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First belly bacon advice?

David Leopold

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Hey guys,

Looking for a couple pieces of advice on this. I’ve made a few batches of back bacon and buckboard bacon using discos methods and they’ve turned out great.

I just finally found pork belly at my local Costco up here in Canada. Only place I’ve found it. So I got a good slab and cut it into pieces that fit in a big ziploc for curing. One is curing now and the rest is in freezer.

I cured it using the same Disco method/recipe.

My question 1 is how long should I leave it curing in the fridge? Doing the loins and buckboard ones they went about 10 days, but this belly is so much thinner does it need that long?

Question 2, when I smoke it should I just follow the same temps and timelines as Discos back bacon recipe?

Thanks guys!
 

SonnyE

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I sent Disco a link.
I think he could be one of your best sources.
Many others here will be along to help.
I'm more like a boar boob about bacon.... :p
 

David Leopold

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Haha thanks! Yes I’ve done his back bacon and buckboard a few times and like it! I just wonder with this belly being so much thinner that it might cure faster and rise the IT faster when smoking too.
 

daveomak

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I find bacon flavor is best when cured 12-14 days in the fridge...
 

kit s

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I am with Bear on the time frame...can go longer too. Just about ready to pull mine and rinse...15 days so far...sort of waiting for some cooler weather which is supposed to arrive this next week...will probably pull tomorrow and then let it dry in fridge for a few days before throwing it in the smoker (cold smoking these ).
kit
 

David Leopold

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Well it sounds like I will keep it in the fridge curing for 10-12 days. Probably 10...because I don’t think I can wait any longer. Haha.

And then do I smoke it at the same kind of temps and IT end level as the back bacons? Or would it not hit the IT too quick and not get much smoke?
 

chopsaw

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Well it sounds like I will keep it in the fridge curing for 10-12 days. Probably 10...because I don’t think I can wait any longer. Haha.
After I started waiting 14 days , I saw how much better it was . Never in a hurry any more . I have 12 pounds of pork loin naggin at me right now . It's ready ,,, won't be 14 days until Saturday . I'm gonna wait .
 

David Leopold

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Well after a painfully long wait of 14 days I finally took it out last night, soaked about an hour in cold water, then air dried overnight and today in fridge. Then smoked it this evening. Cherry chips around 205-210 until IT hit 145. Looks impressive! And it smells even better!

If this turns out good I’ll be prepping a couple chunks at once next time. Make the long wait even more worth it:)

Now it’s just cooling down for a while and then will store in fridge overnight before slicing tomorrow.

I read a few guys saying they plastic wrap it overnight?
505F9AB5-0857-49A5-B5E6-5398587ED232.jpeg
 

David Leopold

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872C2859-3809-4D6E-8F95-F803002FDB80.jpeg
A few thick slices cut off it with a long knife. It looks really good inside!!! Lot of fat on the edge of this chunk but that’s the best part of bacon anyway!

Gonna fry some for lunch, rest of the piece went into the freezer. Plan to just take the chunk out when I want bacon and thaw it slightly to slice some off.
 

David Leopold

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WOW!!!!! This stuff was amazing! Never had bacon this good from anywhere. I will be taking the rest out to brine right away and my next Costco bill is going to be a big one:(

The amount of brown sugar AND maple in it might have been a little much as this stuff tastes like candy. Fatty, meaty, crispy candy strips!!

Ah well, another addiction for me to add to my collection. Hehe.

Thank you for convincing me to cure for 14 days. Definitely turned out!!

01B1C3F0-A327-4CB6-A957-F723668310D6.jpeg
 

nomadd917

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Joined Jun 27, 2017
As far as time, you can’t really cure/brine for too long as long as you don’t have too much salt in the brine. As soon as the meat and brine reach an equilibrium in salt content the meat will not absorb any more salt regardless of how long it sits in the brine.

As far as flavor goes with the other additives (sugar, maple, pepper, etc....) I’m not sure how time affects those flavors in the meat. Someone more experienced may have a better answer to that. My thoughts are that there would be a diminishing gain in flavor the longer the meat sits in the brine.
 

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