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belly bacon question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
the first thing i want to do in my new smokehouse is cold smoked belly bacon. i understand the curing process with one exception, it seems some folks bag the bellys and flip letting them sit in the juice and others do a means of not letting them sit in the juice. which is preferred? thanks,
post #2 of 12
I just finished my first so my knowledge is limited to what I read here but I didn't open the bags for a week. Flipped and massaged each day and left whatever brine was created. I was more than happy with the end results.
post #3 of 12
Back when we did bellies 20-30 at a time, we pump injected them with the curing brine and then placed them into a brineing barrel for 5-7 before putting them in the smokehouse. Some prefer the dry method and others the wet or brineing method. I haven't done bellies for about 15 years, so I'll let those that do them regular handle your question.
post #4 of 12
Personally once I close the bags I don't open them again till its time to wash off the cure.
post #5 of 12
I just got done making three butts into bacon and once those baby's went into the bags I just flipped them but did not open them at all. They turned out awesome.
post #6 of 12
I generally just leave them alone, the last batch I did was an exception, but only becuase I had a blow out. PDT_Armataz_01_19.gif What a mess........but the end product was fine.

Edit: when I say leave them alone, that is that I don't drain out any of the liquid. I do flip/shuffle them around during the cure time.
post #7 of 12
Either way will work. The dry cure will remove moisture from the bellies and leave some brine in the bottom. The only thing I found is that if you don't shuffle them around, the bottom one sitting in the brine can get a bit "burned" by the cure. If your curing individually in bags, I would just flip it over every couple of days. If you are stacking them, they should be shuffled around IMO.
post #8 of 12
My view on this subject:

Keep them between 36* and 38*.
Below 34* cure might not work.
Over 40* is in danger zone.

Turn them over & massage each package every day (if you can).

I leave the juice in the whole time, because I don't want to dump any cure out, weakening the mix. Usually after a couple days I have quite a bit of juice in the bags, but near the end I have very little, which tells me it went back into the meat.


post #9 of 12
I just finished my first batch, and I'm onto my second batch.

The first batch I sealed up in 2.5 gallon Ziplock bags and just flipped 1x per day. Didn't drain them. They came out great.

Doing the same this time.

I've seen plenty where people drain them but only seen this when people are only using salt and resalting every day.
post #10 of 12
I never have done bellies yet but I have done many butts and loins into bacon and I always turn, rub, and flip the bagg atleast twice a day and maybe more if I think of it too.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
thanks for the input,bag em, flip em, let em soak it is. off to get bellys tommorow! cant wait. thanks again.
post #12 of 12
Make sure that you have Qview! Good luck and have fun with it.
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