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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

Newbie
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3
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.
 

daveomak

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Jim is correct.... without adding cure#1, you will have smoked pork without the bacon flavor....
 

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.
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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.
 

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