A while ago we decided it’s been far too long since we have made home made bacon,and with the threat of a world wide bacon shortage we thought ,heck we had better get doing this and stock up.We did a fundraiser for my Movember team at work where we sold a bunch of takeout ribs (new blog about that soon),so when i went to the pork supplier I asked her for 2 pork bellys.So the night we prepped all the ribs we decided we shud get the bellys curing also because we were going away for a few days and had lots of time to smoke them as we would have the big smoker with us.Randy is the ultimate Guru when it comes to curing meats .He weighed the bellies and they were about 16 pounds each.This is a critical step because this determines how much curing salt is needed. We use Mortons Tender Quick (TQ for short).Randys basic recipe is as follows 1 tablespoon (approx.1/2 ounce) of TQ per pound of meat,and then add to that ,the same amount of brown sugar..
So in this case he used . 16 tablespoons of TQ and 16 tablespoons of brown sugar per pork belly.Basically you rub half of the mixture on each side of the bellys as shown below.
Before cure applied.
After cure applied.
So after the cure is put on we put them separately in large ziplock bags and ito the fridge for 5 or 6 days where the cure will turn into a wet brine in the first few hours.All that we do now is flip and massage the cure in daily until its ready. The meat will firm up alot ,thats how you will know when its ready . It will be able to bend but not under its own weight if that makes sense.
Ready for Fridge.
After 6 days ours was ready ,so we removed it from bags rinsed off all the residue and put it on elevated racks to air dry, it will make a slightly white film over the meat.
On drying racks.
After a couple hours drying we put them in the smoker for about 4-5 hrs at about 150F.This batch we smoked with seasoned apple wood and smoke until internal temperature of 150 F is reached.
On the smoker.
5 hours later
Now we cool it and taste it.
I hope that you found this post informative and entertaining.Stay tuned for more Blogs.