Bacon help

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Original poster
Nov 22, 2006
Hey yall, I want to smoke up some pork belly. I've been researching some stuff but having a hard time finding info on making regular old pork belly. Plenty of stuff out there on Canadian bacon though. I was reading a in a catalogue about some small company that smokes their bellies for up to three days! Then I'm reading stuff about smoking it for six hours, and all different times. The curing process I'm seeing anywhere from three days to ten days. However, with any tips take in mind that since I'm doing at Whole Foods, I'm not allowed to any unnatural ingredients so no Salt Peter. Only all natural salt-sugar curing. Who has smoked some real pork belly and can help me out with this confusion? Thanks!
Hi WholeSmoker, glad to see you back

Check this thread out. Joe is the expert on pork belly bacon with no nitrites or nitrates. Heck, if I remember right he even bought his bellies at Whole Foods
The one I use is Con Yeagerâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]s curing salt which is sodium nitrite, which comes from lettuce, spinach, carrots or so I am led to believe, whereas saltpeter is pottasium nitrate, a different animal. I‘m curious, can you get that cured taste from just a sugar/salt cure in a timely fashion (I canâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t imagine Whole foods is going to give you a 4 month window to come up with a side of bacon) using an old country cure. Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m really interested now!
Wholesmoker,heres my method.

5 quarts ice water 38-40 deg
1 1/3 cup powdered dextrose
1/3 cup instacure #1
1 lb pickling salt

Chill bellies to 38-40 deg,dislove all ingreadants in the water.Pump your bellies to 8% of green weight.Chill at 38-40 deg for 5 days.When your ready scrub with a stiff brush under warm water.Place them in a 135 deg smoker with dampers wide open and start smoking.After surface of the bacons have dried close dampers to 1/4 open and smoke until internal temps of the bacon hit 128 deg.Reduce temps to around 90 and smoke until you get the appearance you like.I smoke mine for 10 to 16 hours.After your done remove the bacons to the fridge and chill for a day or so then slice.

I have four sides in the cure right now,cant wait till there ready to eat.When this bacon is gone you wont want store bought bacon ever again.
from what I having to be all "natural" ingredients...I don't think he can use the instacure or maybe even the dextrose...... and that is the problem!!!!
Wow, thanks a lot for the replies. I have Tuesday off and will read through all the links carefully. I won't be able to start experimenting until after next week though. We have the CEO and president visiting this coming weekend so no playing until they are gone. Your all right about the natural ingredients. I'm not sure what instacure is, but I'll look it up. I think dextrose is ok. Any more thoughts until then appreciated. I'll let you know what I find out, then do. Thanks.
For "all natural" I think the link you got from Cajun is the only true natural cure.
Conyeager is probably next because their cure is derived from natural ingrediants not chemical processes.

Different processes will take different length of time to complete. I did pork bellies in both prague podwer and tender quick neither will help you they are both chemicals. I'd go for the link Cajun gave you.

I did have one cure that was all salt like 5 gallons of salt in a bucket, but that more more for preserving than for smoking.

Good Luck!
instacure will have nitrate or nitrite in's the same as praque powder or even tenderquick in that it is a curing agent..... is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.