or Connect
SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Meat (and other things) › Smoking Bacon › First pork belly, do I need to do anything to this before it hits the cure/brine?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

First pork belly, do I need to do anything to this before it hits the cure/brine?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Here's my pork belly. First attempt at bacon. I'm using Pops simple cure/brine starting today. I plan on cutting this in halves or perhaps thirds so it fits in the top part of my smoker that I can run much cooler than the regular smoking chamber. I do fish at 130 to 150 in it all the time and I can run it even colder. Thats prety darn good for a offset stick burner!

Anyhow is there anything I need to do to this belly before I cut it up and put it in the brine for 2 weeks?

 

 

 

post #2 of 17
I just cut it up in manageable pieces that will fit my slicer. I trim of some of the hard yellowish fat around the sides. I use Pops brine for 14 days minimum. Rinse and let it dry in the refer for a few days. I cold smoke for 16-24 hours until it gets good color.
Good luck,

RG
post #3 of 17

Nope...Nothing to do but brine for 2 weeks and smoke it...JJ

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys! I cut it up into 3 equal pieces.

Mixed up the brine using 2 gallons of water 2 cups kosher 2 cups granulated sugar and 2 cups brown sugar and 2 tablespoons cure #1

Here is the brine.

 

I use a 1/2 gallon juice bottle with frozen water to keep things down in the brine. Holds things solidly down and helps keep things cold.

 

 

I pushed things down a little further even after the pic to make sure things were well submerged. All that's left now is the waiting.

I will revisit this post with a update in 2 weeks or so. :beercheer:

post #5 of 17

I wish I would have seen this earlier. I can't really tell from the pic if the skin is still on.

 

I always skin mine before brining, but after is ok too.

 

I just think it's easier to get the skin off when the belly is in one piece.

 

But then some guys wait until it's smoked to take it off.

 

Either way I'm sure yours will be a success.

 

Al

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Al! There was a little silver skin on one side that I trimmed off along with a few fatty chunks that were just hanging on.
Treated it like a rack of ribs and trimmed accordingly.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ok tomorrow is day 14 in the brine. I may go longer depending upon the answer to this question.

The next step if I understand correctly is once it's removed from the brine is to rinse the pieces under cold water.

Then fry up a piece to test for saltiness. If all is good then the air dry in the fridge right?

Question is is overnight long enough to air dry in the fridge if I want to smoke on Sunday?

If it's recommended to go a couple days I will leave it in the brine until Monday. If I don't smoke on Sunday the next chance to smoke will be Wednesday.

Thanks in advance for any responses! :439:

post #8 of 17
I let mine air dry for 2-3 days. Smoke then back into the fridge for 4-5 days before slicing
post #9 of 17
One day is sufficient. With that said my last batch I made I let the bacon rest in the fridge five days before smoking. Then I cold smoked like I always do for about 18 hours in 6-8 hour increments, resting over night in the fridge. After the smoke was complete I let the bacon rest in the fridge uncovered for a week before packaging. Best bacon I've made to date. I highly recommend allowing the meat to age a bit before and after the smoke.
post #10 of 17

I have always just let it sit overnight, but the next batch I do I'm going to let it rest like Case does. Before smoking & after also. I know Dave Omak does it this way too.

 

Good luck!

 

Al

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks all! Think I will split the difference. I will take it out of the brine late Sunday and air dry until Wednesday and then smoke. Is there any chance the bacon will absorb any other food odors there may be in the fridge?

post #12 of 17

No the bacon won't pick up any other odors, but after you smoke it & put it in the fridge uncovered, the fridge will smell like smoke for a while.

 

Hell my whole house smells like smoke most of the time. Why not the fridge?

 

Al

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post
 

No the bacon won't pick up any other odors, but after you smoke it & put it in the fridge uncovered, the fridge will smell like smoke for a while.

 

Hell my whole house smells like smoke most of the time. Why not the fridge?

 

Al


LOL! My wife complained to me one day after I had been out by the smoker all day and came in and took a nap on the couch with the same clothes on. The couch smelled like smoke for a week!

Didn't bother me a bit! :biggrin:

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

My schedule changed up a bit so the pig bellies sat in the brine for 19 days I just removed them today. Rinsed them under cold water and did the fry test. All tasted well so in the fridge until Sunday morning when I fire up the smoker. Have some oak and apple wood I plan on using. I have a maple garlic seasoning I think I will use on two of them and just cbp on the other.

 

 

I have a 10lb brisket that I'm doing on Sunday as well. I plan on doing the bellies in the upper portion of my smoker and I should be able to keep that pretty close to 120 maybe less while the brisket cooks at 250 in the lower chamber. I plan on leaving the bellies in the smoke as long as possible. After that back in the fridge uncovered for a couple days before slicing.

Hope it all turns out baconliscous! :439:

post #15 of 17

Sounds like a plan!

 

Al

post #16 of 17

Case,

Why the incremental rest during the smoke process?

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 

Smoked the bellies on Easter Sunday. I also did a brisket and ham so the bacon was on a good 10 hours at 130 degrees average using mostly all maple wood.. Took it out and rested it in the fridge uncovered until Tuesday.

Sliced a piece of each belly and fried it up. First thing I noticed is I got nowhere near the grease and fat in the pan as I do from store bought bacon during cooking even though there was a lot of fat on the pieces. Normal??

The flavor was awesome but fatty and chewy. I'm guessing it was the quality of the pork bellies? Smoke too long? I didn't really trim any fat off them before putting them in the cure.

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

Not a complete fail by any means so I want to continue to to work on getting this right.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Smoking Bacon
SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Meat (and other things) › Smoking Bacon › First pork belly, do I need to do anything to this before it hits the cure/brine?