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First Smoke Ever trying to make Boston Butt Bacon (BBB) for Void425

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

My first cure ever seemed to be a success with my Boston Butt.  You can follow that process here:

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/182903/first-wet-cure-making-boston-butt-bacon-bbb-for-void425

 

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Now I am on to the smoking stage.  I decided to go with a Hot Smoke because I already had a Brinkman's Smoke'n Pit Professional on the property.  

 

http://www.brinkmann.net/products/details.aspx?item=805-2101-0

 

 

I never used it since I inherited it, but from what I can tell this is a fairly good model to use without having to spend any money.  I would prefer to cold smoke but I am working with what I have available to learn on.  Later I will see about building a Cold Smoker and giving that a try.

 

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When i first fired this thing up I was getting a very solid 225°F and it climbed and peaked a constant at 250°F just using my initial lump charcoal and wood.  This would be wonderful if I was doing anything else, however I am trying to do bacon and I do not wish my temps to be above 200°F.    I would really prefer to start around 150°F and slowly climb up to the 200°F until I am ready to finish it off.  

 

This has been a very hard fight to get this temperature.  I stopped using the lump charcoal and am only trying to use wood to achieve temp I want.  I left for a while and the coal almost died completely out...but I toss some more wood in when I noticed and it flamed right up.   The temp however is way too cold now.....Slowly I am trying to raise the temp not to overshoot my 150 but this is a constant battle I am still fighting.....here is some pictures of my fight.     

 

I have also made some last minute modifications I should have researched a long time before I even started the smoker,  This project is currently being put together on the fly with anything I learn.  Hopefully my Heat baffle holds up.  I hope the position of my water pan does not cause too much of an issue.   I made way too much meat and I am going to have trouble getting it all to fit.  I had a rod installed because I was going to hand my meat instead of using a rack, until I realized the meat would not fit.  Later I want to extend the exaust pipe, but I am not going to worry about it for this cook.   Please let me know what you think so far.  Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 13

Why not just make cured pulled pork? It freezes well and is really good too. Kind of like pulled ham. I don't see how you could make bacon in that smoker. I think you would have to do every mod in the book and you still might not get the low temps you need.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I got tired of trying to get the temperature right before I put the meat on.  I put all my meat on the racks and sealed the lid.  I will now just monitor and adjust for temperatures the best I can.  If it gets a too hot then I will just deal with it.  It just wont turn out exactly like I wanted but it will still make a good meal.  I would have got another picture of it on the grill but the battery pack is dead. I will get a picture of it in a couple hours when I open it up to put the temp probe in.  For now I think I will just leave it closed unless I have to open it.

 

 

3:15 PM PST - Grill Temp 155°F - When I closed the Lid

3:25 PM PST - Grill Temp 165°F - Waiting for Temp to Stabilize.

3:35 PM PST - Grill Temp 195°F - Added Wood, Closed Vent Completely because flames.  Still gaps in firebox lid giving airflow.

3:45 PM PST - Grill Temp 165°F - No Smoke, Added Wood, Wait for Heavy White Smoke to stop, then closed firebox.

4:05 PM PST - Grill Temp 155°F - Meat Temp 67°F - No Smoke, Added Wood, Put in Temp Probe.  Grill temp peaked at 200°F

 

It seems if I keep adding about the same amount of wood whenever the smoke stops then it will peak up to 200°F.  The Smoke usually stops when it hits around 165°F.  I guess this is how it is supposed to work.  I just keep adding more when the smoke stops.  I really wish I could go longer then 10-15 minutes between adding wood though.  I probably can not put more wood in at once because it would spike my temp too much.  This might be normal for an offset smoker using chunks instead of logs (while trying to maintain a low temp).  If I wanted to keep it in the 225-250 I think I could just put an even layer in the firebox which would go a while.

 

 

4:30 PM PST - Grill Temp 155°F - Meat Temp 70°F - Still Smoke but temp 155°F, Added Wood to keep temp 150°F-200°F.

4:40 PM PST - Grill Temp 155°F - Meat Temp 72°F - Still Smoke but temp 155°F, Added Wood.
5:00 PM PST - Grill Temp 155°F - Meat Temp 76°F - Still Smoke but temp 155°F, Added Wood.
5:25 PM PST - Grill Temp >150°F - Meat Temp 80°F - No Smoke, Lost Track of Time.  Added Wood to correct issue.
5:50 PM PST - Grill Temp 190°F - Meat Temp 83°F - Smoking Again.  Peaked at 190°F.  Back on track.
6:10 PM PST - Grill Temp 200°F - Meat Temp 86°F - Peaked at 200°F.  Have to run to store quickly.
6:30 PM PST - Grill Temp >150°F - Meat Temp 90°F - Still Smoking.  Added Wood to Heat up a little bit.
 
The wind really started blowing....Temps were too low...Add Fuel...White Smoke.....I finally got it under control but I had to add fuel and open the damper all the way.  I got TBS again but the damper is fully open...Heat is only at 160°F.   I am guessing it might need more fuel but I know with the fuel will come more White smoke for a little bit.  Back to playing with the thing.  Hopefully the wind settles down a bit again.
 
 
8:10 PM PST - Grill Temp 215°F - Meat Temp 97°F - It is Dark Now and I am Hungry.  Keeping Temp 225°F-250°F to get this done.
 
10:20 PM PST - Meat Temp 113°F - Done Smoking, Was not able to get it to 146°F so it will have to be cooked completely before eaten.

Edited by Void425 - 4/1/15 at 10:20pm
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Here is a couple updated photo's.  One of the Smoke I am trying to keep going.  The other of the Meat.  The meats closest to the Firebox are going to be fairly cooked by the time my probe reaches 146°F.  I think that will have to be dinner.

 

If you have any comments and/or suggestions please let me know.  Thanks.

 

 

 

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have been using an awful lot of wood.  I have been adding nothing but wood to keep this thing going.  I think I would be better off adding some more charcoal along with the wood so I am using charcoal to keep the wood going.  Instead of using wood to keep wood going all the time.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

The more I play with the smoker the better I am starting to understand it.  It is not as simple as just reading about it and doing it.  It actually takes practice.  I think I pretty much got it down so I can handle any extremes.  Now it is just a matter of stabilizing it and keep it there.

 

 

Too Hot > Close the Damper

Too Cold > Add Fuel if Running Low, else Open the Damper

 

Too Much White Smoke > Open the Damper which will create heat.  If damper is already open I added too much fuel earlier.

Not Enough Smoke > Add Fuel, if already Fuel Close the damper but it will reduce the temp.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

I finished the smoking process but this will have to be fully cooked before eaten.  I will slice it tomorrow.  I had to slice enough to try it out now.

 

 

 

 


Edited by Void425 - 4/1/15 at 11:02pm
post #8 of 13

Looks real good. How was it?

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

It tasted pretty good to me when I sampled it.  I still have not actually had a meal with it yet.

 

I let it sit uncovered in the fridge for a day after I finished smoking it.  I have now sliced it up and sealed it into 1 pound bags.  I ended up with 8 full pounds of sealed packs.  Had another 3/4 of a pound I stuck in the fridge for the rest of the week.  I ended up with 1.5 pounds of odds and ends from slicing that just were not nice long bacon looking pieces.  I figure those odds and ends will be great to through in to make some Beans n' Bacon.  

 

Overall I only got a total of 10 pounds when I started with 16 pounds.  I am estimating after the cure I had 17.6 pounds but I must have lost 44% of the weight during smoking and sampling.

Over 1/2 of this will be going to friends/family to test out and get some feedback.  I will start another batch in a couple days after I get some feedback.  I will probably do another Wet Cure but I will add just a hint of sugar this time.  I will also try smoking with 3/4 Apple and 1/4 Hickory (In this batch I did 50/50). 

 

Below is a picture of it being sliced and weighed.  

A 2nd one of the 1 pound piles.  

The last picture is a close up of the thickest piece of meat (about 2 inches) which is evenly cured and has a nice smoke ring on the outside.  

 

 

 

post #10 of 13

Wow, that looks delicious.

 

Nice work.

post #11 of 13

Looks great!

 

What kind of slicer is that, I did mine this weekend and hand sliced it all.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

It's a Bizerba SE12D slicer.  Fully Automatic with a 13 inch blade.  

 

Here is a link someone did already with one in action.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzEPZgLbSf4

 

I found it on craigslist as not working for $250.  Seller said it worked, then worked intermittently, then nothing.  I took it to a repair shop and they misdiagnosed it as a faulty on/off switch for $50.  I took it home, did a couple hours research on electronics and found out it was just a bad power cord.  The previous owners pulled it around so much that that it broke inside the power cord where the it goes into the unit.  I attached a better power cord I picked up from the hardware store and it works like a dream now.  Overall I spent about $350 on this machine, but since it works now the unit itself it worth about $1000-$1400 if I wanted to resell it right now.  Too bad it does not have its sharpener which will cost me another $150, but unless I decide to open a shop I probably wont need it anytime soon.

post #13 of 13

Nice job, great find on the slicer

 

Gary

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