Author Topic: Where to buy pork bellies?  (Read 24731 times)

Offline teague

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Where to buy pork bellies?
« on: February 13, 2011, 09:31:10 am »
I searched around here and couldnt find a topic on this.  I've been wanting to try and make my own bacon.  I live in a small town, and I've asked the local grocery store, and HEB in nearby town about getting me a pork belly, and they've all said they can't.  I can drive an hour and a half to the "big city" and find one I'm sure, but I dont always have time for that.  So I was wondering if anyone ever buys the bellies online, and if so, where from?  I'm headed to eat, so thanks in advance for any input!

Offline wyoduke

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2011, 09:34:59 am »
Try the local butcher shop and see thats where i get mine and my cure also :)
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Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2011, 09:42:36 am »
Some say they are getting them from a chinesse market also.

Offline jiggerjams

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2011, 10:04:24 am »
I believe some members get bellies from Snake River Farms online. They have a great product but you are going to pay for it...so I hear.

I myself wait till the asian markets put them on sale then I stock up around 40 lbs worth.

Offline squirtthecat

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2011, 10:13:43 am »

Hal and I piled in his bus and drove 360 miles for bellies.
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Offline mjdeez

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2011, 10:17:32 am »
I buy from a butcher but he's really expensive so I'm looking for an alternative. People keep mentioning the Asian markets... I really need to check it out. My wife shops there for things like spices.

Get to know the butcher at your grocery store, they may be willing to get one for you if they know you a bit better. Some one on this forum did this and it worked out well for him. I haven't done this (yet).

I also have a friend of a friend that raises pigs and steers, so I buy a side of pork about every year and a half. You could look into this option but you'll end up with a lot more than just a belly. If you do go this route, make sure you think ahead about how you want your half cut, and tell him you want the belly whole, and not made into bacon.

As far as online goes... KyNola bought from Snake River Farms. Hmmm while i was typing this JJ beat me to it.
http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=19442.0
I think this is the link, but not totally sure...
http://store.snakeriverfarms.com/american-kurobuta-pork/pork-belly/

Another guy on this forum has a slaughterhouse / packing plant nearby to him, and he got really cheap pork belly. I think it was less than $2 / lb which is awesome.  I paid over $6 and won't do it again until I find cheaper belly.

Offline hal4uk

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2011, 10:21:12 am »
I need to ask THESE people:  http://www.ilpork.com/
Their office is 3 miles from my house.
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Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2011, 10:30:30 am »
I had to call a bunch of places (including HEB) and part of the

problem is the term "pork bellies". Heb ordered what they thought

I wanted and what came in was the fat globs of the bellies. I finally

found a small groc store in the next town that knew what I wanted

but had to order a case. 5 bellies at 11 lbs each or 55 lbs of bacon.

They are not the best, but they made good bacon for me to experiment

with. They were $2 a lb. They gave me two tickets to check out with.

Each was $55, and this was around Thanksgiving. The store had a deal on

Turkeys for $.19 with an order over $50. So I got two 15 plus lb Turkeys

for around $3.50 each. I was happy. ;D

Offline teague

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2011, 08:24:42 am »
Thanks everyone for your input on this.  After asking on here, I was reminded by a friend of a processing place in the next town.  I didnt think of them, because I used to think all they did was deer and hog during deer season.  He told me to check with them, b/c they're open year round.  So I'm gonna hit them up when I get a chance.  And after seeing the replies about Asian markets(none of those where I live), but there is a Mexican meat market not far away, and I'm gonna go ask them first because I was in there one time looking around and they brought a whole hog in and went to breaking it down right there.  I'll just have to figure out how to communicate with them I guess. 

Offline jiggerjams

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2011, 08:47:50 am »
Showing them a couple green backs might ease the language barrier. ;) Some pictures of what you want would probably help too. At the asian market I go to I grab a pack of bacon off the shelf to show them the streaks that I am looking for when selecting bellies. He is trained now and just smiles when I point at the bellies. I do wonder if the smile is authentic though  ::)

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2011, 09:51:21 am »
teague ,

If you can tell us what part of the country you're in and the nearest big city, someone may be able to guide you to a local source or two.

I'm in SE TX and finding decent pork bellies down here is not easy.  If you don't have a local market that carries them as individuals, you may be able to get a meat manager to order them for you.  But, be prepared to buy a case, which is usually 6 bellies for most packers. I've tried this at HEB, Kroger and Randalls (Safeway) and all said "No!".  I now have a very cooperative local chain manager who is trying to get Smithfield bellies for me, by the case.

Since you're in HEB country you might see if there is a Central Market nearby and check with them.

You might also look for specialty meat markets and Asian markets.  The price will probably vary quite a bit, along with the quality.

As far as online, I pursued that and the only sources I've been able to find that ship are SRF and Heritage Foods.  Both offer only Berkshire pork bellies, which are probably superb, but also pricey and then there's the overnight shipping charge.   

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Offline don24

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2011, 03:29:57 pm »
i bet you are gonna find bellies at mexican market. i get most of my pork from a spanish market here they use it for chicherone (im sure thats not spelled correct) its deep fried belly or shoulder .

Offline MidKnightRider

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2011, 05:05:28 pm »
In the upstate of South Carolina I get mine from Vaughn's Meat Packing in Greer, SC.
$2.09 Lb. Always been good belly.
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Offline schneep

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Re: Where to buy pork bellies?
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2011, 09:46:05 pm »
For mu current batch, I called a meat wholesaler, he couldn't sell directly to me, but gave me a stores number and a guys name to call, he said the guy would purchase from him and then sell to me without a big up charge.

Best part is, he did.orderd one day, in the next all trimmed and ready for me. 
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