14 pounds of pork belly..

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by wayde01, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. wayde01

    wayde01

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Hey gang,

      My food rep just sold me a pork belly for .99/lb. I have a rotisserie smoker. I removed the skin and prepared a brine solution(2gallons water, 2lbs salt, 1lb brown sugar, 1/4cup molasses).

    The belly has been in the solution for 36 hrs. I was planning to let it go for 6 days in the brine. Then let it dry in the walk-in for 24 hrs. Then smoke at 240 for 4 hours. cool overnight, then slice the next day.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated,

    Wayde
     
  2. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,279
    Likes Received:
    854
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    6 days is a good starting point, but it might take longer, depending on the thickness of the belly.  Your bacon (belly) has cured enough when it feels firm (almost like a well done steak).  If it is "mushy" (for lack of a better term) let it go for another day or 2 and check it again.  Also after brining you will want to give it a quick rinse in fresh water before your 24 hour drying stage.

    Just made 8 pounds of maple cured bacon.  Smoked it this past Saturday.  Came out great, though just a hair on the sweet side for me.
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,724
    Likes Received:
    329
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    You can help it along by injecting it too can't you?
     
  4. wayde01

    wayde01

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Pete,

    thank you for reminding me to give it a bath. The belly would be very salty if one forgot.

    kuan,

     What would you suggest injecting it with?

    this is my first time, be gentle

    wayde
     
  5. greg

    greg

    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I'm not sure if injecting would work the same on pork belly as it would on a ham due to the amount of fat. Has anyone ever tried it?
     
  6. wayde01

    wayde01

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    OK 62 hrs and all is well. The belly is still submerged. I flipped it just to make sure. This is very exciting. 

    btw.. Pa blue stone makes great weights
     
  7. jrock645

    jrock645

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    braise some of it in some hoisin sauce after you smoke it!
     
  8. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,724
    Likes Received:
    329
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    The brine, but Greg already answered the question.
     
  9. durangojo

    durangojo

    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    89
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    pete,

    i just wanted to say how much i enjoyed your food blog...mmmm, apple butter.... think now i need to make some....i too had good friends pass away this year...definitely puts everything in perspective and reminds us of what is truly important...another something to be thankful for this thanksgiving.......will make the wild rice stuffed squash for our vegetarian guests at the ranch....think it will be most special for them.....thanks again....

    joey
     
  10. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,279
    Likes Received:
    854
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Any time Joey!!!  Glad you like the blog.  The bacon post will be coming up sometime this week.
     
  11. wayde01

    wayde01

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Ok, I brined for 10 days, put the belly in the smoker for 4 hours. The temp when I removed from the smoker was 180. I am chilling them in the walk-in overnight. I hope to have great pics tomorrow.
     
  12. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,279
    Likes Received:
    854
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    180 seems a little high.  Didn't the fat start to render out?  Most sources I've read have it coming up to about 150.
     
  13. wayde01

    wayde01

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    yes the fat rendered a little. next time I will only smoke it for 3 hrs. lesson learned.
     
  14. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,279
    Likes Received:
    854
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    It's not so much about how long you smoke as it is at what temperature.  Do you have the ability to cold smoke?  My recent batch of bacon got cold smoked (about 80-90°F) for 4 hours and then hot smoked (at about 180°F) for 2 1/2 hours to an internal temperature of approxmately 150°F.
     
  15. wayde01

    wayde01

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    The lowest setting on the smoker is 100F. I use the smoker at work. It is a Southern pride which is propane fueled, and it is a rotisserie, so one can't use a probe thermometer.

    Anyway, the bacon was just fine coming out at 180. The only problem was that it's just a little too salty. I gave the belly 3 half hour soaks after the 10 day brine.

    My solution for next time, is to do 4 1hour soaks with some cut potatoes..  Thoughts?
     
  16. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,279
    Likes Received:
    854
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I prefer using a cure, as opposed to a brine.  I've never had a problem with it being too salty using a cure, you you might try that route.
     
  17. wayde01

    wayde01

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Yes, I will try the cure next time. I read your blog and will try your maple cure. I just need to find the redi-cure.

    Pete, I made my wife the roasted squash w/wild rice.  She was blown away. I added a little of my bacon to the recipe for my squash /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  18. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,279
    Likes Received:
    854
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I'm glad you like the blog and that your wife loved the squash.  I'm excited to hear about your further exploits with makin' bacon in the future!
     
  19. apprentichef

    apprentichef

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    I slice off a small strip after every hour of soaking under running (well dribbling really) water, and fry it up to taste. When it's at the right level I pull it out of the bath to air dry before smoking.