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1st Pork Belly Bacon

smokenharley

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Joined May 20, 2010
Well my smoking brethren, I tried pork belly bacon for the first time. And it was a success. I must say that of all things I have smoked, outside of cheese, this has got to be one of the easiest I have done. If you are considering giving it a try I would highly suggest that you do and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Al little background:
I used a full pork belly I purchased at Costco. I could get them from a local butcher but I need to order ahead and I just had an itch one Sunday morning after reading several bacon posts and decided to do it that afternoon. I don't have any pictures of brine; kinda boring but, here is my process.

I used Pop's brine simply because I thought it may be the easiest way to try out the whole process. I did use the low-end of his salt recommendation to mediate what some considered a bit salty. I use 2 gallon buckets for brining because they fit very nicely on the lower shelf of my spare fridge. Two pieces in one bucket and one in the other. I checked them about every three days, did a little dance with them, and let them brine for 14 days.

On day 15 I took them out of the brine, rinsed, dried, and put them on jerky racks in the fridge for the next five days. Now it's time for the cold smoke.

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Six hours in...I just thought the smoke looked kinda cool against the snowy background. I can't say enough about the A-MAZE-N smoker. I have the tray and it generates an incredible amount of smoke and plenty for my cold smoke applications. It smoked for 11 hours and then I refilled part of a channel for another 2 hours.

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13 hours later I pulled these guys from the smoker. From here these bellys are headed to the fridge for the next 2-3 days to age a bit.
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Out of the fridge after a few days and ready for slicing. I did need to cut these guys in half again so they would fit on my small meat slicer. I guess it's time to buy a bigger slicer.

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Sliced and ready to melt in your mouth - please cook first.

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Final Thoughts
This bacon was fantastic. And I will echo others on the forum; you will never buy store bought bacon again. It may not look as pretty but, what it may lack in those pretty packages you see in the store, you will make up 100x over in flavor.

Speaking of flavor. Because I went on the low side of salt on Pop's brine it had an expected slighty sweet, very slight salt, and a nutty smoke flavor. Obviously the smoke flavor depends on the type of wood or pellets. I used Smokin' Pellets Perfect mix which I use for most of my smokes. I do think it would be interesting to try strictly a hickory or apple.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this and if you haven't tried bacon - just do it. It's pig candy at it's finest.
 

Mofatguy

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Nice! Can't beat homemade bacon! Just dine my 1st a week or 2 ago. Don't plan on buying store bought bacon or sausage anymore unless I just simply run out!
Great job!
 

pineywoods

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Congrats it looks awesome with outstanding color. Enjoy it just don't share with to many people or you'll never make enough again with them bugging you for more lol
 

yankee2bbq

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You just inspired me to try making my own bacon! Thanks for posting and great write up!
And thanks for Pop’s brine!
 

HowlingDog

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Nice job, looks great. You can't leave us hanging; where's the fry pics and the plated bacon??
 

HalfSmoked

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Great looking first bacon. A shame its still cold I bet that would be a great BLT with fresh tomatoes. :emoji_laughing:

Warren
 

crazymoon

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Sh, Great post and excellent job on your bacon, it looks top notch ! like
 

foamheart

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Yes sir, I believe you dood it right! Its a same to need to slice it up, I always think a smoked slab looks soooo pretty and then the smell gets on your hands and you smell it all day.

Congrats on such pretty bacon!
 

Bearcarver

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Howdy Neighbor!!
Your Bacon looks Perfect!!
Nice Job!
Like.
You don't need a bigger slicer---Who said the Bacon Strips have to be 14" long.
Do you have 14" long slices of bread for those BLTs???

Bear
 

Watson

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Joined Jan 3, 2018
That looks great. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

My Costco belly's are on day 9 in the fridge using Bear's dry rub method.
Next weekend is the smoke date.

5 Days in the fridge on jerky racks?! I was thinking overnight.
May need to add some time to that part I guess.
 

smokenharley

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That looks great. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

My Costco belly's are on day 9 in the fridge using Bear's dry rub method.
Next weekend is the smoke date.
atson
5 Days in the fridge on jerky racks?! I was thinking overnight.
May need to add some time to that part I guess.
Looking forward to your post Watson when you finish. I would like to try that method if for no other reason than to compare that and the brine method. The five-day thing just works out with my work schedule. I only have time on the weekend for a 12 hour smoke. One day may work just fine although many of the posts I have read speak to about 3 days. Keep us posted on your progress.
 

JC in GB

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Looks great. The advice on this forum is top notch and helps you avoid a lot of mistakes. Happy smoking!
 

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