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    Post #1 - December 6th, 2005, 9:59 pm
    Post #1 - December 6th, 2005, 9:59 pm Post #1 - December 6th, 2005, 9:59 pm
    So I mentioned in a thread about cookbooks that I had picked up this book on charcuterie and my first project, my first step toward my ultimate goal of taking over for Mario Batali's dad when he retires, was making bacon. Well, we start toward sopressata with tiny steps.

    Not counting Paulina's homemade bacon, which has been a standard item around the house for years, I had one experience with homemade bacon, MAG's, which was quite fine though it had a slightly different texture which I did not understand until today when G Wiv sent me the recipe she had used: it was brined, wet, for a day or so rather than cured, dry, for a week or so before being smoked. The result was a most delicious form of pork, to be sure, and not unlike many bacons that you see in stores (except for being much tastier than 99% of them, not least because she started with Niman pork), but did not have the chewy curedness that Paulina's does.

    So I was going into new territory after all, simply by following my book's plan for dry-curing. I acquired the pink salt (nitrite) at Paulina, mixed it up with sugar and salt for a basic cure, and went to Peoria Packing to get me a pork belly. And here I ran into problem number one, which was, a lack of intimate familiarity with the anatomy of Sus domestica. Peoria had nothing called a "pork belly"; instead it had two candidates for the job, one called "rib belly," a coffee-table-book-sized slab with ribs on one side and skin on the other; and one called "fresh bacon," a coffee-table-sized slab which looked more like bacon, and also like much more than I could possibly need or use.

    For that reason, after inspecting the rib belly, I decided it too was bacon material, and cheaper (because smaller) just in case I was totally off base, so I bought it. G Wiv later confirmed that it was a perfectly fine choice, though he didn't see my quantity problem with the other. I trimmed the ribs off and began rubbing it with the cure, then put it in a 2-1/2 gallon ziploc bag along with, just for the hell of it, some of the juniper berries I'd been given by Cathy2 for Thanksgiving brine use. And into the auxiliary fridge the whole thing went, about 4 pm today.

    The book had suggested adding maple syrup or sugar for the classic American bacon taste, but I was a little concerned about washing my brine off if I did so. (Same for the recipes I saw that added beer.) By 8 pm, though, it already had produced a certain amount of expressed liquid, so I decided that by now it was safe to add the maple syrup, which I poured onto the non-rind side and then sloshed around in the bag. So far so good; now I just have to turn it and slosh it a little every day for a week. Check back then...
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  • Post #2 - December 6th, 2005, 10:14 pm
    Post #2 - December 6th, 2005, 10:14 pm Post #2 - December 6th, 2005, 10:14 pm
    Hi,

    This sounds terribly interesting what you are involved in. I have seen MAG's recipe which calls for cold smoking. I realize it is darn cold outside presently though cold smoking is quite different than what we achieve on our Weber Smoky Mountains.

    On another website, there are instructions to modify your WSM to do cold smoking. Do you intend to do that or do you have another trick up your sleeve?

    Remember I do have a lifetime's worth of juniper berries in my possession. If you need more, then please advise!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #3 - December 6th, 2005, 10:24 pm
    Post #3 - December 6th, 2005, 10:24 pm Post #3 - December 6th, 2005, 10:24 pm
    The trick up my sleeve is that if I build a small fire in my WSM on a really cold day like today, I should be able to achieve the cold-smoking temperature, or at least learn whether or not that's doable.

    The book, incidentally, suggests roasting (a la Blackbird) as an alternative to smoking. The smoke flavor and effect of cooking that way is nice, but basically a seasoning, not a necessity as with barbecue, it says.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #4 - December 7th, 2005, 1:12 am
    Post #4 - December 7th, 2005, 1:12 am Post #4 - December 7th, 2005, 1:12 am
    Hi,

    This conversation is reminding me of the Char Siu thread from earlier this year. A variation on Sundevilpeg's recipe Bill/SFNM marinated a pork belly and smoked it. I will be interested to see if this crummy weather provides the cold smoke conditions needed.

    The pork belly with the ribs both SteveZ and I bought. I was largely influenced by Steve's post where he considered the ribs a bonus to remove and cook separately. Steve bought his in Chinatown and I got mine from Peoria Packing House.

    I completely understand your reaction to the size of the porkbelly. I admit to throwing a portion away because we were exhausted from eating so much. So I am eagerly following this thread to learn how to make bacon. At least with bacon if I freeze it for the future it is understandable.

    Waiting breathlessly for the next chapter.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #5 - December 7th, 2005, 11:11 am
    Post #5 - December 7th, 2005, 11:11 am Post #5 - December 7th, 2005, 11:11 am
    Hi,

    I was disappointed in my search for pork bellies at Peoria Packing. They had 'em but they were of irregular thickness and not very meaty. I've found some beautifully trimmed bellies at the asian grocery stores on Argyle... skin off even. Sidenote: Even as a hardcore carnivore, skinning bellies and slicing through occassional bristly hairs, and (eek) nipples was harsh.

    I also used a WSM for the actual smoking, although I built the fire in the WSM since the temp is so easy to control . I had the ductwork going from the WSM to an unloved cheapo bullet smoker, in which the bellies were hung. The cheapo smoker had been made air-tight with duct tape/sheet metal/beach towels. By elevating the cheapo smoker, you eliminate the need for a fan, since heat rises. Temperature regulation in the smoking chamber was easy to maintain by adjusting the vents on the WSM or simply by moving the smoking chamber further away (expandable ductwork is your friend).

    What was your ratio of the pink stuff (prague powder?) to salt/sugar? Do you have a meat slicer? I ended up buying one as it was difficult to make nice uniform slices off the slab.

    Good luck, I hope someone gets me that charcuterie book for Christmas!

    grace
  • Post #6 - December 8th, 2005, 12:10 am
    Post #6 - December 8th, 2005, 12:10 am Post #6 - December 8th, 2005, 12:10 am
    Finally getting around to answering this... and great handle, Swine!

    The Charcuterie mix for curing is 450 grams kosher salt, 225 grams sugar, and 50 grams pink salt/prague powder/whatever you want to call it. Of course you use a small fraction of that for a single belly, 1/4 cup to 5 lbs. (which means I used around 3/8 cup).

    Now, they talk about slow-roasting the bacon at around 150 degrees. That, I figure, is achievable in a WSM, roughly. But other things I've looked at that talk about cold-smoking talk about much lower temperatures-- 80 to 90 degrees, which I can't imagine successfully getting with a fire actually built in a WSM, at least any fire you could keep going for very long.

    I'm having doubts about that now, though, after looking at the old char siu thread. Do I really want this bacon cooked? Then it looks like gray cooked pork. That's not the same as what I get from Paulina and fry up. Maybe 80-90 degrees is right after all, although the book talks about 150-degree smoked or roasted bacon as something you can then slice up and cook, which sure implies that it's not done all the way before that point. Thoughts?

    And no, I don't have a meat slicer. Not sure yet what my plans are in that regard.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #7 - December 8th, 2005, 3:03 am
    Post #7 - December 8th, 2005, 3:03 am Post #7 - December 8th, 2005, 3:03 am
    Mike G. I don't know much about makin' bacon, but smoking at 80 - 90 degrees doesn't sound like a very good practice from a food safety standpoint. Hell, if that works, just crank up your furnace and leave the bacon out on the counter. :twisted: :?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - December 8th, 2005, 8:03 am
    Post #8 - December 8th, 2005, 8:03 am Post #8 - December 8th, 2005, 8:03 am
    Or just stick it inside your shirt and light up a Lucky.

    Here's what the site Cathy linked to says:

    Depending on who you ask, cold smoking is said to occur at temperatures in the range of 80-100°F, but certainly no higher than 120°F.

    Clearly you're not cooking, you're just adding smoke flavor to something adequately preserved (eg cured bacon which you will actually cook in a skillet later).
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #9 - December 8th, 2005, 8:33 am
    Post #9 - December 8th, 2005, 8:33 am Post #9 - December 8th, 2005, 8:33 am
    This Sausage making site is an excellent resource for curing and smoking meat. Len has a great links page for resources and more information.

    The bacon your making sounds great. You can cold smoke in your WSM by building a small fire, using a windblock, to keep the temperatures cool enough. Especially today!
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #10 - December 8th, 2005, 9:05 am
    Post #10 - December 8th, 2005, 9:05 am Post #10 - December 8th, 2005, 9:05 am
    stevez wrote: smoking at 80 - 90 degrees doesn't sound like a very good practice from a food safety standpoint.

    Steve,

    That's why the recipes often include Nitrates and nitrites such as Prague powder, TenderQuick etc.

    Dan Gill's and Jack Schmidling are two, of many, interesting sausage making sites to peruse.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - December 8th, 2005, 10:12 am
    Post #11 - December 8th, 2005, 10:12 am Post #11 - December 8th, 2005, 10:12 am
    Mike,

    As others have mentioned, cold smoking is roughly 80-100°, which is what I've used as a guide in my bacon-makin' experiments. From a food safety standpoint, the water content of the bellies should be reduced enough through the curing, drying, and smoking stages to make them inhospitable to pathogens. I haven't used nitrites in any of my cures, but plan to for the next batch, mostly for aesthetic reasons but also as a further safeguard.

    Why not try both methods? I looked in my smoking books last night and couldn't find any references using temps as high as 150°, but you're probably shooting for an internal temp (ed.: of the bellies, not the smoker) no higher than 120°, correct? It'll stay pink since you've used nitrites.

    You're making me want to re-assemble my Frankensmoker (tm) and do a few slabs for the holidays. :-)

    grace
    Last edited by swine dining on December 8th, 2005, 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #12 - December 8th, 2005, 12:41 pm
    Post #12 - December 8th, 2005, 12:41 pm Post #12 - December 8th, 2005, 12:41 pm
    G Wiv wrote:That's why the recipes often include Nitrates and nitrites such as Prague powder, TenderQuick etc.

    Like I said, I don't know nothin' about makin' bacon.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #13 - December 17th, 2005, 6:19 pm
    Post #13 - December 17th, 2005, 6:19 pm Post #13 - December 17th, 2005, 6:19 pm
    Image

    So the book said that after a week or so the pork belly would be firmed up by water loss. Whatever I imagined, it seemed hardly changed nine days later. But I took it out and washed it off, and got ready to smoke it, a little concerned that what I had hadn't been cured at all.

    This morning was cold, so I started a small fire in the smoker and put the belly on. I don't know why, at first, I thought I'd do it sans waterpan. I guess because of some things I'd done on cold cold days, like a turkey I had to finish in the oven, I didn't worry about the temp going too high. Well, it was a little under 200 when I put the belly on (target was 150), I got a phone call, by the time I checked it again... 275.

    At least it was early in the game, so it wasn't already overcooked. Oh, and at least it's pork, so how bad could it get? The ends of my spectrum were Paulina bacon to Blackbird roasted pork belly, what's not to be happy about. With some advice from G Wiv I got fire temp back down to 150 range and cooked/smoked it about 2-1/4 hours in the 150 range.

    Image

    Here it is, ready to come off. I sliced off a small end piece and very briefly nuked it to ensure that it was truly cooked. Man oh man... mapley porky junipery smoky salty more than adequately curedy pink-colored wonderfulness. It seemed a shame not to eat a bunch of pork right then but after giving everyone a taste I stuck it in the fridge to cool and then divvy up into packets for future use. Tomorrow morning: slices of home-cured and smoked bacon next to pancakes. Mmmmmmm.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #14 - December 17th, 2005, 9:16 pm
    Post #14 - December 17th, 2005, 9:16 pm Post #14 - December 17th, 2005, 9:16 pm
    Oh man, you're making me drool all over my keyboard. Sigh.

    And yeah, I bought the damn book, it came today, and there's no buyer's remorse.

    "Cold Smoke" among all the old KC bbq-guys I know means NEVER go above 120°; much better even fewer of Mr. Fahrenheit's degrees than that.

    And that's all I have to offer to your wonderful saga--tnx soooo for the diary.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #15 - December 18th, 2005, 12:14 pm
    Post #15 - December 18th, 2005, 12:14 pm Post #15 - December 18th, 2005, 12:14 pm
    Image

    Mmm... bacon.

    Mighty good. One interesting note, I'm curious if anyone can explain it. Didn't render out much fat in the frying process. I wonder if a longer smoke breaks it down a little more for frying, or what. It also produced a little more "scum" (as in the stuff you scrape off while making soup) than what I've bought at Paulina, say. But mighty tasty, got six dozen-slice packs out of it and some chunks for use in soup or beans or something. And overall, easy. I could make a habit of making my own bacon. You should try it too!
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #16 - December 18th, 2005, 12:44 pm
    Post #16 - December 18th, 2005, 12:44 pm Post #16 - December 18th, 2005, 12:44 pm
    LTH,

    Mike G came over this morning to vacuum seal his bacon and we fried up a bit, hot damn that's good bacon! Light maple flavor, not too salty, excellent mouth feel and full bacon flavor.

    In the realm of 'boy my day is starting out great' Mike kindly gave me a nice size pack of bacon in turn for the vacsealing. My hope is he does not get a vacuum sealer for the holidays.

    An excellent first effort.

    Mike G's Bacon
    Image
    Image
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - December 18th, 2005, 3:05 pm
    Post #17 - December 18th, 2005, 3:05 pm Post #17 - December 18th, 2005, 3:05 pm
    Deep-Fried Pork Belly Confit

    I just made this recipe from the new Ruhlman/Polcyn book using a perfect slab of NR pork belly. This is the first recipe I've tried from this book and was very impressed, although if you're hard core like me, you may prefer the vastly more comprehensive (and expensive and somewhat poorly translated) book, Two-volume Professional Charcuterie Series.

    Here are some photos:

    mise:
    Image

    Pork chunks in wine cure:
    Image

    After slow roasting in pure, rendered leaf lard:
    Image

    I deep-fried a piece in the leaf lard and it was beyond delicious. It should get better as it ages for a few days.

    Bill/SFNM
    Last edited by Bill/SFNM on January 4th, 2007, 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #18 - December 18th, 2005, 6:19 pm
    Post #18 - December 18th, 2005, 6:19 pm Post #18 - December 18th, 2005, 6:19 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:I deep-fried a piece in the leaf lard and it was beyond delicious. It should get better as it ages for a few days.

    Bill,

    That looks terrific! you don't happen to need anything vacsealed, do you? :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #19 - December 19th, 2005, 5:07 am
    Post #19 - December 19th, 2005, 5:07 am Post #19 - December 19th, 2005, 5:07 am
    Mike G wrote:Didn't render out much fat in the frying process. I wonder if a longer smoke breaks it down a little more for frying, or what.

    According to Jim Nueske, yes.
    Nueske uses 16 steel-lined concrete-block smokehouses, heated by open fires of apple wood logs, and keeps the meat over the coals 20 to 24 hours. The bacon goes in on special racks fitted with wheels, 80 sides at a time, about 16,000 pounds a day. It emerges lean and cordovan-colored, ready to be hand-trimmed and then machine-sliced, roughly 18 one-eight-inch slices to a pound.

    "The point is to render most of the fat here and not in the frying pan," Mr. Nueske said as he led me on a tour of the plant. "For that, and for maximum flavor, you have to finish at very high temperatures."

    A pound of most run-of-the-mill raw bacon produces as little as a quarter to a third of a pound of cooked bacon; Nueske shoots for about three-quarters of a pound, he said.
  • Post #20 - February 17th, 2006, 8:56 am
    Post #20 - February 17th, 2006, 8:56 am Post #20 - February 17th, 2006, 8:56 am
    G Wiv wrote:Mike G came over this morning to vacuum seal his bacon

    LTH,

    Mike G made a second round of bacon, two kinds, paprika/clove and maple/juniper. Thankfully he has not purchased a vac sealer and we fried both kinds up while we were vac sealing. Even better than last time, Mike G makes a mean bacon.

    I had a day old loaf of D'Amato's bread which I cut into rounds and pan fried in the bacon grease and a little olive oil, as discussed up-thread this bacon does not give off all much grease, which we topped with the bacon. In a pure 'nothing says excess like excess' moment, we also sprinkled a little Truffle Salt on the toast, then topped with Mike's bacon. Not sure how we could have taken this any more over the top, maybe a little creme fresh, a few quick fried crisp sage leaves and a bottle of really good champagne. :)

    I'm about to start cooking from Charcuterie myself, either Pate Grandmere, page #214, Merguez, page #129 or both.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #21 - February 17th, 2006, 10:55 am
    Post #21 - February 17th, 2006, 10:55 am Post #21 - February 17th, 2006, 10:55 am
    Gary,

    I've got the meat for pate Grandmother, but put it in the freezer to await my accumulating the rest of the stuff, plus the time to do it. If you need any encouragement to do the pate before the merquez, pls, let me encourage you! That way I can learn from you. :)

    [Besides, I hate to admit it but, there are two bucheries within 300 meters of the Jean-Talon mkt that each advertizes "Le meillieur merguez dans le ville", and I'm going to test these claims before trying to make my own... So I'll root for your doing the pate! ]

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #22 - February 17th, 2006, 10:58 am
    Post #22 - February 17th, 2006, 10:58 am Post #22 - February 17th, 2006, 10:58 am
    Finding different recipes to do with the bacon has been a little difficult. I ran across what was supposedly an old English way of making bacon, with sweet paprika and cloves, and gave that a try, but didn't want to overdo either one. Frankly, it tastes mainly of smoke, pork, salt and a little sugar, just like the other one; I'm sure these added spices are adding something but it's tough to say exactly what in any case.

    None of which flavors is a bad thing, of course.

    Again I did the smoking on a cold day, and managed to keep a pretty consistent 150 degrees by lighting a half chimney and putting that in the WSM with a water pan, though the fire basically died out once. Still, that's better than overcooking. Three hours of that and you get a really nice smoky 'do on the pork belly, and again, total cost about 20 bucks or so for about a dozen packages of bacon. I highly recommend this hobby.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #23 - February 17th, 2006, 4:11 pm
    Post #23 - February 17th, 2006, 4:11 pm Post #23 - February 17th, 2006, 4:11 pm
    Mike,

    You might give this recipe a try sometime. I have not had the opportunity to try it yet, but it has been well reviewed by several members of a sausage email list I am on. I know it will making this recipe in a month or two. BLT season won't be too far off. Homemade bacon really shines with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, bread, and mayo.

    Boston Butt Bacon

    For two large butts (~14 pounds):

    2 quarts hot water
    8 ounces sugar (brown, if you've got it)
    3 ounces Prague Powder #1 (Instacure #1)
    14 ounces salt
    1 four-inch cinnamon stick

    Place above on a hot stove and bring to boil. Stir until dissolved, cover and let steep one hour.

    Add three quarts ice water to the above solution to drop the temperature and chill, if necessary, to 35-40 degrees F.

    Bone out both butts, and keep cold at 35-40F. Inject the butts evenly to 115-120% of their "green weight" with the chilled brine solution. This will require 16-20 ounces of cure for a 6 pound butt. Place the injected butts in a non-reactive container (12-qt stainless stock pot is about right), and cover with remaining brine solution. Keep in refrigerator for five days, turning butts daily, and ensuring that butts are submerged in the brine.

    After five days, haul them out, rinse quickly in cold water, and wrap twine around the area where the bone was removed to help the butt hold its shape while smoking.

    Let air dry about one hour, then place in cool smoker, 125-135F, for about four hours with good smoke. Then raise temp of smoker to 150F, and continue smoking until internal temp of the butts is about 130-135F.

    Remove to rest for about two hours, then place in refrigerator overnight before slicing.

    Best sliced 1/8" thick, and cooked slowly over medium heat.

    NOTE: A Nitrate Cure must be used with this procedure to assure food safety.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #24 - May 6th, 2006, 4:28 pm
    Post #24 - May 6th, 2006, 4:28 pm Post #24 - May 6th, 2006, 4:28 pm
    This being one of my favorite LTH threads, I felt obliged to contribute to it.
    Bacon fans may be interested in the gummy bacon available here
    [disclaimer-I'm not in any way affiliated with Archie McPhee, although I have purchased sushi bandages and bacon scented air fresheners from their website]
    http://www.mcphee.com/items/11605.html
  • Post #25 - May 6th, 2006, 7:59 pm
    Post #25 - May 6th, 2006, 7:59 pm Post #25 - May 6th, 2006, 7:59 pm
    Tnx thaiobsessed, that's a useful link to have. Gummy bacon looks like being a Sunday morning winner.

    Along slightly different lines, I searched on the site for "chicken". I'm a little worried: altho', as expected, the classic rubber chicken came up first, I noticed right off that McPhee no longer bragged right up front about the traditional Hungarian A.o.C. for the chicken. Does this mean that he is now sourcing his birds from some place else, perhaps some place quite a bit
    Further East?? I would most certainly hope not! One has gotten used, over the years, to the MittelEuropean look and feel of the traditional McPhee chicken. Are those days now but a memory? Are we now doomed to a rubber chicken fix that, 30 minutes later, we're hungry again?

    I should think this an issue worthy of LTH investigation.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #26 - October 18th, 2006, 9:57 am
    Post #26 - October 18th, 2006, 9:57 am Post #26 - October 18th, 2006, 9:57 am
    As it seems several people on here have first hand experience with curing their own bacon, I was curious where the best place to procure fresh pork bellies is.

    My plan was to hit Peoria Packing on Saturday morning, and I figured I'd grab 20 lbs or so. Are there any other places that would be a better choice, as well as guaranteed of having a decent amount at a fair price?

    Jamie
  • Post #27 - October 18th, 2006, 2:39 pm
    Post #27 - October 18th, 2006, 2:39 pm Post #27 - October 18th, 2006, 2:39 pm
    Peoria is the logical place, but they're not the greatest, just in terms of consistent thickness for ease of cutting-- there usually seems to be a thin spot where, I presume, something unpleasant was cut out. Also you have to trim some of the skin away yourself (maybe they'll do it for you).

    I don't have an alternative suggestion though. It's not something that's easy to obtain at retail.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #28 - October 18th, 2006, 3:10 pm
    Post #28 - October 18th, 2006, 3:10 pm Post #28 - October 18th, 2006, 3:10 pm
    Thansk for the info Mike G. Though I have never purchased a belly, I would always check them out when buying other items at Peoria.

    If I am not mistaken I am pretty sure I want skin-on as the recipe I was doing called for not cutting it off until AFTER it is smoked.

    Jamie
  • Post #29 - October 18th, 2006, 3:16 pm
    Post #29 - October 18th, 2006, 3:16 pm Post #29 - October 18th, 2006, 3:16 pm
    Jamieson22 wrote:Thansk for the info Mike G. Though I have never purchased a belly, I would always check them out when buying other items at Peoria.

    If I am not mistaken I am pretty sure I want skin-on as the recipe I was doing called for not cutting it off until AFTER it is smoked.

    Jamie


    I have found them (sometimes with the ribs still attached) at the various Chinatown food marts. Peoria would have the biggest selection, though.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #30 - October 18th, 2006, 4:52 pm
    Post #30 - October 18th, 2006, 4:52 pm Post #30 - October 18th, 2006, 4:52 pm
    Jamieson22 wrote:As it seems several people on here have first hand experience with curing their own bacon, I was curious where the best place to procure fresh pork bellies is.

    My plan was to hit Peoria Packing on Saturday morning, and I figured I'd grab 20 lbs or so. Are there any other places that would be a better choice, as well as guaranteed of having a decent amount at a fair price?

    Jamie


    I've bought one there before and wasn't greatly impressed. I would agree with Mike's comments about the bellies at PP. I would pick them over looking for the largest consistent thickness available.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!

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