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35lbs of Green Bacon

alblancher

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Just in case you didn't know that's the trade name for pork belly, not a Dr. Seuss story


IBP brand  $  2.13 /lb

The owner of the butcher shop said she loves the people she buys her meat from, I think I do too when I look at these bellies.









Dusted and rubbed with Salt, Brown Sugar and Cure #1.  Wrapped in plastic wrap, placed on baker's racks in pans and moved to  spare fridge.  Plan to drain and redust Wed or Thursday.

Handy hint:  If you do not have pans big enough to hold your curing bacon take a look in the store room.  I found that I can use some upside down plastic shelving as super large pans.   You may want to give them a good wash first!

Al
 
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Dutch

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Check with Butcher and Packer or Allied Kenco they are both on-line sellers.
 

eman

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That's some great lookin bellies right there!
 

Bearcarver

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Hi Al,

GREAT looking Bellies !

Nice & meaty!

The second last one I got was almost all fat for $2.50 per pound!

You must do things different than I do. "Draining & re-dusting" are not in my vocabulary.

Whatever I put in the bag at the start, stays in until the finish, flipping every day.

Not saying how you do it is wrong, just not one I've heard before.

Bear
 

mballi3011

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Man there Al that looks like some mighty fine bacon or is gonna be some mighty fine bacon.
 

squirrel

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Great looking bellies ya got there! Can't wait to see the finished product. I love making bacon too and it's hard to go back to store bought! Good price too, I've been paying 2.69 lb. but still better than buying it!
 

alblancher

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Ms Fortenberry ask me how I was going to do the bellies,  I told her about the dry cure and we chatted a minute about the procedure.  She smiled and said her Grandpa used to do it that way when he first opened the store so long ago.  Now days its 36 hrs in a wet brine and into the smoker, they can't afford to sit on product for 10 days.  The do have great smoked briskeys, pulled port, chicken and rubs.  Just 40 miles out of the way so I don't get by there very often.
 

pineywoods

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Those are some great looking bellies
 

tjohnson

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Very Nice Looking Bellies!

I'm with Bear......What ever goes in the bag, stays in the bag.

You "Hot" or "Cold" Smoking your bacon?

Todd
 
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alblancher

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I have a smoke house so I do a cold smoke with pecan wood.   This time I am going to rub and inject one of these bellies with Steens Cane Syrup after washing off the cure.  I'll let them sit in the fridge another day or two to meld a bit and form the pellicle. 

I'll post picks before and after the second rub down.

Thanks,

Al
 

Bearcarver

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Hey Al,

I sure would like to know more about your curing method. Can we possibly get a step by step on that?

Thanks,

Bearcarver
 
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alblancher

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Thanks Bear,

I will take the bellies out Thursday afternoon (72 hrs) to drain and re dust.  I'll post a couple of pics.  Just for clarification I use the amt of cure #1 recommended by, I think it was you or Beer-

b-Que, the post to the excel worksheet in another thread.  I mixed the salt, Cure 1 and sugar per the calculator's recommendation.  I used about 75% of that mixture in the first dusting.  The remaining 25% will be used in the second dusting.  I may use a bit more salt and sugar in the second dusting just to get as much water drawn out of the green bacon as possible. 

The green bacon will remain in the fridge, wrapped to prevent to much oxidation, for another 4 days (Monday pm,168 hrs). I will do another drain and re dust using mainly sugar at this dusting.  I want to smoke the bacon during the SE Louisiana Gathering so I will allow the green bacon to continue to cure for another 3 days (Thursday pm 240 hrs).  Thursday afternoon I will remove from fridge, brush to remove excess cure, rinse well and taste test.  If needed I will soak to adjust salt.  After removing excess salt I will pat dry with paper towels and lightly re dust with sugar.  For the event I have decided to experiment on my friends.  I will leave one slab with just the brown sugar cure and dusting.  A second slab will be rubbed with Steens cane syrup and a third slab will be rubbed and injected with Steens.  The bacon will be returned to the fridge to dry.  All bacon will be cold smoked with pecan Friday afternoon or evening depending on the weather.  We are having beautiful weather in the area with highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 60s so depending on the temps Friday I will either smoke that afternoon or that evening.  I expect a 10 - 12 hr smoke.

Thanks for asking,  if you are not comfortable with something I am doing let me know.  I respect the advice of the members of this forum.

Al
 
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scarbelly

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Can you explain why you are not just going with one cure for the entire time - I am confused (most folks around here would tell you that is normal) about the process and what you would gain by it

Thanks

Gary
 

alblancher

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Scarbelly,

Because I am not allowing the bellies to sit in the liquid I feel I am losing cure into the liquid that leaches out.  Also I noticed if I put all the cure on at one time some of the cure "cakes" onto the outside of the meat and is not absorbed or simply flakes off into the bottom of the pan.   I am doing this as if I was curing a country ham where you remove the ham and resalt several times before smoking and putting up to age.   I also think I get a better distribution of the cure with several thin coats instead of one heavy coat.

I hope to have a drier, darker, firmer, richer bacon before it goes into the smoker.  If I am careful with the amount of salt in the second dusting I shouldn't have to soak the bacon (or soak as long)  to remove the excess salt. A drier bacon should hold the cane syrup and additional brown sugar so the sweeteners won't leach off the meat as it sits in the fridge melding and developing the pellicle.

Al
 

Bearcarver

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Must have been somebody else, I always put all my cure (TQ) & sugar on the pieces in the beginning, in zip lock bags.

After a couple days there is quite a bit of liquid in the bags too. I flip them every day. Then at the end, there is hardly any liquid in the bags with the meat. It nearly ALL gets re-absorbed back into the meat again.

The only time I ever had to soak more than a half hour was when I used the pre-mixed Hi Mt Cure.

I'm not saying what you're doing is wrong. It's just not one I heard before.

And thanks for the real good explanation of the way you're doing it.

Bear
Thanks Bear,

I will take the bellies out Thursday afternoon (72 hrs) to drain and re dust.  I'll post a couple of pics.  Just for clarification I use the amt of cure #1 recommended by, I think it was you or Beer-

b-Que, the post to the excel worksheet in another thread.  I mixed the salt, Cure 1 and sugar per the calculator's recommendation.  I used about 75% of that mixture in the first dusting.  The remaining 25% will be used in the second dusting.  I may use a bit more salt and sugar in the second dusting just to get as much water drawn out of the green bacon as possible. 

The green bacon will remain in the fridge, wrapped to prevent to much oxidation, for another 4 days (Monday pm,168 hrs). I will do another drain and re dust using mainly sugar at this dusting.  I want to smoke the bacon during the SE Louisiana Gathering so I will allow the green bacon to continue to cure for another 3 days (Thursday pm 240 hrs).  Thursday afternoon I will remove from fridge, brush to remove excess cure, rinse well and taste test.  If needed I will soak to adjust salt.  After removing excess salt I will pat dry with paper towels and lightly re dust with sugar.  For the event I have decided to experiment on my friends.  I will leave one slab with just the brown sugar cure and dusting.  A second slab will be rubbed with Steens cane syrup and a third slab will be rubbed and injected with Steens.  The bacon will be returned to the fridge to dry.  All bacon will be cold smoked with pecan Friday afternoon or evening depending on the weather.  We are having beautiful weather in the area with highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 60s so depending on the temps Friday I will either smoke that afternoon or that evening.  I expect a 10 - 12 hr smoke.

Thanks for asking,  if you are not comfortable with something I am doing let me know.  I respect the advice of the members of this forum.

Al
 

scarbelly

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Thanks for the explanation - My only concern is that it might dry the bacon out but you never know until you try - good luck and keep us posted
 

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