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!!!
On Sale at Redner’s Market for $1.88 per pound! for Pork Loin!!!
Then since it was Veteran’s Day I got another 10% off everything.
So I got 2 Whole Pork Loins for $1.71 lb. I bought about 20 pounds of Pork Loin.
Prepping (Day #1):
First I cut enough off of these Loins to give Mrs Bear enough for her Crock-pot to make Pork & Sauerkraut on New Year’s Day, and Vac Sealed & put that in the Freezer for her.
I did this in a way that I would have 4 pieces left that would just fit in a Gallon size Ziplock bag.
Then I Rinsed, Dried, and Weighed the pieces to be cured.
Then I Weighed the proper amounts 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. I do this on a Dinner plate, so it’s easy to wipe the fallen TQ up & put it in the bag.
Calculating curing time:
The method I use for calculating curing time is simple. I learned it 6 years ago right here 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 3/4 inches. Round that up to 3”. There are 6 "Half inches" in 3”.
So that would be 6 Days plus 2 days = 8 days absolute minimum curing time.
Then due to the fact that I wanted to smoke the meat on Monday, I added 2 more days to that number.
So I cured these pieces of Pork Butt for 10 days in my Meat fridge, at 37°.
Note: Curing should be done in temps between 34° and 40°. I always cured between 37° and 38°. Now I’m able to hold 37° IT Meat temp.
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——Zero Salt flavor, as usual.
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 to get more of a Ham flavor) I skipped sprinkling the CBP, Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder.
I put these pieces in my Kitchen Fridge for the night.
I can no longer carry a rack full of meat up & 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 3rd 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 127° 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 133°)
4:00 PM—————-———Internal Temp at 139°.
5:15 PM————————-All pieces were over 145° IT——Remove from smoker.
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 8 slices per pack, which is good for one Supper for each of us & one Breakfast (with Eggs) for me.
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!!
These are “Whole Boneless Pork Loins”:
This one was 11.68 pounds——The other one was 10.58 pounds. Most Pork Loins I see around here are about that size:
The pieces I cut off for Mrs Bear’s Crock pot for New Year’s Day “Pork & Sauerkraut”:
4 pieces cut to fit in 1 gallon Ziplock bags for curing:
Coated with proper amount of TQ and Brown Sugar, and bagged for 10 days in 37° in fridge to cure:
4 pieces after soaking in cold water for 15 minutes & rinsed to remove surface salt:
Here I cut the thickest one in half to check for cure to center (Pink all the way to center):
One test slice showed ZERO salt flavor:
Ready for Smoker:
2 Rows of Hickory Dust in my AMNS with one end lit, ready for Smoker:
Smoked, cooled in Fridge over 2 nights, and in Freezer for 3 hours——Ready for slicing:
All sliced up—Ends in bowl on left—Slices on plate:
Closer Look of All:
Closer look at slices:
All Vacuum Packed for Meat Freezer: