a question about the pork belly itself

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by cal1956, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    being new here please overlook my ignorance,  from reading about making bacon  I think I have a basic understanding of the process and have found a place near me to buy the pork bellies , as I understand it the belly must be trimmed so my question is : how much loss ?  to keep the math simple, if I have a 10 pound belly before trimming how much bacon will it yield ?

    many thanks in advance  to all the experts here
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I buy my Bellies without skin. I don't trim mine until after it's smoked, because those smoked trimmings are awesome.

    I use Smoker temps of 110° to 130°, and the only weight I lose is about 6 ounces of water weight out of 10 pounds, after 12 hours of smoking.

    Here's an example:

    Bacon (Extra Smoky)

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  3. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The only trimming I would do would be to remove the skin if it has it on.

    Then cure and smoke the whole thing.  Trim before slicing, then use the trimmings in beans or other dishes.


    Bear beat me.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It all depends. If the belly is skin on and has jagged edges etc... Probably a 40% loss. If on the other hand it's pre trimmed, then there will be no loss at all. On the third hand, some like to leave the skin on until after the smoking process. I got a nice square piece of belly that was 8 lbs. only thing I had to remove was the skin, and I think I ended up with just around 7lbs of bacon.
  5. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    thanks for the replys

    where I found them the guy  said that they average 9-11 lbs,  I didn't ask if they were skin on or off, but I would remove the skin before curing  the cost is $2.69 per lb. so I'm trying to figure out what my  cost would be by the time its ready to slice into bacon
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You would have to know if the skin was on or not when you get them, to figure your loss.

    Since you don't want to cure, smoke, and eat the skin, if it isn't on, you have no loss. If it is on & you cut it off, that will be your loss---Depends on how close you cut it.

    A price like $2.69 makes me think the skin is on. That's a pretty good price!

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  7. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    $2.69 lb is the case price which is what I am going to get , out here bacon is running well over   $6.50 lb so I figure it should be well worth the trouble

    the man told me the case average was roughly 40 lbs
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK----I didn't know that was case price. In that case $2.69 could be without the skin, because you get a better deal by the case.

  9. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    I was thinking that you had to trim it to kind of square it up and there would be a lot of loss from that
  10. rexster314

    rexster314 Meat Mopper

    I cure, smoke and slice about 90 lbs of bellies every three weeks. The bellies I get are already skinned and I paid 1.79/lb for them last weekend, case weight. I start out with the whole bellies which weigh about 10 pounds each. I cut each one in half, apply and rub in the cure, put each piece in 2qt zip locs then in the reefer for about 8 days. Smoke em up, cool overnight, then square up the meat on my Hobart slicer keeping the trimmed pieces separate, I get about 70 slices, about 1/8" thick, and 9" long from each cut half of belly. The cut bacon runs approx. 7.5 pounds and about 2 pounds of trimmed belly for seasoning/cooking.
  11. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    thanks that was the answer I was looking for
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you look at the link I gave you in Post #2, you will see my process is about the same as "rexster" reported. We don't trim Bellies before curing & Smoking, because those Smoked Bacon Ends are the best part.

  13. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I save the skin off the (smoked) belly to cook soups, cabbage rolls (added to the pot, not inside the rolls). There is enough flavour in it to elevate the dish and the bonus is it gets very tender after cooking. I love cooked smoked skin.
  14. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    I'm sorry Bearcarver , I missed the link , I lost all of my eye sight in my right eye and about 1/2 in my left eye a couple of years ago . so sometimes I miss things that are right in front of me
  15. rexster314

    rexster314 Meat Mopper

    When I first started doing my own bacon, I would "square up" the bellies but cured both bellies and ends in separate containers. Smoked the squared up bellies then would smoke the trimmings separately. I was hand cutting them so it was time consuming either way. When I got my big Hobart slicer I stopped trimming pre-smoking. Now the finished product is nice looking, slices are more uniform and I just lop the edges usually with one or two wide cuts on each side.
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's OK---Just didn't want you to miss it.

    My left eye is screwed up since my Open Heart Surgery too. Usually only opens halfway too.

    At least I got my sense of smell & taste back, after 7 months!!!

  17. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    I saved that link and will use it as a reference,


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