Where to find decent priced pork belly

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by nogoer, May 8, 2007.

  1. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    I love bacon and have been working towards the day i can cold smoke my own for a very long time. I consider it one of my last steps towards my ultimate goal of making dry cured sausages like chorizo and pepperoni.

    The problem is i just cant find a source for the pork belly. For a couple months i have asked around at all my local groceries as well as making calls to yellow page listed butcher shops...not a single place has it or can get it. A couple of the places even looked at me funnny when i asked about it. The only place i have seen it is at niman ranch's website but its horribly over priced.

    Does anyone have any idea of any place i can find some? Once i have a source i can finish "re-engineering" my hot smoker as a smoke generator and build the ducting and meat box for cold smoking [​IMG]
     
  2. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

  3. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    Thanks debi, for the welcome and the advice. Last weekend i intensified my hunt for pork belly by calling all the butchers listed on yellow pages.com in my area. None of them had or could get it. I dont know if they just don't know what im asking for or what the deal is. There are pork farms all over the tristate area so what are they doing just throwing out the bellies!!

    I don't understand why its so difficult to find pork belly. I fgured i would have to order it but didnt think my local groceries wouldn't be able to do so.
     
  4. dacdots

    dacdots Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    nogoer,I dont know if I can help you with finding some but even living in WV in a fairly rual area it took me a while to find some.I got it for 1.89/lb.Id say most of it is bought up by commercial producers is why its hard to find.
     
  5. vulcan75001

    vulcan75001 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    nogoer

    Hello and welcome...[​IMG]
    I'm just down the road a little from ya...haven't looked for any bellies, but I asked around awhile back and was told that the Asian and Latin markets in the area sometimes had them..have to look into it again...
    Again Welcome..
     
  6. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    I had a hard time finding them as well and the one I did get was about as lean as salt pork. According to my local butcher them just throw them in a brine right after butching them to start them for bacon - so finding one before that happens is hard - but they did set one aside for me.
     
  7. cheech

    cheech Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My wife just picked mine up today for $1.99/lb I had to special order it from my butcher but they had it. 10lbs of future bacon
     
  8. t-bone tim

    t-bone tim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hmmmmmmmmmm.....connecticut is about 12 -14 hrs away from me ?? plenty of belly available here .....just put 2 whole ones in cure yesterday [email protected] a cost of 1.99/lb canadian :) ..want me to order up a bunch ??
     
  9. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    Not yet Tim, but i'll keep your offer on the back burner [​IMG]

    I'd like to find a local source so i can make it without having to plan a month ahead. Maybe i will just have to find another item similar where i can get the meat easier. Now canadian bacon would be pretty easy and cheap. I see whole loins at costco all the time for decent prices. Maybe we can start some cultural bacon swapping!
     
  10. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    Hello Richard, thats nice having a more experienced person that close. I'll bet ive passed by you at least once. I've been in and around danbury for the last 32 years(im 32 and grew up in newtown).

    Since ive got the attention of local bretheren....any idea where i can find good applowood chunks? not chips they burn too fast.
     
  11. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey nogoer, welcome to the SMF, try your local apple orchard, it's pruning season[​IMG]
     
  12. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    Ahhhh, did not know that. Ill have to start looking harder when im driving around to find some orchards. The wood will be green though right and need a few months before i can use it?
     
  13. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, green but good for the fall, sorry, not a quick solution but u might be able to find some dead fall, already dried............good luck
     
  14. cheech

    cheech Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you chunk the wood, would you have to wait until fall for it to season or is it possible that it would be ready sooner?
     
  15. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    chunking it will help but i find it best to split it, dries much faster, smaller the split the better but never use unseasoned or green wood[​IMG]
     
  16. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Jenson


    To late for pruning wood the trees have bloomed already, but not to late to get to know and befriend the orchards for fall pruning! Keep your ears open though we lost alot of trees this winter. You may have a neigbor with some fruit trees that need removal. I got one dwarf Granny Smith and one and one dwarf Stella Cherry I lost this year. Even lost a few grape vines. Guess I'll find out how grapes smoke this year.
     
  17. vulcan75001

    vulcan75001 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Jenson..

    There is always Blue Jay Orchards in Bethel..
    But I usually order my chunks from Cabellas... there is also a place in Rhode Island I had bookmarked..but got the old 404 not found when I was just getting the url for ya...I'll pass it on when I find it again...try the canadian bacon with the pork loins...easy and comes out good...
     
  18. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    I get about 1 or 2 bushel just from dead limbs bet there's someone nearby that got some. Look for the white and pink flowers!
     
  19. nogoer

    nogoer Meat Mopper

    I always forget about blue jay orchards unless its pumpkin season. They have a very large orchard and ill bet they have wood all year round from broken limbs and pruning.

    Thanks!
     
  20. zapper

    zapper Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Let the local firewood guy and tree services know that you are looking for Apple wood for smoking, orchards are good too (I hate to be the one to bring up the possibility of pesticedes on your wood but this is the real world)

    As far as seasoning or drying it, you can speed the process a bit by kiln drying it, you could even do a load in your smoker, the nice thing about this is that you wouldn't have to worry about it splitting or warping like the lumber industry does[​IMG]

    As far as pork bellies goes, you will have to ask your local grocery store butcher to order. Here is the deal. Often these guys have so many request and stupid questions that they become insensitive to helping those that are the true customers with money. You may have to arrange to put some money down or open an account, and don't forget to tip. Some stores don't really have a true "butcher" but there will almost always be a manager for that department or a buyer that can get you what you want. Leave your phone number and pick up your order as soon as they call. Find out the meat cutters hours, some of these guys work real early or nights even and are not there during the day. Alot of the modern chain stores don't even cut meat anyore, everything comes in prepackaged, but there is almost always a way to get special items from their suppliers.
     

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