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Bacon, Bacon, And More Bacon...Almost 40# (W / Pics)

Discussion in 'Pork' started by tx smoker, May 19, 2019.

  1. tx smoker

    tx smoker Smoking Fanatic

    It wasn't planned this way but yesterday turned into a bacon marathon at Casa TX. I had 22# of slab bacon that was ready to smoke so got it going early. I knew we were going to attack the yard and get it done before the impending monsoon hit so wanted to get the bacon going. After we finished the yard it started getting dark, windy, and the skies looked pretty threatening. Decided to go ahead and make the vac seal bags to get the dry aged Buckboard Bacon packaged and put away that I'd sliced a couple days ago. When that was all done I still had more time before the bacon on the smoker was going to be done so went ahead and started a 12# batch of Canadian Bacon curing. About the time I put the Canadian Bacon in the bags, the slab bacon it the magical mark. Everything was still out and it was a pretty impressive spread so thought I'd shoot a few pics. Here is what my kitchen looked like yesterday.

    4 slabs of bacon. Two pepper crusted and two maple and brown sugar. You can see the water on the rubber mats from the rain....it started and came with a vengeance
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    Close up of the pepper crusted
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    Close up of the maple and brown sugar
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    Several pics from different vantage points after the bacon came off the smoker
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    All told, it was just shy of 40 pounds of various types of bacon. Needless to say, we are set for a few weeks :-) It is kinda interesting though how my wife's take on bacon has changed since finding SMF. She used to never eat bacon except on BLT's so we only went through a pound every month or month and a half. Since starting to make it at home a year ago last December, I have made almost 300 pounds of bacon in all sorts of different styles and flavors. It's reached a point with the wife that if we get below 8 pounds in the freezer she goes into the panic mode and decrees that I must make more. Far be it from me to defy the lady who controls the purse strings around here :emoji_wink:

    Bacon overload in Lago,
    Robert
     
  2. ponzLL

    ponzLL Fire Starter

    Looks good! But what in the world kind of smoker is that? It looks like there's nothing below the grates? I'm curious, got any info on the thing?

    I just looked it up after this thread and it doesn't actually look too difficult. I think we're gonna make some bacon now
     
  3. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    That's Great---Can never have too much Bacon!!!
    Nice Job, Robert!
    Like

    Bear
     
  4. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great haul there!

    Ever smoke bacon to an Internal Temp (IT) of 145F? You can eat it immediately without frying and it is fantastic!!!!

    I call it "Bacon Cold Cuts". It is really just bacon but if you call it bacon cold cuts people don't get weird about trying it since it looks and feels like normal bacon. Once they eat a slice or two they are hooked and then I just tell them that it is just bacon that you can eat right out of the package.

    90% of the bacon I make this way never hits a skillet and is eaten right out of the pack hahahahha
     
  5. I like you think it looks really good but also wondering what kind of smoker that is?
     
  6. tx smoker

    tx smoker Smoking Fanatic

    "Looks good! But what in the world kind of smoker is that? It looks like there's nothing below the grates? I'm curious, got any info on the thing?"

    It's what we call a T-Pit. The fire box is directly below the cook chamber, right in the middle. This is a really interesting configuration and I'll try to explain it. Above the opening between the fire box and cook chamber is a heavy duty heat deflector plate made from a piece of 8" diameter, 1/2" thick wall round steel pipe that is split down the middle lengthwise. With that over the opening it creates a reverse flow technique that works both directions. This will allow for perfectly even cooking temps throughout the smoker, end to end and top to bottom of the cook chamber. The real beauty is that if you want different temps at each end, you can slide the deflector plate right or left, opening up one end for higher temps and damping down the other end for lower temps. I have actually had ribs cooking on one end at 235 and brisket on the other end at 275 and this was by design. The stacks are both higher than the top cooking racks so the temps at top are exactly the same as the temps at the main grates. I drilled a big hole in the left side of the fire box, ran gas piping into the fire box, and installed two 6" low pressure propane burners. These are my heat source. I then took a heavy duty cooking grate and installed steel legs on it so that it'd sit above the burners. On that grate I use a stainless steel bowl for my smoker wood. I know it may sound convoluted but I assure you, cooking on this smoker is an absolute dream. No fighting temp differentials from end to end, very little maintenance required during a cook session, and a versatility that I have never seen in a smoker before. I just love this thing!! A few pics to follow....

    "I just looked it up after this thread and it doesn't actually look too difficult. I think we're gonna make some bacon now"

    Uh oh...another convert :-) Making bacon is brainlessly easy. Be prepared though, once you start, there is no turning back. You'll never buy store bought bacon again....I can promise you that.

    Here are a few more pics of the smoker with a bit more detail

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    Hope this helps to clarify. It really is a great pit. If the time comes that I ever get another one, it'll be this same configuration.

    Robert
     
    ponzLL and tallbm like this.
  7. jcam222

    jcam222 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Who makes it?
     
  8. tx smoker

    tx smoker Smoking Fanatic

    "Who makes it?"

    This particular pit is a design that I came up with about 6 years ago as we were in the planning stages for me to build our new house. The only company locally that I'd trust to build it was swamped with work and couldn't touch it for years. When the wife gave me the green light to get a new smoker...with no budget mind you...I started crunching the net but couldn't find anything in the specific size I wanted. Then I found Johnson Smokers in Ennis Texas that was building smokers virtually identical in design but not the size I was looking for. I emailed asking about the possibility of him building one exactly like I wanted and sent him the specs. He immediately emailed back and said "I can build you that pit" and gave me a price that I couldn't have been happier with. I responded "Please build me that pit", so he did. Took about a month and a half but he got it done and I took a day off work to drive to Ennis and pick it up. I've owned a bunch of smokers but none come close to what this one is capable of. I am now and forever will be a T-Pit guy :emoji_blush:

    Robert
     
    ponzLL, tallbm and Rusty Zipper like this.
  9. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    :emoji_astonished::emoji_astonished::emoji_astonished:
    Holy crap, something amazing came out of the town of Ennis, Texas!?!?!? Go buy a lottery ticket! :emoji_sunglasses::emoji_laughing::emoji_blush:

    That smoker looks amazing. It is good to hear a story where someone is producing and receiving a high quality product, exactly the way it was discussed, designed, and intended.

    Amazing smoker there!
     
  10. ponzLL

    ponzLL Fire Starter

    Wow that was a ton of good info, thanks! Very interesting, never heard of that before!
     
  11. Winterrider

    Winterrider Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    It is a strange looking outfit, but it sounds like you have it down to a tee.
    Also the bacon looks great and I concur, you can never have to much bacon... Nicely done :emoji_wink:
     
  12. tx smoker

    tx smoker Smoking Fanatic

    "It is a strange looking outfit, but it sounds like you have it down to a tee.
    Also the bacon looks great and I concur, you can never have to much bacon... Nicely done :emoji_wink:"


    Please forgive me but I disagree that it's "strange". Yes it's different but that does not make it strange. People tend to have this preconceived notion of smokers being a traditional offset so this is a bit outside of most folk's wheel house. If you really take a minute and think about this, the configuration makes perfect sense. The cook chamber is a foot bigger than my previous offset but the overall length is a foot smaller because there is no firebox hanging off the end. From a perspective if utilizing space, this rig is perfect. Being that it's double reverse flow from each end, that makes it far more efficient than conventional reverse flow smokers on the market from a standpoint of stabilized cook temps, which is most people's biggest complaint. Certainly a reverse flow smoker is going to be more stable than a conventional offset, but still won't maintain even cooking temps like this one will. I appreciate and respect your input but until you've cooked on a pit like this, you'll never have a full understanding of how incredibly well it performs. I know it's a long way from North Dakota to Texas but if you ever find yourself in my neighborhood, please drop me a line. I'd love to ingratiate you to a totally new style of smoking meat :emoji_wink:

    Thank you for the kind words re: the bacon. I learned from Disco and Bearcarver quite a while ago what you concur to: there is no such thing as too much bacon. I have 4 freezers and plan to keep two of them stocked with an assortment of bacon at all times. Gotta keep the little lady happy at all costs...isn't that a shame?? I'm heart broken having to do that for her (NOT!!)

    Loaded for bacon in Lago,
    Robert
     
  13. ponzLL

    ponzLL Fire Starter

    I just assumed he meant strange as in unfamiliar aka "stranger" :P
     
  14. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Now that's a whole lot of good looking bacon right there. Excellent job.

    Point for sure
    Chris