This was my first attempt at Buckboard bacon, and it turned out GREAT! I kept seeing everyone else post in this thread about it and decided it was time to give it a whirl. I bought a box of Hi Mountain cure at the local Bass Pro and half a Boston butt at the local grocer (found one without a bone so I wouldn't have to worry about that). Brought it home, rubbed it down, and it looked like this:
Into the fridge it went for 12 days. I turned it every 3-4 days. I tried to follow Hi Mountain's instructions as closely as possible. If anyone knows of any tips or tricks beyond the included instructions I would be curious to hear them.
I had originally planned to smoke it on Saturday (day 13), but a pending ice storm heading for the area on Friday moved my plans up a day. I took the pork out of the fridge, poured off the liquid (I was surprised how much liquid came out of that 3# piece of meat), and soaked it in water for about an hour and a half. Took it out of the water, rinsed it well, patted it dry, and set in on my Bradley rack over a cake pan for another hour and a half while I got the smoker heated up.
Above, it is patted dry and about to go onto the smoker rack.
I must confess that I started the bacon in the oven at 170oF for 35 minutes instead of the smoker at 150oF as directed. The reason for using the oven is that I have only had this Bradley smoker for about a month, and it is not digital. I just haven't zeroed in on my temps yet, and I didn't feel comfortable trying to hit 2 temps in a single smoking process.
Once the meat had heated in the oven for 35 minutes, I moved it to the 200oF smoker with the apple wood smoke already flowing. I used my Maverick wireless meat probe to monitor internal temp until it reached 140oF. At that point, I shut off the smoker and smoke generator, closed the damper on top to about 1/3 open, and let it set for 1 hour. During that time, my internal temp climbed for a while, peaking at 145oF, and then cooled to 128oF by the time the hour was up.
I pulled it from the smoker and set it on the stove top for a few minutes while I set up the meat slicer.
Here is a look at the center during slicing.
Here is a pic of the finished, sliced product ready for the frying pan
And finally, a pic of the fried bacon ready to eat. The flavor seemed to be between country ham and bacon. It had the smoky goodness of bacon with the saltiness of country ham. Perhaps I used too much cure or didn't soak long enough. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining at all! This stuff is amazing! I am heading to the store this evening to get another Boston butt (or 2) so I can start the process over again and have fresh bacon in another 2 weeks.
Thanks for checking out my rambling post.