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Question about trimming belly

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Good afernoon!

 

Im making bacon for the first time and had a few questions. Im pretty seasoned with my smoker and brine etc but not for bacon.

 

I got a few lbs of fresh pork belly with skin. Looks delicious. But I had a question about trimming it. When Im cutting it into manageable slab sizes there is 2 different kinds of fat. the thick, firm suet like fat which I would expect in the bacon, and the soft slimy fat that I would not think I need.  Do I need to get rid of it all? If so thats quite a task since its permeated throughout.

 

Also a question about the skin. Should I cure and smoke with the skin on then remove it? It seems pretty impossible to take it off now :)

Thanks guys!

bob

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftMeat View Post
 

Good afernoon!

 

Im making bacon for the first time and had a few questions. Im pretty seasoned with my smoker and brine etc but not for bacon.

 

I got a few lbs of fresh pork belly with skin. Looks delicious. But I had a question about trimming it. When Im cutting it into manageable slab sizes there is 2 different kinds of fat. the thick, firm suet like fat which I would expect in the bacon, and the soft slimy fat that I would not think I need.  Do I need to get rid of it all? If so thats quite a task since its permeated throughout.

 

Also a question about the skin. Should I cure and smoke with the skin on then remove it? It seems pretty impossible to take it off now :)

Thanks guys!

bob


I bought pork sides which had skin and the ribs. I fileted the ribs off first and then fileted the skin off like skinning a fish. It wasn't bad skinning at all. I did not trim anything.

post #3 of 6

It doesn't make any difference if you cure and smoke with the skin on.  If you are doing a dry cure use 10% less Cure 1 to account for the skin, it doesn't absorb cure.  I smoke mine with the skin on, I feel safer when hanging in the smokehouse.  I also find it easier to remove after  smoking.  Once removed, the skin goes into a pot of beans for flavoring,  not really edible but does add a good smoky flavor.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your answers. Looks like Im in good shape. As for the fat I was talking about, heres a diagram of it. The top fat is a different kind of fat than Ive seen on commercial bacon so I am not sure if I should get rid of it or not. Some have more than others, some have it within the layers of meat which would make it impossible to cut out I would think! 

 

http://maxboostracing.com/PorkBelly.jpg

 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

bob

post #5 of 6

Probably wouldn't hurt to trim that off,  The bellies I buy do not have it and if I remember correctly I saw a butcher run some type of circular band with a handle over the surface of the meat to remove it.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you sir. I will remove it then. Its in the brine now but will before smoking it.

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