First Belly Bacon Finished! Update on 4/16/12!

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by bigfish98, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    OK, I am pretty excited for this one.  I finally got a hold of some fresh pork belly and am doing some real american bacon!  I ended up with about 22 pounds total from a 3 belly case.  These are trimmed up without the skin so it is all good!  Actually I thought they were a little thin, but hey for $2 per pound no skin, I am not complaining at all.  I eyeballed the bellies and cut each in half.  I ended up with one 4 pounder, two 3 3/4 pounders and three 3 1/2 pounders.  My 3 year old, Jackson, helped me get them rubbed with TQ, brown sugar, onion powder and garlic powder.  I ran out of TQ on the fifth one so I will have to pick some up tomorrow.  I still have one of the 3 3/4 pounders in the fridge waiting for that.  Jackson really enjoyed helping.  Especially vacuum sealing and loading them in the fridge.  I plan on letting the cure for 9 days, flipping and massaging daily, so I will try and keep you updated on their progress.  Here are a couple pics so far.

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    The bellies as I saw them when I opened the case!

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    After cutting in half, adding cure and seasoning the vacuum sealing, I had Jackson load them into the "Fridge of Wonders"!![​IMG]

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    And yes, the "Fridge of Wonders" is in my living room!  [​IMG]You can't see if from the picture, but my oversized lazyboy is just to the left!!  [​IMG]

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    Thanks for looking!  I will keep adding updates as I go!

    Bigfish
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  2. gersus

    gersus Smoking Fanatic

    Awesome! Can't wait to see some q-view!
     
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks good so far 
     
  4. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks!  I will post some more pics tonight after I get some TQ and pack up the last one. 

    One question for those who do this a lot.  The bellies I got were kinda thin towards the middle.  Is that normal or is it just a bad butcher job?

    Thanks,

    Bigfish
     
  5. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    OK got everything rubbed now!  Here is what we have so far.  The one on the bottom left is the same as the rest except for the addition of Black Pepper and that all the cure hasn't dissolved yet.

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    I can hardly wait until next weekend!!

    Thanks,

    Bigfish!
     

  6. They do a real hack job on skin-off bellies sometimes!!!


    Martin
     
  7. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    OK Here is the update.  I thought it best to put it at the end of the thread.  I had a sick helper Friday, so I cold smoked the bacon in my MES for over 12 hours with my AMNPS filled with a mix of cherry, maple, oak and apple.  After it burnt through once, I refilled it, set my MES to 100 degrees and let her run again until the AMNPS burnt out.  All in all, it smoked for about 30 hours.  I took it out of the smoker, sliced a couple slices for tasting and into the fridge it went.  I decided to let some mellow in the fridge while others are in the freezer for when I have time to slice.  I ended up catching what my helper had Sunday so I didn't get anything done.  I will update with pics of the slices when I get to it.  Here are some pics of the smoking and the finished product!

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    Here is the fry test.

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    Here is the start of the smoke.  you can see the AMNPS in the bottom left.  I did one set of black pepper bacon on top.

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    Here is a better shot of the AMNPS.

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    Here it is fresh from the smoker.

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    Now that is pretty!

    Thanks,

    Bigfish
     
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Fine Looking Bacon you got there...Great Job...JJ
     
  9. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Delicious
     
  10. That is some great looking bacon and the color is awesome! [​IMG]
     
  11. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice finished color, great job bigfish98!
     
  12. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]

    Now thats some good looking bacon you have there. Now runout for the tomatoes and some lettuce n mayo too.
     
  13. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Very nice indeed and a job well done for your first try. I just placed my order for two bellies, rind/off @ 2.09/lb. I am very happy with the price and we shell see what they look like on Friday. 
     
  14. Very nice bacon, great photos to. BLT coming up. I can just tell. CF[​IMG]
     
  15. spirit

    spirit Newbie

    Looks like you have the process nailed. Question where can you buy bellies in Bismarck for $ 2.00/Lb?

    Keep on posting. Great images.
     
  16. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    I ordered mine from Cloverdale Meats in Mandan.  That was their price at the time.  I am sure it fluctuates with the price of hogs.  But it should stay fairly close to that. 
     
  17. spirit

    spirit Newbie

    Thanks for the info, I called and it's selling at $ 2.00/#.
     
     
    bigfish98 likes this.
  18. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great prices at Cloverdale in Bismarck, my wife was just there again today!
     
     
  19. Looks great! Yum!
     

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