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Soaking belly post cure

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by smokeybo, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. smokeybo

    smokeybo Newbie


    I'm (finally) getting around to smoking my first belly as I've had my belly in the Cure #1 (i got the Fiesta brand from H-E-B for my Texas folks) for 12 days so far. Question is should I rinse only, or rinse + soak to avoid that extra saltiness?

    I've read the threads about not needing to soak as long as I let it cure long enough because the neutralization of salt/sugar process but I don't want to have wasted 16 days by not soaking.

    My question is if I soak it for say 3-4 hours will it also remove some of the seasoning (I put a medley of spices in with the cure, salt & brown sugar)? Maybe I'll cut in half and do a soaked version vs a non soaked to see how things turn out.
  2. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Rinse and then fry a few test pieces. If too salty you can soak, otherwise just proceed to smoking.
  3. rexster314

    rexster314 Smoking Fanatic

    Cut a couple of strips before rinsing. Fry them up. If too salty, THEN rinse for an hour or so. Slice couple more strips. if still salty, soak the belly in cool water for an hour or so
  4. solman

    solman Meat Mopper

    is there a risk in thinking it's too salty when test frying right after the curing period? just wondering if the resting/equilibrium period will help mellow out the flavors, including the saltiness.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What was your curing recipe ??? If you used 0.25% cure salt, 1.1 grams per pound or 1 tsp per 5#'s..... and approx 1.8 to 2% kosher salt, and 1% sugar.... rinse lightly, dry the surface, form a pellicle and smoke....
    It will not be too salty... your are golden....
    chef jimmyj likes this.
  6. smokeybo

    smokeybo Newbie

    recipe (5lbs belly from HEB):
    tsp cure #1
    half cup salt
    half cup sugar
    few cracks of fresh ground black pepper
    handful of some spice mix from HEB (it was good on some ribs I made last summer)
  7. indaswamp

    indaswamp Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What kind of salt? Kosher salt, table sat, sea salt??? They all weigh differently by volume which is why it is best to weigh the salt instead of measuring by volume in TBSPS, cups, etc...
  8. smokeybo

    smokeybo Newbie

    Kosher salt

    And it was too salty
    test piece was like eating a saladito
    In the fresh water soak it goes...
  9. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    1/2 cup of salt is probably way too much, regardless of the type. 5lbs of belly would need 40 grams of salt @ 2%. You've probably used closer to 120-140, or 3-4 times too much! That's probably also 5x too much sugar. Where did you find the recipe? I'd suggest using a good cure calculator like the one below and measure by weight rather than volume:

    Cure Calculator

    Note that you might need to soak much longer than 4 hours, and change the water a few times to get it down to where it's not too salty.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
    daveomak likes this.
  10. smokeybo

    smokeybo Newbie

    I need to order a gram scale from Prime
    I'll go grab two more half slabs (they were all ~5.0lbs) and try this again being more precise this time

    The goal was to smoke my first belly on Friday/Saturday
  11. solman

    solman Meat Mopper

    I started my first pork belly's two weeks ago that are each around 4 pounds and used roughly 2 TB of kosher salt, or 1/8 of a cup, for each. I thought that was a bit salty, i can't imagine 4x the salt!
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Stop using volume measurements... You have no control to get a great product.... For ~ $10 you can get a very good grams scale.... Get the 0-100 grams scale... It's more accurate...
    .....click on this link....

    ......... Grams scale

  13. smokeybo

    smokeybo Newbie

    I bought that scale last night for $9
    Should be here tomorrow

    Soaked belly for 12hrs then changed water and soaked another 4hrs
    I'm going to smoke it regardless now
    It's sitting in the fridge getting the pelicle now

    The next batch will be more scientific
    daveomak likes this.
  14. smokeybo

    smokeybo Newbie

    They were smoking with hickory pellets for about 2.5 hrs before I went to Walmart to get some cheese. I have a 12 time and half way through it caught fire and flamed up. Luckily I caught it and extinguished it.

    Ambient temperature was 80 when I began smoking but temp will fall to 45 overnight.
    I plan on at least twelve hours of smoke. 6pm to 6am

    I'll post pics and a video later
  15. smokeybo

    smokeybo Newbie

    Woke up and took them off at 600am today.
    Nice smoked color.
    Although it wasn't hard as a brick as I've seen some other slabs.
    That video from Benton's that was posted here those slabs seemed pretty dry and inflexible from what I could tell. Almost like Serrano ham.
    Mine is still a bit "fatty" and slightly flexible like it didn't dry out.
  16. smokeybo

    smokeybo Newbie

  17. smokeybo

    smokeybo Newbie


    I need to start from the beginning and learn how to pick a belly.
    I want mine a little more lean than this.

    I sectioned it into 3lbs and 2lbs
    3lbs got a spice medelly the 2lbs piece only got salt and sugar

    Oven is on 275 now warming up

    I also did cheese
    Pepper jack
    Mild cheddar

    I like the mozz the best....AMAZING