Finally Found Some Bellies Locally!

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by solaryellow, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    I got lucky today. I have been trying to find pork bellies locally but not having any luck. Usually I sit in the car when my wife goes to Whole Foods because I don't have much in common with the regular clientel. But for some reason I was feeling adventurous and wandered in with her. At the meat dept I noticed they had some small cut up bits of belly in the display case. I asked how much a whole belly costs and the counter person went in back to ask. She came back out and said $1.99/lbs but it won't be for long. I asked why and it turned out that they normally don't stock bellies but a customer had ordered a case but never came to get it and Whole Foods was selling it under their cost to get rid of it. I asked her how much she had and then bought it all. Bacon here I come!

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    I ended up with just under 35 lbs of bellies.

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    Gotta go buy some bacon hangers now. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks like some nice bellies.  Now you know where to get them.  How are you going to cure them?
     
  3. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Great question. I was not prepared to do it this weekend so I am going to be doing a whole lot of research while the summer sausage is smoking today. In the past I have brined and injected my buckboard bacon with my own recipe and that has come out well. I also have used the Hi Mountain seasoning but I prefer to make my own so I think I am going to puzzle out a rub of my own as I really don't want to brine/inject these. I am taking suggestions if anyone has any. [​IMG]
     
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Well if you are not using a wet cure that kind of leaves  the dry cure.  Pretty basic works for me,  salt, cure, brown sugar and about 10 days in the fridge.  Smoke and then let rest for a day or two when you pull them off the cold smoke.   I did a pretty thorough Qview of my last dry cured bacon if interested in looking at it

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/99032/35lbs-of-green-bacon  

    Al
     
  5. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    That was very helpful. Thanks for the link! The recipe that I use for buckboard includes maple sugar, onion powder, and garlic powder. It works well for buckboard but this being my first belly I am not certain how well it will do. I think the maple sugar will be fine as a substitute for the brown sugar but the onion and garlic powder I am not so certain. Any thoughts about adding those flavors to your recipe?
     
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Not real big on that type of added flavor to bacon.  Maybe some fresh black pepper?
     
  7. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    I will coat one with black pepper. The amount of onion and garlic powder that I use is pretty small. I prefer those flavors to be subtle and not that bold. I might try it on the smaller of the three bellies.

    In the thread you linked to, you referenced a calculator and I am trying to find it. Any chance you would have a link to it?

    Thanks for the help Al!
     
  8. northern greenhorn

    northern greenhorn Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Nice find, and a great price, considering the price of bacon now, I'm gonna have to start learning to make my own
     
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Northern Greenhorn

    Once you make your own bacon you will not buy the stuff from the grocery anymore

    I will look for the calculator, someone on this forum posted if for me.

    Al
     
  10. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The calculator was given to me by a member of this forum.  They provided a link that I will have to look for or I can email the Excel file to you if you pm me your email address.
     
  11. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Thanks Al! Incoming PM. [​IMG]
     
  12. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Back to you check email
     
  13. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Got it. Thanks again Al!
     
  14. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    I have been wanting to do this for over a year. Can't wait to get started! [​IMG]
     
  15. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice bellies Solar, big ones too. Looking forward to what you do with them. I got a couple recipes for dry cure bacon.  I like a heavy pepper rub and like Pineywoods and a few others,  I've been trying for a nice maple flavored one, but with no luck as of yet. let me know if I can help
     
  16. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    The proportions of that calculator are very interesting. The ratios of cure to sugar to salt is almost the same as TQ substitute.The salt ratio is a little less but not much.
     
  17. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    I'll take whatever you want to share Dan. This is new territory for me. [​IMG]

    I have also cracked open my Charcuterie book and also Rytek's book just to get some ideas.
     
     
  18. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Awesome, looking forward to the finished product.
     
  19. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    That's about a buck a pound less than what i have found them for . So i would say, GREAT SCORE!!!!
     
  20. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Interestingly enough, Charcuterie recommends the same ratio as the calculator that Al gave me. Rytek's recipe is also very close proportionally. I think I have a plan of attack. I am going to do the smaller belly with the same seasonings I would do with buckboard bacon but using the calculator amounts for cure, sugar (I will use maple sugar) and salt and then coat with black pepper before cold smoking. The other two bellies I will do the standard cure/brown sugar/kosher salt mix and then cold smoke. Thanks for all the help!
     

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