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Old 08-20-2010, 12:58 AM   #1
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Join Date: 12-21-09
Location: US
Default Pork belly steaks...

Ok, it is 2am and I'm up. I've really been considering making my own bacon, so I'm planning on picking up some pork bellies. After going through a bunch of methods for brining/curing then smoking, I remembered some fantastic pork belly steaks that were glazed and wonderful.

Does anyone have any wonderful recipes to make a nice pork belly steak?

Any tips/tricks for bacon would also be most welcome.

Yes, I'm going to be doing lots of searching too.
-Dough; 22.5" WSM, Traeger Lil Tex
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:45 AM   #2
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Location: Frankfort, KY

I sure would like to know step by step on making the bacon
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:55 AM   #3
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Join Date: 07-18-07
Location: Oklahoma

I make my own bacon...



just some ideas...
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:26 AM   #4
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Join Date: 10-14-09
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Edit: Ahh crap... Jeanie beat me to it...

Well, I can't help ya with the belly steaks, but I have made belly and buckboard bacon...

I don't have an exact recipe for you, but it's pretty simple to do.

First, find some Morton's Tender Quick - it will be in the salt/spices section at your super market or wally world, if they carry it. Some folks have a tough time finding it in their area...

The pkg says to use 1 tbs per lb of meat and to cure for about 5-7 days, I personally think that this makes too salty of bacon, so I use 1/2 the TQ called for and extend the cure time by a day and have had no problems.
Smaller pieces of meat will cure quicker than large ones, if you're not sure if something has cured all the way, cut a slice out of the thickest part and fry it up. Any uncured meat will look different and will taste more like cooked pork than bacon.

So my eyeballed recipe goes something like this:

1/2 tbs TQ per LB
1 - 1 1/2 tbs brown or white sugar per LB
1 - 2 tsp garlic powder (don't over do it - a little goes a long way!)
1 - 2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 - 2 tsp chipotle powder or cyanne
couple large ziplock baggies (buy good ones, you don't want this mess leaking all over your fridge)

Rub mixture all over the entire piece of meat - use all of it - dump any extra that fell off into the ziplock with the meat.

Mark the date on the outside and set in fridge, turn it over once a day until the 5-7 days are up.

I know it seems kinda uncertain for the amounts, but it will vary depending on how many lbs you have.

I'd recommend just doing it, and maybe try 1/2 the batch the way you think you'd like it and the other 1/2 expirement - either way I bet you'll like it!

a few other things to keep in mind:
1) After the cure is done, rinse the meat very well, rubbing with your hand under cold water to get all the salt off
2) slice a piece out of the middle of the hunk if possible and fry up. Test for complete cure and over saltyness. If you sliced from the edge and not the middle, keep in mind that it will be a bit saltier than the middle.
3) if too salty, soak in cold water for 1 - 4 hours and test a piece every hour till the flavor is right.
4) pat bacon dry and ideally, set it on a wire cooling rack with a cookie sheet under it in the fridge for 24 hours or so, uncovered. This will slightly dry the exterior and make it very sticky. when you smoke it, it will help the smoke stick and give a nice mahogany color.
5) SMOKE IT! I use apple or hickory and a very cool temp - I try to stay around 75* - 100* for 4 hours or until the desired color is reached. We're not cooking it, we just need to get some smoke on it. I like to smoke in my chargriller and I just light 6-8 briqs and set a chunk of wood on top of them, add another once its burned up. add a briq or 2 as needed to keep the fire going. Dont worry about it looking dried out, it'll be fine.
6) slice it and fry it!! Keep a stick handy to whack away family members.
7) it will taste better after a day or two of being smoked. It will last for quite a while if kept sealed up in a ziplock - I've managed to keep some around for more than a week and it was just fine!

And then post some pics of what you did and what you learned!!

Oh, also, our beloved Cowgirl has some great bacon making info on her blog - http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/
She got me excited about making bacon to begin with!
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:43 AM   #5
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Join Date: 12-21-09
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Awesome information on the bacon!

As for the pork belly steaks.. I've seen and tried some rather amazing glazed porkbelly steaks. They had a wonderful porky/bacony taste, a slight char, a sweet glaze, and the fatty meat just melted in your mouth.

I'm looking to do something that is going to turn out something like this:

-Dough; 22.5" WSM, Traeger Lil Tex
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:12 AM   #6
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A rule of thumb for using Tenderquick is that it penetrates about 1/4 inch per 24 hrs. 1 1/2 thick belly slab = 6 days in cure. This formula is even more helpful when you start making briskets into Pastrami.

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Old 08-20-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
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I haven't tried a pork belly yet, but this throwdown entry by BBQGrail makes my mouth water every time I look at it.

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Try the [URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=86"]Throwdowns[/URL] - MMMMM...tastes like liquid crystal
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