posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 12:53 PM
reply to post by Philippines
A portion of the pork belly is used to make bacon. The rind (skin) is left on until after it is already bacon. Then, depending on where you buy it,
you can get it whole with the skin, sliced down to the skin, or as individual slices with or without the rind.
The curing is done in one of two main ways. The first is a salt cure in which the bacon is salted down and allowed to give up a lot of its moisture to
the salt. The second main way is to use brown sugar in place of the salt. Once it is properly cured it is ready to cook and eat or you can smoke it
with any one of several popular woods like maple or pecan. If it is smoked in a high temperature smoker, as opposed to a smokehouse where the
temperature is generally lower to give a milder smoke, flavor the meat can be eaten as is since the high temperature smoking will also cook it.
The Smithfield process is completely different and produces a bacon with a unique flavor. The Smithfield process is used mainly on whole hams or the
portions of shank or butt but can be used on bacon too. It is done by hanging it in a special cloth wrapper in a very closely temperature and humidity
controlled room after a short soaking with brine. While the flavor of a Smithfield cured meat is unique it is also more salty. If you want to prepare
a Smithfield ham or bacon slab to remove most of the excess salt you can either soak it in a pan of whole milk or soak it in water. The milk soak
leaves the meat more dry and the water soak re hydrates the meat more. I prefer the milk soak if I am going to use the meat in a dish with liquid like
black eyed peas and ham or bacon but the water soak is better for a ham if it is going to be baked. FYI - It is the butterfat and cream in whole milk
that removes the salt without excessive soaking.
edit on 9-11-2012 by happykat39 because: (no reason given)