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Belly Bacon questions

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Newbie looking for some advice. I have successfully knocked out buckboard 3-4 times and now want to try some belly bacon.

I have found an international market that stocks bellies. I was under a major time constraint when I visited, and have only visually verified they have them. The bellies are in a meat case and appear to be sides cut in half, not sure if previously frozen or not. Am I looking for pieces that have the best fat to meat ratio? How do you tell the quality of the product?

My next question. I am comfortable with figuring the amount of cure needed based on the weight of each piece of product. I am confused if I should remove the 'skin' before curing, after curing, after smoking or enjoy it on my fork after frying. Does cure penetrate the skin?

Thanks for any help and input.
post #2 of 7
chanches are they are chunks of belly cut off that range about 2-3#s each and ya prolly have been frozen and thawed-cure will not penatrate the fat and I find that leaving the skin on makes it more easy to remove after smoking-I also render my fat afterwards in a cast iron skillet.as far as the looks the meat should be pinkish and the fat white-and if it dosn't smell to much thats a +.most asian or international markets sell alot of bellie so it should be pretty fresh.
post #3 of 7
Leave the skin on, you can remove it after smoking much easier. The cure definitely penetrates the skin. You want fairly lean bellies but not real lean skinny ones, those will curl up too much and be hard to slice, you just want 'normal' bacon-type bellies.
post #4 of 7
I skin my BB before smoking, just so I don't lose the smoke from cutting it off after smoking. One time I got a full skin off, cured it, and smoked it along with the BB. It ended up being like leather and the guys I gave it to at my office squealed like school girls when they got it.

I'd use it myself by my wife can't stand frying stuff in the house... icon_rolleyes.gif
post #5 of 7
Now I have never done belly bacon yet. But I have read and talked alot about it and will go help Jerry with a 170lb bellie smoke very soon. Now I know he likes to remove the skin before smoking saying that you lose alot of the smokey flavor with the skin on. Now pops and bob (desertlites) gives you some really good advice for they have done this type of bacon many times. Now Bob the noob my wife also said I make a mess in the kitchen so you can see my kitchen "outdoors"
post #6 of 7
I have to go with Jerry & Bob on this one. I think I get a much better, smokier tasting bacon by removing the "RIND" before curing & smoking. So far I haven't used the rind for anything, so why should I put the smoke into it instead of my bacon?

Just my 2 copper Lincolns,
post #7 of 7

Rind removal.

When I was a kid, my g'father used to take my brother and I on long trips in his Morris Minor convertible. He always bought smoked jowls, if available. He sliced it, fried it and we cut the rind off, on the plate. Then we cut it in 1" pieces put it in our pockets and chewed the rest of the day.
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