Costco: Whole Slabs Or Cut Slabs Of Pork Belly For Bacon

Bob Ivey

TVWBB Emerald Member
Went to my local (1 of 3 local) Costco and looked for pork belly. What they have appears to be slabs that are cut down to about 1 1/2 to 2 inch slabs, not whole slabs. The packages weighted about 6 plus pounds.

My question for the bacon experts is this, hunt up whole slabs or is the sliced slabs ok? Haven't talked to the meat manager at Costco yet to see if they have whole slabs available but figured I would ask here about what will work best.

I have everything else I need to proceed except the belly. Just got both Morton Tenderquick and Premium Pink Curing Salt #1 from Amazon. Everything else is in the pantry waiting.

Thanks for the help and advice.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Bob,
You really want a slab if you can get it.
They sell it whole and sliced locally, but I think a member asked for whole at his Costco, that only had sliced out, and was obliged.
If all you can get is sliced, this thread might help, see Tom's post at the end too:
http://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?62379-Pre-Sliced-Bacon

You say you bought pink salt and MTQ?
I wanted to make sure you know that only one or the other is to be used, and the amounts are different.
 

Bob Ivey

TVWBB Emerald Member
Thanks for the info Bob, I was hoping you would reply to this. And yes, I do know the difference between the two. I ordered both from Amazon because I have seen both used and wanted to have both on hand depending on the recipe used. I just made sense to have both available. That then begs the question, are the two interchangeable assuming the amounts are adjusted and is their a formula of some sort to make the adjustments. TIA

Bob,
You really want a slab if you can get it.
They sell it whole and sliced locally, but I think a member asked for whole at his Costco, that only had sliced out, and was obliged.
If all you can get is sliced, this thread might help, see Tom's post at the end too:
http://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?62379-Pre-Sliced-Bacon

You say you bought pink salt and MTQ?
I wanted to make sure you know that only one or the other is to be used, and the amounts are different.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Figured you knew the difference, but TonyUK got the two confused and started his loin cure with pink salt using MTQ amounts, thankfully we caught it in time.

They are interchangeable, but salt is not added to MTQ, but a little usually is to pink salt cures.
Since you have MTQ I'd go with that first using the bacon made easy method.
Later, if you want to experiment, you can try the Ruhlman recipe with pink salt, or other ones found on the web.
http://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?25665-Michael-Ruhlman-s-Maple-Cured-Bacon-from-Charcuterie
 

Bob Ivey

TVWBB Emerald Member
Thanks Bob. Sounds like good advice. May go to Costco this morning and see if they have slabs in back. Really looking forward to this. That is just one of the things I love about this forum. All that others do is stretching me to do more and learn more.
 
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Jim Lampe

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
May go to Costco this morning and see I they have slabs in back.
If you don't see them out, ASK any butcher there... at times, they may not have room to display them (i.e. other meats selling faster/better) but they may have them in the back.
The last time i bought a slab, they only had one out with the sliced up variety... so i asked the guy and he brought out 6 more to choose from.
The same with prime briskets, the guy told me they don't sell as many as other items so they stash 'em in the back coolers.
 

Bob Ivey

TVWBB Emerald Member
Another question Bob, I just read through your process and was wondering if after you apply the MTQ and any other spices, instead of placing the belly into ziplock bags, would it be better to vacuum seal them? I imagine your answer will be no but just wanted to make sure.
Thanks for all the help.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I think some folks vac seal it with no problems, but I like a little air in there so the cure juice that forms redistributes better during the daily flip.
I suppose one could do the seal before a full vacuum has taken place too.
Either way it's best to place it in a sheet pan or such in case of a leak while in the fridge.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Bob has some good advice about the sheet pan. I've found those hefty large size zip locks don't seal very well and have a tendency to pop open a little when you flip the bacon. Also I cut my slab into three pieces makes it much easier to store and handle.
 

JRAiona

TVWBB Gold Member
I saw slabs at our new Costco here. I liked Bob's caution about the difference between MTQ and pink salt. I use his method for my bacon but use pink salt. I use it at the rate of 1 gram per pound of meat. That makes it 138 ppm.
 

Geo S

TVWBB Fan
If they have sliced in the case, then they have whole slabs in the back, just got to ask the guys behind the glass.
 

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