I smoked a cured 5 lb. pork belly yesterday. The brine was a dry rub of a salt, brown sugar, nutmeg and thyme mixture. I coated the belly in raw apple cider vinegar before applying the rub. I let it cure in the brine for 5 days flipping it in the liquid that formed daily. I smoked it until the internal temp was 150 degrees F. Took about 3 hours with the wind yesterday. I used a blend of pecan and apple woods. Mmmmm! Bacon!
Bugle- I use a brine recipe from the smokingmeat site for my Canadian bacon and it does have #1 cure. I know there are some concerns about the use of nitrates but several common vegetables (celery etc) also have nitrates and I believe it is OK to use in moderation. Of course that is my take on the subject and understand why others want to avoid them..
1 gallon of water
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup of kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs cure #1
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs molasses (mild flavor)
Bugle, I used pink because recipe called for it. Prague powder #1. Had to buy mine from spice jungle, online company. Theres also a # 2 pink but my recipie called for # 1. I looked at a salt chart but know quick cure wouldnt work for my Canadian bacon. Good Luck
I use the cure type salt in some of my meat processing and brines recipes. Most cure type salt that contains nitrite is colored pink as an identifier that is contains nitrites rather than to provide color to a finished product.
Polski- That looks great and I agree there is nothing like home made/smoked bacon. We had some this morning that I cured and seasoned with rosemary/garlic and then finished with a maple syrup rub before slicing.. Wife's birthday and she loved the bacon.
I stopped by my local butcher and asked about getting a couple pork bellies for making some bacon. He laughed and said he really didn't know if he can get them right now and how bad the price will be. He called his supplier and told me they would be $4.99 a pound. Last fall I paid $4.49 so I didn't think it was terrible. His bellies are always real meatey and trimmed really nice and I never need to cut much off. Told him to get me two. I'm just trying to plan ahead for later this summer when the tomatoes are ready to go (BLT's are my favorite), with all the talks of meat shortages who knows what the price might be by then. SInce making my own now for about 5 years I won't buy that cheap crap that's mostly fat and water.
I also make the Canadian bacon from pork loins which we really like, much cheaper to make but sometimes I just prefer the regular stuff.
BT, that's some good looking stuff you got there.
Edit: picked them up today (2), butcher gave me them for $4.59 (24 lbs) , I'm going to hoarding this batch till August.
Bugle- The smoked loins look great.. Can do a lot of different things with those.. Still like my 'Canadian bacon" with eggs/cheese breakfast sandwiches but agree they are great on pizza.. The local Costco store still had the regular 8-9lb pork (top) loins on my last two visits but I still have a couple in my freezer or I would have purchased another one..
That looks awesome on a sandwich or a pizza topping. Yum!