Brining bellies in a bucket.....

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by inkjunkie, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    .....with Pops brine....
    picked up a 15 pound rind on frozen belly. Few days in the fridge
    did battle with the skin last night, wife wants to try to make Chicarones out of it, only recipes I have seen for them entailed un-smoked skin so...on to my question. Cut it into roughly thirds. Plan is to put the 3 parts into 2 Homer buckets submerged in brine, taking them out to rotate them a bit daily. Will be leaving them in the buckets til February 15th, which just so happens to be our 13th Anniversary. Will having 2 of them co-habiting in a single bucket with some rotating be sufficient?
     
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As long as the bellies are covered with the brine, don't worry about rotating them.
     
  3. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    They will indeed be covered by the brine...Thanks for the quick response
     
  4. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'd overhaul them every few days in case they are touching, etc...  Other than that, should be great!
     
  5. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Have one of these on my agenda...was it hard getting the skin off? Filet knife? Long slender carving knife?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  6. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Overhaul? Rotating sufficient?

    I struggled using several of the wifes Henkel knives. While they were freshly sharpened I still struggled, don't think a 20* blade is ideal for this, just wasn't the right type of edge for this type of work.
     
  7. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Overhauling is basically just rotating in your case.  When dry curing, it also means flipping the meat and massaging a bit as well.

    For skinning, I use a SHARP paring knife and act like I'm skinning a deer, keep the knife edge right at the skin/meat junction and slowly slice away while keeping the skin tight.
     
  8. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  9. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Never skinned a deer....

    Nor a fish.
     
  10. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Probably should have mentioned that I will be cold smoking them....guessing if I had left the rinds on it would have been just as difficult to get them off after smoking them, correct?
     
  11. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In a cold smoke situation, yes...  If you hot smoked them, the fat would render a bit and make it somewhat easier.

    I'm not sure how to explain the skin removal process.  However, there are some vids on the net that show it.  I may make one soon to show that a small, sharp knife works just as good as a large pig sticker does.  [​IMG]
     
  12. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    If you do make a video please post a link to it...
     
  13. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    If I make a video, I'll definitely post it, but in the interim, let's get you makin some bacon!

    You good thus far?
     
  14. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Yes Sir. Took the buckets out today, removed the water bags used as ballast an gave the buckets a slow but steady agitation. When I get closer I no doubt will have a boat load of questions. So please check back around the 11th of next month...

    I plan on picking up another belly soon. Will pick up some TQ as well. When I do I will be getting some more practice at rind removal. May help the wife with the rinds tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  15. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ask away!

    As for skinning the critters, practice is the best help.
     
  16. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    What works for me is; Take a sharp fillet knife and first make a few cuts the whole length of the belly just through the skin to make narrower pieces of the skin. I then start by making a cut about an inch or two just under the skin. Grip the skin and pull it towards you and slightly upwards. Then slide the knife just under the skin while continuously pulling on it to remove the skin just like removing the silverskin off a tenderloin. It's easier to remove it in narrower pieces than as one whole piece. My .02.
     
  17. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    Thanks. Watched a few videos couple days back. Wondering if the belly were slightly frozen if skin removal would be a bit easier?
     
  18. chewmeister

    chewmeister Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    IDK. May be a little harder as the skin won't be as supple.
     

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