NOTE: The following is how I do this particular Smoke. You can do it this way, or many other ways.
I'm posting this in Step by Step form in case anyone would like to follow it.
I got a really good score about two weeks ago!!!
Lowest price for Pork Loin I've seen for at least 3 years!!!
On Sale at Weis Markets for $1.59 per pound!!!!
I couldn't believe it, and it came in on the week after Standing Rib Roast was $4.99 !!!!
My Ram hasn't hauled that much weight, since I used to carve my Bears!!! LOL
So I raced down there, and picked out about 27 pounds of Pork Loin (3 Loins).
While I was there, I bought 4 packages of what they were calling "Petite Pork Ribs" on sale for $1.79.
Tip: If you ever see "Petite Pork Ribs", just walk on by!!!
They look like small Pork Spares, but when you open the package, they are in two pieces, cut lengthwise.
They seem to be the top sections of what you have left, after doing the St Louis cut on a pair of Pork Spares!!!!
They tasted fine made in about a 2-2-1 at 200˚, but a PITA prepping, and very thin!!!
So back to my Pork Loin Adventure:
First of all, since it was Dec 30th, Mrs Bear wanted some Loin for her crock-pot to make Pork & Sauerkraut (New Year's Day).
I wanted to cure the rest, so that worked out perfectly.
I cut two 9" long pieces from each Loin, which is just what will fit in my Gallon Size Zip-locks.
The 3 pieces left were a perfect fit in Mrs Bear's Big Oval Crock-Pot.
Prepping (Day #1):
Weigh pieces to be cured.
Weigh proper amount of Tender Quick for each piece of Pork Loin (1/2 ounce---One TBS per pound).
Rub TQ on first, trying to get it distributed evenly all over the piece of meat it was measured for.
Rub on between one tsp & 2 tsp of Brown Sugar per pound of meat, and put the piece of meat in the bag.
Note: We fold the top of the bag over, like a pants cuff, so no salt or sugar grains get in the zipper parts.
Any cure that falls off before getting into the bag, I pick up & put in the bag, with the piece of meat it was designated to be with. That will ensure that the proper amount of cure will be with each piece of meat during the curing stage.
Calculating curing time:
The method I use for calculating curing time is simple.
Measure the thickest spot of all of the pieces of meat you plan to cure.
Figure how many "half inches" there are in that measurement.
Add 2 to that number. That will be the minimum time that I would cure that piece of meat.
Then I personally like to add 2 or 3 more days to be extra safe (you can't over-cure, but you can under-cure).
My thickest piece was 2 1/2 inches. There are 5 "Half inches" in 2 1/2".
So that would be 5 Days plus 2 days = 7 days minimum curing time.
Then due to the fact that I wanted to smoke the meat on Monday, January 9th, I added 2 more days to that number.
So I cured these pieces of Pork Loin for 9 days in my fridge, at 37˚/38˚.
Rinse all the pieces off, and soaked them in cold water for about one half hour.
I cut a few slices off of the biggest piece, and checked the color inside to be sure it was cured to the center.
Then I did a Fry-Test to make sure it wasn't too salty. It was perfect.
So I rinsed the pieces all off again, and patted them dry with a lot of paper towels (Mrs Bear says I should buy a paper towel company!!)
I also cut some slices lengthwise through the thin fat caps, on top, to allow more smoke & seasoning to get into the red meat.
Then I sprinkled some CBP, Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder on each piece, and put the pieces on the Grill racks, without touching each other.
Then into the fridge uncovered over night for the pellicle to begin forming.
If you don't have fridge space, you can put in your smoker for an hour or two at about 130˚, before adding the smoke.
Day #10 (Smoking Day---Using MES 40):
7:00 AM----------------------------------Pre-Heat Smoker to 140˚.
8:00 AM----------------------------------Put loaded grills on top two positions, with top exhaust vent open fully.
8:30 AM----------------------------------Put well lit, loaded with Hickory, AMNPS on bars in bottom of MES, to the left of chip burner.
4:00 PM----------------------------------Bump heat to 180˚ (Internal Temps were at about 120˚ at this time).
5:00 PM----------------------------------Good color---remove AMNPS & save remaining pellets (IT was about 133˚).
Between 7 PM and 8 PM-------------Check each piece, and remove pieces when they are between 145˚ and 150˚ internal temp.
Allow to cool to about 100˚ before wrapping in plastic wrap, and putting in fridge for R & R.
I usually leave the pieces in my fridge for one night, but I had to go away that day, so they stayed for two nights.
These are the best tasting cured & smoked Pork Loins I ever had, and I believe the extra day in fridge before slicing is the main reason.
Put in freezer for 2 hours before slicing makes the slicing work much better.
I sliced 58 Boneless Pork Chops (1/2" each), and 90 slices of Canadian Bacon (1/8" each), and had one small bowl full of tasty ends left.
I wrapped 3 slices of CB in between two Pork Chops in each vacuum pack for freezing (Just right for a meal for Mrs Bear & Me).
That's all I can think of right now----Enjoy the Views!!
My Huge Score on Pork Loin ( 3 loins on bottom of pile):
Petite Pork Ribs (Do Not Buy!):
I still can't believe that price!!!
All rubbed, bagged, and ready for 9 days in the Fridge:
Rinsed & soaking for a half hour after curing:
Slices for the Salt-fry test.
Note the color. The bottom two slices were from the inside of a cured section of Loin.
They are nice and bright pink, showing the cure went all the way to the center:
Sampling & consuming the "Salt-fry test" subjects (another good reason for doing the test):
All patted dry, seasoned, and ready for an overnight in Fridge, before smoking:
After Smoking & 2 days mellowing out in fridge, before slicing:
All sliced up into Boneless Smoked Pork Chops & Canadian Bacon---Plus some mighty tasty ends!!!
Close-up of the finished products:
All vacuum packed, named & dated, and ready for freezing, except for a couple packs for immediate consumption!