Question about trimming belly

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by softmeat, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. Good afernoon!

    Im making bacon for the first time and had a few questions. Im pretty seasoned with my smoker and brine etc but not for bacon.

    I got a few lbs of fresh pork belly with skin. Looks delicious. But I had a question about trimming it. When Im cutting it into manageable slab sizes there is 2 different kinds of fat. the thick, firm suet like fat which I would expect in the bacon, and the soft slimy fat that I would not think I need.  Do I need to get rid of it all? If so thats quite a task since its permeated throughout.

    Also a question about the skin. Should I cure and smoke with the skin on then remove it? It seems pretty impossible to take it off now :)

    Thanks guys!

  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I bought pork sides which had skin and the ribs. I fileted the ribs off first and then fileted the skin off like skinning a fish. It wasn't bad skinning at all. I did not trim anything.
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    It doesn't make any difference if you cure and smoke with the skin on.  If you are doing a dry cure use 10% less Cure 1 to account for the skin, it doesn't absorb cure.  I smoke mine with the skin on, I feel safer when hanging in the smokehouse.  I also find it easier to remove after  smoking.  Once removed, the skin goes into a pot of beans for flavoring,  not really edible but does add a good smoky flavor.
  4. Thank you both for your answers. Looks like Im in good shape. As for the fat I was talking about, heres a diagram of it. The top fat is a different kind of fat than Ive seen on commercial bacon so I am not sure if I should get rid of it or not. Some have more than others, some have it within the layers of meat which would make it impossible to cut out I would think!

    Hope everyone has a great weekend!

  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Probably wouldn't hurt to trim that off,  The bellies I buy do not have it and if I remember correctly I saw a butcher run some type of circular band with a handle over the surface of the meat to remove it.
  6. Thank you sir. I will remove it then. Its in the brine now but will before smoking it.

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