thanks for the feedback....haven't done a belly in a long time and this one was an experiment...the pink salt worked out-ratio wise-to the size of the belly...it was a mite salty...belly lost about 2.5 lbs of weight during the curing process-9 days.
Picking up another one this weekend and will report back. Care to post your recipe?
Sure...but it'll have to wait until I'm at home and have access to it.
I use a basic cure (about a pound of salt, a little less sugar, and a small amount of pink salt) I dredge the bellies in this cure (plus additional flavorings) until they are well covered, throw them into 2 gallon ziplocs and into the fridge they go.......I let them go until they feel right. Normally 6-7 days... Then I let them air dry in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours, most times 48. Then they dry on the counter until they come to room temp.
Then onto the Weber Kettles to smoke at 200'-225' until they come up to 155'....I use a variety of hard woods (Hickory, Apple, Cherry, Oak, Crabapple) depending on how I've altered my cure...(maple syrup, brown sugar....on and on)
Normally I do 30-40lbs at a time.....
Edit to say...I leave the skin on until after I smoke the bellies....then I use the skin for beans and soups.
If I am making Pancetta, skin gets removed prior to the cure, in which case the skins get made into fried pork skins.....
<message edited by rebeltruce on Tue, 10/11/11 1:35 PM>