Author Topic: Porkbelly not firming up much in cure  (Read 4107 times)

Offline BlackBark

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Porkbelly not firming up much in cure
« on: March 14, 2014, 04:20:47 PM »
http://saltandsmokefood.com/homemade-bacon/

My porkbelly has been in the fridge for 7 days and it is not firming up very much. I used the recipe in the link above. I read somewhere that some don't always firm up much. Do yiu think mine is cured?

Offline KyNola

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Re: Porkbelly not firming up much in cure
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2014, 07:41:11 PM »
Given the recipe you posted, the amount of cure is pretty much correct to properly cure the weight of the belly.  The question is, how big is the pork belly you are trying to cure?

Some bellies firm up more than others, some throw off more liquid than others.

Obviously I will yield to the more learned members of the forum who are much more knowledgeable than me when it comes to curing a pork belly for bacon.  Take their advice.

Offline CoreyMac

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Re: Porkbelly not firming up much in cure
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2014, 12:03:28 AM »
Agreed, need more info on the size of belly but i've had lots of belly not firm up and still be fine. You can take the belly out and slice a bit off, if you get a nice pink or almost red tinge along the cut line you are curing properly. Then I like to fry that bit up and watch the color again, it should take on a pink look. if this happens then you are fine.

Plus you can check you salt levels with that cut off bit.

7 days is plenty if your belly weight is in the range that the recipe calls for.

Corey


Offline BlackBark

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Re: Porkbelly not firming up much in cure
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2014, 04:45:52 AM »
I have two 1.5 pounders. They are not very thick at all. I got screwed on them. The outside is a light brown color kinda. I cut into it and only the center is bright red. They smell great like maple and bourbon, but I am hesitant to cold smoke them. I think I will find a new farm to get bellies from.

Offline BlackBark

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Re: Porkbelly not firming up much in cure
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2014, 04:47:39 AM »
They threw off quite a bit of liquid.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Porkbelly not firming up much in cure
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2014, 01:13:06 PM »
If your salt and cure measurements were correct, and the bellies are thinner the usual bacon, they should be cured.

Firming is a sign but not always a sign. For firmness, if you make a tight fist, and feel your thumb pad, that is about the firmness you are looking for. If the bellies are very fatty bellies, they will not firm up well.

If you have already cut into it cut a slice at least 2" from the edge, and fry it. As Corey pointed out, if it remains pinkish, and does not turn a grayish color in any area, it should be cured all the way through. If you are sill unsure, you can smoke/cook at 200°F, until your reach a internal temperature of 142 - 145°F. That is a safe cooking temperature, and internal temperature for uncured pork.


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Offline BlackBark

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Re: Porkbelly not firming up much in cure
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2014, 02:02:05 PM »
I threw them out. Good a good 5 pounder curing now since Saturday. It is 2" thick along its entire length. Going to cold smoke it this weekend with a mix of hickory and mesquite. I used a recipe out of the Charcuterie book this time.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Porkbelly not firming up much in cure
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2014, 02:00:51 AM »
There was no need to throw them out.


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Offline BlackBark

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Re: Porkbelly not firming up much in cure
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2014, 05:30:25 AM »
We didn't like them.

Offline Dano

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Re: Porkbelly not firming up much in cure
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2014, 07:29:32 AM »
I did a 24 lb batch of pork belly which averaged 1.5 to 2 inches wide. I cut them into 5lb slabs to make them fit better and cured them this way for nearly 2 weeks. I found that after about 14 days only half were quite firm and the difference in liquid was substantial. I let them sit for 2-3 days after rinsing and wrapping and the rest firmed up. Cold smoked over a 3 day time and all of the 5lb slabs turned out great.   There was no variance in taste between them. 
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