Another "My first bacon"

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by bobrap, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. bobrap

    bobrap Smoke Blower

    I'm going to use Bear's recipe for my first attempt at some bacon.   I'm getting a couple of bellies from a local business that makes salt cured bacon and country hams.  I believe they're about 20#s each.  Not sure of price, probably between $1.90 & 2.00 per lb.  Since this is my first go, I'm thinking that maybe just do one and see how it comes out.  Should I freeze the other or just keep it in the fridge til I'm ready to make the second?  These are pretty good size with skin.  Got these before and the guy that ran the slaughterhouse I used (went out of business [​IMG]) would brine/cure and smoke 'em.  Now it's my turn.  Gonna use the MES40 I just bought and wondered if I should just put my amnps in with no heat or use real low heat.  Decisions, decisions...  Thanks for any help/suggestions.
     
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  3. bobrap

    bobrap Smoke Blower

    Thanks, Ritchie.  Gonna give that a try.  Off topic...happened to score some Taylor Ham down here in TN.  Miss late night diner food!  Food here just isn't the same as the stuff I grew up with (Elizabethport).
     
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Let us know how the bacon turns out.

    Al
     
  5. bobrap

    bobrap Smoke Blower

    Will do.
     
  6. bobrap

    bobrap Smoke Blower

    Picked up my bellies (2) yesterday.  Went for $2.10/lb.  Weight is about 21# and 24#.  These are pretty rough, meaning not trimmed at all.  If you can see, the right side has some thick extra meat attached.  I skinned one and cut it in half.  I found that on the thinner parts the fat is that "stringy kind" (don't know what else to call it).  What to smoke these in stages.  Might try a different cure for the second.  Can/should I freeze til then?  Next question is how much should I trim these and what to do with the trim?  I plan on using a wet brine.  I was going to use a 7gal bucket I have, but, it won't fit in my fridge.  Any suggestions for that?  Ok to let it sit in the garage?  I have a meat tub I can use.  No cover...tin foil ok?

    Anyone else get untrimmed bellies like these?  Love to know how you trim 'em.

    Thanks for any help/advise.  Looking forward to my first batch...I mean how hard can it be to make bacon. [​IMG][​IMG]


     
  7. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Bob I think Saran Wrap for the meat lug,avoid chancing a reaction with the cure and foil.

    Richie

    [​IMG]
     
  8. bobrap

    bobrap Smoke Blower

    Thanks, Ritchie.  Didn't think of that (go figure).
     
  9. bena

    bena Meat Mopper

    You could cut them up and bag/zip lock them in the wet brine and then to the fridge.   One method to keep oxygen out of the equation.
     
  10. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I've noticed no-one answered the question about freezing. I'm planning a first bacon cure myself, but I don't know if I can get it all in the container. Will freezing hurt the pork belly not used?
     
  11. bobrap

    bobrap Smoke Blower

    From what I read elsewhere, no problem freezing.
     
  12. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    SM why not cut what you can and freeze the rest.when you are ready you can thaw and cure another batch.

    Richie
     
  13. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Thanks! I suspected as much but just wanted to check...
     

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