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FNG from Houston TX

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I sure hope I'm posting this in the right place, I posted this yesterday and someone told me it was in the wrong spot.

Nice to meat y’all! I’ve been lurking for some time and before y’all start joking, I’m not originally from Texas, but I got here as soon as I could. I’m an Oregonian and grew up smoking salmon and steelhead, not to mention Jerky, Elk, venison and beef. I got into making sausage about ten years ago and have been making corned beef, bacon and ham for a couple of years now. I love dry brined and box cured anything, and I have about stopped pickling pretty much altogether. I make my own Instacure (s) from kosher salt, sodium nitrite, and red food coloring. (Blue if I’m adding potassium nitrate to make Instacure 2). Chemistry is an interest and beer brewing, pyrotechnics and distilling are old hobbies. I stopped drinking a while back and after 9-11 the damn government has put a serious crimp in hobby fireworks, so that leaves meat curing as my current primary passion. Most of my smoking is done in a Texas style vertical smoker with a gas burner and an iron spider to hold wood chips. I have used “real fire†before, but I have a hard time controlling the temperature that way. I also have a 1952 Frigidaire metal sided refrigerator I’m converting to a smoker with a remote firebox, but that project isn’t completed as yet. I used to do a lot of canning too, mostly smoked salmon and regular vegetables, pickles and the like but there are no salmon or cheap fresh vegetables here in Houston. I’ve always liked food prep and doing anything from scratch. But enoughf history, I’m going to try making some Canadian bacon (piecemeal?) from some loin I bought at the HEB yesterday. I though I would use my standard dry brine bacon formula and add some bay leaf. Normally I horse my bacon (and jerky) but this loin is pretty big so I though I’d try rubbing it down and sealing in a vacuum bag for a couple of week in the fridge to cure. I was reading on here where somebody was doing that? Never tried it before but it sounds like a good idea. Also from what I read in “The Sausage Maker†(my bible) Canadian bacon isn’t smoked, but it sounds like most of y’all are treating it just like “belly bacon†and running it through the smoker? Also y’all seem to be getting it pretty toasty at 145-160 internal temp? I’ve been cold smoking my regular bacon at less than 120 and relying on the frying pan to cook it. Am I doing something wrong there? It taste good to most everyone that way. I’d welcome any tips y’all can give me, it will be a couple of weeks before this loin will be ready to smoke, or not? Somebody clue me in here will ya? And good to get to know y'all,
post #2 of 21
Wecome to the forum. Please feel free to offer your suggestions and to draw from the advice of some really nice folks. Don't worry about posting in the wrong spot. Posting is like smoking...a learning experience.
post #3 of 21
Glad you found the site, can't wait to see some pics..........you are gonna take pics right?! Good, I knew you would!PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

Your not doing anything wrong if the people you cook for love it. I tend to smoke anything & everything. It's just more fun outside w/a smoker than in by the oven.
post #4 of 21
welcome to SMF... we are all here to help with every question that you could think of
post #5 of 21
Welcome to SMF. Hope you enjoy the company!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Warm and smoky thanks to all of y'all. I'm jus lurking here at work and chewing up some jerky from my last batch. Pictures you say? I think I can Handel that one once I figure out my way around this website. I did start the loin curing last night in my regular bacon dry brine with some bay leaf added and a shot of pure maple syrup just because I couldn't resist before closing the bag. My problem was the "food saver" vacuum bagger wanted to such all the juice out before it could draw a full vacuum on the bag. So I guess I wasted the bag material when a regular zip Lock would have done the same job.
post #7 of 21
Welcome to SMF Navionjim, as to your post yesterday I think what Deb was getting at was that you would have a better response at being properly greeted by having your own Roll Call thread.

A tip on the Food Saver- if yours doesn't have a 'moist' setting, cut your bag a little longer and then take several layers of paper towels and fold it lake a fan and place in the top of your bag just below where the sealer is on the Food Saver. Seal the bag and the paper towel will abosorb the moisture before it gets pulled out of the bag. Place the strip with the paper towel ABOVE the sealer strip and just seal the bag again-no need to vacuum it out (might have to hit the seal button a couple of times) and then trim off the sealed paper towel above the new seal.
post #8 of 21
Welcome to SMF
post #9 of 21
Welcome Again Navionjim -

There's always someone here that can help with just about anything smoke related!
post #10 of 21
Hey Navionjim , welcome to the forum.
post #11 of 21
Welcome to SMF... in case I missed ya in the other message
post #12 of 21
Welcome Navionjim!! Quite the extensive resume you have there. I am sure you will find there is alot of folks here with alot knowledge and they are always willing to help.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Damn! thats a great idea, I'm an engineer and I never even thought of trying that. It makes perfect sense, now why didn't I think of that?
post #14 of 21
Welcome aboard.
post #15 of 21
Welcome to the SMF. I hope you enjoy your stay. Sorry that you have had to modify some of your lifes pleasures.
post #16 of 21
Welcome to the SMF Navionjim.

Glad you found us!!
post #17 of 21
i had to re-read your original post cuz something wasnt clicking until i did..lol

real canadian bacon is not smoked, its called peameal bacon, cured and rolled in cornmeal...i miss eating it, i use to eat it all the time when i was at home...
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks but that's what happens in life, truth be told, I miss the camaraderie and social aspects I found in the brewing / distilling hobbies, but not the alcohol itself. Sometimes we have to readjust our lifestyles. Glad to meet a new set of friends in what may be a healthier industry.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Wow Thats just the information I needed! Now I'm not sure if I want to smoke this bacon or not. I guess I'll try it both ways. Thanks a million.
post #20 of 21
depending on the size of your loin... you could cut it in half... smoke one... make peameal bacon out of the other one
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