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Butcher sliced the pork belly. Help?

Angel0301

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Hey y’all! Newbie here :)
So...we took our hog to the processor a couple weeks ago and just got the meat back. We are super excited to have fresh, farm raised pork in the freezer.
I’m not sure why, but they sliced the pork belly instead of leaving it whole. So we have a bunch of 1lb packages of uncured, sliced pork belly.
I have been reading and I’ve decided that I want to use Pop’s brine for the cure. I will also stack the bacon slices together and tie off with butcher twine.
Here are my questions:
1. How long should I soak this belly in the brine? Since it’s sliced I know that the brine will soak in quicker and I don’t want to ruin this meat. (As I said, I am going to stack it and then tie it together)
2. After the bacon has soaked in the brine, do I treat it the same as a whole belly? Pat it dry and then air dry in fridge? If so, how long?
3. Do you have to smoke the bacon? Is it just a preference or is it a game changer as far as taste/texture?
Thanks in advance!
Angel
 

smokerjim

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i'm with steve, but there was post a while back with the same issue, I can't remember who started it. maybe you can search for it and see what they did.
 
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mneeley490

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If you're using Pop's brine recipe, don't worry about over-curing. It's impossible. The cure normally penetrates at a rate of 1/4" per side, per day. It may cure a little faster with the sliced belly, but I'd still leave it in for 5-7 days, just to be on the safe side.
I don't know about you, but unless it's smoked, it just wouldn't be bacon to me. I suppose you could just bake it in an oven or bbq until it's cooked, but then you'd have something more like Canadian bacon in taste and texture.
 

Angel0301

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Thank you for your responses...very appreciated.

If you're using Pop's brine recipe, don't worry about over-curing. It's impossible. The cure normally penetrates at a rate of 1/4" per side, per day. It may cure a little faster with the sliced belly, but I'd still leave it in for 5-7 days, just to be on the safe side.
I don't know about you, but unless it's smoked, it just wouldn't be bacon to me. I suppose you could just bake it in an oven or bbq until it's cooked, but then you'd have something more like Canadian bacon in taste and texture.
Thanks for replying. Do you suggest putting the individual slices in the brine, or bundling them like Steve and Jim said?
I agree on the smoking...I am in charge of the curing part only, I'll leave the smoking to my hubby. I am sure there is a wealth of information about that process on here.
Thanks!
 

Angel0301

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If I were you I’d go back to the Butcher and ask him to replace it with equal weight in whole belly. Pretty odd he sliced it.
I would normally do exactly that but I didn't take the hogs to the butcher, my sister did and since I wasn't there and didn't hear what was said, I can't really fuss much. The butcher is a really good guy, well known and liked in the community...my mother actually works for him part time. So with all that said, I'm just going to have to stick with what I have and hope that Pop's brine method works for me.
 

Angel0301

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Also, I would like to apologize to everyone for asking this question. I was navigating the forum on my phone when I first posted and really couldn't find much help when I searched that way. Now that I have logged onto my computer I can see that this subject has been asked A LOT..haha
Sorry about that, but I do appreciate the responses. I will be sure to post before and after pictures and let y'all know how the process goes.
 

krj

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2nded on taking the belly back to your butcher. You payed to have it processed the way you wanted it.
 

jcam222

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I would normally do exactly that but I didn't take the hogs to the butcher, my sister did and since I wasn't there and didn't hear what was said, I can't really fuss much. The butcher is a really good guy, well known and liked in the community...my mother actually works for him part time. So with all that said, I'm just going to have to stick with what I have and hope that Pop's brine method works for me.
I wouldn’t make a big fuss but might not hurt just to ask. Tell him what you intended to do and had hoped for whole belly. He might offer
 

mneeley490

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Thank you for your responses...very appreciated.


Thanks for replying. Do you suggest putting the individual slices in the brine, or bundling them like Steve and Jim said?
At this point, I would leave them tied together. If you're in a big hurry, I guess you could cure them individually in the brine, that would probably only take a day. Then rinse, dry, and tie them together for smoking. I've never done this, so I'm just guessing.
 

fivetricks

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I see sliced, uncured belly frequently in stores these days. Idk wth people do with it! Is it part of this (uninformed) "uncured" movement these days or....?

I don't get it.
 

smokerjim

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I see sliced, uncured belly frequently in stores these days. Idk wth people do with it! Is it part of this (uninformed) "uncured" movement these days or....?

I don't get it.
I think it's called uncured because they don't use nitrites or nitrates but they do use celery juice, celery salt which naturally cures it.
 

jaxgatorz

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Nevermind. I thought she meant the thick slices like Costco sells..I see now that I was mistaken. :emoji_sunglasses:
 
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chef jimmyj

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If you have the rack space, I would do Individual Slices. The benefit...Overnight Curing and in 2 to 4 hours you have incredible Smoke Flavor. You can get Stackable Cooling Racks to turn one rack into multiple racks. You can get Ten Pounds, plus of Bacon Cured and Smoked in Days rather than Weeks...JJ
 

fivetricks

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I think it's called uncured because they don't use nitrites or nitrates but they do use celery juice, celery salt which naturally cures it.
Nope. I'm talking about belly, cut juuust a hair thicker than thick cut bacon and slapped into a styro container and thrown in the meat cooler. No cure, no celery juice, nothing like that.

Don't get.me.started on the folks that buy celery juice cured items to "avoid nitrates" :-)
 

smokerjim

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Nope. I'm talking about belly, cut juuust a hair thicker than thick cut bacon and slapped into a styro container and thrown in the meat cooler. No cure, no celery juice, nothing like that.

Don't get.me.started on the folks that buy celery juice cured items to "avoid nitrates" :-)
ok thanks my mistake. I thought you were talking about the other stuff cured with you know what, i'm not going to say it out loud. :emoji_wink:
 

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