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Pork Belly Question

Polekitty

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Interested in apple smoking a pork belly to make bacon and wondered if I didn't cure it first what problems would it cause. I'm not sure what cuing does.
 

SmokinEdge

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The whole point of curing first to to make the meat safe to cold smoke. At those low temps is a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Hence the salt and cure#1 to kill bacteria and botulism.
 

Polekitty

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Joined Sep 22, 2020
The whole point of curing first to to make the meat safe to cold smoke. At those low temps is a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Hence the salt and cure#1 to kill bacteria and botulism.
So if I run to the store and buy a pork belly and toss it in the smoker and smoke at a low temp say 200 until it reaches about 150 degrees internal it will not work out. I had planned to let it cool in the freezer to make it easier to cut and then fry it up. Bad idea?
 

SmokinEdge

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So if I run to the store and buy a pork belly and toss it in the smoker and smoke at a low temp say 200 until it reaches about 150 degrees internal it will not work out. I had planned to let it cool in the freezer to make it easier to cut and then fry it up. Bad idea?
200* is hot smoking. And yes for a fresh pork belly that’s fine.
 

thirdeye

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Interested in apple smoking a pork belly to make bacon and wondered if I didn't cure it first what problems would it cause. I'm not sure what cuing does.
Curing and smoking changes the texture, adds flavor, darkens the color and gives the belly the "bacon" flavor. Think of a fresh pork roast verses a ham. The roast is gray and on it's own has a standard pork flavor. A ham on the other hand is pink and has a flavor all its own.

Uncured pork belly is known as fresh side pork. When cooked as-is, it tastes like the fatty edge of a pork chop, it's bland in flavor and color. Your plan of flavor smoking it will add some flavor, but the best advise for making side pork taste like bacon is to..... season it with salt and pepper. And fry it in a little bacon grease; not much as it will make it's own pan fat.

A fresh belly can be roasted at high temps, usually with slits seasoned with herbs. Or you can make pork belly burnt ends, which are wonderful too.
xgkqFBR.jpg
 

jcam222

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They got you covered here! I do love to cure it and make bacon but man I LOVE smoking fresh belly for PBBE. One of my favorite things. Wanted to do some today but they didn’t have any bellies in stock anywhere near me.
 

Polekitty

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Joined Sep 22, 2020
So I didn't get the pork belly until Tuesday, had to wait for some to arrive. Wow that stuff isn't cheap. Don't know what the going price is, but mine was $6.78 a lb. I bought 5 lb. and cut it in half so I would only ruin half if my plan doesn't work out. It does look good though. I think I'm going to put pepper, salt and cover it with brown sugar granules and sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. I will then smoke it using LJ 100% apple at 170-200 range until it gets to about 150 internal before pulling it. With it being cool here on Saturday it will take several hours. I've read on here to let it cool and then place it in the freezer for a couple of hours before cutting it up. Toss some in the skillet and fry it up. Hope it works out.
 

BigW.

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I think I'd try pork belly burnt ends if I were in your shoes. Or buy Cure #1 and make bacon it is not that hard. Do a search on here and you'll find plenty of bacon wisdom.
 

Polekitty

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Joined Sep 22, 2020
Thanks for the suggestion. I will certainly use the cure#1 if this doesn't work. I'm trying to make some bacon that doesn't have such a strong salt taste so I'm staying away from as much of it as I can. I know I mentioned in my previous post I was adding salt, but it won't be much. All of that being said, I do love burnt ends using brisket and using a good meaty cut of pork belly sounds very good. I might just try that out on the other half after trimming some of the fat from it.
 

thirdeye

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Thanks for the suggestion. I will certainly use the cure#1 if this doesn't work. I'm trying to make some bacon that doesn't have such a strong salt taste so I'm staying away from as much of it as I can. I know I mentioned in my previous post I was adding salt, but it won't be much. All of that being said, I do love burnt ends using brisket and using a good meaty cut of pork belly sounds very good. I might just try that out on the other half after trimming some of the fat from it.
Actually you don't want to trim fat when making the pork burnt ends. If you have some of the cubes that are clearly 90%+ fat, toss those, but you want plenty of fat to render down as the meat cooks tender.
 

daveomak

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Thanks for the suggestion. I will certainly use the cure#1 if this doesn't work. I'm trying to make some bacon that doesn't have such a strong salt taste so I'm staying away from as much of it as I can. I know I mentioned in my previous post I was adding salt, but it won't be much. All of that being said, I do love burnt ends using brisket and using a good meaty cut of pork belly sounds very good. I might just try that out on the other half after trimming some of the fat from it.
Try a dry rub curing method...
Weigh the belly, add 1.75% Kosher salt, 0.25% cure#1 and 1% sugar.....
Mix those 3 ingredients thoroughly and add to the surface of the belly...
Place the belly in a zip bag in the refer at 36-38 Deg. F....
Turn daily for 2 weeks...
Rinse lightly under cold water, dry with paper towels, place back in the refer, on a wire rack, for a couple of days to form a pellicle....
Then I cold smoke for 2-3 , 4-5 hour sessions over 3-4 days.... (Add smoke and wait until the next day to add more)... leave in the smoker.... smoke below 70 F...
Then in the freezer for a couple hours and slice... I cook my bacon in the oven at 350 until it starts to crisp up...


DSCF0061.JPG



Bacon3 2 11-7 - Copy.JPG




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Polekitty

Newbie
17
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Joined Sep 22, 2020
So I didn't get the pork belly until Tuesday, had to wait for some to arrive. Wow that stuff isn't cheap. Don't know what the going price is, but mine was $6.78 a lb. I bought 5 lb. and cut it in half so I would only ruin half if my plan doesn't work out. It does look good though. I think I'm going to put pepper, salt and cover it with brown sugar granules and sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. I will then smoke it using LJ 100% apple at 170-200 range until it gets to about 150 internal before pulling it. With it being cool here on Saturday it will take several hours. I've read on here to let it cool and then place it in the freezer for a couple of hours before cutting it up. Toss some in the skillet and fry it up. Hope it works out.
Well Saturday morning I salt and peppered the belly and lightly covered it with the brown sugar as I mentioned above and placed back in the fridge. I set the CC at the LOW SMOKE setting which I hadn't used before and tossed the belly in. The cooker ran between 155 and 165 degrees and it took about 7 hours before the internal temp reached 149. I ran for another 4 hours before reaching 151 and pulled it. After it cooled to room temp which didn't take long outside because it was about 50 degrees, I wrapped it in saran wrap and placed in the fridge. Sunday morning I tossed it in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing it up which is another story. it tasted surprisingly well after frying some up for the taste test. little salt taste which was what I was going for and a good pepper and sweetness flavor. It also has a good smoky flavor, but can't really tell that it's apple. Not sure how I'm going to tackle the other half just yet. I had a hard time slicing it evenly. It was either thin or thick with a few just right. I guess that just takes practice. I don't have problems with brisket so maybe it's cutting fat that's cold. Thanks for every ones input.
IMG_0718.jpg

IMG_0719.jpg
 

daveomak

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Longer in the freezer... makes it easier to slice evenly... I usually wait 2 hours..
 

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