brining is not always needed with most things. It is a personal preference. Wet curing and dry curing are different then brining.
I do not think the amount of cook time is enough. When I have done my pork belly at work we go for 4-6hrs in smoke at 240 degrees. Belly really benefits from low and slow. It allows it to render out the fat. You want it to be tender. I test with a tooth pick by sticking it into the meat. If i gett little or no risistance, it is done. Just make sure to check several spots, the fat can give you a false reading. They gave you a temperature, in my opinion that is not correct.
I run smoke the entire time. Wood choice is up to you. I like oak and hickory.
I am a bit confussed with the wood chips and type of smoker. From what i can find i see Bradley Smokers take disks. Never used one so would say make sure to read instructions.
You gain nothing by soaking the wood chips. You can if you want to, but many of us never soak the wood. Just delays what you want it to do and creates more of a white smoke. What you want is a thin blue smoke.
Yes by all means you can cook other items with it as well. My mouth is watering thinking of a brisket the has been basted by the dripping from the pork belly. Just be careful of putting meats in at different times, you do not want to put raw meats over meats that have already been cooking. Can cause cross contamination, not a good thing.
Think I got everything.....