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Brining bellies in a bucket.....

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
.....with Pops brine....

picked up a 15 pound rind on frozen belly. Few days in the fridge

did battle with the skin last night, wife wants to try to make Chicarones out of it, only recipes I have seen for them entailed un-smoked skin so...on to my question. Cut it into roughly thirds. Plan is to put the 3 parts into 2 Homer buckets submerged in brine, taking them out to rotate them a bit daily. Will be leaving them in the buckets til February 15th, which just so happens to be our 13th Anniversary. Will having 2 of them co-habiting in a single bucket with some rotating be sufficient?
post #2 of 18

As long as the bellies are covered with the brine, don't worry about rotating them.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by c farmer View Post

As long as the bellies are covered with the brine, don't worry about rotating them.
They will indeed be covered by the brine...Thanks for the quick response
post #4 of 18

I'd overhaul them every few days in case they are touching, etc...  Other than that, should be great!

post #5 of 18
Have one of these on my agenda...was it hard getting the skin off? Filet knife? Long slender carving knife?
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyBuzzard View Post

I'd overhaul them every few days in case they are touching, etc...  Other than that, should be great!
Overhaul? Rotating sufficient?
Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicsmoke View Post

Have one of these on my agenda...was it hard getting the skin off? Filet knife? Long slender carving knife?
I struggled using several of the wifes Henkel knives. While they were freshly sharpened I still struggled, don't think a 20* blade is ideal for this, just wasn't the right type of edge for this type of work.
post #7 of 18

Overhauling is basically just rotating in your case.  When dry curing, it also means flipping the meat and massaging a bit as well.

 

For skinning, I use a SHARP paring knife and act like I'm skinning a deer, keep the knife edge right at the skin/meat junction and slowly slice away while keeping the skin tight.

post #8 of 18

Keep the skin side down,skin it like a fish.

I just did Bacon for the 1st time

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/176077/bacon-1st-timer-pops-brine-finished-w-pics

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyBuzzard View Post

Overhauling is basically just rotating in your case.  When dry curing, it also means flipping the meat and massaging a bit as well.

For skinning, I use a SHARP paring knife and act like I'm skinning a deer, keep the knife edge right at the skin/meat junction and slowly slice away while keeping the skin tight.
Never skinned a deer....
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropics View Post

Keep the skin side down,skin it like a fish.
I just did Bacon for the 1st time
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/176077/bacon-1st-timer-pops-brine-finished-w-pics
Nor a fish.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Probably should have mentioned that I will be cold smoking them....guessing if I had left the rinds on it would have been just as difficult to get them off after smoking them, correct?
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkjunkie View Post

Probably should have mentioned that I will be cold smoking them....guessing if I had left the rinds on it would have been just as difficult to get them off after smoking them, correct?

In a cold smoke situation, yes...  If you hot smoked them, the fat would render a bit and make it somewhat easier.

 

I'm not sure how to explain the skin removal process.  However, there are some vids on the net that show it.  I may make one soon to show that a small, sharp knife works just as good as a large pig sticker does.  :biggrin:

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyBuzzard View Post

In a cold smoke situation, yes...  If you hot smoked them, the fat would render a bit and make it somewhat easier.

I'm not sure how to explain the skin removal process.  However, there are some vids on the net that show it.  I may make one soon to show that a small, sharp knife works just as good as a large pig sticker does.  biggrin.gif
If you do make a video please post a link to it...
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkjunkie View Post

If you do make a video please post a link to it...


If I make a video, I'll definitely post it, but in the interim, let's get you makin some bacon!

You good thus far?
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyBuzzard View Post

If I make a video, I'll definitely post it, but in the interim, let's get you makin some bacon!

You good thus far?
Yes Sir. Took the buckets out today, removed the water bags used as ballast an gave the buckets a slow but steady agitation. When I get closer I no doubt will have a boat load of questions. So please check back around the 11th of next month...

I plan on picking up another belly soon. Will pick up some TQ as well. When I do I will be getting some more practice at rind removal. May help the wife with the rinds tomorrow.
post #15 of 18

Ask away!

 

As for skinning the critters, practice is the best help.

post #16 of 18

What works for me is; Take a sharp fillet knife and first make a few cuts the whole length of the belly just through the skin to make narrower pieces of the skin. I then start by making a cut about an inch or two just under the skin. Grip the skin and pull it towards you and slightly upwards. Then slide the knife just under the skin while continuously pulling on it to remove the skin just like removing the silverskin off a tenderloin. It's easier to remove it in narrower pieces than as one whole piece. My .02.

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewmeister View Post

What works for me is; Take a sharp fillet knife and first make a few cuts the whole length of the belly just through the skin to make narrower pieces of the skin. I then start by making a cut about an inch or two just under the skin. Grip the skin and pull it towards you and slightly upwards. Then slide the knife just under the skin while continuously pulling on it to remove the skin just like removing the silverskin off a tenderloin. It's easier to remove it in narrower pieces than as one whole piece. My .02.
Thanks. Watched a few videos couple days back. Wondering if the belly were slightly frozen if skin removal would be a bit easier?
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkjunkie View Post


Thanks. Watched a few videos couple days back. Wondering if the belly were slightly frozen if skin removal would be a bit easier?


IDK. May be a little harder as the skin won't be as supple.

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