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 pretty good score about two weeks ago!!!
Lowest price for Pork Butts I've seen for a couple years!!!
On Sale at Redner’s Market for $1.68 per pound!!!!
Then since it was Veteran’s Day I got another 10% off everything.
So I got 2 Small Boston Butts (5+ lbs each), 2 Whole Pork Loins ($1.88), and some Ground Beef (80-20) for $1.98.
Prepping (Day #1):
So I started by De-boning the Butts. I never had trouble de-boning a Butt before, but since my Open-Heart Fiasco, my hands were shaking so much I was lucky I didn’t lose a finger while doing that first Butt. So I decided to leave the bone in the second Butt.
Then I Weighed the pieces to be cured.
Then Weigh proper amount of Tender Quick for each piece (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 about 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. I learned it 6 years ago on SMF, and it has never failed me. The cure has always gotten to the center of all pieces, and I have never had any that were salty. Those are the 2 Important things!!
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 absolute minimum curing time.
Then due to the fact that I wanted to smoke the meat on Monday, I added 3 more days to that number.
So I cured these pieces of Pork Butt for 10 days in my Meat fridge, at 37°.
Rinse all the pieces off, and soaked them in cold water for about 15 minutes to remove surface salt.
I cut a slice from the middle of the Thickest 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!!)
Then (experimenting) I skipped sprinkling the CBP, Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder, and put the pieces on the Grill racks, without touching each other.
I put these pieces in my Kitchen Fridge for the night.
I can no longer carry a rack full of meat down the steps, so I will put it in my smoker for an hour or two at about 150˚, before adding the smoke, to get my pellicle.
Day #11 (Smoking Day---Using MES 40 BT):
7:00 AM-------------------------Pre-Heat Smoker to 150˚.
7:30 AM-------------------------Put loaded rack on 2nd position of my 6 position smoker, with top exhaust vent open fully.
8:00 AM————————-Fill 2 rows of AMNS with Hickory Dust & light one end.
9:30 AM————————-Internal Temp at 101°——Put Smoking AMNS on bottom rack, on left side.
1:00 PM-------------------------Bump heat to 170˚ (Internal Temps were at about 130° at this time).
2:00 PM————————-Add Apple Dust to half of last row of AMNS to complete smoke.
3:00 PM————————-Bump Heat to 180° (IT was at 140°)
4:00 PM—————-———Check each piece, and remove as all were between 146° and 153° internal temp.
Allow to cool to about 100˚ before wrapping in plastic wrap, and putting in fridge for R & R.
Leave in Fridge over 2 nights for best flavor.
Put in freezer for 3 to 4 hours before slicing makes the slicing work much better.
I sliced this batch, and vacuum packed in small amounts, because I only eat a little at a time nowadays, so each pack is enough to go with about 4 or 5 days with my Breakfast Eggs.
Note: I actually used Dry Maple Sugar (Equal amount as the TQ) on one of the pieces, instead of Brown Sugar, and I could not taste a difference.
That's all I can think of right now----Enjoy the Views!!
Two Small Boston Butts (5 Pounds each)
Butt pieces before curing:
Small Center slice shows cured to center & fry test showed Zero Salt flavor:
MMMMM—Test piece tastes Great—All it needs is Smoke!!:
Ready for Smoker:
No more leaves on Trees!!
Two rows of Hickory Dust in my AMNS lit & ready to go:
Tape doesn’t stick to my new MES 40, so I’m using clothes pins on cables to hold Maverick probes in place:
Buckboard Bacon pieces ready for slicing:
All done slicing. Bacon ends in small bowl on left (A favorite around here):
Closer look at Sliced BBB:
BBB all wrapped for freezing: