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 > Smoked Pork Belly - Super Dave?

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magnusfide

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Posted: 06/24/21 01:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To Super Dave, our resident smoker expert:
Do you have any tips for smoking a pork belly?


"The only time you should fear cast iron is if your wife is fixin' to hit you with it."-Kent Rollins
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garmp

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Posted: 06/24/21 04:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not Super Dave but here's the recipe I follow for pork belly.

2 pound slab of pork belly with or without skin
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of paprika
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon pink curing salt / Prague powder / curing salt

When the solution is well mixed, pour it into the bag over the pork belly. Then carefully squeeze out as much of the air as you can from the bag and seal it.
Place the zipper bag with the belly in it, in a large bowl or container just in case it leaks. Place that bowl in the fridge and let it sit for two days.
After two days, flip the pork belly over and let it sit another two days. Repeat this process for up to 7 days and no longer.
At the end of the seventh day, dump the liquid out of the bag containing the now cured pork belly and rinse the pork belly under cold running water to wash off any excess cure.
After rinsing the pork belly, fill a large bowl or container with cold water. Submerge the pork belly in the bowl of cold water and place it in the fridge to let it soak for an hour. When an hour is up, dump the water and replace it with fresh cold water. Repeat this process for 2 to 4 hours. The goal is to remove the excess salt that has absorbed into the bacon, so that it isn’t overly salty. 
NOTE: It is possible to soak the bacon even after finishing it in the smoker. It’s better to do it before, but if the bacon is still too salty, soaking afterward works just fine.
Finally, it’s time to get smoking! Pre-heat the smoker to 200 degrees F. Fill the water pan of your smoker with apple juice, water, or a mix of both. This provides moisture so the bacon doesn’t dry out, but also some sweet flavor.
Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the pork belly, so that you can gauge the internal temperature properly.
Put the pork belly into the smoker, close it up, and add the wood or wood chips. I prefer to use apple or cherry wood because it gives the bacon a milder smoke flavor with a touch of sweetness. If you use anything stronger (like pecan, mesquite, or even hickory), then you should go very light with the amount of wood so as not to over-smoke the bacon. For an electric smoker, I used a 1/2 cup of soaked apple wood chips (or a mix of apple and cherry wood) added at the beginning of the cooking process. This is plenty of smoke, but for those that want it smokier, add another half cup of wood chips after the first hour. I wouldn’t add more than that or the bacon will just taste like a slab of burned wood.
When the bacon reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees F, it’s ready. A two pound slab of pork belly will take roughly 2.5 hours to reach 150 degrees F.
Remove the bacon from the smoker and take a whiff of what will soon be your homemade bacon! Let it cool completely first and then place it in an airtight container or zipper bag in the fridge until you’re ready to cut it. Cold bacon is much easier to slice, so I recommend letting it cool. Depending on how you flavored your cure, the color of the bacon mixed with the smoke from the wood chips may result in some interesting colors for the outside of the bacon, but that’s expected. The interior should still be nice and pink.
When the bacon is cooled down, use a long, thin, and sharp knife to cut the rind (the dark outer bark of the bacon) along the length of the slab. This piece is edible, but it will probably be very salty and it won’t be the best expression of the bacon. The inside, pink, part of the bacon is what you really want. Cut thin or thick slices and enjoy! Thicker slices requires a long and slow cooking method, while thin slices can be cooked like any store-bought bacon.


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magnusfide

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Posted: 06/24/21 10:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks, garmp!

SAR Tracker

Central Oregon

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Posted: 06/25/21 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"use a long, thin, and sharp knife to cut the rind (the dark outer bark of the bacon) along the length of the slab. This piece is edible, but it will probably be very salty and it won’t be the best expression of the bacon"

I'd think this part would be GREAT for a big pot of beans?


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propchef

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Posted: 06/25/21 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

garmp wrote:

Not Super Dave but here's the recipe I follow for pork belly.

2 pound slab of pork belly with or without skin
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of paprika
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon pink curing salt / Prague powder / curing salt

When the solution is well mixed, pour it into the bag over the pork belly. Then carefully squeeze out as much of the air as you can from the bag and seal it.
Place the zipper bag with the belly in it, in a large bowl or container just in case it leaks. Place that bowl in the fridge and let it sit for two days.
After two days, flip the pork belly over and let it sit another two days. Repeat this process for up to 7 days and no longer.
At the end of the seventh day, dump the liquid out of the bag containing the now cured pork belly and rinse the pork belly under cold running water to wash off any excess cure.
After rinsing the pork belly, fill a large bowl or container with cold water. Submerge the pork belly in the bowl of cold water and place it in the fridge to let it soak for an hour. When an hour is up, dump the water and replace it with fresh cold water. Repeat this process for 2 to 4 hours. The goal is to remove the excess salt that has absorbed into the bacon, so that it isn’t overly salty. 
NOTE: It is possible to soak the bacon even after finishing it in the smoker. It’s better to do it before, but if the bacon is still too salty, soaking afterward works just fine.
Finally, it’s time to get smoking! Pre-heat the smoker to 200 degrees F. Fill the water pan of your smoker with apple juice, water, or a mix of both. This provides moisture so the bacon doesn’t dry out, but also some sweet flavor.
Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the pork belly, so that you can gauge the internal temperature properly.
Put the pork belly into the smoker, close it up, and add the wood or wood chips. I prefer to use apple or cherry wood because it gives the bacon a milder smoke flavor with a touch of sweetness. If you use anything stronger (like pecan, mesquite, or even hickory), then you should go very light with the amount of wood so as not to over-smoke the bacon. For an electric smoker, I used a 1/2 cup of soaked apple wood chips (or a mix of apple and cherry wood) added at the beginning of the cooking process. This is plenty of smoke, but for those that want it smokier, add another half cup of wood chips after the first hour. I wouldn’t add more than that or the bacon will just taste like a slab of burned wood.
When the bacon reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees F, it’s ready. A two pound slab of pork belly will take roughly 2.5 hours to reach 150 degrees F.
Remove the bacon from the smoker and take a whiff of what will soon be your homemade bacon! Let it cool completely first and then place it in an airtight container or zipper bag in the fridge until you’re ready to cut it. Cold bacon is much easier to slice, so I recommend letting it cool. Depending on how you flavored your cure, the color of the bacon mixed with the smoke from the wood chips may result in some interesting colors for the outside of the bacon, but that’s expected. The interior should still be nice and pink.
When the bacon is cooled down, use a long, thin, and sharp knife to cut the rind (the dark outer bark of the bacon) along the length of the slab. This piece is edible, but it will probably be very salty and it won’t be the best expression of the bacon. The inside, pink, part of the bacon is what you really want. Cut thin or thick slices and enjoy! Thicker slices requires a long and slow cooking method, while thin slices can be cooked like any store-bought bacon.


This is curing with nitrates (prague powder) and it's something I'd avoid for smoked pork belly. It's a great recipe for bacon.

magnusfide

On the Road Again and Again and Again...

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Joined: 10/30/2009

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Posted: 06/25/21 12:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SAR Tracker wrote:

"use a long, thin, and sharp knife to cut the rind (the dark outer bark of the bacon) along the length of the slab. This piece is edible, but it will probably be very salty and it won’t be the best expression of the bacon"

I'd think this part would be GREAT for a big pot of beans?

Definitely. Or bake the rind separately which is what we do with it (ham or bacon rind) and give it the grands. The grandkids call it their "bacon gum" because they love to chew on the rind.

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