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!
Yah Kona, I think that will be part of my program.
Next batch, Bourbon and cherry juice .
Edge- Glad you could still salvage some good meals from your effort.. I know the issue of "too salty" has come up on this forum (and others I follow).. One of the things I did was to soak the belly's in cold water for 10-15 minutes after I rinsed them.. I have only smoked belly's three times but none of mine were salty after I followed this process
Well, I tried a package lastnight. It was pretty good. Instead of vacuum packing I decided to put some apple juice in and freeze. I think that made a world of difference, atleast it cut the salty taste.
Yah it was pretty disappointing. 10 days to find out you have sub par bacon.
Learned a lesson though!!
Wish I lived that close to Maplewood. Then again maybe not, I would be there always. As it is, I still get the about (4) times a year.
Bugle- Can I ask what Maplewood charges for their pork belly's?? Have a buddy who lives 10-15 minutes away from them and may give them a try down the road..
"I know it must have been frustrating to go thru all the work and then end up with a bad bacon."
Amen to that. After getting poor results two times in a row, I went to the local butcher shop (Maplewoods in GB). Their bellies are always high quality and they skin them for you too.
Not bashing Costco. I like 99% of what I buy there but their bellies leave much to be desired.
Edge- I assume you ended up with a pork belly that had just too much fat.. I have picked up belly's on 3 occasions from Costco and always sorted thru them to find "meatier" ones. Also used the tip from ZEP about holding them in the middle.. A good/meaty one should have limited bend on the edges..Stopped at Costco 2-3 weeks ago and looked at the belly's (and briskets) and thought the belly's all had too much fat and I did not buy any.. Assume you may get more consistent quailty from a local butcher but I know they tend to run more $.. I know it must have been frustrating to go thru all the work and then end up with a bad bacon
So I did some bacon awhile back from a hog I had butchered and it turned out great. My wife bought a pork belly from Costco a week ago. Same exact recipie and it's a salty mess. What the heck? Doesnt even look the same!!
ZEP- Please post your results of the beef bacon smoke. I have seen posts on another on-line forum where folks also used briskets (mainly flats) for bacon. I know the beef naval cut is also used to make pastrami..
On your question of temp. The site I mentioned above had most users cold smoking bacon for several hours (or longer) and then finishing off the bacon with a hot smoke. The inside temp of their smoker was 200 with a goal to have the belly hit 145-150 degrees.. I am sure you could "hot" smoke at a lower temp but it may take longer to hit the 145-150 meat temp goal.
One other tip I picked up for home made/thicker bacon is to make it in the oven. Just put some tin foil on a cookie sheet (with a ridge) and set oven to 375-400. Takes 10-15 minutes depending on the texture you like. Turns out great..Easier than standing over a stove getting splattered and flipping bacon...