- One pork shoulder (Boston Butt)
- 2 tablespoons of Sugar per pound of meat (I will cut this in half next time)
- 1 tablespoon Mortons Tenderquick per pound of meat
- Garlic powder add liberally
- Onion Powder add liberally
- Cracked Pepper amount is preference.
- Deboned and butterflied (do not trim fat)
- Cured for 13 days
- Pellicle formation one day
- Cold Smoked for 36 hours using AMNPS (outside temperature 50° and below, my goal is to keep it under 75°)
- Rested 4 days
- Sliced, packaged.
Read this before going any further.
I am not going to go into the science, safety issues or specifics of curing, that will be your homework.
I suggest doing a bit of research before attempting to cure any thing.
Here is a link to the cure that I use it is called Morton® Tender Quick®
It will be YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make sure your food is safe.
From Morton's Website.
Morton® Tender Quick® mix contains salt, the main preserving agent; sugar, both sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, curing agents that also contribute to development of color and flavor; and propylene glycol to keep the mixture uniform. Morton® Tender Quick® mix can be used interchangeably with Morton® Sugar Cure® (Plain) mix. It is NOT a meat tenderizer.
CAUTION: This curing salt is designed to be used at the rate specified in the formulation or recipe. It should not be used at higher levels as results will be inconsistent, cured meats will be too salty, and the finished products may be unsatisfactory. Curing salts should be used only in meat, poultry, game, salmon, shad and sablefish. Curing salts cannot be substituted for regular salt in other food recipes. Always keep meat refrigerated (36° to 40°F) while curing.
Ok lets get started!
- This wasn't hard just a bit tedious, I would run my fingers along the bone to get an idea where to cut. Now I have two halves, a fellow smoker only uses the half with the fat cap and uses the bottom half for sausage. For this Bucky I am doing both halves
- Cure is added to both sides.
- Brown Sugar is added (2 tablespoons per 1 tablespoon of Tender Quick) Yes I washed my hands before adding the other ingredients.
- Onion Powder, Garlic Powder added.
- Sealed in Ziploc Bags. Air is squeezed out of the Ziploc bag.
- Added some cracked black pepper.
- Butts are placed in a pan and into the refrigerator for 13-14 days. Butts are taken out of the refrigerator and massaged every day (don't go there),to insure a safe cure.
- Now for a two hour ice bath. I know how this butt feels taking an ice bath, with three girls in the house there's no hot water left for my bath.
- Patting dry.
- Doing a fry Test.
- It was pretty salty but my better half said it was fine.
- It's definitely not bacon at this point, more like ham.
- Now that it has passed the fry test it's placed in the refrigerator to form a pellicle.
- Started the cold smoke with Maple Pellets using my new AMNPS (Smoke Generator) click here for the review.
- Flipped the bacon , I really don't think it needed to be flipped, but figured it wouldn't hurt anything and sometimes I like to play with my food. Now it's starting to look like bacon.
- The next day did another flip. After the firs 11-12 hours I threw some Hickory in the AMNPS.
- OK 36 hours later, lets have a look.
- Looking good, lets wrap this in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for several days, actually four days.
Four days later...
- Ok, this is my favorite part, slicing time! I do this in my workshop and open up the garage doors (that's an invitation for my neighbors to stop in and have a beer) Too funny when I think about it, usually when you open the garage door, flies come in, when I open the garage door, neighbors come in.
- OMG, does that look awesome or what, I wanted to bite into it RAW!
- We got to see that up close.
- OK time for another fry test.
Here is a video for the guys that want to hear it sizzle. TURN UP THE VOLUME.
- Now its time for packaging. I'm a bit anal with presentation of the finished product. I figure, if I'm going to put all this time and effort into something it needs to "look good" as well as "taste good".
- This is thin sliced so to try and firm it up a bit, I put it in the freezer for two hours before slicing, the packaging was a bear and would have been easier to do in the garage because the bacon was coming up to room temperature quickly after slicing and was a PITA to get in the vac bag. The garage was about 15° cooler, in retrospect, I should have sliced, threw in the freezer 20 minutes then placed in the vac bags, OH well! Another method would be to place on wax paper slide into the vac bag flip it upside down and peel away the wax paper, I'll try that next time.
- All the bacon is sliced and refrigerated, one pack, I added cracked black pepper to before sealing. I left some out to munch on and give to some buddies.
- The scraps can be used for Stews, Chili, Beans, sandwiches etc... Those that didn't make the grade for packaging were used for testing. See the recipes below.
Buck Board Bacon Breakfast
This breakfast sandwich is what I like to refer to as, one of my favorite "Comfort Foods".
- Toasted a Bagel and threw on a thick slice of American Cheese, would much rather have had Cooper sharp, Oh well!
- Pat of Bacon Grease.
- The bacon was then placed on a dish then microwaved for 10 seconds twice... I'll explain why later.
- Egg placed on the bagel.
- Glass of milk (my favorite beverage), Cup of Kahlua coffee, Toast with Cream Cheese and Homemade Apple Butter, and of course the main attraction, Bacon Egg and Cheese bagel with SQWIBS Pineapple Habanero Hot Sauce. As I mentioned on this website before, this is the ultimate in "comfort food" for me.
- Mm Mmmm Life don't get any better than this. Now I need to make sure I take my Lipitor tonight!
Buck Board Bacon Burger
This burger was outstanding, the horseradish really made it pop.
- Buck Board Bacon
- Thick slice Onion
- Jalapeno Pepper slices
- A-1 Sauce.
- Kaiser Roll
Yeah I know... I need a bigger burger!
Buck Board Bacon Beans
- Buckboard Bacon
- 55 oz. Can Bush's Baked Beans
- Small Jalapeno
- Small Green Pepper
- 1/2 small onion
- 1 tsp of Mustard Powder
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire.
Buck Board Bacon Pork and Beans
These beans make for a great quick hot lunch during the week.
Buck Board Bacon Flat Bread Pizza
Ingredients: Whatever you like!!
Now for some notes:
- The bacon was pretty smoky, not too much but it was fairly strong while eating by itself. However on a sandwich it was perfectly fine. The smoky flavor seems more mellow when eating the bacon cold.
- I will cut this back from 36 hours to 18 hours next smoke.
- The bacon was also sweet, while the kids and the better half liked it, I am going to cut the sugar in half next time.
- It seemed to loose a bit of the salty taste after the smoke, not sure why but it was sweeter after the smoke.
- It is fairly close to store bought bacon.
- A little trick I picked up messing with the Buckboard Bacon was, if you pan fry it to try and get crispy, it will burn, maybe due to the amount of sugar I used, not really sure, anyhow, here is how I got around that problem, cook the bacon until it's browned real good and microwave it a bit. I microwaved two pieces for 10 seconds twice. When the bacon cools it is crispy and to be frankly honest it's at this point that it tastes very close to store bought bacon.
- When I first started out on this Buck Board Bacon venture, my biggest question was RAW OR COOKED, seems like most folks say COOKED while a smaller group say RAW, I just kept saying to myself, "SELF, it's bacon so don't cook it during the smoke", anyhow after much reading I came across something written by a fellow smoking enthusiast Chef Rob
Chef Rob Quote:
"when i first started doing BBB i took it to a fully cooked state. while i liked it to snack on, i wasn't real happy with the frying for breakfast. IMHO i feel that during the smoke, some of the rendered fat that i saw in the smoker never made it to the pan bringing along it's extra smokie goodness and resulting in that crispyness that belly has. that's when i decided to #1, look for a fatty butt. #2 butterfly the butt after deboning to ensure that at least 1/2 of the slice will have some good fattyness to it. and #3, don't bring it up above 135-140, this way you will need to fry the BBB and render the fat and thus the meat cooks in it's own fat imparting more smoke and other flavors".
Makes sense to me! Thanks ChefRob
This is when I decided RAW is the way to go.
Well how does the bacon hold up in recipes and on sandwiches?
Bacon applied in the real world.
The Buck Board Bacon can hold it's own, however, this stuff really shines when used on sandwiches and in recipes, the extra smokiness and sweetness are welcome for the dishes I have tried so far.
- Breakfast sandwiches are mouthwatering.
- The burger was simply outstanding.
- The beans are great and the bacon adds enough smoky flavor throughout without having to smoke the beans them self.
I know that there is no BLT listed, I will update this page when I get around to playing with the bacon some more, I gave some to a few friends for testing, hopefully they will have great success with it as I had.
Hopefully this venture into Making ones own Buck Board Bacon will answer some questions folks may have before venturing into this wonderful thing called Buck Board Bacon.
Thanks for tuning in!
Edited by SQWIB - 4/24/13 at 6:02am