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Nov 23, 2012 01:14 PM

Pork Belly.....

I'm in the mood to try my hand at different flavored bacons. Any suggestions where to get decent priced bulk pork belly to get started??

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  1. Usually chinese super markets have pork belly fairly cheap.

    1. Check out Super H Mart (asian grocerys) in Carrollton. They have different kinds they marinate everyday.

      1. 99 Ranch Market has them for $2.39/lb iirc.

        1. not necessarily the cheapest, but central market had it for $3.29 this weekend

          1. I've previously purchased pork belly from Super H Mart and 99 Ranch Market. It's inexpensive and the quality is fine. However, for a couple of years now I've been getting whole pork bellies from Old Town Market in Lewisville: The cost is slightly higher than the Asian markets, currently $3.99/lb., but I'm very pleased with the quality. The pork belly from the Asian markets always had a bit of an off-putting odor, not rancid or anything, just an odd odor from the skin or the fat or something. The bellies from Old Town have absolutely no smell.

            I also like being able to purchase whole pork bellies skin-on. I cure and smoke the whole belly. While the bacon is still a little warm from the smoker, I cut the skin off with a sharp boning knife, I trim off the fattiest parts, and then label and freeze that stuff to be used for flavoring beans and soups. Then I section and freeze the bacon in manageable portions.

            Old Town used to have a local processor that supplied their bellies and they would take orders and get the bellies in once a week, I think on Thursdays. There's been an issue with that supplier, so lately they have frozen pork bellies on hand all the time. I've used both and they've all been good. If you decide to go there, I'd recommend giving them a call to ascertain whether they have bellies in stock or if they're back to taking orders so that you don't waste a trip.

            It's probably worthwhile to buy some one- or two-pound portions of pork belly from one of the great Asian markets when you first try making your own bacon, just to experiment on a manageable level, but if you find that you like curing/smoking your own bacon, whole bellies are the way to go. Also, if you don't already have it, I highly recommend the cookbook "Charcuterie" by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. It's the bible for those of us who love to make our own cured, smoked, salted, or preserved food.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Carrollton Foodie

              Thanks CF...I called Old Town this weekend and, in fact, it was $3.99/lb and was informed all he had was "skin-on" which threw me for a loop. Was getting ready to run over there (from NE Ft Worth) but something came up and never made it. Now I need to read more about pricing and the skin-on/off in the equation. Sounds like Old Town is the way to go. Also thanks for info on the book!