Q on smoking BBB?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by shtrdave, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. shtrdave

    shtrdave Smoking Fanatic

    I found an add today a small local store, which I have bought meat from many times, has boneless butts for 1.99. So I am thinking of doing the BBB thing, I plan on using either Mortons Sugar cure or TQ I have both. Anyone with a preference? 

    On the smoking, which way is best to smoke? Cold or hot?

    I have to admit I am one of those people that can buy a pack of bacon or sometimes ends and pieces and east more of it from the pack than cooked up in a pan.

    Planning on picking up the meat Friday to get it started.

    thanks for the info.

  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have only used the dry TQ method; it works great.  I thought I posted this summary tutorial, but I could not find it, so I'll drop it in here for ya:

    My Dry Cure BuckBoard Bacon Method:

    A few weeks back I began my quest to make BBB for the first time.  Finding a straight-forward, precise method & recipe was a challenge.  Many of the instructions I read assumed the reader knew more than I actually knew.  Information was scattered, a bit sketchy or thin in places, which made me nervous.  Curing meats is a big a step beyond simply smoking meats properly, so I really wanted to get this right rather than make anyone sick.

    Below is a dry cure set of instructions I’ve assembled from several sources and through my own recent success.  Our own SMF contributors include (in no particular order) Bearcarver, Venture, ChefRob, and Mballi.  If I missed anybody, I apologize (let me know, and I will give credit where it is due!!!).

    1)      Follow the cure instructions precisely: (1/2 ounce of TQ per pound of meat.  ½ ounce = 1 TBSP).  I applied the Tender Quick directly to the meat, and I rubbed it into every nook, cranny and fold of the meat surface. 

    2)    I rubbed brown sugar & pepper onto the meat over the Tender Quick.  Others apply all manner of spices, sugars and syrups at this point (particularly Grade A Maple).  Your imagination is your only limitation.  Still others believe that adding syrups or honey at this point is not very effective toward adding flavor.

    3)    I sealed the bacon in Foodsaver bags, although Ziplocks work fine.  Just get as much air out of the bags as possible.

    4)    I flipped & massaged the bacon daily for 10 days.  A little longer is better than too short a time in the cure.  The cure salts will pull moisture out of the meat; do not drain off the moisture during the curing process.

    5)    Once the appropriate cure time has passed, perform a fry test for saltiness.  If the bacon is too salty for your taste, soak in cold water for an hour or two, and re-test.  Some advocate soaking overnight in the fridge.  Again, this is a matter of personal taste and preference.

    6)    Once the salt level is to your liking, pat dry and refrigerate uncovered for at least 4 hours on cooling racks to form the pellicle.  Some will leave uncovered in the refrigerator overnight to form the pellicle.

    7)    Some apply spices at this point because they believe that the spices take better when added in with the cure.  Syrups or honey may also be brushed onto the bacon at this point.  Others believe that adding syrups (particularly Grade A Maple) or honey at this point is not very effective toward adding flavor.  Again, this would be personal preference and taste; experiment and decide for yourself.

    8)    Some begin the cold smoking process at this point.  I set the bacons on racks in the smoker without smoke at 130˚ for 1 hour to ensure good pellicle formation.

    9)    Smoke 6 to 8 hours at 130˚ with smoke. Then raise the smoker temp to 170˚ to 180˚ with smoke, until the internal temp of the bacon reaches between 145˚ and 150˚.

    10) Cool bacon and refrigerate (cold bacon is easier to slice).  Some advocate resting the bacon refrigerated overnight before slicing and consuming.

    11)  Slice and portion according to preference.

    I hope those contemplating the jump will find this helpful and provide some confidence as you move into this awesome world of cured meats.  It was much less daunting than I expected, and the results were really tasty.  Of course, the good folks here at SMF provided a great safety net as well.

  3. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    take note that this method will give you a fully cooked product.......you did say ya like to eat your bacon out of the bag. [​IMG]

    i prefer to cold smoke my BBB and then treat it like bacon and fry it up in a pan............both will give you good results!

    nice how to james.........
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm with Chefrob on this one, I cold smoke my BBB too.
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I like the whole layout given by "Adiochiro3", above.

    Taking it to 145˚ / 150˚ IT means every time you want to eat some, you can just warm it up a little, or eat it cold, because the USDA has changed their safe temp for Pork to 145˚.

    If you smoke it to less than 140 internal, you will have to Fry it or Broil it first. This isn't a big deal, except for BBB being so lean that it will curl up in the pan, and can easily burn.


  6. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I agree with Bear I always take my BBB to 145 / 150.
  7. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ok this may sound dumb, but I have yet to try the BBB & every time I see another post it drives me nuts with anticipation. Is it because of the cure that the 140 under 4 hours rule does not apply here or does it?
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes it is, Terry. A proper cure allows you to smoke as low & slow as you want.

  9. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    terry, i did bucky this summer with no heat (cold smoked) for 8-10 hrs in our AZ heat..........it is the cure that makes this possible.

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