Pictures to come, its only day one. Haha. I think there is more than enough pictures of fresh raw pork belly on this site. I wanted to run this past all of you and please point out if you think I've done anything wrong.
Step One - My son and I split 30 pounds of pork belly. Came boxed and frozen. We cut one in half and he was on his way. So I had approximately 15 pounds of pork. I trimmed it up a bit. Cut the skin off (actually let my son do this since he is the sous chef...). Let it thaw in the refrigerator over night.
Step Two (Last night). I did a final trim on all the pieces. I cut them down a bit since my smoker isn't huge. (Smoke Hollow Electric). Spent a fitfull day watching you tube videos, reading, researching....getting good advice, bad advice etc on use of cure. Ended up following the instructions on my packaging of cure. 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of meat. I ended up with 12 1/2 pounds of meat to cure. So 2 1/2 teaspoons. 1 1/2 cups of salt. 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar 2 1/2 Tablespoons of cracked black pepper. Mixed that up really well, it had the consistency of wet sand. Took my first piece rubbed all sides, top and bottom and sides. Wrapped that up tightly in saran wrap and stuck it in a gallon ziplock bag. I ended up with two pieces in a ziplock bag. So now I have 9 or so ziplock bags in the refrigerator. Checked them this morning and there is a couple tablespoons of liquid in each package. Tonight when I go home I will flip over all packages (I have them stacked on top of each other) so that the one on top is flipped and on the bottom.
I was on line talking to a friend, who scared me immediately and said his dad tried homemade bacon, but it was too salty and not edible. Grrr...
Do you think I used too much salt in my mix? I have a small bag that I also rubbed and wrapped. I saw that after the ten days, some people soak the meat in cold water for a couple of hours. Is that neccessary and will I lose alot of flavor doing that. Anyway, its really exciting so far. And I will have pictures for you later this evening. Not sure if that will help much, a picture of it wrapped in plastic wrap. Haha.
Let me know what you think Some of you guys are masters at this stuff, and I know you must get tired of some of the same old questions. I appreciate your insight and help. "Said Grasshopper to the Master". (If you know what that means then you are about my age, 53 this year....lol)
Thank you ~ Scooter