skin make any difference when figuring amount of cure?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by simple, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. simple

    simple Smoke Blower

    I thought I was getting fresh side without the skin...  Guess not.  I searched for info on smoking a side with the skin on, and have decided I'll take if off after smoking since it appears to be easier that way, and I have a very deeply ingrained lazy streak running through me...

    Three questions I haven't figure out an answer to, though.

    1.  Since I lay the bellies down instead of hanging them, will it make a difference whether the skin is up or down?  Or should I turn it over part way through?  I'll be using one of Todd's sawdust units.

    2.  Since cure is portioned by weight, does the amount of cure need to be adjusted to discount the weight of the skin? If it makes a difference, I'll be using TQ.  (And no, that's not an invitation to reopen the TQ/#1 brouhaha).

    3.  Rub the cure on the skin also, or just the meat?

    Thanks.  I plan to rub the cure on in the morning before work, and smoke them next weekend.  That gives them 10 days, based on the thickness, that will be more than enough time. 
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yes it does make a difference in the amount of cure you use..  I don't use TQ so I can't tell you how to adjust the amount of cure you use but the skin is about 10% of the weight of the belly.

    I rub cure on the meat side and layer rind to meat in a busboy tray.  The skin absorbs very little cure so I don't have a problem stacking rind to meat.
  3. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I have cured and smoked my bellies with the skin on, using the total weight, including skin, to determine how much cure to use.  I have smoked them with the skin on, skin side down, and removed the skin after smoking.  Always turns out great.  Friends and family consistently tell me it's the best bacon they have ever had (what do you expect -- they buy packaged bacon.).  Once removed, the smoked skin can be used for all kinds of goodies....
  5. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I always remove the skin before smoking too!  I sure like the dog treat idea!!
  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I cut the skin off too.
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would put fat side up.

    As for the skin, I buy the bellies without the skin, but if they had skin on them, I would cut it off (as I have in the past).

    However, that is only because I'm not going to eat it. I can't see curing and smoking it, unless I'm going to eat it.

  8. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When I was a young'un, bacon often came with the rind on.  We don't see that much any more.  It will cure and smoke fine with the skin on.  Many of us like to slice it off and fry it up for some tasty treats before we cure and smoke the bacon.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  9. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We always processed bacon with the skin on and then skinned, after smoking, about 60%, leaving 40% with the skin on for customers who liked it that way.  it's just like it's fresh alternative - sidepork (sliced fresh belly); I couldn't imagine eating sidepork without the skin - there is just something satisfying chewing on it, and the flavor you get from it too!  Before curing, try some belly with the skin on, cut it thick and fry it up, eat it and knaw on that skin - delicious!
  10. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  11. simple

    simple Smoke Blower

    Now I know why I've read about trimming a belly for bacon, This thing was a mess.  Not much to it meat-wise, even thinner than the last one.  I cut a chunk off to square it up, and decided to try to skin it before smoking since I figured I wouldn't lose too much if I screwed up.  The first couple inches were a piece of cake and I couldn't figure out how it could be a problem for anyone to do this.  Then it all went to a trip in a handbasket.  No idea why the first couple inches were so simple, but after that I could not keep  my knife just under the skin--it kept wanting to drop into the fat.  I did about half of it and gave up.  Hopefully it'll be easier after it's smoked.  Plan on putting the pieces in the smoker Sunday morning, get one load of dust through todd's smoker, then try to skin them and put them back in for another round of smoke.  We'll see how it goes.
  12. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Next time try it skin side down on a good work surface.the skin is a lot tougher so keep the knife blade along the skin ,just like fileting a fish.
  13. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The fat loosen up and the rind dries out a bit and toughens up a bit so after smoking it is a lot easier
  14. simple

    simple Smoke Blower

    For most folks here, that would have meaning.  I'm probably the least outdoorsy person around here.  Dad tried his best to make me a fisherman, but it never took.  I don't know that I've ever seen a fish fileted.  When all you're dealing with is sunfish, there's not much there to fillet... 

    We'll see what happens after the smoking's done.
  15. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    I remember from my childhood salt pork that had the Rhine on it.[​IMG]

  16. it's the truth!!!   just KNAW on it till lunch   [​IMG]
  17. simple

    simple Smoke Blower

    Nope, no thick bacon, we like it sliced thin-- allows us more slices at once...
  18. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    google fileting fish video. watch how they follow the skin with the knife.
  19. simple

    simple Smoke Blower

    well, duh!  I should've thought of that.  I use google erything else.  That's how I found you folks!  I'll give it shot and see what I can learn.  Thanks for the suggetion!

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