Local supplier saved back a nice skinless pork belly for my use for making into bacon. Had told them all summer that I was looking for a thicker meat belly and they came through. Going to follow Bears "Step by Step" for the curing. Cut the whole belly up in 4 equal slabs and cured with TQ and Brown sugar.
At the end of the cure days pulled the slabs from the refrigerator and rinsed in cold water for an hour before seasoning. One had just CBP, two had CBP, onion, garlic blend, one was left plain. Let them rest in the refrigerator overnight uncovered.
Had decided to use my Lang reverse flow for this smoke. As it was a bit cool at 40 degrees this morning here in NC started a small fire in the Lang to warm it up to 100 degrees before adding the belly slabs. Plan was to keep the smoker below 100 degrees for the day but also wanted some smoke flavor with out the heat.
Filled up the A-MAZE-N 12" tube with Hickory Pellets and lit it off and placed it in the Fire Box and let the smoke roll. The tube did its smoke job for six plus hours with great results. With the tube going and the sunshine coming out the smoker temperature settled in around 90 degrees for the seven hours that the bellies were in the smoker. Final belly IT was 81 degrees.
Pulled them off and let them cool before putting them in plastic bags for a two day rest in the refrigerator. After the two days moved the bellies to the freezer for 3 hours before starting the slicing. This firmed up belly sliced nicely and made some nice packages that were vacuum sealed and ready for the freezer. Held some out for the real taste test for a bacon, pancake and egg meal.
The bacon was better than expected, great smoke flavor, nice texture and overall awesome. Will be doing this again for sure.
Started with this 10# fresh Pork Belly
Nice meaty slab
Cut the slab into 4 pieces before curing
Seasoning and ready to rest overnight after curing
A-Maze-N 12" Tube doing its smoke job.
Developing some good color
Holding steady low temperature
Out of the smoker and ready for a two day rest.
Vacuum packed for the rest of the belly
Fried up nice and great color and texture
Bacon, pancakes, and scrambled eggs.