How To Cure A 10lb Bone In Pork Belly

Curing a bone-in pork belly is a first in the Scrumptious Chef test kitchen. While we’ve done dozens of bellies over the past decade this marks the first time we’ve tackled one that included the bones.

Bone-in pork belly is not something we regularly see in the butcher shops we haunt but we were on a remote farm in Madison County, Alabama when we scored the meat, and the rules are a mite different in those parts.

Beginning in 1971, Henry Fudge has authored an intense Duroc hog breeding program near the Tennessee border of north Alabama, and by many estimates is producing the finest pork in all of the U.S.

Recently Fudge went with a new slaughterhouse and in all the madness that comes with breaking in a new butcher he received a score of pork bellies that had not had the bones removed.

We’re always looking for a fresh challenge so we were happy to take two of the bone-in slabs off Fudge’s hands.

How To Cure A 10lb Bone In Pork Belly

How To Cure A 10lb Bone In Pork Belly

Ingredients

1 each 9.65lb bone-in pork belly (4377.14 grams)

Cure #1 (at 6.25% nitrite) 10.93 grams

Salt, Kosher 77.3 grams

Method

  • Combine salt and nitrite
  • Sprinkle over belly, be thorough, make certain every square mm is covered
  • Place in refrigerator, either on a wire rack above a catch pan or mummified in plastic wrap (we used wrap)
  • Flip belly once every 24 hours for 10 days
  • Remove belly from fridge, wash thoroughly (we spend 3-5 minutes running cold water over belly)
  • Place back in fridge on clean wire rack and allow to dry for 12-24 hours

    Now it’s time to smoke your belly. We have a cache of all sorts of woods that we’ve scored from area farms. In this instance we used dry-cured Louisiana pecan from old growth trees that were chopped down about five years ago.

  • Build fire in smoker
  • When fire goes to embers place pork belly on opposite side of fire
  • Open vent over belly and allow to smoke for 2-4 hours (internal belly temp of 150 degrees)
  • Return belly to fridge
  • Let rest overnight

    Now it’s time to slice your belly. If this belly was boneless, we’d use a friends industrial-grade Hobart slicer but with the bones still in it we recommend using a boning knife or a chef’s knife. Be careful, and take your time so your slices are precise

    Notes
    At the end of the project it looked like we had a big pile of bacon ribs.

    We’ve been pulling one rib at a time out of the freezer and using it for our daily bacon needs.

    Sliced off the bone in thick planks it goes really well with fried eggs and Texas toast for breakfast.

    Cut into lardons, and sprinkled across mixed greens with bleu cheese dressing it approximates health food (at least in our kitchen)

    This bacon makes world-beating breakfast tacos

    It would be impressive to serve a rib ‘as is’ in a restaurant setting

    Each rib weighs roughly a pound so one would make a fine cudgel

    We’re saving the bones and throwing them in our bone bowl for stock making

    This belly has produced plentiful delicious lard that we use as a medium to cook popcorn in

    It would also make an excellent bacon fat mayonnaise recipe

    How To Cure A 10lb Bone In Pork Belly

    This is article no. 4,426

    rl reeves jr

    1. You should try cold smoking it. I like three days or nights depending on the weather over maple dust resting in the fridge in between smokes. You might also try half as much sugar as salt in your cure.

      • We used to put sugar in our cured meat experiments but slowly realized we preferred the most minimal ingredients in the product. The only protein we’ve ever cold smoked was salmon and it came out great. Thanks for checking out the site.

      • The top/meat side was skin free from the farmer, we removed the silverskin from the bone side but forgot to take a photo

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