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Pork belly still safe?

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Joined Sep 29, 2020
Hey guys,
So I bought pork belly to cure it and I'm presently not sure if it's still safe to consume because I think I may have made some mistakes.
Possible mistake #1
I bought the belly 12 days ago from Costco and not sure if any part of their processing the meat involves penetrating it in any way.
Possible mistake #2
It was in the fridge for 2.5 days before I was able to prepare it.
Possible mistake #3
I used course kosher salt. No sea salt and no cure 1.
I followed the instructions from a book that said to use 6% of the weight of the meat in salt, so that is what I did and mixed it with pickling spice.
It has been in the fridge for 9 days.
I poured out the liquid and would like to slice it up and cook it in a pan, but I noticed some grey areas. Is this normal? Is it still edible?
 

SmokinAl

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I’m just curious, why didn’t you use cure?
Al
 

tallbm

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Hey guys,
So I bought pork belly to cure it and I'm presently not sure if it's still safe to consume because I think I may have made some mistakes.
Possible mistake #1
I bought the belly 12 days ago from Costco and not sure if any part of their processing the meat involves penetrating it in any way.
Possible mistake #2
It was in the fridge for 2.5 days before I was able to prepare it.
Possible mistake #3
I used course kosher salt. No sea salt and no cure 1.
I followed the instructions from a book that said to use 6% of the weight of the meat in salt, so that is what I did and mixed it with pickling spice.
It has been in the fridge for 9 days.
I poured out the liquid and would like to slice it up and cook it in a pan, but I noticed some grey areas. Is this normal? Is it still edible?
Hi there and welcome!

If you did NOT use cure #1 then I wouldn't attempt to smoke it like bacon at all.
Cure #1 keeps bacon from going bad during the long and slow smoking process.
Cure #1 also gives it that bacon flavor and the pink color. Your pork belly is grey because there is no cure so grey is expected but I wouldn't dare smoke it as bacon.

Think of it like this.

If you put a piece of pork in the smoker without cure #1 at 150F degrees for 10 hours then it would be spoiled (think of if just leaving your meat on the dash of a car in Texas for 10 hours).
You would never eat that and would likely smell it being bad hahaha.

If you put cure #1 to cure it for the proper amount of time so the cure worked 100% through the meat THEN you could cold smoke at like 60F degrees 10 hours at a time like 2 -3 times and not worry about it spoiling.

Soooo if the meat is still good and you didnt use cure #1 I would simply season up (without salt) and grill it for some amazing seared (a little crispy) pork belly strips and bee in pork heaven!

If it's bad then looks like trash can fodder.

I hope this info helps.
 

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