BBB first ride

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Hijack73

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Aug 9, 2020
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I couldn't take it anymore....... ya'll are killing me with all of the buckboard posts! I have to unbox my new slicer eventually and this seems like a worthy reason!

I had 2 butts in the freezer, went with the smaller one because it had a thick fat cap, and to be quite honest, I like bacon fat.

So many folks on here post their pretty standard cure (.25% #1, 1.5% salt 1% sugar), but I went with SmokinAl SmokinAl and his recommendation for diggindogs calculator. Why? Well, because I like the way Al rolls on pastrami lol. His rub of mustard and pepper is exactly what I have found that I prefer! Anyone who makes pastrami my way has to have good taste!

I went 6.25% #1 (as per the calculators default), 1.75% salt (though most here say 1.5) and .75% brown sugar (which was half regular brown sugar and half brown sugar Swerve since my lady and I are now both keto, though the qty for almost 7 lbs of meat was pretty small overall, I figured I'd save a carb or 2). What's the point of bacon if it's not a TAD salty, and I've never been on the sweet bacon train!


This was the first time I've ever deboned a butt. I initially wanted to go fancy and leave the deboned mass intact, but I said F it and went with 2 pieces as it was looking kinda chewed up inside.

In ziplocs now. I plan on smoking it in 14 days. My pellet pooper doesn't like to run under 200 so I will probably only smoke it (at 210-215) for 90 minutes or so then finish it off in a 180 oven. Plan is to semi freeze it before I put it on the smoke. I figure that will keep the 225-230 spikes I'll get from being too aggressive in that short time while allowing it to take all the smoke it will need.


Next time (if we like it and there is a next time) I think I'll grind the lower halves of the deboned butts and just cure the top (capi) halves. Lower half almost seemed too lean for bacon. I don't want ham..... Time will tell.


Thanks to all who make this a great forum.


Someone said in a recent post that they put the pork in a bag then spoon on the cure so they don't lose any, and I appreciate that tip. That little amount of cure mix made me nervous as I was weighing it lol.
 

DougE

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I went 6.25% #1 (as per the calculators default), 1.75% salt (though most here say 1.5) and .75%
I don't know if this was a typo but 6.25% is the amount of sodium nitrite in cure#1, not how much you use. It's used at 0.25% of the weight of the meat. So long as you put the amount of cure the calc spit out at the bottom, you're ok, but be aware that the 6.25% is just there to let you know that the calc is based on curing salt containing that amount of sodium nitrite. Any cure#1, Prague powder, instacure#1, etc, that we buy in the US will be that, but curing salts in other countries have different nitrite levels.
 
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SmokinEdge

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1.75% salt (though most here say 1.5)
Just so you know, when using the calculator, it allows for all salt, so punching in 1.75% the calculator accounts for the .25% cure #1 so the actual salt weight it gives you is for 1.5% salt then when the .25% cure #1 is added you have all in 1.75% salt.

If you actually want to apply 1.75% salt you would have to enter 2% salt in the calculator then it would give you the weight for 1.75% salt, again when cure 1 is added the total salt would be 2%.
 
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Hijack73

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1662165183462.png



Welp, I am going to see what happens when I wake up tomorrow, but the curing part is done and it's been drying for about 6 hours now. Still planning on sticking it in the freezer for a couple of hours (215) before I chunk it on the smoker (pit boss with savannah stoker PID) just because my obstinate smoker doesn't play well at very low temps, and that's why I'll oven finish at about 170-180 after applying ~ 90 minutes of smoke.


If'n it tastes like old monkey meat (country ham) there is an option..... those are hunks of brisket flat in the big bags that will have hit 7 days cure tomorrow! I dunno if I like BBB but I'll know Monday (as I have seen that it needs 2ish days wrapped in the fridge after the heat is applied) but I KNOW I like pastrami and corned beef! This is also my first ride on dry brining beef (used the same curing calculator and 1.75% salt .75% sugar) but it smells freaking great. I went heavy on the pickling mix and added an extra heavy dose of mustard seed on top of that and I maybe shouldn't have...... but I won't add any to my liquid when I cook it and the pastrami just gets mustard and pepper like the SmokinAl SmokinAl does it.


One question - will the freezer mess up my BBB pellicle? Should I freeze it a little hard tonight and let it fridge dry again tomorrow or is it ok to just take it from the fridge to the freezer then directly to the heat?


Thanks folks.

Ya'll rock.
 
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Hijack73

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Off of the smoke. Ended up running it for right at 2.25 hours with the temp pretty steady between 210-225. At 90 minutes the exterior of the meat was still fairly cool to the touch (it wasn't frozen solid when I put it on but it was close) so I felt safe going an extra 45 minutes, internal temp was 108 on the biggest and 118 on the smallest so I feel like I did pretty good not applying to much hot heat. Oven at 170 and will pull at 145 internal. Cherry makes it pretty :)

The fry test was good. A little salty but I wanted it a little salty, so I think it's close to perfect. I may split the difference next time and go 1.62% salt just to compare. I will soak my pastrami I cured at 1.75% salt for just a little while, I don't want it quite as salty as this.
1662236997456.png
 
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SmokinEdge

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Those look beautiful. Waiting for a cut shot, but yes cherry is the color smoke, I mix in pecan for the darker color and a bit stronger flavor. All in all everything looks excellent.
 

DougE

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Beautiful color! I always use a 50/50 blend of cherry/hickory or cherry/pecan. Cherry gives that nice red color and the hickory or pecan bump up the smoke flavor.
 

Hijack73

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Thanks guys! Cherry and pecan together is my absolute favorite and when I used a real firepit that burned wood, those were always in my woodpile. Living in South Carolina for going on 30 years now I'm way burned out on hickory and mostly avoid it since I get it whenever I eat BBQ out or if someone else cooks it.

Slices will come Monday. It's damn tempting now but I'm going to wait it out and let it age/mellow under wraps in the fridge until then.
 

SmokinEdge

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Thanks guys! Cherry and pecan together is my absolute favorite and when I used a real firepit that burned wood, those were always in my woodpile. Living in South Carolina for going on 30 years now I'm way burned out on hickory and mostly avoid it since I get it whenever I eat BBQ out or if someone else cooks it.

Slices will come Monday. It's damn tempting now but I'm going to wait it out and let it age/mellow under wraps in the fridge until then.
Yup, letting it rest is a key step. No hurry on the cut, although I still want to see it. I actually like your idea of freezing before smoking, this could be a powerful tool for folks who have to smoke hot but want more smoke, I like the idea in theory. Nice work.
 
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AngleAway

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Looking beautiful so far! I’ll be smoking my first run of BB tomorrow (pellicle forming now). I’m interested to see how salty it will be. I went with 2% salt (2.25 with cure). Probably should have done a test cook, but it was a busy day and I just didn’t get around to it.

I do like a fair amount of salt but hearing your feedback makes me wonder if it will be too salty. It will be enjoyed no matter what as I have 2 non picky teenage boys. But nevertheless, future improvement and a reason to try new recipes is a big driver that keeps me smoking and cooking in general. So, it’s all good!

The color on your slabs is gorgeous! I’m going with a 50/50 hickory/cherry mix. If I’m able to achieve color close to yours I’ll be a very happy camper. Look forward to your cut shots Monday.
 

Hijack73

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At 1.75 the salt is there in the front. It's not bitter or tongue burning but it's salted meat for sure and a bit more than I expected but still darn good. On a mater sandwich it would be primo without adding extra salt to the mater I think.
 

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