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Pork Bellies

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I am a ways out on building my smokehouse but I am doing alot of research to be prepared when the day gets here.I have not had any Bacon or Ham in over 5 years and that is going to change real soon in the future.

 

My question is what is the ideal % of meat to fat for pork bellies? I raise my own beef so I know it is good.There is alot of pork here but to find the good stuff I will have to travel around.

 

Thanks for any info

 

Dan

post #2 of 10

The problem we have here in the states is finding heritage breeds that provide larger, thicker bellies.  Most of the mass produced pork is harvested before the bellies get more then an inch or two thick.  I have never heard a discussion about the % of meat to fat but I am not a butcher and those that really know may be able to help. 

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Alblancher

 

Thank you for your reply.I can go to the farms that mass produce and get thinner bellies like what is aviable in the USA.I can also go to the country butchers like the one I use and get thicker bellies.My butcher kills hogs 2 or 3 times a week and cattle the other days.With my butcher I will have to go at 4am and pick what bellies or hams I want and get it home to the cooler.They still hang meat here in the open air markets in most places except in the big citiy meat markets.

 

Dan 

post #4 of 10

Hey, If  you can basically get what you are looking for I would look for bellies at least 2 inches thick with nice white, firm fat cap and a good meat line through the width of the belly.    I wish I could give you a percentage of meat to fat but I would think too much meat is as bad as too much fat.

 

Not sure if your meat tends to  be leaner or fatter then what we find up here.  Sure enough though it's definitely fresher!

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Alblancher

 

I am lucky and get a selection here of lean or fatty.As for freshness yes they are eating in the morning to being on your plate that same day hahahahaha Works great for pork or chicken but makes for some very tough beef with no ageing and butchering practices that are alittle on the rustic side.I am working on the beef problem now. In the next year it will be alot differant for me.

 

Last christmas I bought to live pigs that weighed 198lbs and the other was 205lbs on the hoof.They made some great eating cooked in a dome wood oven .

 

I do have another question and since you live in LA.Your climate is hotter then where I live just my climate temp stays the same all year around 65 low to 80 high.I plan on building a brick smokehouse alot like Wes smoke house with some changes due to my area.Like making my FB away from my smoker.My question is the climate I have workable for cold smoking?

 

Thanks for you time and comments

 

Dan    

post #6 of 10

The limiting factor for cold smoke is when fat renders (over 100 degree F).  You should be fine,  is it cooler in the evening?

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by alblancher View Post
 

The limiting factor for cold smoke is when fat renders (over 100 degree F).  You should be fine,  is it cooler in the evening?


Agree totally here. Not sure how hard it is to get items shipped to you from the USA, but give this site a look Amaze-n-smoker only way i smoke my bacon.

 

Robert

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Alblancher

 

65 is the normal night time temp if that will work I could just cold smoke at night.I work and live at the same place I am going to build my smoker.Also I have a great hammock if I need to take a nap the next day  LOL. 

 

 

Thanks 

Dan

 

 

Fishwrestler

 

Getting things deleivered here is a 50/50 chance.But I live a fair ways out of a little town and 3hrs from a big city.The only options I have for a heat source would be propane or wood.This is why I want to go mostly old school with my smokehouse with a offset FB and burn split logs.

 

Thank you

Dan 

post #9 of 10

With weather like that are there many vacancies in the Insurance Business?  My wife will need a job if we decide to move down there! 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Alblancher hahahahaha You mite want to figure another way to make a living here.Workers dont get paid alot plus to work in the insurance field you would have to live in the city.I would not recommend that.I was raised in the Rocky mountains and love the mountains just hate the snow.Now I live at 5400 elev surronded by mountains and it never gets colder then approx 65 deg.The only down fall is no Bacon or Ham.With this forum and all of you I am sure I can fix that problem.

 

You and your Mrs are welcome anytime.

 

Dan    

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