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Pork Sides Soon to be Bacon with Pops Brine

Discussion in 'Pork' started by woodcutter, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have been looking and looking for a place to buy some belly meat. The 2 main butcher shops around here would order some for me but said the price was about what they sold their own bacon for,  same with fresh whole hams.

    There is an Asian slaughter house south of town but I thought it was for wholesale only customers. They were very nice on the phone and invited me to stop and look at what they had. I picked up a case of pork sides with skin, ribs and belly for $2.50 lb. This what I got.

    This is the first bacon I will be making with side and belly meat.

    6 sides were in the box.

    Trimmed out the ribs.

    Skinned them.

    I have made Buckboard bacon with a dry rub and was happy with that but I have also been extremely happy with Pop's brine. I explained the difference to my family and they all said "Do it the way you make the ham and Canadian bacon" So in the buckets it is! I added 1 Tbs of molasses and now have to wait 10-14 days. I'm going to cold smoke these with apple and cherry.

    And then the skins. I put them in the freezer for now and they will  be pork rinds for another time. 6 racks of ribs went in the freezer as well. More in about 2 weeks.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
    waywardswede likes this.
  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So I decided to pull the bacon out of Pop's brine after 10 days.

    Rinsed and put on drying racks for the pellicles to form.

    Tomorrow morning they will get a full AMNPS of apple pellets lit at both ends.
  3. I'm in!!! Can't wait to follow the progress on this project.
  4. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here are a few pellicle pictures which I have hard time getting. These sat in front of the fan for 9 hours.

    Not wet.......but shiny.

    AMNPS is lit at both ends with apple pellets. I took this camera to a wedding last week end and took a lot of pictures. I need glasses for reading so I did not realize that the lens was so smoked smudged all the pictures were garbage. Don't let it happen to you!
  5. Todd

    This looks awesome, I'm humbled by the sheer volume of your projects!  Question on the pellicle, can you let them sit out too long?  I was going to set mine up in front of a fan late Friday night, then get them in the smoker Saturday morning.  Would probably be about 10 hours without supervision.

    Thanks for posting this!
  6. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My relatives and children have been eating good. It takes a little more effort to make big big batches but most of the work is the cleaning so I get stuff out and get it dirty......lol. The cured meat can sit out for a few days. I dried these slabs exactly how you are wanting to do it and have done it many times before. It takes some time to get a good pellicle but when you do you will see how nice the smoke will take to it. I used to rush it because it was meat sitting out of refrigeration but after learning from others here on the forum I take my time to form the pellicle.
  7. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    6 hours in, very slight color change.

  8. pc farmer

    pc farmer Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Are you cold smoking?
  9. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, the smoker is up to 63°. The meat was 68° and brought the temp up pretty fast. The only heat is the AMNPS.  Was 30° when I started.
  10. pc farmer

    pc farmer Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I like pops brine. Then I tried dry cure with warm smoking ( 120 drgrees ) and I liked the texture better.

    So I might try pops brine and warm smoke.

    Any thoughts?
  11. I have some of each drying out right now, that I'll be cold smoking this weekend.  Most of it was dry cured using TQ, but I had some in Pop's brine too, and I was going to smoke a chunk of that to compare to the dry cure.  I was going to keep the IT temps cool, though, probably less than 60-70, depending on the outside temperature.  I don't have enough experience to offer an opinion on your question, which is why I'm trying a variety of methods.  Learning as I go.
  12. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oh man, I need some BACON!
  13. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    How long do you plan to smoke? Once, or multiple days?
  14. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I love the look of that bacon so far. Please keep the Qview coming.

  15. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I planned on at least fills of the AMNPS. I went out after work to refill and start smoking again and decided to flip the pieces. Well I ended up bring in about 1/2 of the smallest piece that nobody would probably want anyway. I know it will mellow and should taste very smokey without the rest but it is perfect right now. I kept with the plan and started the AMNPS again. Perfect smoke seems like a moving target right about now.

  16. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I haven't warm smoked any bacon yet. This is my first belly bacon so I can't compare it to anything. I've made buckboard bacon with TQ and liked it but this is much much better. I used TQ on the BBB because of all the hams and CB that I made with Pop's brine. I thought I would end up with thin ham instead of bacon. I'm really surprised how much different Pop's brine tastes with belly meat.
  17. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oh, I could use some of that bacon. I love back (Canadian) bacon and Buckboard Bacon but nothing replaces belly bacon and this looks great.

  18. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is the money shot! Even Bearcarver would be proud of that.

    Beautiful meaty bacon! BTW it will cook better with age. When ya finish smoking don't make any assumptions until you allow it to rest for at least a week. I know you can't believe it could get any better, but it does!

    There is just something about bacon, never met anyone that said, I don't like bacon! Besides could you believe a person like that? Probably would kick dogs too!
  19. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I let the AMNPS burn the second round of apple pellets last night and this is how it looked this morning.

    The fat side now has smoke showing.

    The meatier sides have darkened. I'm frying some of the same piece that I used yesterday to see the difference.
  20. Trying to figure out how far Marathon is from Buffalo, and whether I can make it in time....