70.5 pounds of pork belly

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by mistabob, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. mistabob

    mistabob Meat Mopper

    I just bought 70.5 pounds of skinless pork belly from my local ethnic meat market.  Good thick stuff, too, lots of marbling and a good layer of fat that wasn't trimmed off when they were skinned. 

    I'm thinking the first batch will be 10 lbs bacon cold-smoked with a peach/hickory combo.  Also I'll do 5 lbs pancetta cured with garlic, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, juniper, and a couple of other things (more seasonings and cure #1) before being rolled and hung to dry. 

    No Q-View yet, I'm just excited. [​IMG]    Should be awesome...  too bad my wife doesn't like bacon... cause my fridge and freezer are PACKED now.  They were already mostly full of dry-aged ribeye, pork shoulders, sausages, chicken, etc... 

    Q-View is coming soon, though!
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I see some great eats in your future    [​IMG]
  3. mistabob

    mistabob Meat Mopper

    Hopefully it's delicious PORK!!!  [​IMG]

    Sometime over the next couple of months I'm hoping to try dry-curing sausages (salami, soppressata, etc.) and making prosciutto.  I have an extra wine fridge and a spare small regular fridge I'm thinking about turning into curing chambers. 

    Anyone else here ever dry-cure meat?
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    There are a couple of regulars that are really into long term cures for sausages and meats.   I know Solaryellow and Nepas are two of the resident experts
  5. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like you are going to turn that into some tasty treats for sure. 
  6. atcnick

    atcnick Smoking Fanatic

    Commenting so I get email updates lol

  7. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Just subscribe to it and click email notice....

    You should be a pro by the time you get all that done.....
  8. mistabob

    mistabob Meat Mopper


    This pic is about two lbs of my ten of bacon...

    I cured, rolled, and hung the pancetta, so it still has a few more days before I will know how it turned out.

    The bacon on the other hand, well, it was a partial kinda sorta semi-success.  I cured 5 lbs of savory bacon and 5 lbs of maple bacon for 7 days.  Did a salt-test and soaked until just right.  Then dried overnight in the fridge before smoking.  Cold smoked both 5 lb slabs over peach wood for 6 hours, but I had trouble keeping it burning clean below 100', even with trays of ice in the firebox, and kept battling the dreaded thick white smoke.  In the end, it tastes pretty good... as long as you only have 2 or 3 slices at a time.  If you eat more than that in a sitting (like I usually do), there's a mild creosote aftertaste which sucks.  And by the smell, they were obviously in the thick white smoke for too long, since they smell a bit ashy rather than like sweet peach wood smoke.  So yeah, a partial success with the bacon.

    I also made 5 lbs of deep-fried pork belly confit (sorry no pics!).  Cut the pork belly into chunks, rubbed it down with seasonings, covered it with white wine overnight.  Next day I slow cooked it submerged in lard in the oven at 250' for 3 hours til tender.  Let it cool in the fat until it was all solid.  Took out chunks of pork belly, wiped them off, then deep-fried in that same lard for 3 mins a batch.  The outside was crispy goodness, but the inside was buttery and melty, like pulled pork on steroids.  Again, sorry no pics, but it puts my oversmoked bacon to shame, and yes it's the recipe from Ruhlman's Charcuterie. 

    So, there's what's happened with 20 of my 70 lbs.  Still pissed about my bacon, though.  :(
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  9. jalan43

    jalan43 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    You have plenty of bellies to practice on! I nwould have to agree about the white smoke. The photo shows some great looking bacon. If your not happy with it, make a little bacon dressing!

    Everything is better with bacon dressing!
  10. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    I love some fried pork belly!  There is a lot of info out there on building curing chambers.  Wine fridges work great.  I have cured several pieces of meat in one.  I used a small bowl with kosher salt and filtered water to regulate the humidity. 
  11. mistabob

    mistabob Meat Mopper


    My pancetta.  Dry cured for one week, then rolled, tied, and hung in my basement for a week.


    I also smoked a 20 lb turkey today over maple wood, that I had brined in orange juice, cranberry juice, salt, sodium nitrite and spices.  It seriously was perhaps one of the best, if not THE best, turkey I've ever eaten...  SORRY no pics of the turkey...  :)
  12. poopypuss

    poopypuss Smoke Blower

    I wish I saw this before I just posted a panchetta question!

    How's your basement for temperature and humidity?

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