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Costco bellies.... THANKS for the lead on that..... Dry brined bacon Aug. 2015... 8/23 money update

daveomak

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After reading about Costco having pork belly, and doing my yearly shopping trip yesterday, I found them and they are gorgeous.... perfectly skinned about 4000% better than I can do.... only thing is we won't have cracklins...

These dry-brined bellies are rubbed with a commercial cure blend of 85% salt, 0.75% nitrite and the rest, I assume, is maple sugar of some sort and anti caking agents etc..... The manufacturer recommends a 2% addition of the cure to the meat.....

The bellies all weighed in at 8#'s give or take.... Soooo, 8# x 454 x 0.02 = about 7.5 grams of cure added to each belly.... divided up between each side and rubbed into the meat.... and stacked on plastic screens for liquid movement and uniform distribution of cure etc. during the curing time.... screens bottom, top and in between the slabs with a weight on top...

Curing time will be about 14 days +/- ..... I prefer the longer curing time so equalization of stuff into the meat will happen... more uniform distribution... thorough distribution.... etc.... I will rotate/turn the bellies every few days...

The bellies fit perfectly into my curing tubs... so I decided to do a dry brine this time.... I've still got about 40#'s of sliced bacon from my last batch.... OH WELL !!!!

Not only were bellies on my to look at list, but Chuck Primal was also.... Picked up a beautiful 19# primal... No pics sorry.... but I sliced it up into 2 small roasts and 10 steaks... vac-packed and in the freeze box.... A good deal at $3.29 for Choice chuck.... I'm thinking I'll smoke the roasts and slice / vac-pack for sammies.... Also did that to a pork loin... 2 roasts will be cured for American/Canadian bacon.... bunch of steaks.... all the meat was pre seasoned with Montreal Steak, because I did pork loin steaks like that last month, and they were the best loin steaks we have had..


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bmudd14474

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Looks like a great start. I thought they looked great too when I saw them. There will be some in my cart next payday.
 

pc farmer

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Watching this
 

daveomak

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Looks like a great start. I thought they looked great too when I saw them. There will be some in my cart next payday.
Morning Brian.... They are beauties.... all trimmed up and skinned... I think the price is equal to or better than bellies at $1.79... having to skin and trim.... although the trimmed meat is awesome in Char Sui... We will miss that... belly meat is soooo good... anyway you fix it...
 

hoity toit

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I'll be watching this thread as well..,funny ...I went to restaurant Depot this morning and bought a case of bellies myself.I get back home and see Dave beat me to the punch already..  Dave do make your bacon sweet or regular ???? Just wondering..?

HT
 

daveomak

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HT, Afternoon..... I use this commercial Maple Sugar cure, I got it from my meat dude.... 85% salt, 0.75% nitrite and ~14% other stuff.... I think it's maple sugar stuff and maybe some "cure accelerator" like ascorbate or erthorbate at around .5 - .7 grams per Kg.... commercial folks usually add that stuff but I don't have a label for the cure.... My meat dude just "GAVE" me about 10#'s of the cure in a plastic bag... maybe even some phosphates, for water retention, to increase the products retail profit..

I just turned the meat... considering there's 24#'s of belly, there is only "MAYBE" 3 TBS of liquid that has been sucked out of the meat...

I definitely know these bellies are not enhanced.... "That's a good thing"...

I tried the "sweet" cure by adding more sugar etc. but it burned in the fry pan.... don't care for that......

What I do like is, when bride bakes the rashers on a cooling rack on a sheet pan, she spread some fresh maple syrup, I just made, on them... after about 3/4 cooking time so it doesn't burn... it caramelizes into a crispy maple glaze... knock your socks off... now that's sweet bacon to die for....
 

mneeley490

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Dave, 

Glad you were able to take advantage of the Costco belly. I bought some myself, but they're in the freezer, waiting for some cooler weather, as I like to air dry in the garage after curing. They would render all over the floor out there now.

Looking forward to seeing how yours turn out.
 
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daveomak

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I usually do them in the fall or winter.... BUT I thought it would be nice to do fresh bellies..... I may not be able to "cold" smoke these... Temps been running 100's to 70's at night.... maybe I'll get lucky.... right now it's 85 at 8:30..... I suppose I could freeze them for a month or so.... I'll have to play it by "weather" I guess.... I really like the "below 70" cold smoke on the bacon....
 

hoity toit

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HT, Afternoon..... I use this commercial Maple Sugar cure, I got it from my meat dude.... 85% salt, 0.75% nitrite and ~14% other stuff.... I think it's maple sugar stuff and maybe some "cure accelerator" like ascorbate or erthorbate at around .5 - .7 grams per Kg.... commercial folks usually add that stuff but I don't have a label for the cure.... My meat dude just "GAVE" me about 10#'s of the cure in a plastic bag... maybe even some phosphates, for water retention, to increase the products retail profit..

I just turned the meat... considering there's 24#'s of belly, there is only "MAYBE" 3 TBS of liquid that has been sucked out of the meat...

I definitely know these bellies are not enhanced.... "That's a good thing"...

I tried the "sweet" cure by adding more sugar etc. but it burned in the fry pan.... don't care for that......

What I do like is, when bride bakes the rashers on a cooling rack on a sheet pan, she spread some fresh maple syrup, I just made, on them... after about 3/4 cooking time so it doesn't burn... it caramelizes into a crispy maple glaze... knock your socks off... now that's sweet bacon to die for....
Yeah,I used too much last time and thought I rinsed it off enough bu tit too burned a little in the pan.Im going to try 1/2TBS per pound brown sugar this time..Going to prep it tonight. Thanks.

Dexter
 

daveomak

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Dexter...... You starting a thread so we can all learn about the sugar addition....
 

gary s

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Hey Dave, Nice,  I wish I could find bellies around here, scarcer than buggy whips. I did get a local market to order me one, It was fresh because they had to wait till they were processing pigs.

It's in the fridge curing.  Wish I could go to the store and pick one up like you guys.

I'll be watching

Gary
 

hoity toit

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Dexter...... You starting a thread so we can all learn about the sugar addition....
They say the sugar "hides the salt"...LOL.., I actually saw some coconut sugar on the shelf at the store yesterday,what the heck would you use that for other than putting in a pina colada ?? I suppose there are many kinds of sweeteners both sucrose and frutose.
 

daveomak

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As old as I'm getting...... I'm leaning toward cane sugar...... LOL
 

daveomak

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Turned the bacon again..... all the moisture has been sucked back into the meat... Don't know what that means but I think it's good.....
 

dave17a

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Man that does it. Been itchin' to get my bellies. Everybody ask at least once a week." got any bacon". My closest guy for bellies is closing. Got couple leads though. Waiting for results Dave. You put screens between bellies stacked straight up?
 

daveomak

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You put screens between bellies stacked straight up?


Yep..... so any liquid that emerges can be sucked back up in the same area or spot...
 

daveomak

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Bellies rinsed and put back into refer for a few days.... At least until the weather cools down.... 101 today... 103+ tomorrow... nighttime temps until Saturday around 70... Sat./ Sun./Mon. night temps around 56 deg. F... That will have to do....

Spacers between the slabs to allow for liquid drainage...

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