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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 05-13-2013, 07:49 AM   #1
Ackman
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Default Berkshire Pork Belly

I ordered a full belly from a farm that raises certified natural Humane raised, heritage Berkshire pork. It was rather expensive to begin with and throw in shipping it was criminally expensive. I cut it into about 2.5 pound slabs to cure for bacon. It did seem pretty fatty. When I went to slice it...it as almost all fat -- I think I sliced 3 pounds that did not have a spec of red meat. The slices that did have meat --there was not very much of it. This was my first experience with Berkshire pork, so it this typical or was I just unlucky?

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Unread 05-13-2013, 08:00 AM   #2
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Berkshire is the wagyu/kobe of the pork family.

This was normal.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 08:01 AM   #3
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Berks are on the fat side
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Unread 05-13-2013, 08:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ackman View Post
I ordered a full belly from a farm that raises certified natural Humane raised, heritage Berkshire pork. It was rather expensive to begin with and throw in shipping it was criminally expensive. I cut it into about 2.5 pound slabs to cure for bacon. It did seem pretty fatty. When I went to slice it...it as almost all fat -- I think I sliced 3 pounds that did not have a spec of red meat. The slices that did have meat --there was not very much of it. This was my first experience with Berkshire pork, so it this typical or was I just unlucky?

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You get this from Iowa by any chance? And as the other two guys stated Berks are fattier than normal; we have some of our customers complain about that when they compare that sku vs our normal other bacons.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 09:24 AM   #5
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There are some strains of Berks that have been selected for less backfat BUT have maintained the marbling. We have a few around here. VERY FEW. My kids raised about 5 or 6 a few years ago for FFA/4H and they won Champion and Reserve Champion with them. Got one Berk gilt we are going to AI this summer for some Berk babies.

Berks are known as a lard/bacon type pig. Meat is mighty fine though and will melt in your mouth.
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Unread 05-13-2013, 11:46 PM   #6
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The Berk bellies do run on the fat side, the flavor is great despite the smaller amount of "red" in the bacon. We've raised them for a number of years, so maybe I'm just used to it now...
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Unread 05-14-2013, 08:38 AM   #7
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I prefer Berk's for the shoulder's, ham's and other large roasts and cut's and Tamworth's for the bacon.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 01:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I prefer Berk's for the shoulder's, ham's and other large roasts and cut's and Tamworth's for the bacon.
You should see the loins coming out of the Gloucestershires I've been cooking. I'm not even a loin guy and just looking at them makes me weak kneed.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 11:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neuyawk View Post
You should see the loins coming out of the Gloucestershires I've been cooking. I'm not even a loin guy and just looking at them makes me weak kneed.

Where are you getting them? I'm going to raise pigs starting next spring, maybe even for this fall if I get the pen and other things built. I'm actually looking at possibly cross breeding a few of the heritage breeds.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 07:19 PM   #10
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Here are some Berk bellies we cured for bacon and smoked with Cherry on an FEC100 awhile back.















Six Points Berkshire or Black Gold Berkshire is all I've ever used and its always been meaty.





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