Carnivores, eat your heart out. You too, vegetarians.
I cured another batch of pork bellies and wanted to smoke them this time around. Some day I will build a multi-chamber cold smoker or at least one of those galvanized steal garbage bin units. For now, I decided to test the Cobb bbq cooker‘s ability to act as a smoker. I was partly inspired by the fact that google searches related to my first Cobb post have sent a significant percentage of the traffic to Food With Legs (give the readers what they want) but also this conversation on smokingmeatforum.com. Follow the link and take a look yourselves but the short story is that a guy in the States used his Cobb to smoke a simultaneously frightening and appetising creation known, appropriately as a “fattie”. A fattie or sometimes “fatty”, is a football-shaped meatloaf, stuffed with ham, onion, and blue cheese, and wrapped in a bacon weave. If this excellent monstrosity can be smoked on the Cobb I couldn’t see why pork bellies wouldn’t work.
Pork belly pre-smoke; you can see some of the time left behind.
My first bacon post deals more with the process of curing the pork bellies (I added minced thyme leaves to the cure this time) so I’ll move straight into the smoking process. I used a step here that I came across on the internet and have used for hot-smoking fish in the past. The protein that is going to be smoked is pulled from the cure, dried and left in the fridge to further dry for about twelve to twenty-four hours. This develops what is called a pellicle on the meat that apparently helps the smoke flavours “stick”. (more…)