Rind on or off?

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by steel hauler, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. I recently made my first batch of bacon. Everything tasted great. I left the rind on because this is what a friend of mine told me to do. The only problem with it being left on is that it makes the bacon tough to eat. I love the taste when the bacon is fried up super crisp. The rind on gives it a "cracklin" taste. I have a batch curing now and don't want the rind on for toughness sake. My question is when is the best time to remove the skin? Any advice would help a newbie out a ton. Thanks
  2. smokinal

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

    Some guys remove it before smoking, but it's hard to get it off. Other guys wait until after it's smoked when it comes off easier. Personally I would try to buy the bellies already skinned.
  3. I leave it on until after it's sliced and then just trim it off before I fry it.
  4. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We (by 'we' I mean my dad at his store who made usually 500 lbs of bacon a week) always removed the rind after smoking, warm out of the smokehouse.  We'd take our knives and slip it under the skin and cut it off leaving as little to nothing on the skin itself.  We'd skin about half the smokeouse-full (usually 35 - 40 bellies) and chill down the rest as skin-on (rind-on sliced bacon).  A lot of the old timers loved to chew on the rind, always said it was the best part of the bacon, lol!  It's really not hard to do it after it's smoked; much easier than before curing and smoking.
  5. I remove mine before cure or smoke. It was tough to do the first time but you learn with practice. Eating lots of bacon is good for practicing  knife skills.
  6. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    I wait until after I smoke the bacon.  Usually around 20 mins or so.  Cut under the skin just a bit and it will pull off pretty easy.  If it appears to catch to much fat or meat just touch it with the knife and it will tear off again.

    I just finished about 30 lbs this weekend.  ummm bacon!
  7. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We usually take it off before hand.  It does take some knife work, but taking it off before hand I think allows for better penetration of the cure on both sides of the belly.  We did try it once last year taking it off after smoking, but trying it both ways we like removing it before hand...
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I buy mine without the rind.

    I know some people disagree, but I do not want to cure & smoke something I'm not going to eat. If I was going to eat the rind, I'd leave it on.

    I also believe I get more smoke on the part I'm going to eat, without the smoke having to get through the part I'm not going to eat.

    I also make my Beef Sticks unstuffed for the same reason, and I smoke my Salmon without the skin on, because I don't want to eat the skin.

    All Just my Opinion.

  9. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I remove the skin ahead of time

    IMHO....The bacon gets better smoke, but try 1 slab with skin and 1 without to see for yourself

  10. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    I'm with Bear and Todd. I remove before smoking because I don't want rind slowing down my cure, eating up my smoke and I don't like looking at pig nipples. I can't find it anywhere without the rind. I must say that I have rarely swore so much as when trying to remove belly rind. For me it's a PITA but some people here have it down to a science.

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